Sri Lanka holds the memories of some of the oldest cities in the world with her history stretching back to about 3,000 BC. Prime among them are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Digamadulla with their splendorous township, palaces, temples, monasteries, hospitals, and theaters intricately carved and modeled out of stone testifying their knowledge and skill.
Kingdom of Anuradhapura:
founded on the banks of Malvathu Oya around 5th century BC, it is one of the largest and oldest cities of the world to be continuously inhabited. Marked now as UNESCO's world heritage site, it is Sri Lanka's third and longest serving capitals, well known globally for preserving numerous ancient ruins. Having served as the capital city for 250 Buddhist and Hindu kings, this city located 205 kilometers north of Colombo is an UNESCO dedicated world heritage site since 1982.
a 5th century fortress built by King Kasyapa between 477 and 495 AD on 200 meters high hardened volcano magma. Water garden displays some of the futuristic elements of landscaping, and some of the oldest murals recorded in the country. UNESCO has dedicated it as a world heritage site in 1988.
Kingdom of Polonnaruwa:
the second most ancient kingdom of the country has an irrigation system that serves the farmers of the region even today. The city has the best planned archeological relics. The city forms the back drop to the movie "Duran Duran" and can been seen in the music video "Save a Prayer". The city is now a world heritage site as dedicated by UNESCO in 1988.
The Royal City of Kandy:
was the last capital city of the last independent kingdom after being conquered by Portuguese. Kandy passed hands between Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Sri Dalada Maligawa built within the palace premises houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, his tooth. The city was the capital for Sinhalese kings between 1592 and 1815 and is now dedicated as world heritage site.
Cave Temples of Dambulla:
located 148 kilometers east of Colombo and 72 kilometers north of Kandy, Dambulla was designated as world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991. Standing 160 meters high from surrounding plains, there are 80 documented caves of which 5 caves covering 2,100 sq meters contain 153 statues depicting life of Buddha, 3 status of Sri Lankan kings and 4 status of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
greeting the Portuguese in 1505 by a gallus (roaster in Portuguese) the place claims it's name Galle. Sinhalese contend the name to have derived from gala, rock in Sinhalese. Counted as a world heritage site since 1988, Galle is still functional historical city. It was the major port till Colombo port was opened in 1875.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve:
as a least disturbed lowland rain forest covering 11,187 hectares it is home to numerous local spices of birds, animals, and plants richly nurtured by flowing rivers and streamlets. UNESCO has marked it as world heritage site in 1988, delcared as Man and Bio Sphere (MAB) in 1978, and part of international Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO..