After the fall of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa became the next kingdom of Sri Lanka in 1070 AD. This transfer of kingdoms is considered as a strategic important move because of the success that the country faced after shifting the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa.
The first king of Polonnaruwa was king Vijayabahu who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 AD. However the limelight of the period was king Parakramabahu 1 and his period is believed to be the golden era of Sri Lankan history. The country underwent many development processes especially in the scopes of agriculture and irrigation. His creation of Parakrama Samudra is considered as a landmark of attractions in Polonnaruwa because it is the largest rain water reservoir in the country. According to his policy, every bit of rain water has to be protected and used for agriculture.
Near the reservoir, a standing statue of the king Parakramabahu with some manuscripts written on Ola leaves can be seen. Other than this, there are many important Buddha statues and carvings that bear great historical value. Among them, Rankoth Vehera is important.