"Polonnaruwa The Medieval capital of Sri Lanka"The history of early Sri Lanka was very carefully recorded and written down by monks.
The Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle) records the earlier period of the Sri Lankan, and Chulavamsa (lesser Chronicle), gives an accurate picture of the 'Polonnaruwa' period.
However his crowning achievements were the creation of the 2400 hectare tank (about 15 Km2), so large it was named the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama); and the unification of the three orders of monks, the Maha vihara, Jetavana and Abhayagiri into one Sangha or 'Supreme Order of Monks'. The greatness of his achievement was to ensure the survival of Buddhism in the dark centuries ahead.
Parakramabahu was the last great king of Sri Lanka.
The decline of PolonnaruwaAfter Nissankamalla's death, Polonnaruwa went to decline, civil war, lawlessness and constant invasions from the South Indian Chola Empire, and Malay barbarians who sacked the city several times, virtually destroyed the social structure and religious order of the country. A whole century after this were the 'Dark Ages' of Sri Lanka, a century from which few historical records survive.
The capital was shifted to Kurunegala, and Polonnaruwa returned to the jungle; it's great reservoirs survived as a series of swampy lakes, and its large brick buildings became lost under thick tropical forest. The Portuguese are said to have raided and looted Polonnaruwa, but by the early nineteenth century the site was completely lost.
In the early years of this century the main monuments of the ancient city were uncovered. Today, conservation and excavations continue, as part of the work of the Cultural Triangle.