Today we travel to Polonnaruwa – the island’s Medieval Capital (11th - 13th Centuries AD) which rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. The city was fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with parks and gardens and sanctified by many shrines. A unique irrigation complex watered the city as well as the surrounding plains helping in agriculture which made the island “the Grainery of the East”. The largest of the man made reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama), is larger in size than the Colombo Harbour. Polonnaruwa is home to two magnificent World Heritage Sites and numerous other sites of archaeological and historical interest, some of which depict the influence that Hinduism had on the Buddhist Civilization during that period of history. Visit the many sites of archaeological and historical interest in the Sacred City by bicycles including the Grate Statue, Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Vatadage, Hatadage, Siva Devalaya, Gal Viharaya, Alahana Pirivena Complex, Kumara and Lotus Ponds, Thuparamaya, Rankoth Vehera, Pabalu Vehera, Thiwanka Image House, The Museum etc.
In the afternoon we will undertake a jeep safari of Minneriya National Park famous for its many large herds of wild elephants. Minneriya NP is situated around the reservoir of the same name in the south central area of the island. This park comprises of grasslands, thorny scrubs and many valuable species of trees. Large herds of elephants, species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals are some of the wild animals found, along with a variety of avifauna that abounds in the park. (approx. 3 hours driving)