Holidays in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Independent Coach Tours
Polonnaruwa was Sri Lanka’s medieval capital between the 11th and 13th centuries. Enclosed within three concentric walls, the city contained royal palaces, bathing ponds, monasteries and sacred architecture such as dagobas and image houses. Its grandeur was largely the creation of three kings, Vijayabahu, Parakramabahu and Nissanka Malla, although the last-mentioned emptied the coffers in doingso.

There is a Sinhalese folktale about the two most venomous snakes in Sri Lanka, the cobra (naya) and the Russell’s viper (tic-polonga). The two snakes meet at a time of drought, and the tic-polonga asks the naya where he can quench his thirst. As it happens, the naya had recently come across some water in which a child was playing. While the naya had taken a drink the child had accidentally hit the snake, but the creature, being even-tempered, had refrained from biting. Knowing that the tic-polonga was of a touchy disposition, the naya tells its fellow reptile that it does indeed know of a place to drink, but will only reveal the location if the tic-polonga promises not to bite the child. The tic-polonga agrees but bites the child anyway, so the naya kills the recalcitrant snake in combat. Thus have they always been enemies.

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