Once a major center of civilization in Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura now is a sacred city well-known for its perfectly preserved ruins situated in the North Central province of the country. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove filled with archaeological and architectural marvels, making it one of the most evocative sights of southern Asia. The present complex consists of an extravagant collection of enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools, decaying temples and preserved edifices that were built almost a thousand years ago. Interestingly, there are many archaeological excavations being discovered and carried out in these ruins, making it a must-stop for any history buff. Anuradhapura, was once a prominent center of Buddhism for many centuries, but its current day avatar is that of a small, pleasant town with a relaxed pace, making it a great day-escape.