Anuradhapura, ancient Sri Lanka’s first capital, was founded during the 4th century BC by the Sinhalese King Pandukhabaya. Considered the cradle of Sri Lankan Buddhism, the town of Anuradhapura was established around the sacred Maha Bodhi tree, which is believed to have grown out of the sapling of the original fig tree in India under which Buddha attained enlightenment. The town flourished for over 1,300 years as the political and religious capital of ancient Sri Lanka. Following an invasion in 993 AD, the town was abandoned. The history of the city is documented in the Buddhist chronicle Mahavamsa. It was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982. Current-day Anuradhapura with its monasteries and monuments is one of the must see sites in Sri Lanka