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Anuradhapura Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura, sacred City of the Kings, is redolent with history and mystery. Founded in the 6th Century BC and venerated by Buddhists the world over, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies at the heart of Sri Lanka’s famed ‘cultural triangle’.
As the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura was not only the early cradle of Buddhism on the island, but also the driving force behind cultural and scientific innovations designed to improve the health and welfare of everyone who lived there.
It also contains the sacred 2,000-year-old Bo Tree. According to legend, this much-venerated symbol was grown from a cutting from the tree in Bodh Gaya, India, under which Buddha himself attained enlightenment.
Anuradhapura’s ancient metropolis, surrounded by monasteries occupying an area of over sixteen square miles, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. For many centuries, it was also one of the most stable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia.
Today, the city ruins that lie at the centre of this iconic location are preserved with great care and attention to ancient and historic detail. They consist mainly of three classes of buildings: stupas, monastic buildings and pokunas.
Stupas are stone-built domes containing Buddhist relics, including the ashes of Buddhist monks, a well as valuables and treasures. They conform to seven classic shapes, vary in size from a few feet to over 1,100 ft (340m) in circumference, and are found throughout Anuradhapura.
Of the monastic buildings, one of the most famous is the Lovamahapaya, or Brazen Palace. Originally 150ft high and supported by 1,600 stone pillars, its roof was covered with copper-bronze plates. The building included 1,000 rooms and was covered corals and precious stones.
Pokunas, or stone-built pools used for bathing and drinking water, are found everywhere. They include the Kalu Diya Pokuna, or Natural Black Water Pond, and are believed to have been part an impressive network of irrigation channels and waterways. It is thought that they also formed magnificent formal private gardens where the kings would relax and entertain.
According to historical records, Sri Lanka possesses the largest amount of Buddha's relics so far unearthed from any country. Anuradhapura is seen as the most significant religious place because of the largest quantity of relics to be found there.

Activities in Anuradhapura


Cycling

If you prefer cycling but aren't so keen on struggling with uphill climbs, there are many interesting trails in the lowlands of Sri Lanka that take you through a beautiful landscape of tea, rubber and spice plantations or even the ancient capital of POLONNARUWA .

Trekking

Our holidays are adventure and nature based where you see real Sri Lanka that is not experienced by everyday tourists. We try as much as possible to keep away from the more popular places visited by every day tourists. We want you to visit a place where you see Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka

Swimming

Sri Lanka and its many lakes, rivers, and leisure centers are good for practicing all types of swimming activities. The numerous lakes and swimming pools offer a good chance for young and old alike to get fun and cool off.

Attractions in Anuradhapura


Mihintale

Mihintale, a spectacular mountain range near Anuradhapura, has huge cultural and historical significance as the probable cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Ruwanwelisseya Dagoba

This tallest and arguably the most beautiful Anuradhapura stupa, Ruwanwelisaya is revered by Buddhists the world over and regarded as an architectural wonder by believers and non-believers alike. Built in 140 BC by Gamini Abhaya,

Bodhi (Bo) Tree

The Bodhi Tree (also known as Bo), the sacred tree of Buddhism in Anuradhapura, might be described as the heart and soul of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and hugely venerated as a direct connection to the Buddha himself.

Samadhi Statue

Cut from a single granite rock, the Samadhi Statue is 7ft 3ins high, and according to legend, had two gems for eyes that reportedly ‘went missing’ in 1914. The Buddha is shown in the Dhyana Mudra position, the posture most popularly associated with meditation and enlightenment, or nirvana.

Abhayagiri Dagoba

The famed Abhayagiri Stupa is at the heart of Abhayagiri Vih?ra, a major royal capital and monastic site that is now one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in Sri Lanka.

Mirisaveti Stupa

Historical records show that Sri Lanka possesses the largest amount of Buddha's sacred relics to found in any country—and Mirisaveti is one of the earliest stupas built to safeguard them.

Lovamahapaya | Brazen Palace

The magnificent Lovamahapaya, or Brazen Palace, was originally a nine-storied square building—150ft (47m) high, 400ft (120m) on each side, with 40 rows of 40 stone pillars, according to Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of the Sinhalese.

