On the way from Colombo to Anuradhapura, we went to this place. We did not know much about this place but it was recommended by our Sri Lankan tour operator. It turned out to be a really great place. This doesn't seem to have come on to the tourist map yet. There were very few tourists there.
Yapahuwa was one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. Bhuvenakabahu moved the capital from Pollonurawa to Yapahuwa fearing attacks from the kings from south India. The tooth relic was brought along and kept in a fortress in this place. We were told by our guide, that the steps were deliberately kept narrow so as to slow down the ascent of potential attackers. This fortress was attacked by the Pandyan forces who succeeded in capturing the Tooth Relic. After this, the site was abandoned and was used by Buddhist monks.
An envoy was sent to India by Emperor Kublai Khan of China, with an offer to exchange the Tooth of Relic for a fabulous treasure. Before he could reach the Pandyan courts, King Parakrambahu of Sri Lanka himself went to the Pandyan court and retrieved the Sacred Tooth Relic by means of negotiations