The pearl of the Indian Ocean is definitely the home to many wonderful places. They are either loved for the historical value or to the natural beauty or for the wonderful creations. A few cities in the country like are blessed with all these values and Anuradhapura is definitely one such place. For quite a small island, the county is rich with diversity that is both natural and cultural. If you were to travel from Colombo to here you will definitely be able to understand what it means – with proof. From the tropical highlands to the lovely beaches along with the prominent drylands, the country denotes many and more of the world within a very limited space of land.
When talking about this city, we can undoubtedly say that this is a place that is equally valued by local and foreign tourists. The town is always crowded with Buddhist devotees from all over the planet (you will get to know why in a very short time).
The city is not simply the home for many historical sites, it is also the home of many wonderful creations of nature. It also hosts many creations that have been made by men, which depicts the rich engineering and technological knowledge that our country has had since the past.
The historical value of the city, Anuradhapura
As mentioned above, the place is popular for the historical significance it has over all the other cities. This is actually the first kingdom of the country. The city has been first inhabited by a follower of Prince Vijaya, who is known to be the founder of the Sinhalese race in the country.
Since then the city has been an important historical site while serving as the capital of the country for more than six – hundred years.
It was during this reign that Buddhism was brought to the country and hence a major religious uprising can be visible within the area. It should be mentioned that if not for the greater sacrifices and donations made by the kings in this reign, Buddhism will not have spread over the island. The upbringing they did to the religion has resulted in making Sri Lanka one of the most important Buddhist countries in the world.
There have been invasions in the time of this kingdom and hence several instances with mixed cultures are visible. It is also believed that one such invasion led to the complete destruction of the most valuable assets of the city. The ruins of these destructions are still visible within the city.
The monuments still stand uptight, declaring war against all the enemies to depict the heroism and the talent of the greater culture that has been.
Places to visit around Anuradhapura…
Getting started in this topic is definitely something that cannot be done by a single article. Each and every single location that is in valued as important contains its own history and importance. The city could be easily named as the most important one in the whole country.
Given here are the top places that are mostly visited by tourists. They have been listed out as per the religious significance, natural wander and the places that are meant to have adventurous trips. This guide will definitely help you understand the importance of the city with much ease.
The top places around Anuradhapura with greater historical and religious significance
These are the places that have been constructed by various kings that lived in the past.
Sri Maha Bodhi –
Standing tall with more strength than ever this is one of the most ancient trees in the world. The resemblance this has with the Buddhists is much higher than the environmental factor.
This is one of the largest pagodas that are found in this city. It is situated in the heart of the city and is also considered the greatest and most blessed of them all.
This is one of the largest monasteries that has ever been built among the heritages.
This is the first stupa that has been built in the country and hence has a great historical significance.
The most beautiful and exciting structure that is in the city. The grandeur of the pagoda is simply breath-taking.
An important place for Buddhists where the priests used to cleanse themselves.
The brazen palace that has been used by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BC.
This is the place that is believed to be where King Devanampiyatissa and Mihindu Thero met.
Samadhi Buddha statue –
A solemnly carved statue with fine features of the Lord Buddha made on stone.
The rock carving of the couple in love.
Areas that are rich with natural importance
Well, these areas are not simply of natural value they depict the collection of flora and fauna that the country has. Some of them have been built in the times of the ancient kings while some were simply declared as sanctuaries. However, all of these together creates the solemn collections of trees and the serene nature that has been valued for a very long time.
- Ranmasu uyana – a park with more medicinal herbs that have been there since the pre – Christian era.
- Ritigala forest monastery – a Buddhist monastery that dates back to the 1st century BC situated in between the town and Polonnaruwa.
- Wilpattu national park – a national sanctuary situated near the city.
A quick guide for planning your trip
If you are planning your trip to Anuradhapura but is overwhelmed with the number of places that have been listed above do not worry.
For a starter, most of these religious places are located in the very center of the ancient city and are located near each other. The locations are protected by the Archaeological department as well and hence provide the best tourist experience you can get.
Once you go to the place make sure that you take the memories while leaving your footsteps. There could be nothing sadder than people destroying the heritage of the country unintentionally. Hence there have been measures taken by the legal authorities as well. But there is no requirement for that.
Go through the historical sites around Anuradhapura, take a visit in the parks, dive in the water of the ancient tanks and enjoy your stay at the place.