The great city – Anuradhapura In the two thousand years of the Golden Age of Sri Lanka's history, the Sinhalese built great reservoirs with ingenious irrigation systems to feed the rice fields that were the tranary of the country. The earliest tanks were constructed at Anuradhapura and Magama and they enabled the agricultural systems to flourish and the population thereby to meditate on things spiritual. With the establishment of the Buddhist religion, the ancient people constructed massive stupas, domed shrines on sacred sites, complete with extensive monastic complxes, containing stone and brick built multi- storied buildings, roads, monumental sculptures and cave temples with mural paintings of great beauty and delicacy. Enshrinements were made in Buddha statues and relic houses, offerings made of precious minerals and gemstones, and artefacts of more simple muuld. The art and architecture of the early Sinhalese was most striking and delicate in composition, being both elegant and austere. The ancient royal city of Anuradhapura, designed by the genius of King Pandukabhaya in the fourth century before the dawn of the Christian Era, was the epitome of modernity, with four guardian gates at the cardinal points, water and sanitation facilities. Attendant villages surrounded the enclosed city and brisk trade was conducted on a network of roads. With such a legacy of cultural, religious, social and technological excellence, Sri Lanka has long strived to preserve and maintain this heritage. The Department of Archaeology has done sterling service over many decades. Notably, Mr.H.C.P. Bell, Prof. Senerat Paranavithana and many others have given their life's work to this purpose. The Govermnent inaugurated th Cultural Triangles of Sri Lanka at an international gathering on 25 August 1980. The Triangle is formed by connecting Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy with an imaginary line, containing within it places of worship, palaces and halls of learning. Today,great steps have been taken in presering ancient monuments within the Triangle. These living fragments of history will enable future genarations to see and appreciate the glories of the past.