Anuradhapura Ancient City

Posted by KavindiHansika on January 22nd, 2020

Recognized as part of the ‘Cultural Triangle’ of Sri Lanka’s Ancient Cities, Anuradhapura Ancient City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is firmly on the tourist trail. Dating back to 380AD, the site contains ancient ruins, well-preserved dagobas, brick pools and crumbling temples. Many of the holy sites are still in use today as places of worship, particularly during the pilgrimages on poya (full moon) days.  Were a part of the throngs of people dressed all in white as they came to pay their respects to the ancient gods? The ruins are located close to the modern-day city but cover a vast area; you will need to organize transport to explore them as there is simply too much distance to cover by foot. The most common options for this are either by tuk tuk or by bicycle.

From the Ruwanwelisaya stupa complex, a five-minute walk along a sidewalk promenade, past picnickers and curious monkeys, brings visitors directly to the Sri Maha Bodhiya, or the Sacred Bodhi Tree. This sacred fig tree was propagated from the original Bodhi Tree under which Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama was the young Indian prince who founded the Buddhist religion. He is also referred to as Gautama Buddha, or known simply as the Buddha.

Located at the north end of Anuradhapura Ancient City is the Abhayagiri Vihara monastic complex. It was constructed by King Vattagamini in 88 B.C. and had the capacity to house 5,000 monks at a time. For nearly 600 years this was the largest monastery in Sri Lanka. The property, which extends over 500 acres, features Buddha statues, a stupa, one of the most outstanding moonstones in Sri Lanka (see below), and two very famous bathing pools, the Kuttam Pokuna.

A Sandakada Pahana, or Moonstone, is a distinctive Sri Lankan architectural element developed during the later years of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. A moonstone is a semi-circular carved slab of stone traditionally placed at the entrance of a Buddhist temple. The Sandakada Pahana at Abhayagiri Monastery dates back to 1st century B.C. A lotus blossom leaf is depicted in the center and is surrounded by rows of animals, each of which represents a stage of life.

The Isurumuniya Vihara is a monastic complex carved out of solid rock. Built by King Devanampiyatissa, it was used to house 500 ordained Buddhist monks, or issira. Typically, issira were children from noble families in high castes willing to dedicate their lives to the teachings of Buddha and the path to enlightenment. Once they were ordained, they lived apart from the rest of Anuradhapura Ancient City society.

Known as the “Great Stupa,” the Ruwanwelisaya stupa is an enormous white structure that predates the Jetavanarama stupa by over 100 years. King Dutugemunu, who became ruler after defeating King Elara, commissioned its construction in 161 B.C. sadly, he did not live long enough to see its completion. The gleaming white monument is quite large, with a height of 91.4 meters and a circumference of 290 meters. It is the second highest stupa in Anuradhapura and continues to be an important place of worship.

The Thuparamaya Dagoba is the oldest stupa in Sri Lanka. Though not as impressive as other stupas in Anuradhapura, it is sacred because it holds a collarbone relic of the Buddha. The structure that we see today is a complete reconstruction that was done in 1862, although some of the original pillars still stand around the main building.

Following are the top attractions of Anuradhapura Ancient City:

  • Sri Maha Bodhi
  • Ruwanweli Stupa
  • Lovamahapaya
  • Abhayagiri Stupa
  • Twin Ponds
  • Elephant Pond
  • Aukana Buddha Statue
  • Thuparamaya
  • Samadhi Buddha Statue
  • Isurumuniya
  • Mihintale
  • Jetavanarama Stupa

How is the weather in Anuradhapura?

The weather in Anuradhapura is mild and sometimes, it can be bit hot, especially in the month of May when the normal temperature is 29.0°C. However, the warmest month is March when the temperature rises to 33.2°C.

Tour Guide in Anuradhapura? is the Best Tour Guide in Anuradhapura Ancient City. They Have best travel Packages. I think appropriate some Sri Lanka Mini Tour Package and Sri Lanka Cultural Tour Package.

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