Anuradhapura ancient city is one of the World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka. It had been the capital city of Sri Lanka for a period of over 14 centuries beginning from the 5th century BC. Historians, archeologists, scholars, travelers and international tourists consider Anuradhapura as the single most important cultural city in Sri Lanka.
Location and route
Anuradhapura is in the center of Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. It has been divided into the ancient city on the west of the river Malvatu Oya and the modern city on the east.it can be reached through Kurunegala and Dambulla at a distance of 215 km or through Chilaw and Puttalam at a distance of 205 km from Colombo.
Major Tourist Attractions in Anuradhapura
1. Sri Maha Bodhi – It is the sacred Bodhi Tree ( Fig Tree ) which is believed to be a direct descendant from the original Bo tree under which The Lord Buddha reached his enlightenment.
2. Ruwanwelisaya – It is the stupa built by King Dutugamunu. The stupa is considered as one of the world’s tallest monuments.
3. Thuparamaya – It is another dagaba in Anuradhapura. Following the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka it was the first dagaba to be built in Sri Lanka which also enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha.
4. Lovamahapaya – Also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya. This building was also built by King Dutugamunu.
5. Jetavanaramaya – The Jetavanaramaya is yet another stupa which was initiated by King Mahasena. A part of a sash or belt which was used by the Buddha himself is believed to be enshrined here.
6. Abhayagiri Dagaba – This ruin is considered to be one of the most extensive ruins in the world and has a roof made of gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay. The Abhayagiri Dagaba attracted scholars in the ancient times from all over the world.
7. Mirisaveti Stupa– Another masterpiece built by King Dutugamunu.
8. Lankarama – This stupa was built by King Valagamba.