North Central Province
The North Central Province is a province of Sri Lanka. Its capital is Anuradhapura. The province is not densely populated, and it has a weak economy as the land tends to be dry tropical woodlands.
The North Central Province is divided into two districts, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Both have interesting histories.
• Anuradhapura is now a World Heritage site, was the centre of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries.
Although according to historical records the city was founded in the 5th century BC, the archaeological data put the date as far back as the 10th century BC.
Anuradhapura was a major intellectual centre for early Theravāda Buddhism. The ancient city began to form in the pre-Christian Era less than two centuries after the death of Gautama Buddha. It was one of the ancient cities in the Rajarata Kingdom of northern Sri Lanka which lasted for 1,700 years.
• Polonnaruwa was also part of the Rajarata Kingdom of northern Sri Lanka and was the second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms. Polonnaruwa was first established by the Chola dynasty after their successful invasion of the country's then capital, Anuradhapura, in the 10th century. The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has also been declared a World Heritage Site.
After the fall of the Rajarata Kingdom in the 13th century, the region became largely uninhabited and has scarcely recovered to this day.
The centralised system of Sri Lanka, which is a Unitary State, failed to satisfy the aspirations of the people and there was growing insistence on decentralization of administrative processes in order to achieve rapid economic and social development of the country. In the Sri Lankan context, devolution means transferring political and administrative decision-making authority from central government to elected bodies at lower levels.
Tourism......The tourism of the Northern Central Region centres around the two ancient cities which have prospered after they were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Anuradhapura the older city is famous for its Eight Great Places of Veneration, the site occupying a vast area. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is also well supported but is smaller and more compact.