Majestic Oasis in Anuradhapura


Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage. Amidst its myriad attractions, the Twin Ponds stand as a serene oasis of tranquility. Located near the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, these two interconnected ponds, known as Kuttam Pokuna in Sinhala, are not only a testament to the ancient engineering prowess of Sri Lanka but also an enchanting sight that captivates visitors with their beauty and significance.

Historical Significance

Dating back to the 3rd century BC, during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa, the Twin Ponds served as a bathing complex for the Buddhist monks residing in the nearby monastic complexes. They were built using advanced hydraulic engineering techniques of the time, showcasing the remarkable ingenuity of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. The ponds played a vital role in providing water for rituals and communal bathing, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and purity in Buddhist practices.

Architectural Marvel

The Twin Ponds exemplify the harmonious blend of engineering brilliance and aesthetic elegance. The larger pond, known as the “Raja Pokuna,” measures approximately 132 feet long and 51 feet wide, while the smaller pond, “Upa Pokuna,” is about 92 feet long and 51 feet wide. Both ponds feature exquisite stone carvings and intricate step-like formations that lead to the water’s edge, adding to their architectural grandeur. The symmetry and precision of the design reflect the meticulous craftsmanship of ancient Sri Lankan artisans.

Engineering Feat

What makes the Twin Ponds remarkable is the sophisticated hydraulic system employed in their construction. The ponds were ingeniously designed to maintain a constant flow of fresh water, ensuring a clean and invigorating experience for the monks. Channels connected the ponds to nearby reservoirs, allowing water to be directed in and out, and a filtration system ensured purity. The ability to control the water flow showcased the advanced engineering skills possessed by the ancient Sri Lankans.

Aesthetics and Ambiance

Beyond their historical significance, the Twin Ponds offer visitors a serene and enchanting ambiance. Surrounded by lush greenery and frangipani trees, the ponds create a peaceful atmosphere, providing a respite from the bustling city. The symphony of birdsong and the gentle ripples on the water’s surface further enhance the ethereal charm of the place. The tranquil setting invites visitors to contemplate the historical legacy while immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Preservation Efforts

Recognizing the significance of the Twin Ponds, the Sri Lankan government, along with conservation organizations, has made significant efforts to preserve and protect this historical treasure. Conservation measures include regular maintenance, cleaning, and the implementation of guidelines to ensure the sustainable visitation of the site. These initiatives aim to safeguard the Twin Ponds for future generations, allowing them to appreciate and cherish this cultural gem.

Visitor Experience

For those fortunate enough to visit Anuradhapura, a trip to the Twin Ponds is an absolute must. As you stroll along the pathways surrounding the ponds, you can marvel at the architectural splendor and immerse yourself in the serenity of the location. The ponds provide excellent opportunities for photography and offer a sense of tranquility that calms the mind and nourishes the soul. Exploring the Twin Ponds allows visitors to connect with the rich history and spirituality that permeate this ancient city.


The Twin Ponds in Anuradhapura stand as a testament to the remarkable ingenuity and architectural excellence of ancient Sri Lanka. Beyond their historical and cultural significance, these interconnected ponds offer visitors a serene haven where they can bask in the beauty of nature and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the past. As one ventures to this remarkable site, the Twin Ponds reveal themselves as a true gem, exuding tranquility and capturing the hearts of all who visit.

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Useful Tips

  • There is no entry fee to visit Twin ponds

  • visitors are required to dress appropriately and behave respectfully as it is a sacred Buddhist site.
  • It is best to visit Twin ponds early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and hot midday sun. The ponds are especially picturesque during sunset.
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