I think these pieces were moved. They’re numbered, and jenga’d a bit funny
Got stuck in Polonnaruwa for the night. Turned out to be worthwhile. In the morning we rented some mountain bikes and headed off to explore the ruins. Stayed at Manel’s, about 800 Rupees, plus like 250 for each bike. Polonnaruwa is the ancient capital of Sri Lanka with lovely ruins to explore. It’s a huge contrast from the manky concrete New Town. I really wonder what we leave our descendents.
The most famous king of that time was Parakramabahu. We saw the image of his statue everywhere, but not the thing itself. It’s him holding what looks like a book (or a papaya, as above). His tank still stands in inspiring largeness, and you can imagine the royal city from the ruins.
The ruins are the perfect size to cycle through on a bike. We saw the conference room, palace, bathing area, etc. It’s a striking contrast to the creeping concrete of the rest of the city and, indeed, any city. I don’t think we’ve really mastered concrete as an architectural tool. It’s really just a building material. I was repulsed by the bus town of Kaduruwela, but felt quite peaceful in Polonnaruwa itself. I suppose being largely reserved and uninhabited makes for a nice ambiance.
We stayed at the Manel Guest House for about Rs. 1000 for a triple (027 222 2481). It’s OK. I’d recommend perhaps eating elsewhere, bit mediocre. They’ll rent you some bikes and it’s a good way to see the sites.