Ancient glory of Anuradhapura was a beginning of the Sri Lankan Buddhist history and great civilizations. Anuradhapura became the capital of Sri Lanka in the 4th century BC. Sri Lankan history from the 4th century BC up to 10th century A.D is generally referred as “Anuradhapura” period. When introducing Buddhism in 247 BC start a unique culture and great civilizations. Indo-Aryan Sinhalese has produced unbelievable feat architecture and constructions. Such as massive Dagobas, the ornate pleasure gardens and palaces and exquisite sculpture which abounds. The unique feature of Sri Lankan stupa (Dagobas) which enshrined relics of the Buddha and were objects of veneration.
The Sri Lankan ancient cities are also the centres of the irrigation work of the past. Massive reservoirs built to collect the rain water. River diversions, giant aqueducts and miles long irrigation channels are proof of a civilization highly developed in the science of irrigation, hydraulics and water management .There are many important places at Anuradhapura.
Sri Maha Bodhi (The sacred Bo Tree)
Sri Maha Bodhi is the right branch of the sacred Bodhi tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. This was brought to Sri Lanka by “Sangamitta their” in 3rd century B.C. The Bodhi branch was received with respect by the King Devanampiyathissa and was planted in the terrace prepared for it in Mahamewuna garden Anuradhapura. This is treated as the oldest living tree in the world in documented history and it is a place respected by Buddhist’s from all around the world.
Ruwanweli Stupa the magnificent Stupa in Anuradhapura
Build by King Dutugamunu in 2c. B.C, who is treated as one of the most outstanding ancient Kings of Sri Lanka and this treated as one of the most greatest Stupa in the world. Is by far the most beautiful its white dome shining like a pearl of the dry Arid landscape this magnificent huge Dagaba which is 103 meters in height and 287 meters in circumference was built in 2nd century B.C. It is present ‘bell’ shape dates to reconstruction in the 1840’s.
Abhayagiriya Stupa Anuradhapura
It was built by King Valagamba (Vattagamani Abhaya) in 103 B.C. founded this large monastery Abhayagiriya and gave it to Mahathissa Thero who had protected the king when in adversity. Abhayagiriya is treated as the second highest dagoba in Sri Lanka.
Jethavana stupa and museum
The jethavana stupa built by king Mahasen in the 3c A.D were taller than the third pyramid of Giza and were the wonder of the world at the time. With the Jethavana probably being the largest stupa in the whole Buddhist world.
The jethavana museum comprised the vast collection of recovered ancient ruins and ornament during excavations since 1981 at the 300 – acre site monastery. It has protected many unearthed are fragments of decorative friezes & carvings from the site, including Buddha statues &grindstones, some of great delicacy & fine jewellery, ivory carvings, ear ornaments & bangles, all of extremely fine workmanship, as well as stones such as amethyst & garnet, collection of pottery & the skilfully crafted three-tiered urinal pot. A pavilion outside have more stone sculptures: friezes, elephants & guard stones.
Magnificent stone carving of Isurumuniya Lovers
Isurumuniya temple was built by King Devanampiyathissa. It is very popular for its rock carving among them is the Isurumuniya lovers. It is believed that the figures may represent son of Dutugemunu “Saliya” and the law caste maiden “Asokamala” whom he loved. It’s known that he gave up the throne for her. King Kasyapa the 1st in 473-491 AD renovated this and named this as “Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera”
Thuparamaya the very first Stupa built in Ceylon
Thuparama stupa is treated as the first historical built stupa in Sri Lanka by King Devanampiyathissa. It was built by enshrining the right collarbone of the Buddha. Originally this stupa was in a shape of a heap of paddy and later once the repairs were done it has the shape of a water bubble.
The magnificent Twin Ponds of Anuradhapura
Kuttam Pokuna or Twin ponds are the most magnificent bathing ponds located at Anuradhapura. These breath taking beautiful ponds tell everyone how artistic and the knowledge ancient Sri Lankan had in engineering.
Mirisaweti Stupa was built in 2nd century B.C. by King Dutugemunu after defeating King Elara. Currently this stupa is partial decayed and under construction by the Cultural Triangle.
Magul Uyana (Gardens) is situated close to Isurumuniya Vihara Anuradhapura. In the gardens there were lot of ponds and seats made from stone. It is said that Prince Saliya met Ashokamala in this garden.
This was skyscraper built by King Kanittha Tissa. During 8th and 10th centuries this was renovated by King Mihindu II and Mihindu IV
Vessagiri is located about half a mile south of Isurumuniya, in a mountainous region. Scattered around 23 caves made of stone with the inscribed names of its donor. These are treated as the oldest inscriptions in Sri Lanka written in Brahmi script.
Nuwara Wewa is the largest of the three manmade reservoirs in Anuradhapura the other two are Basawakkulama (Abaya Wewa) and the Tissa wewa. Nuwara Wewa is believed to be built by King Vattagamini Abaya popularly known as King Valagamba in the first century BC.
Anuradhapura folk museum
This museum is situated within the sacred city near Archaeological museum .it houses a collection of objects reflecting rural life in the north central province. (Closed on Thursdays and Fridays)