It is one of the oldest and most important cities in Sri Lanka. It was the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom for over 1,300 years, from the 4th century BC to the 11th century AD. During this time, Anuradhapura was a major center of Buddhism and culture, and it is home to some of the most impressive ruins of ancient Sri Lanka
It was founded in the 4th century BC by King Pandukabhaya. The king chose the site for its strategic location, its fertile soil, and its abundance of water. Anuradhapura quickly grew into a prosperous city, and it became the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom.
The city reached its peak during the 1st century AD, when it was ruled by King Ashoka of India. Ashoka was a devout Buddhist, and he sponsored the construction of many Buddhist temples and monasteries in Anuradhapura. He also sent a Buddhist mission to Sri Lanka, led by his son Mahinda, which helped to spread Buddhism throughout the island.
It continued to be a major center of Buddhism and culture for many centuries. However, it began to decline in the 9th century AD, due to a series of invasions and natural disasters. The city was finally abandoned in the 11th century AD, when the capital was moved to Polonnaruwa.
Today, It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins of the ancient city are spread over an area of over 16 square kilometers. The most impressive ruins include:
The Ruwanwelisaya has been damaged by several earthquakes and invasions over the centuries, but it has been restored each time. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
The Ruwanwelisaya is a symbol of the power and influence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is a reminder of the great Buddhist civilization that flourished in Anuradhapura for over 1,000 years.
The Jetavanaramaya was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301) in the 3rd century AD. It is said to have been built to rival the Mahaviharaya, the main Buddhist temple in Anuradhapura.
The Jetavanaramaya is a massive structure. It is 122 meters (400 feet) high and has a base diameter of 394 meters (1,300 feet). It is made of millions of bricks and is said to have taken 16 years to build.
The Jetavanaramaya was damaged by an earthquake in the 13th century and was further damaged by treasure hunters in the 19th century. However, it has been restored and is now a popular tourist destination.
The Jetavanaramaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the world. It is a reminder of the great power and influence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka during the Anuradhapura period.
The monastery was destroyed by the Cholas in the 11th century AD, but it has been partially restored. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination.
The monastery complex is spread over an area of 1.6 square kilometers. The most important ruins include the:
Abhayagiriya is a beautiful and peaceful place that is steeped in history and culture. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
The Mihintale:The Mihintale is a hilltop monastery located about 12 kilometers from Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said that the Buddha’s son, Mahinda, first preached Buddhism in Sri Lanka at Mihintale. The monastery is home to a number of temples and shrines, as well as beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.According to legend, Mahinda met the Sinhalese king Devanampiya Tissa at Mihintale in 247 BC. The king was so impressed by Mahinda’s teachings that he converted to Buddhism and made it the state religion of Sri Lanka. Mihintale quickly became a major center of Buddhism, and it is still an important pilgrimage site today.
Here are some additional details about the Mihintale:
The Mihintale is a beautiful and peaceful place that is steeped in history and culture. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
How to Visit
Anuradhapura is a popular tourist destination, and it is easily accessible from Colombo. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Anuradhapura, and there are also a number of tour operators that offer day trips and overnight tours of the ancient city.
The best time to visit Anuradhapura is during the dry season, which is from December to April. However, the city can be visited year-round.
Tips for Visiting