Steeped in history and a true archaeological treasure trove of ancient temples, ruins and sculptures, Anuradhapura is an incredible destination to explore on a visit to Sri Lanka.
The First Kingdom
Anuradhapura was established in the 4th century BC and is considered the island’s first capital. It was founded by King Pandukabhaya and subsequently became the centre of Theravada Buddhism. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura is easily accessible from properties like Ulagalla by Uga Escapes and offers much to discover.
Eight Sacred Places
There are eight key sacred places known as “atamasthana”, where Lord Buddha is said to have once visited. Those staying at luxury villas Sri Lanka has to offer in Anuradhapura can easily head to all these sites including the sacred Bodhi tree called the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. The other seven sites are:
• Abhayagiri Dagaba
• Mirisawetiya Stupa
Of course, there are many other attractions in Anuradhapura to see apart from the above-mentioned sites. One of the most popular is the Isurumuniya Viharaya, a temple with famed stone carvings including the “Isurumuniya Lovers”. Also worth visits are the Sela Cetiya, Magul Uyana and Vessagiri which features the remains of a forest monastery.
Historical Lakes / Tanks
To support agriculture and provide fresh water, artificial lakes / tanks or “wewas” were created during the kingdom of Anuradhapura which can be seen even today. The main sites to visit are the Tissa, Nuwara and Basawakkulama wewas which are ideal spots for a quiet stroll or even a swim.