Sri Lanka is not only famous for its natural beauty but of course for its proud heritance. Having that reason UNESCO has inscribed eight world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. First world heritage site of Sri Lanka which is Polonnaruwa was inscribed in 1982. Sigiriya, Anuradhapura sacred city, Galle old town, Kandy sacred city, Golden temple of Dambulla, Sinharaja rain forest and Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are the other world heritage sites. Last two sites can be described as natural world heritage sites while others can be introduced as cultural world heritage sites.
Ancient city of Polonnaruwa (1982)
800 years ago Polonnaruwa became the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of first capital which is Anuradhapura. This city is an archaeological park with the ruins of amazing garden city that was built by King Parakramabhahu. The glory of that past can still be found in ancient temples, tombs, stupas and statues.
Ancient city of Sigiriya (1982)
Sigiriya was the kingdom of King Kashyapa. Ruins of this ancient city still do not disappoint you. There are water fountains that work well even now. Entrance to the kingdom is through a lion mouth that goes up to the top of the Sigiriya rock. Its wall paintings are one of the attractive things you find in this world heritage site.
Sacred city of Anuradhapura (1982)
Anuradhapura is the first capital of Sri Lanka. Ruins of this religious and commercial city give an idea about the lives at that era. It is also one of the sacred cities of Buddhists. Ruwanweli seya, Thuparamaya and other stupas as well as historical ruins of statues and buildings add value to this heritage site.
Old Town of Galle & Its Fortification (1988)
Galle old town which is built around the fort is one of the best archeological sites in Sri Lanka. It was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Later the Dutch people developed the city further. Buildings, chapels and churches here show the influence of European and South Asian architecture.
Sacred city of Kandy (1988)
Kandy is the last historical capital of Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Tooth is situated in this city. It is a world famous pilgrimage site that is worshipped by the Buddhists from all around the world. Kandy Perahara that takes place in June is enriched with the traditional dancing items and elephants. It can be introduced as a cultural festival.
Golden Temple of Dambulla (1991)
This Buddhist pilgrimage site is a cave monastery including five sanctuaries. It can be introduced as the largest and the best-preserved cave-temple that can be found in Sri Lanka. This heritage site holds its importance in its Buddhist mural paintings that covers an area of 2,100 square meters. Also there can be seen 157 statues that add more value to this cave temple.
Sinharaja Rain Forest (1988)
Endemic animal and plant species are concentrated in Sinharaja rain forest. This rain forest is located in south-west Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is popular among the nature lovers due its high bio diversity. Birds, mammals, butterflies, insects, reptiles and amphibians can be easily spotted here and most of them are either endemic or either rare. This rain forest is protected under UNESCO as a natural world heritage site.
Central Highlands of Sri Lanka (2010)
Mountain forests that can be found in South –Central part of Sri Lanka are protected as a World heritage site. These forests are 2500m above sea level. This site includes the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. These highlands are rich with a high bio diversity. Many species of flora and fauna along with endemic species add value to this world heritage site.