Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It is a large UNESCO site full of monumental ruins that witnessed several civilizations. It is so widespread, that you need a car to move between the ruins. The entry fee is once again very steep at 3250RP per person.
It can be very exhausting walking around the site as the temperatures in this area are usually very high. Keep in mind that you have to remove your shoes entering certain parts of the site and the sand and rocks are very hot so walking barefoot is very uncomfortable.
The Lotus Bath is right at the end of the site so it is better to drive there rather than walk.
The ruins of Anuradhapura contain a rich archaeological and architectural collection. Instead of going to another UNESCO World Herritage sites, we paid one of the local guides who showed us around other interesting sites around Anuradhapura without paying a steep entry fee. The local guides charge around 1500RP which is significantly less than the entry fee to the official site. You will see pretty much the same things.
We started our tour at the tooth relic temple where the relic had been placed during the first few centuries. You have to take your shoes off to walk around the site and ladies have to cover their shoulders and have skirts or trousers long enough to cover their knees, otherwise they won't be allowed in.
Our second stop was to see the ruins of Mihintale. It was actually quite interesting and with a few trees around, the shade was most welcome, so we could have a rest. There is also a house built in the rock currenlty occupied by a monk.
It was quite interesting to find out that the toilets on the above picture were separated. On the left hand side is the toilet for doing so called #1 and on the right hand side for #2.
Mirisawetiya Stupa was also quite impressive. It is 59m tall and 43m in diameter.