ANCIENT CITY OF POLONNARUWA
Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It comprises, besides the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous 12th century garden-city created by Parakramabahu I. It is rumoured that this city originally preserved a tooth of Lord Buddha.
ANCIENT CITY OF SIGIRIYA
The ruins of this ancient rock fortress built by the bloodthirsty King Kassapa I (477 - 495) lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 180m high. This 'Lion's Rock' dominates the jungle from all sides. A series of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a gigantic lion constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site.
SACRED CITY OF KANDY
This sacred Buddhist city of Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a revered pelgrimage site.
GOLDEN TEMPLE OF DAMBULLA
This cave monastery has been a sacred pilgrimage site for more than 22 centuries and is the largest and best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings and the 157 statues of the five sanctuaries covering an area of 2,100 m² are extraordinary.
CENTRAL HIGHLANDS OF SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka's highlands - located in the south-central part of the island - comprise the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. These montane forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea-level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender lori and the Sri Lankan leopard.