The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by KingVijayabahu I, who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader.
Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological 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.
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. It is believed that from the fourth century BC until the beginning of the 11th century AD it was the capital of the Sinhalese. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles.
Kandy is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. 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.
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