Anuradhapura

Situated in the North Central Province, Anuradhapura was the first established ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka. A corner of the ‘cultural triangle’ and is widely considered the birthplace of Buddhism in the country. Ancient ruins scatter the whole area and there are many fascinating temples to be seen.

It holds eight sites that all Buddhists here believe they should visit at least once in their life. Anuradhapura was the first, ruled by the country\'s first official king, Pandukabhaya, in 4BC. The name comes from Anurudha, a minister of King Vijaya, who discovered the area in 4BC. The entire area is abundant with historical landmarks, one of which is the ‘Abhaya Wawe’ – the first man-made lake in the island.

This is mainly for the culture vultures and archaeologically enthusiasts. Sightseeing is the main activity and there is much to explore, from elegantly carved moonstones to imposing stupas to ancient ruins of palaces. Ruwanwelisaya stands on the top of the must see list when in Anuradhapura as it’s one of the tallest stupas in the country, and dates back to 2BC.