Spending a Poya Day in Anuradhapura – A Spiritual and Special Day

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Poya Days are observed by the majority Buddhists in Sri Lanka in accordance with the lunar calendar. During these holidays, devotees flock to Anuradhapura; the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Though crowded, visiting Anuradhapura during this festive day would ensure that you get the full cultural and religious significance of the ancient city easily accessible from most of the Aitken Spence Hotels in the area.

What to See

The Kingdom of Anuradhapura was established in 377 B.C. It was the capital during the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka and the kings of the times after built many dagobas to show their reverence to Buddha.

Visit the Ruwanweliseya

The Ruwanweliseya was established by King Dutugemunu in 140 B.C. At 330 feet it is a distinct glow of milky white among the rolling paddy fields and green vistas of Anuradhapura. The Ruwanweliseya is one of many stupas in Anuradhapura. Each has a distinct history so see as many as you can. Starting off early would be advisable. There are plenty of hotels in Sri Lanka that are located close to the cultural triangle.

 

Dagoba Ruvanvelisaya - panoramio.jpg
Maaike Hage, Dagoba Ruvanvelisaya – panoramioCC BY-SA 3.0

See the Sacred Bo Tree

Be sure to see the Sacred Bo Tree which is said to be a cutting from the original tree under which Buddha meditated. It was brought to Sri Lanka by an Indian princess in the 3rd century B.C. It is covered by a golden fence and some branches are held up by golden supports.

 

Mr Jörg Reuter, Jaya Sri Maha BodhiCC BY 2.0

Follow the Locals

During Poya Anuradhapura is filled with crowds of faithful. If you follow these pilgrims from place to place, you would be able to experience the city from their eyes.

What to be Mindful of

Because it is considered sacred ground you will not be allowed to enter most places with shoes and a hat so be sure to take the kind that can be easily slipped off. Be mindful of the modesty of your dress as well.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

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