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Standing and recumbent Buddha images have been carved directly into the granite bedrock at the 12th century Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. There has been controversy over the meaning of the standing figure's crossed arms.

Standing and recumbent Buddha images have been carved directly into the granite bedrock at the 12th century Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. There has been controversy over the meaning of the standing figure's crossed arms.

The Kiri Vehera at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, was the work of Queen Subhadra, a consort of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186).

The Kiri Vehera at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, was the work of Queen Subhadra, a consort of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186).

Grey langur monkeys inhabit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, capital of Sri Lanka from the 10th to 14th centuries.

Grey langur monkeys inhabit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, capital of Sri Lanka from the 10th to 14th centuries.

The 12th century Rankoth Vihara is the largest of its kind in Polonnaruwa and fourth largest in Sri Lanka.

The 12th century Rankoth Vihara is the largest of its kind in Polonnaruwa and fourth largest in Sri Lanka.

The Galpota or Stone Book at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, describes the heroic deeds of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196). On the end of the stone are two elephants sprinkling water over the Goddess of Prosperity.

The Galpota or Stone Book at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, describes the heroic deeds of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196). On the end of the stone are two elephants sprinkling water over the Goddess of Prosperity.

The 12th century Vatadage in the Sacred Quadrangle at Polonnaruwa once sheltered the sacred Buddha tooth relic currently venerated in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The 12th century Vatadage in the Sacred Quadrangle at Polonnaruwa once sheltered the sacred Buddha tooth relic currently venerated in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The lowest tier of the 12th century Council Chamber at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, bears a frieze of elephants.

The lowest tier of the 12th century Council Chamber at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, bears a frieze of elephants.

The 1,000-room Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, originally had seven stories of which only two remain.

The 1,000-room Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, originally had seven stories of which only two remain.

The Palace Complex of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) is next to Parakrama Samudra reservoir on the west side of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka,

The Palace Complex of King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196) is next to Parakrama Samudra reservoir on the west side of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka,

The throne of King Kassapa, who ruled Sri Lanka from AD 477 to 495, is on the summit plateau at Sigiriya Lion Rock. King Kassapa used the rock as a secure refuge after overthrowing and killiing his father, King Dhatusena of Anuradhapura.

The throne of King Kassapa, who ruled Sri Lanka from AD 477 to 495, is on the summit plateau at Sigiriya Lion Rock. King Kassapa used the rock as a secure refuge after overthrowing and killiing his father, King Dhatusena of Anuradhapura.

A rectangular pond carved directly into the stone at the summit of Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka provided a source of drinking water for residents of an ancient monastery.

A rectangular pond carved directly into the stone at the summit of Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka provided a source of drinking water for residents of an ancient monastery.

The foundations of a former palace or monastery cover much of the summit pleau at Sigiriya Lion Rock. The views of central Sri Lanka are excellent.

The foundations of a former palace or monastery cover much of the summit pleau at Sigiriya Lion Rock. The views of central Sri Lanka are excellent.

The stairway to the summit of Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka begins between a pair of 5th century lion's paws.

The stairway to the summit of Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka begins between a pair of 5th century lion's paws.

Pesky macaque monkeys range across Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka.

Pesky macaque monkeys range across Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka.

Before the current metal stairway was installed the only access to Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka were stone steps carved directly into the cliff face.

Before the current metal stairway was installed the only access to Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka were stone steps carved directly into the cliff face.

Visitors to Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka must climb a narrow stairway on the north side of the cliff.

Visitors to Sigiriya Lion Rock in central Sri Lanka must climb a narrow stairway on the north side of the cliff.