Gigantic stupas, palatial structures made of stone, all bear muted testimony to the epic history of this island in the Indian Ocean. History of sri lanka spans over a period of 2000 years, which is livid with many a colorful incident of regency and their doings. Times of wars, events of religious significance, coups and trysts with foreign elements color the odyssey of chequered history of "serendib" as sri lanka was known then. If one ponders over the above, it would seem that "serendipity", which means all that pertain to the island of "serendib" is unique, unparalleled due to the fact that it's history being an epic itself. As the time went by, winds of change swept across this isle establishing many a new monarchy and this made new kingdoms while deserted ones were eaten by wildness. There are many places of archeological importance in sri lanka today and this being the result of before mentioned.
Regents of ancient times were in the practice of establishing new domains of kingdom each time Polonnaruwa, Kandy and etc. Each time the Kingdoms changed the former ones crept into obscurity Making way they were ascended to the throne. This led to a number of kingdoms throughout the island of sri lanka at various periods of time. Many monuments pertaining to Buddhism and Hinduism, monuments built for aesthetic, medicinal purposes and for no other reason but to showoff the mightiness of the rulers were erected during the time of kingdoms like Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Yapahuwa, and Kandy etc.
During the periods of kingdom many a monarch paid homage to Buddhism by constructing temples, where "Dagabas" (a colossal structure of globular shape containing relics of lord Buddha), "Stupas"(a structure like dagaba, but containing bodily relics of monks), "Vatadage" (a circular shrine enclosing a small stupa) "Vahalkade" (a stony frontispiece featured on the four cardinal points-east, west, north and south of a stupa) "Sala" (Assembly halls) "Pasada" (Monastic residences), moonstones (a flat semi circular stone found at entrances), "Muragal", which act as guardians of the gates (columns carved in stone to the shapes of serpents, goblins or warriors), "Sellipi" (Writings carved on Stone) and "Bithu sithuvam" that still shine in pristine glory (Colorful frescos done with paint made out of plant extracts and soil, which were done on stone and plaster) were adorned by.
Apart from temples, archeological excavations done find that ancient sri lanka boasts of a well regulated irrigation system. Many tanks and canals are what is remnant of this network of reservoirs nowadays. Tanks like Tissa wewa, Minneriya, Girithale, Parakrama Samudraya stands in testimony to a glorious past where many acres of land in the dry zone were irrigated and many a cultivation took place. Ruins of many ponds have been found when Archeological excavations have been done in the citadels of Ancient times. (Eg. Kuttam Pokuna )
Other sites of historical and religious importance are aplenty, especially in the central and north central areas of the island. These include monuments dedicated to Hindu deities and to other gods, demigods, who are revered locally. Ancient Devales (shrines) of historical significance built in honour of gods and goddesses like "shiva", "pattini" play a major role in religious activities of the locale. Many of these sites are conserved by the project of "cultural triangle" by the department governing all Archeological sites (Department of Archeology).
The island of serendib is, thus studded with places of historical importance that speaks of a time when kings and knights fought, made peace and excelled in activities that brought fame to their motherland, in short testifies a time where "children of the lion" reigned supreme.
List of Archeological sites, Ancient Ruins & Places of historical and religious significance