Things To Do or What To See in Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sinhala civilization.
1. Sigiriya Fortress
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres high.
Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
3. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.
The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa and a hemispherical structure containing relics, in Sri Lanka, considered sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. Two quarts or one Drona of the Gothama Buddha’s relics are enshrined which is the largest collection of his relics anywhere.
5. Isurumuniya Temple
Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tissa Wewa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. There are four carvings of special interest in this Vihara. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and The Royal Family.
6. Abhayagiri Stupa
Abhayagiri Vihāra was a major monastery site of Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism that was situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the nation.
7. Jethawana Stupa
The Jetavanaramaya (Sinhala: ජේතවනාරාමය, jētavanārāmaya) is a stupa, or Buddhist reliquary monument, located in the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. At 122 metres (400 ft) it was the world’s tallest stupa and the third tallest structure in the world when it was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301). He initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of the Mahavihara. His son Maghavanna I completed the construction of the stupa. A part of a sash or belt tied by the Buddha is believed to be the relic that is enshrined here.
Thuparamaya is the first Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. Located in the sacred area of Mahamewna park, the Thuparamaya Stupa is the earliest Dagoba to be constructed in the island, dating back to the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.
Lovamahapaya is a building situated between Ruwanweliseya and Sri Mahabodiya in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because the roof was covered with bronze tiles. In ancient times, the building included the refectory and the uposathagara.
10. Ranmasu Uyana – Royal Park
Ranmasu Uyana is a park in Sri Lanka containing the ancient Magul Uyana. It is situated close to Isurumuni Vihara and Tissa Wewa in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It sits on approximately 40 acres, and is a noted example of Sri Lankan garden architecture of the pre-Christian era.
11. Samadhi Buddha Statue
The Samadhi Buddha is a famous statue situated at Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment. This statue is 7 feet 3 inches in height and carved from dolomite marble.
12. Mirisawetiya Stupa
The Mirisaweti Stupa is a memorial building, a stupa, situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. King Dutugamunu built the Mirisaveti Stupa after defeating King Elara. After placing the Buddha relics in the sceptre, he had gone to Tissa Wewa for a bath leaving the sceptre.
13. Lankarama Dagaba
Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated.
14. Anuradhapura Moonstone
Sandakada pahana, also known as Moon-stone, is a unique feature of the Sinhalese architecture of ancient Sri Lanka. It is an elaborately carved semi-circular stone slab, usually placed at the bottom of staircases and entrances.
15. Thissa Wewa
Tissa Wewa, an artificial reservoir, was built by Devanampiya Tissa in order to increase the water supply to his capital city of Anuradhapura. Only Panda Wewa and Abhaya Wewa are older. The embankment of Tissa Wewa is 2 miles long and 25 feet high.
Vessagiri, or Issarasamanarama, is an ancient Buddhist forest monastery that is part of the ruins of Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is located about half a mile south of Isurumuniya, among boulders.
17. Kaludiya Pokuna
Kaludiya Pokuna Archeological Forest Site, is a forest with archeological remains in Kandalama, in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka.
18. Maha Viharaya, Anuradhapura
The Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya was an important mahavihara or large Buddhist monastery for Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura founded it in his capital city of Anuradhapura.
19. Archaeological Museum
Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum is one of the archaeological museums of Sri Lanka. It is situated in the old kachcheri building, between the Brazon palace and Ruwanwelisaya. The museum was established in 1947 under the prime effort of Dr. Senarath Paranavithana.
20. Nachchaduwa Tank
Nachchaduwa wewa is a reservoir near Thammannakulama, Sri Lanka. The reservoir is used to store water brings from Kala Wewa through Yoda Ela channel. The reservoir was severely damaged in 1957 flood and the restoration of the tank was completed in 1958.
21. Basawakkulama Tank
Abhayavapi or commonly Abhaya Wewa is a reservoir in Sri Lanka, built by King Pandukabhaya who ruled in Anuradhapura from 437 BC to 367 BC, after constructing the city. This is now popularly known Abhayawewa’.
22. Folk Museum
Anuradhapura Folk Museum is a folk museum of Sri Lanka. It is situated near the Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum. The museum was established on August 22, 1971.
23. Sela Cetiya (Sela Cetiya)
Sela Cetiya is one of the 16 main places of worship or Solosmasthana and is situated to the west of Jetavanaramaya in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. This was constructed by King Lajjitissa who ruled in the 1st century BC. The diameter of the base of the stupa is 37 ½ feet.
24. Nakha Vihara
Naka Vihara is a dagoba belonging to the late Anuradhapura period between 7-10 centuries C.E. and located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The dagoba has been built with bricks and square in shape.