Most Riveting Ancient Cities in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's history dates back to more than 2500 years. These ancient cities and their glorious remains that are temples, fortresses, statues and irigation feats still have the ability to make people gaze at them with reverence. Ancient sites are considered to be archeological gold mines because they are evidence to a very rich civilization. Most of the places are declared as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. The oldest and the largest ancient city is Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura Ancient City
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient cities in Sri Lanka, well known for its ruins depicting early Sri Lankan civilization. It is very famous among Buddhists pilgrims. Anuradhapura was earlier the capital of the Island (in ancient times) and most of the Kings who ruled Sri Lanka resided in this vast city. The city is now named as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Sigiriya Ancient City
Sigiriya also known as the Lion's Rock is a rock fortress and a palace located in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. This ruin is surrounded by gardens, ponds and other structures. Sigiriya was built by King Kassapa and it is included as a World Heritage site. Sigiriya is the best preserved city centre in Asia.
Kandy Ancient City
Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and lies in the midst of hills. It is the Capital of the Central Province. It is both an administrative ad religious city. Kandy is the second largest city in the country and is frequently visited by Buddhists especially of the Theravada School.
Kandy is very famous among tourist for three main reasons: It is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ; Dalada Maligawa ), The Botanical Gardens ( Located in Peradeniya) and it always has a special place when it comes to festivities such as the Esala Perahara.
Yapahuwa Ancient City
Yapahuwa is located a little way off the Kurunegala-Anuradhapura road, in the Wayamba province of Sri Lanka. Of all the ancient ruins in the country the Rock Fortress Complex of Yapahuwa is considered to be quite remarkable despite the fact that it isn't famous among most visitors. However, it is renowned as one of the best archeological site in the country. It is even rumored to be more significant than The Rock Fortress in Sigiriya.
Polonnaruwa Ancient City
Polonnaruwa is the Island's 2nd largest kingdom. 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. Its beauty and serenity was captured in the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Lankathilaka temple and a colossal statue of the Buddha made from stone is located here.
Dambulla Ancient City
One of the major places for buddhist pilgrimages and tourist attractions. Situated in the Matale District. It is home to the largest cave complex in the entire island. It also has the largest rose quartz in the entire South-east Asia. However the caves take precedence when it comes to attractions in Dambulla, the rock is more than 160m high. The cave temple contains a lot of statues and painting depicting buddhism in a very fundamental level that can make an individual speechless by the mere sight of it. There is a total of 153 buddha statues. The murals themselve's cover a very vast area on the insides of the cave and are very well preserved for an ancient site. The UNESCO named the cave a World Heritage Site.
Buduruwagala Ancient City
Located south of Wellawaya, an ancient city/archeological site exists known as Buduruwagala. Famous for its statues of bodhisattva's along with one buddha statue. In Sri Lanka people follow Theravada buddhism, however the buddha statue signifies an influence from the Mahayana school of buddhism. The Buddha statue is approximately 16m high. Buduruwagala isnt quite known among tourists but still it is one of the best places for visiting.
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