Anuradhapura, is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, world famous for its well preserved ruins of the Great Sri Lankan Civilization. The Civilization which was built upon this city was one of the greatest civilizations of Asia and in the world. The city now a UNESCO heritage site, lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. Today this ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is sacred to the Buddhist world, which its surrounding monasteries covers an area of over sixteen square miles ( 40 km²) and is one of the world's major archaeological sites.
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
Sigiriya, considered by some as the eighth wonder of the world, consists of an ancient castle used by King Kasyapa of the 4th century AD. The Sigiriya site has the remains of an upper palace sited on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and gardens that extend for some hundreds of meters out from the base of the rock.
Dambulla is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square meters depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon.