The holy city of Anuradhapura is considered the ancient capital of Sri Lanka and is famous for its preserved ancient ruins. Also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city boasts archaeological wonders and beautiful sacred sites of worship.
Things to do in Anuradhapura
A whitewashed building in the city centre, the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba is an iconic monument. King Dutugemunu built this place of worship and it is considered sacred to many Buddhists worldwide.
Between Ruwanweliseya and Sri Mahabodiya sits Lovamahapaya, an ancient building also known as the Bronze Palace. The religious building was once one of the tallest buildings in Anuradhapura but was slowly destroyed over the years. Visit the remains surrounded by stone pillars.
A trip to Anuradhapura should include a visit to the Sandakada Pahana monument, a semi-circular stone slab known as the moon stone. This unique feature is one of Anuradhapura’s most iconic landmarks and is considered a piece of living art. The stone’s carvings and engravings date back to ancient history.
Anuradhapura is also home to one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimages in the nation, Abhayagiri Dagoba. This Buddhist temple dates back to the 1st century BC and is considered a ceremonial building.
Getting around Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura Airport sits just a 10-minute drive west of the city, while Bandaranaike International Airport is located three hours away near the town of Colombo. To get around Anuradhapura, make use of the tuktuks, buses and bike hire.