anuradhapura museum
A Glimpse into Sri Lanka's Rich Historical Heritage


The Anuradhapura Museum stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s glorious past, offering a captivating journey through time. Located in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the museum holds a remarkable collection of artifacts, sculptures, and relics that showcase the island nation’s rich cultural heritage. With its historical significance and fascinating exhibits, the Anuradhapura Museum is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.

History and Significance

Anuradhapura, located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, served as the country’s first capital for over a millennium until the 10th century AD. The city was a flourishing center of politics, religion, and commerce, with a profound influence on the development of Sinhalese civilization. In 1947, the Anuradhapura Archaeological Commissioner’s Office established the Anuradhapura Museum to preserve and showcase the numerous historical treasures excavated from the area.

Exhibits and Collections

The Anuradhapura Museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the city’s cultural and historical significance. The exhibits are divided into different sections, each dedicated to a specific era. Visitors can explore artifacts spanning from the prehistoric period to the colonial era.

The museum’s collection includes intricately carved stone sculptures, ancient coins, jewelry, pottery, and intricate ivory artwork. One of the highlights is the renowned moonstone, a semi-circular stone slab with elaborate carvings, showcasing the artistic prowess of ancient Sri Lankan craftsmen.

A significant section of the museum is dedicated to the Buddha’s relics, highlighting Anuradhapura’s role as an important center of Buddhism. Visitors can witness sacred relics such as the collarbone of the Buddha, presented in beautifully adorned reliquaries. These relics reflect the deep-rooted spiritual significance of Anuradhapura and its association with Buddhism.

Interactive displays and multimedia presentations further enhance the visitor experience, providing detailed explanations and historical context for the exhibited artifacts. The museum’s knowledgeable staff members are readily available to answer questions and offer additional insights, making the visit engaging and informative.

Preservation Efforts and Future Developments

The Anuradhapura Museum not only serves as a repository of Sri Lanka’s history but also plays a vital role in its preservation. The museum employs conservation techniques to protect the artifacts from deterioration and regularly updates its exhibitions to showcase newly discovered treasures.

Future developments aim to enhance the museum’s accessibility and visitor experience. Plans include the establishment of modern facilities, such as multimedia presentations and interactive exhibits, providing a more immersive journey through Anuradhapura’s past.


The Anuradhapura Museum offers a captivating exploration of Sri Lanka’s illustrious past, taking visitors on a journey through the rich history and cultural heritage of the ancient city. With its remarkable collection of artifacts, including religious relics and intricate artwork, the museum provides an invaluable insight into the country’s vibrant history. Whether you are a history enthusiast or a curious traveler, a visit to the Anuradhapura Museum is sure to leave you spellbound and inspired by the magnificence of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilization.

green hut hotel & restaurant


Useful Tips

  • The museum is open every day except Mondays from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

  • Foreigners have to pay LKR 500/- for adults and LKR 250/- for children.
  • The museum showcases a variety of collections including pottery, sculptures, coins, textiles, and various other artefacts from the ancient city. The collections are displayed in various rooms and galleries.
  • Visitors can rent an audio guide at the museum entrance to learn more about the collections and the history of the ancient city.
  • The museum has a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase books, postcards, and other items related to Anuradhapura and Sri Lanka’s rich history.
green hut hotel & restaurant