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Polonnaruwa’s Primates

Polonnaruwa is the setting for this one. And we’re here to meet a special bunch this morning at...

Polonnaruwa, North Central Province

Polonnaruwa is the setting for this one. And we’re here to meet a special bunch this morning at the entrance to this ancient city; her famed primates and the committed researchers who study them.


Polonnaruwa is a heavyweight among the island’s ancient Kingdoms, and this one’s a pretty unique experience. You start seeing them in small tribes, one by one. Torque macaques, grey langurs and even purple-faced leaf eaters, they’re all here! Their numbers had dwindled in years past. Some were even in danger of being wiped out completely. In came the champions of their cause — the Smithsonian Research Center. Their tireless efforts and passion for these primates helped revive their fortunes once more. And it is these field researchers, themselves, who will closely guide you through all there’s to see and know here. It is with good reason that the ancient ruins here were chosen to film Disneynature’s ‘Monkey Kingdom’. You’ll see, close up, how primate societies operate and how they interact with each other. The many challenges in preserving them are touched on. The work being done here is remarkable. To absorb these primates with the natural backdrop of Polonnaruwa’s ruins is something else.


The heat during the day can take its toll. Get back to the hotel, unwind towards evening, and look back at the one-of-a-kind experience you soaked up.


Includes : Walk and entry to Polonnaruwa.
Times : Starts at 0630 hours & ends at 0830 hours (Approx. 2 hours)
Children : Yes, those that love wildlife.
To wear/bring : Cool clothing, hat, passport.

What to Know Before you trvel


Knowledge and expertise can make your holiday more canker free and fun filled.

Sri Lanka is a tropical island. Therefore, breathable cotton clothing would be ideal. White is considered a clean, pure colour especially when visiting religious sites. Ideally a pair of sturdy sneakers for treks would do whilst a pair of comfy flip flops would do for excursions and sandals would be perfect for the beach or for a casual walk.
Get permission from the proper people before visiting a sacred place. This might be a caretaker, holy person, elder, or the governing agency affiliated with the site. Be aware that even after attaining permission from a governing agency you may be offending indigenous people who may not have jurisdiction over their own sacred sites.
Exchange rates fluctuate constantly throughout the week as currencies are actively traded. This pushes the price up and down, similar to other assets such as gold or stocks. The market price of a currency – how many U.S. dollars it takes to buy a Canadian dollar for example – is different than the rate you will receive from your bank when you exchange currency. Here's how exchange rates work, and how to figure out if you are getting a good deal. For the more advanced investor, you might want to check out
01.A person may bring any sum of money in foreign currencies into Sri Lanka. This sum could be in TCs, Bank drafts or currency notes. However, if the total of such sum exceeds US$ 15,000, such sum should be declared to the Sri Lanka Customs.

02. If a person wishes to take out from Sri Lanka any sum in exceeds of US$ 5000 in currency notes out of the sum brought in as per (1) above, such person should declare the entirety of the sum brought in, even if it is less than US$ 15,000.
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