Speaking of King Parakramabahu (1153-1186) leads us to Polonnaruwa’s next stunning feature, the ruins of his Royal Palace. These are the remains of what was once a sprawling, opulent home truly fit for a king, and the first thing you see when entering the Ancient City. Archaeologists claim that this palace once housed 50 rooms, and stretched on for 7-stories high; which, given the lack of technology and machinery in those days, is a ridiculously impressive feat. The walls are said to have been 3m thick, and the palace itself bears signs of an incredibly efficient and complex drainage system, with similar engineering capabilities as that in the water systems of Sigiriya. The Kumara Pokuna which is the Royal Bath is still here as well, with the Royal Audience Hall to be found within the vicinity as well. Walking through these ruins transports one back in time, and offers a wonderful insight into the island’s rich history.