Sri Lanka’s cultural depth is recognized by UNESCO, which has declared six archaeological World Heritage Sites in the country:
- The sacred city of Anuradhapura
- The ancient city of Polonnaruwa
- The golden temple of Dambulla
- The ancient city of Sigiriya
- The sacred city of Kandy
- The old town of Galle and its fortifications
Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north central part of the Island was the first capital, the centre of the island's Buddhist civilization and undoubtedly the grandest ancient city of Sri Lanka. The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas, ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years as capital of Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa was a great city in Sri Lanka which came in to prominence during its' brief period of 2 Centuries of Sri Lankan history, being second only to the ancient city of Anuradhapura in ancient cultural heritage. Polonnaruwa Architecture, Art and Sculpture is well displayed at Gal Viharaya,Thuparamaya Image House and Lankatilaka Image House and many other sites scattered throughout Polonnaruwa ancient city.
Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a world heritage site in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life.
Sigiriya also known as Lion Rock, the archeological rock fortress or lion -mountain and palace of the Sigiriya situated in the central province in Matale District of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya presents a unique concentration of fifth century urban planning, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, arts and architecture, engineering and hydraulic technology. The Sigiriya rock is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano.
Kandy became the capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom in Sri Lanka after the coastal regions had been conquered by the Portuguese. The Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists.
Galle, the main city and port on the south coast, retains a romantic, old-world atmosphere within its Dutch fort. An important masterpiece from the history of Galle is the Dutch Reform Church. It was built in 1640 and services are still held each week. The special feature of the church which is the original pipe organ is still on display. The cultural changes that took place during colonial rule are still visible in Galle and have evolved to become part of everyday life. For better or for worse, these changes have immensely contributed to the modern city of Galle which is a major tourist attraction.