Historical Places in Sri Lanka

The historical places in Sri Lanka represent the remnants of the country's ancient civilization, culture, traditions and philosophy.

It is largely reflected in Sri Lankan ruined cities, temples, palaces, dagobas, parks and paintings. The major historical places in Sri Lanka are:

  • Anuradhapura
  • Sigiriya
  • Polonnaruwa
  • Mihintale
  • Dambulla
  • Kandy


This major historical city was the first capital of Sri Lanka and was originally founded by a king's minister, named Anuradha, around 4 th century B.C. The leading historical site in Anuradhapura is the Sacred Bo Tree- Sri Maha Bodhi. The city also contains magnificent dagobas like Ruwanweli, Thuparama, Jetavana, Lankarama, Abhayagiri and Mirisaweti. Isurumuniya is a temple in Anuradhapura renowned for its beautiful stone carvings and the Samadhi Buddha statue is an example of outstanding work of sculpture.


Sigiriya is an ancient fortress located 22 km northeast of Dambulla in the North Central Province. The ruins of this city are considered to be the most outstanding of the ancient sites of Sri Lanka. Situated on the summit of the Sigiriya rock are the remnants of the earliest surviving royal palace in Sri Lanka. Also known for its amazing frescoes painted around 15 centuries ago, Sigiriya is one of the major historical cities of Sri Lanka


The capital of Sri Lanka was shifted from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa in the early 11th century. The city is surrounded by the remarkable 12 th century Royal Citadel and is one of Sri Lanka's historical places.


According to legend, the sacred mountain of Mihintale was sanctified by Lord Buddha and hence regarded as one of the 16 holy sites of Sri Lanka. Mihintale is also known as Sri Lanka's cradle of Buddhism.


Dambulla is famous for its cave temples with frescoes and an abundance of sculpture work. A major place of interest is Raja Maha Vihara.


The royal city of Kandy was the last seat of the Sinhala kings and famous for its Tooth relic of Buddha and the Esala Perahera a historical parade. It is also one of the noted historical places in Sri Lanka.

This is a bird's eye view of the popular historical places in Sri Lanka.


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