Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, also called as Rajarata. It is popular for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lanka, and this was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata. following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.It was during this era, that Buddhism became the state religion of Sri Lanka.Proof of this is the great Sri Maha Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura – regarded as the oldest planted tree in the world. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist relics in Sri Lanka today. There are many Buddhist dagobas and temples in this city. Some of them are Jethawanaramaya , Ruwanweli Maha Seya , Thuparamaya , Abhayagiri Dagoba
Temple of the Tooth Relic(Sri Dalada Maligawa)
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa is a Buddhist Temple, located in the royal palace complex of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is in the center of the city was originally built by the Kandyan Kings between 1687 and 1707, in order to house and honor the sacred tooth relic. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century CE, eight hundred years after the passing away of Buddha. The temple of the tooth is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple and the relic.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
This is an ancient rock fortress located closer to Dambulla in the central province. During (477 – 495 AD) King Kashyapa built his palace on top of this rock and decorated its sides with frescoes.Towards the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.It was after this structure people started calling it Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock.Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is a site of historical and archaeological significance
Polonnaruwa also referred to as Pulathisipura was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993.It is famous for the well-preserved Vatadage in the famous Dalada Maluwa quadrangle of the ancient city of ruins, Polonnaruwa. It consists of a lot of temples, religious buildings and archeological sites. Attractions include Royal Palace, pabalu vehera, rankot vihara ,dagaba kiri vihara, Buddha statue at Lankatilaka.
Galle Fort was initially built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It was later fortified and conquered by the Dutch in the 17th century, until it later fell to the might of the British. The old town of Galle was once used as a trading port for spices and other goods. Galle Fort is by far the most important tourist attraction in Galle.The Fort belongs to the European traditions and was constructed during the Portuguese and Dutch periods. It showcases the century-old culture and colonial heritage of Galle.
Cave Temples of Dambulla
A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The cave consists of 364 steps.The main Golden Buddha entrance is a welcoming sign to anyone who steps through its hallowed door. There are flowers adorning the outside of the main entrance and in the vast courtyard surrounding it.
UNESCO designated the Golden Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla a World Heritage Site in 1991.It still operates as a practising place of worship for thousands, making it a must-see pilgrimage on your journey.