Aunradhapura is acclaimed as the greatest monastic city of the ancient world. It has served the royal capital of Sri Lanka for 113 kings. Located in the North-Central Province of the island, Anuradhapura was originally founded by a King’a minister named Anuradha in BC. This splendid site, with its places, monasteries and monuments, was re-discovered in the 19th century and is now a heritage city.
King Pandukabhaya, the founder and first ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, fixed village boundaries in the country and established an administration system by appointing village headmen. He constructed hermitages, houses for the poor, cemeteries, and irrigation tanks. He brought a large portion of the country under the control of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. The reign of King Dutugemunu (161–137 BC) that the whole country was unified under the Anuradhapura Kingdom. After unifying the country, he helped establish Buddhism on a firm and secure base, and built several monasteries and shrines including the Ruwanveli Seya and Lovamahapaya. . The UNESCO declared Anuradhapura World Heritage Site in 1982.