The old section of Anuradhapura, now preserved as an archaeological park and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, is the best known of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. The city also contains an ancient pipal tree that is believed to have originally been a branch of the Bo tree at Bodh Gaya (Bihar, India), under which Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment. The Bo tree branch was planted at Anuradhapura about 245 bc, and it may be the oldest tree in existence. Today, several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples; frequent ceremonies give Anuradhapura a vibrancy that’s a sharp contrast to the museum-like ambience at others archaeological sites.