Anuradhapura - Photos by Sri Lanka Travel Agency, Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura

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Sri Lanka’s first capital is truly ancient, having ruled the island for more than 1,000 years beginning in 380 BC. The majestic remains are a major highlight of Sri Lanka, with beautiful stupas, temples, and palaces that demonstrate just how advanced the early Sinhalese were. Visitors can sit under the Bo tree where the Buddha gained enlightenment and wander the vast Jetavanarama Dagoba building which once housed more than 1,000 monks. Within this complex are a dozen equally amazing sites. Visitors can easily spend a day or more exploring the area.