Explore Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka has many archeological sites offering memorable experience for visitors. When you visit them, you can envisage the social and economic life of the people who lived in the earliest time. Some of the archeological sites you can visit in Sri Lanka are as follows.

Anuradhapura, capital city of Sri Lanka from 4 BC to 11 AD, was built by King Pandukabaya. You can visit well preserved archaeological sites such as the ruins of dagab, temples, status and palaces. Some of the prominent archaeological sites are Ruwanwelisaya, Kuttam Pokuna and Isurumuniya .

Mihinthalaya is a significant place in the history of Sri Lanka. King Devanampiyathissa met Arahath Mahinda, son of Indian emperor Asoka who came to Sri Lanka with Buddhism in Mihinthalaya. Later, King became a Buddhist and converted this place to a temple. Many archaeological sites are located around Mihintalaya such as ruins of hospitals, and Kantaka chethaya, Mahinda Lena and Mahinda gala.

Polonaruwa, which was built by King Paracramabahu, is the second capital city of Sri Lanka. Archaeological sites you can visit are Vatadageya, Galviharaya, Tivanka Pilimaya, Nissanka council chamber, statue of King Paracramabahu, and pothgul veheraya.

Yapahuwas is the third capital city of Sri Lanka. It was a rock fortress built in the 13th century by King Buvenekabahu. The palace had been built on rock. Visitors can see the ruins of the palace and cave temple.

Sigiriya, a world heritage site, was built by King Kasyapa who ruled Sri Lanka from 477 to 495 AD on a 600 feet rock. It has water gardens and fountains leading to the rocks and stone staircase to the summit. Mirror wall and rock paintings are major tourist attractions.

Dambulle cave temple is one of the well preserve archeological sites. The history of the cave rock goes back to first century Bc1BC. King Walagamba was hiding in Dambulle during South Indian invention. When he became the ruler of Anuradhapura, he converted caves to a temple complex. Rock caves have the status of Load Buddha, kings and gods and magnificent cave paintings.

Digavapiya is a significant archeological site in Ampara and it was built by King Saddhatissa. It was abandoned with the fall of Anuradhapura due to south Indian inventions. Degavapiya was discovered 1926 and the renovation works are under way at present.

Galle was a prominent sea port located about 110km from Colombo. Portuguese who came to Sri Lanka in 1505 settled in Galle. Later, Dutch took control of Gall in 1640. Both Portuguese and Dutch developed Galle as a garrison. Visitors can visit colonial buildings, cathedral and maritime museum in Galle.

Kandy is an important archeological site in the central part of Sri Lanka. You can see the palace occupied by Sri Lankan last King Sri Wicrama Rajasinghe.

Archeological department started excavation in Hunugalagala Limestone Cave in Badulla in 2013 and they found that the cave was inhabited between 5000 to 4000 years ago. Stone utensils grind stones, painted potsherds, and stone statue were found during excavations.

Archeological sites in Sri Lanka bare testimony to its long history. Visiting them is a fascinating journey through the history of a rich cultural heritage.


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