Lankarama Sthupa

The Lankaramaya stupa, similar to Thuparama, the first stupa built after Buddhism was brought to the country in the 250 BC, was built by King Vattagamini Abaya, and bears the ancient name of ‘Silasobbha Khandaka Cetiya’.

Isinbassagala

This beautiful little stupa was built on top of a huge rock, and the name ‘Isinbassagala’ loosely translates as ‘the rock that the sage came from’. It is part of a complex built by the King Devanampiyathissa (250-210 BC) after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

Ranmasu Uyana

Sri Lanka’s amazing and mysterious ‘Stargate’, thought to be an ancient ‘map of the worlds’ depiction of the universe, is thought to be the oldest such petroglyph in the known world.

Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna)

The Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds) are by far the best examples of bathing tanks or pools in ancient Sri Lanka, and are architectural and hydrological engineering marvels in their own right.

Kalu Diya Pokuna Natural Black Water pond

The mastery of water management and hydraulics shown by the ancient Sri Lankan kings is a key feature of the country’s cultural heritage. Not only for food production, but also the solace and comfort that soothes the soul and lifts the spirits.

Ritigala Forest Monastery

A mountain of mists, mysteries and an abundance of plants widely used in traditional Sri Lankan medicine because of their legendary healing properties.

Padeniya Rajamaha Vihare

A brilliantly colored frieze of seated lions is the distinctive feature of this simple but beautiful temple, which is something of an archaeological treasure quite unlike many of the more elaborate sites at nearby Anuradhapura.

Jethawanaramaya Stupa

The Jetavanaramaya stupa not only has great significance for Buddhists and the history of Anuradhapura, but also exemplifies the engineering and construction skills found in Sri Lanka 2,000 years ago.

Isurumuniya Rock Temple

This delightful vihara (Buddhist monastery) is famed for its stone carving of a young couple known as the ‘Isurumuniya Lovers’, believed to have been King Dutugemunu's son Saliya and his lower-caste mistress Asokamala, for whom he gave up the throne.

Sri Maha Boodhi Temple

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi tree Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 249 BC,[1][2][3][4] a

Dagoba of Thuparama

The Dagoba of Thuparamaya was the first stupa to be built in Sri Lanka after the introduction of Buddhism in 250BC, and formed the venerated centerpiece of an Aramic monastic complex extending over three acres.

Vessa giriya

Three beautiful boulder formations lie at the heart of the Vessagiriya temple complex, an ancient Buddhist forest monastery that has played an important role in the history of Anuradhapura.

Wilpattu National Park

Kudrimalai Point (Horse Point) has been described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Wilpattu National Park. Legend has it that this is where Prince Vijaya landed in 543 BC to found the Sinhala nation.

Avukana Buddha Statue

Carved from a large granite rock face during the 5th century, this huge and imposing monolith is one of the best examples of standing Buddha statues in ancient Sri Lanka.

Ratnaprasada

Known as the 'Gem Palace', the ruins of 8th Century Ratnaprasada hide dark secrets of conflict between Buddhist monks and King Kanitta Tissa, who reigned from 192–194 AD.

Moonstone

Growth, energy, power and forbearance, symbolized by elephants, lions, horses and bulls, are vital attributes of the famed Sri Lankan moonstones found among the Anuradhapura ruins.

Guardstone (Muragala)

Guardstones or Muragala, found at the entrances of all Anuradhapura’s historic buildings and palaces, were original intended to inspire mystery, awe and respect.

Holiday Packages in Anuradhapura


Sri Lanka Buddhist Pilgrim

Negombo | Anuradhapura | Polonnaruwa | Sigiriya | Kandy | Colombo

Staying at the appropriately named Heritage Hotel, you will be perfectly placed to explore history..

Jewels of Sri Lanka

Colombo | Habarana | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Yala | Sinharaja Forest | Kalutara

One of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Golden Temple of Dambulla...

Colonial Experience

Negombo | Anuradhapura | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Colombo

This special tour will give you a change to look back at the high-end living and architectural...

Horse Riding Tour

Kalpitiya | Anuradhapura | Sigiriya | Kandy | Nuwara Eliya | Colombo

Horseback riding through the surf of a tropical beach as the setting sun kisses the Indian Ocean...

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