mirisavetiya stupa
An Oldest and Most Sacred City


Anuradhapura is one of the oldest and most sacred cities in Sri Lanka. The city is known for its rich cultural and religious heritage, attracting tourists and visitors from across the globe. This city boasts of ancient ruins and temples that serve as a testimony to the country’s rich history and culture.

Located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura served as the capital of Sri Lanka for over a thousand years, starting from the 4th century BCE. The city was ruled by several ancient kings of Sri Lanka, each of whom contributed to the city’s growth and development. Several Buddhist and Hindu temples, stupas, and statues were built during this time, making Anuradhapura a religious and cultural hub of Sri Lanka.

One of the most iconic sites in Anuradhapura is the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree that is believed to have been planted in 288 BCE. The tree is believed to have grown from a cutting of the original tree under which Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment in India. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is one of the most revered and religiously significant sites in Sri Lanka, attracting Buddhist pilgrims from across the world.

Another notable monument in Anuradhapura is the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, which was built by King Dutugamunu in the 2nd Century BCE. The stupa is over 300 feet tall and is believed to contain the relics of Lord Buddha. The stupa is one of the largest and most important Buddhist monuments in Sri Lanka, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

Other significant sites in Anuradhapura include the Isurumuniya Temple, which features stunning rock carvings depicting Sri Lankan folklore and mythology, the Abhayagiri Monastery Ruins, which was a sacred Buddhist monastery and learning center during the ancient times, and the Samadhi Buddha Statue, which is a Buddha statue depicting deep meditation.

Anuradhapura is also home to several archaeological sites, which have served as a window to Sri Lanka’s ancient history and culture. These sites include the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum, which houses a vast collection of ancient artifacts, the Brazen Palace ruin, which was once a grand palace that housed over 1000 monks, and the Ratna Prasada, which is a splendid 9-storey tower that was built during the reign of King Dutugamunu.

The city of Anuradhapura also has several other sites of interest that are worth visiting. These include the Thuparama Temple, which is believed to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, the KuttamPokuna (Twin Ponds), which were once part of an ancient monastery complex, and the Mirisaveti Stupa, which is a massive stupa believed to have been built by King Dutugamunu.

In conclusion, Anuradhapura is a treasure trove of ancient history and culture. The city’s rich heritage, coupled with its stunning monuments and ruins, makes it a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. Whether you’re a history buff, a religious devotee, or just a curious traveler, Anuradhapura has something to offer to everyone.

green hut hotel & restaurant

Useful Tips

  • Anuradhapura is located in the northern province of Sri Lanka, about 200km from the capital, Colombo.

  • The easiest way to get to Anuradhapura is by car or taxi from Colombo. There are also trains and buses available from Colombo and other major cities in Sri Lanka.

  • Sinhala and Tamil are the two official languages of Sri Lanka, but English is widely spoken in Anuradhapura, especially in tourist areas.
  • As Anuradhapura is a religious site, visitors are expected to dress modestly. It is recommended to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples and other sacred sites.
  • Anuradhapura is famous for its traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, which includes rice and curry, hoppers, roti, and kottu.
  • Anuradhapura is one of the most important historical sites in Sri Lanka, with many ancient ruins and temples to explore. Some of the popular attractions include the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, Jetavana Dagoba, Thuparamaya Dagoba, Isurumuniya rock temple, and the Abhayagiri Vihara monastery.