Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 5th Century BC to 10th century AD is situated 204 km off Colombo.

Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 5th Century BC to 10th century AD is situated 204 km off Colombo. It was the centre of civilisation, the first among Buddhist Holy cities and a great pilgrim centre.

Preserved as a World Heritage City, it is also the home for places of interest such as the Thuparama Dagaba (Shrine) enshrining the collar-bone of Lord Buddha sacred to Buddhists which was first built in the 3rd Century BC and now restored, the sacred Bo Tree which also dates back to the 3rd Century BC propagated from the Bo Tree at Buddhagaya in North India which sheltered the Buddha at the time of his enlightenment and the Isurumuniya Rock Temple which contains the famed Bas- Relief "The Lovers" as well as other fine stone carvings also of the 3rd Century BC.

The magnificent Ruvanweliseya which was also restored later has been built by the Heroic King Dutugemunu in the second Century BC. The Lovamahapaya - the Brazen Palace, was once a splendid Monastery with 1600 Monolithic Columns still standing and the Mirisaveti Dagaba with its artistic carved "Screens".

Tourists Attractions in Anuradhapura

  • Ancient cities

Anuradhapura, is an ancient city and was the ancient capital of Sri Lanka from 5th century BC to 10th century AD situated 204 km off Colombo. It was the centre of civilization, the first among Buddhist Holy cities and a great pilgrim centre. Preserved as a World Heritage City, it is also the home for places of interest such as the Thuparama Dagaba (Shrine) enshrining the collar-bone of Lord Buddha sacred to Buddhists which was first built in the 3rd Century BC and now restored, the sacred Bo Tree which also dates back to the 3rd Century BC propagated from the Bo Tree at Buddhagaya in North India which sheltered the Buddha at the time of his enlightenment and the Isurumuniya Rock Temple which contains the famed Bas- Relief “The Lovers” as well as other fine stone carvings also of the 3rd Century BC.

  • Mihintale

Mihintale is 208 km from Colombo, 13 km from Anuradhapura and the cradle of Buddhism. It was here that the Buddhist doctrine was first preached by the Monk Mahinda, Son of Asoka, Emperor of India to King Devanampiyatissa more than 2000 years ago. Mihintale "the Hill of Mahinda" is approached by a magnificent wide ancient stone stairway of 1840 steps. There are several 3rd century BC shrines. The Mahaseya and Ambasthala contain some delicately executed pillars, the Kantaka Cetiya with finely sculptured alter pieces. The remains of an ancient hospital, a number of intriguing ponds, the lion bath with a very spirited execution of a rampant Lion, the Naga Pokuna, name for a carved Cobra lowering in the water and the Kaludiya Pokuna, the pool with dark water are places to visit.

  • Wilpattu National park

Wilpattu National park is situated 192 km away from Colombo, 56 km from Anuradhapura in the North western coast lowland dry zone of the island. It is known as one of the first national parks in Sri Lanka. It is an exciting wild life sanctuary of much character. Wilpattu National park is 680 sq km in extent. It still holds unspoilt jungle dotted with Willus (natural lakes) and little inland lakes. Animals that can be found include Leopard, bear, Deer, Sambhar, Elephant and many colourful birds. Centuries tradition of white deer specimens can be still occasionally seen. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its Leopard population.

  • Bicycle Trekking

The ancient city of Anuradhapura which played an important pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s history and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site can be toured around with bicycle trekking. After reaching the city and using the map, one can take one’s own private journey along with a bicycle. It gives you the freedom to explore the recommended places of interest at your will. The sacred Bo Tree and the ruins of ancient palaces and other buildings are some of the important sites that should be visited in this sacred city.

Anuradhapura on map

Sri Lanka Tourism Activities around Anuradhapura