The remnants of Anuradhapura are unequivocally the most expressive sites of South Asia. This sprawling complex is composed of an opulent collection of architectural and archaeological marvels: gigantic brick towers, crumbling temples, humongous dagobas and archaic pools that were all constructed during the rule of Anuradhapura which went on for several thousand years. At present, most of the sites here remain in use solely as temples and holy places. Incessant ceremonies retain the very ebullience and buoyancy of Anuradhapura which is a stark reverse of the the ambience at Polonaruwa.
Present day, Anuradhapura is significantly different. It is rather engaging albeit sprawling city. Its main street is orderly in comparison to the the ugly concrete agglomerations found elsewhere. This saintly city was entrenched around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment' which is supposedly the Buddha's fig tree. Legends say that in the 3rd century B.C, the tree was brought there by Sanghamitta who was the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns.
Ceylonese’s religious and political capital, Anuradhapura bloomed for 1300 years but was then eighty-sixed post the invasion in 993. Shrouded in the dense jungles for several years, this magnificent tourist place with its breathtaking places to see, resorts, monuments, palaces and monasteries is accessible all over again.
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka. The topography is dominated by fifty wetlands. With low scrubs and deep forests, the park is home to numerous species of flora and fauna. The biggest attraction for tourists is the spotting of leopard and sloth bear. The other animal species that can be found in this area are Asian Elephants, jackals, Sambar deer, water buffalo, crocodiles, spotted dear and many more. With its impressive array of bird species, the area is a haven for bird watchers. Best for: The avid and serious safari-goers can see the elusive leopard and sloth bear. Location: 25km north of Puttalam or 30km west of Anurdhapura. It is 4 hours drive from Colombo.Best time to visit: February and October are the best time to visit. Price: Full Day Jeep Safari price is LKR 10,000 per jeep. Timing: Full-Day Safari 5.30am to 06.00pm.
People Also Ask About Anuradhapura
To get to Anuradhapura, you’ll need a visa. You can easily apply for a tourist’s visa online.
Weather here is unpredictable. So, check the predictable and current weather online and confirm about the same from your tour agent before traveling.
Do not get over friendly with the strangers.
Gather enough information about the place you are traveling to.
Learn few words from the local language here.
Do carry a mosquito repellant here.
Dress appropriately. Avoid wearing skimpy or revealing clothes.
Don’t go out alone during the night hours.
Be wary of the pick pockets here.
Keep the touts at bay.
Don’t indulge in drugs of any form. If you suspect any person to be a dealer of drugs, do not communicate with them and maintain a safe distance.
Carry a copy of your passport and license at all times.
Do not carry cash more than you need whenever you go out.
Don’t flash your valuables in public.
Anuradhapura and Sri Lanka on the whole is a terrorist prone area. Never make a visit during the times of civil unrest.
Be alert and do not let anyone mislead you.
Hire a guide from a known and recognized agency only.
Get a comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling.
The legal age for drinking in Anuradhapura is 21 years.
Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
It is a sacred fig tree and holds a lot of historical significance as the tree is said to be the right wing branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. The tree is believed to be sacred for the people here.
Anuradhapura is known as the sacred world heritage city due to the presence of attractions like Jetavanaramaya. It is a stupa and is believed to be a part of the belt tied by Buddha during his days. Jetavanaramaya is counted among the most famous tourist places
in the city.
Ruwanwelisaya is another stupa which is considered as one of the best architectural marvels and a sacred place for Buddhists all over the world. Many people from Nepal and Tibet visit Sri Lanka
and come on tours here just to visit the stupa located at Ruwanwelisaya.
Bathing tanks can be rarely found these days but this is a bathing tank that has existed since ancient times. The name of the place means two ponds/pools as there are two of them here. It is also considered among the finest achievements in the hydrological field and a brilliant piece of architecture that came from the ancient Sinhalese.
What will you like there?
There are various archaeological, historical and cultural museums in Anuradhapura city that you can visit. These museums are definitely among the places to see in the city and hold long standing historical significance.
There are various places where you can go for a camp safari in Anuradhapura city, one such famous place is Wilpattu. Expedition camps are organized here and you will find yourself in the midst of a forest and two lovely rivers. If adventure and camping activities
is your thing, you will have a great time here.
Tourists love to shop and Anuradhapura city is the perfect destination to shop for the things Sri Lanka is famous for. The evening markets are always hustling with tourists and they have a lot to offer you. During your stay, you can roam around the different markets and shop for the things you love or take back a few things as a memory or for your loved ones.
Anuradhapura has three huge tanks on three different sides of the city. The largest one is located at Nuwara wewa which is to the east and spreads over 12 sq. km. Tissa Wewa and Basawakkulama are the other two tanks located on the south and the northwest. Many tourists as well as locals just love to walk here or go for a quiet bike ride.
Hot air balloons
Although there is lack of extreme adventurous activities in the city, you can take a hot air balloon ride from many spots in Anuradhapura city. Sri Lanka is famous for hot air balloons and this city provides you the best experience of going up in the air in a hot air balloon.
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