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Giritale is a small, sleepy settlement in the Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka, known for its close link with Polonnaruwa, an ancient capital of Sri Lanka. It makes a good base for visiting Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park, and also the outlying ruins of the Mandalagiri Vihara. Polonnaruwa was established as the second capital of Sri Lanka, after its first capital Anuradhapura fell in 993 after the invasion of the invading Cholas armies from South India. In 1982, UNESCO declared Polonnaruwa a World Heritage Site, and it is now one of the most popular cultural destinations of Sri Lanka. From Giritale, it is also possible to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple and Sigiriya Rock Fortress, both important sites on the tourism trail of Sri Lanka.