This ancient city is a delight to wander through. Some of the most impressive are the massive carvings of Buddha which are hewn out of bare rock. It is not difficult here to take a step back in time and imagine life as it must have been here almost a thousand years ago. The city itself was established when the Sinhalese moved their capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa in the early 12th century. Later in that century, the city experienced its heyday under the ruling of Parakramabahu. He went on a building spree, constructing the huge lake and the many large buildings and parks that we visit.