An ancient city with impressive ruins of palaces, temples, and monasteries 

Explore Anuradhapura

Vast complex with many sites to explore

Sri Lanka is a country rich in history and culture, with many ancient cities and ruins to explore. One such city is Anuradhapura, which was once the capital of Sri Lanka and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anuradhapura is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, and is home to some of the most impressive ruins of palaces, temples, and monasteries in the country



Anuradhapura was founded in the 4th century BC and was the capital of Sri Lanka for over a thousand years. It was the center of Theravada Buddhism and became a major hub of Buddhist pilgrimage. Anuradhapura was a well-planned city with a complex hydraulic system that included irrigation canals, reservoirs, and tanks.

The city was invaded and destroyed by the Chola Empire in the 10th century and was subsequently abandoned. It was rediscovered in the 19th century and became a site of archaeological exploration and conservation. Today, Anuradhapura is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from around the world who come to explore its ancient ruins and immerse themselves in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.

What to See

Anuradhapura is a vast complex with many sites to explore. One of the most impressive sites is the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree that is said to have grown from a cutting of the original Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The Sri Maha Bodhi is the oldest living tree in the world and has been tended to by a succession of caretakers for over 2,000 years.

Another must-see site is the Ruwanwelisaya, a stupa (a dome-shaped structure that contains Buddhist relics) that was built by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century BC. The stupa is 55 meters tall and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka

Other notable sites include the Jetavanaramaya, a stupa that was the tallest structure in the ancient world when it was built in the 3rd century, and the Abhayagiri Dagoba, another stupa that was once the center of a major monastic complex.

Aside from these ancient ruins, Anuradhapura is also home to many beautiful temples and monasteries. The Isurumuniya Temple, for example, is a rock temple that features beautiful carvings of elephants, and the Lankarama Temple is a stupa that was built by King Valagamba in the 1st century BC.

Getting There

Anuradhapura is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, about 200 km north of Colombo. The easiest way to get there is by car or bus, and there are many tour operators who offer guided tours of the city. It is also possible to rent a bicycle and explore the ruins on your own.


Anuradhapura is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage. The city’s ancient ruins are a testament to its past glory and are a reminder of the country’s long and fascinating history. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply someone looking for a unique and enriching travel experience, Anuradhapura has something to offer everyone.

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