Anuradhapura is one of the ancient cities in Sri Lanka, well known for its ruins depicting early Sri Lankan civilization. It is very famous among Buddhists pilgrims. Anuradhapura was earlier the capital of the Island (in ancient times) and most of the Kings who ruled Sri Lanka resided in this vast city. The city is now named as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
On the contrary to the historical data that indicates that the city is founded in the 5 century BC archeological data puts that date back to far as the 10 century BC. However it was King Pandukabhaya who planned the layout of the city and made it his capital in the 4th century BC. He constructed many reservoirs and shrines. The city reached its highest magnificence by the beginning of the Christian era. The city boasted some of the most complex irrigation systems in the ancient world.
The ruins in Anuradhapura
Ruins are the only remains of what Anuradhapura used to be. Ruins generally have three classes of buildings:
1.Dagobas ( bell-shaped masses of masonry)
3.Pokunas ( bathing tanks/ tanks that supply water for drinking)
Major Tourist Attractions at Anuradhapura
The Eight Great Places For Veneration.
1. Sri Maha Bodhi – It is the sacred Bodhi Tree ( Fig Tree ) which is believed to be a direct descendant from the original Bo tree under which The Lord Buddha reached his enlightenment.
2. Ruwanwelisaya – It is the stupa built by King Dutugamunu. The stupa is considered as one of the world’s tallest monuments.
3. Thuparamaya – It is another dagaba in Anuradhapura. Following the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka it was the first dagaba to be built in Sri Lanka which also enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha.
4. Lovamahapaya – Also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya. This building was also built by King Dutugamunu.
5. Jetavanaramaya – The Jetavanaramaya is yet another stupa which was initiated by King Mahasena. A part of a sash or belt which was used by the Buddha himself is believed to be enshrined here.
6. Abhayagiri Dagaba – This ruin is considered one of the most extensive ruins in the world and has a roof made of gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay. The Abhayagiri Dagaba attracted scholars in the ancient times from all over the world.
7. Mirisaveti Stupa– Another masterpiece built by King Dutugamunu.
8. Lankarama – This stupa was built by King Valagamba.
Other Famous Structures in Anuradhapura Sri Lanka