Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 5th Century BC to 10th century AD is situated 204 km off Colombo. It was the centre of civilisation, the first among Buddhist Holy cities and a great pilgrim centre.
Preserved as a World Heritage City, it is also the home for places of interest such as the Thuparama Dagaba (Shrine) enshrining the collar-bone of Lord Buddha sacred to Buddhists which was first built in the 3rd Century BC and now restored, the sacred Bo Tree which also dates back to the 3rd Century BC propagated from the Bo Tree at Buddhagaya in North India which sheltered the Buddha at the time of his enlightenment and the Isurumuniya Rock Temple which contains the famed Bas- Relief "The Lovers" as well as other fine stone carvings also of the 3rd Century BC.
The magnificent Ruvanweliseya which was also restored later has been built by the Heroic King Dutugemunu in the second Century BC. The Lovamahapaya - the Brazen Palace, was once a splendid Monastery with 1600 Monolithic Columns still standing and the Mirisaveti Dagaba with its artistic carved "Screens".