Anuradhapura Sacred City

Things to do in Anuradhapura

* Ruwanweliseya

* Abhayagiri Monastery

* Sri Maha Bodhiya

* Isurumuniya

* Thuparama Vihara

* Mihintale

Once an ancient royal kingdom, Anuradhapura is the earliest recorded capital city of Sri Lanka, a title which it maintained for close to a thousand years. A World Heritage site, its immense dagobas and elaborate stone sculptures, are essentially a physical ode to Buddhism and holds a treasure trove of sites waiting to be discovered.

The oldest dagoba is the Ruwanweliseya, which dates back to the reign of King Dutugemunu in 2BC and a must see place in Anuradhapura. Standing 338-feet tall and 397-feet in diameter, it enshrines the relics of the Lord Buddha, and is one of eight important sites of veneration in Anuradhapura. The Jethavanaramaya, believed to hold the sash of the Buddha, towers 400-feet high and is one of the biggest dagobas and also the largest brick structure in the world. Built in 3AD, it's expanse of 8-acres once housed 10,000 monks who were instrumental in nurturing and spreading the faith in the region.

Within the grounds of the Mahamevuna Uyana lies the Sri Maha Bodhi or Sacred Bo Tree. Planted from a sapling of the Bo tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, it is the oldest recorded sacred tree in Buddhist history and was brought to the country by Sanghamitta Theri, over 2,550 years ago when Buddhism was first being propagated.

A visit to the archeological museum in Anuradhapura will provide a good understanding of the city's monuments and their significance.

A list of attractions and some of the best things to do in Anuradhapura;

Image of Ruwanweliseya, one of the best things to do in image of Abhayagiri Monastery, one of the best places to visit in AnuradhapuraImage of Sri Maha Bodhiya tree and a must visit place and among the best things to do in AnuradhapuraIsurumuniya is a good example of Anciant hydrolic engineering and a must visit place in AnuradhapuraThuparamaya is one of the best preserved historical places in AnuradhapuraMihintale is the birth place of buddhism in Sri Lanka and a possible place to visit if you are staying in Anuradhapura

Best time to visit Anuradhapura is from February to October 

Distance and travel times from Anuradhapura to some key cities; 

Distance from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa is about 110 km and travel time is 2 to 2.5 hours

Distance from Anuradhapura to Kandy is about 145 km and travel time is 3 to 3.5 hours

Distance from Anuradhapura to Colombo is about 215 km and travel time is 5.5 to 6 hours.

For any other location you can use the distance calculator on the side bar.

Written by Jonathan Roelofsz for

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