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Places of interest in Sri Lanka - World Heritage Sites  

Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, world famous for its well preserved ruins of the Great Sri Lankan Civilization. The Civilization which was built upon this city was one of the greatest civilizations of Asia and in the world. The city now a UNESCO heritage site, lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya[1]. Founded in the 4th century BC it was the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom till the beginning of the 11th century AC. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. It was also a wealthy city which created a unique culture and a great civilization. Today this ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is sacred to the Buddhist world, which its surrounding monasteries covers an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²) and is one of the world's major archaeological sites.

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The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu.

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Sigiriya is an archeological site in Central Sri Lanka. It contains the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD). It is one of the seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka and is one of its most popular tourist destinations..

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Kandy is the English name for the city of Maha Nuvara (Senkadagalapura) in the centre of Sri Lanka. It is the capital of the Central Province and Mahanuvara District. It lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy Valley which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea..

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Galle is a town situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British, who developed the harbor at Colombo..

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The city of Dambulla is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy.

Major attractions of the city include the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambullu international cricket stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The city also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana..

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Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.

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