Elephant wall at Ruwanweliseya Dagoba, Anuradhapura (28 August 2005)
The Sacred City of Anuradhapura (Sinhala: අනුරාධපුරය; Tamil: அனுராதபுரம்) is the first historical capital of Sri Lanka. Today recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura was established in the 5th century BC. It is located 203 km northeast of Colombo, in the arid northern plains. Anuradhapura was considered the greatest monastic city of the ancient world. At its peak, it had dozens of monasteries housing thousands of monks. I had the privilege of this ancient city with members of AsiaExplorers on an AsiaExplorers Scenic Tour.
Approaching the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba (28 August 2005)
Map of Tourist Attractions in Anuradhapura
World Heritage Site Inscription Details
Location: N8 20 E80 23
Inscription Year: 1982
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, VI
Anuradhapura was a royal capital from which a succession of 113 kings reigned here. It was made the capital by King Pandukabhaya who reigned from about 437 BC to 367 BC. Their patronage saw the blossoming of the arts, producing magnificent palaces, sculptures, ornate pleasure gardens, and huge dagobas, the Sri Lankan bubble-shaped stupas that protected the most sacred relics of Buddhism.
Devotees wrapping the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba (28 August 2005)
The people of ancient Anuradhapura enjoyed freedom of worship. The kings of ancient Lanka in Anuradhapura built hospitals for people as well as veterinary hospitals for animals. But the most impressive civil engineering feat in Anuradhapura was for irrigation. These are the man-made reservoirs built to preserve the waters of the monsoon rain. They put in place a sluice system to ensure the rice fields receive enough water and are productive.
Ancient Anuradhapura traded with faraway civilisations. The discovery of Roman coins showed that Lanka was active in trading - and was probably an early tourist destination as well, visited by among others, Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, and in the early 5th century, Fa Hien, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim.
Pilgrims encircling the massive Ruwanweliseya Dagoba (28 August 2005)
Anuradhapura derived its name from Anuradha, the name of one of the chief minister during King Vijaya's time, who founded the city around 500BC during the reign of King Pandukabhaya. By 161BC, the whole island was the control of King Dutugemunu with Anuradhapura as the capital. Anuradhapura was only abandoned in 1073 when Polonnaruwa became the new capital.
Anuradhapura is about four to five hours by road from Colombo. You can in fact take a bus or a train from Colombo. Within Anuradhapura, you can hire an auto-rickshaw to take you around and visit the ancient ruins.
Thank you for visiting my travel encyclopedia. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages, all written by me. My name is Timothy Tye, you can call me Tim. I am a full-time website author writing only my own website, to describe things and places I am curious about. To know more about me, go to www.timothytye.com I have been living at home writing my websites full time since 2007. I describe my alternative lifestyle in my Happy Jobless Guy website.
As a Christian, I hope that through this website, I am able to deliver God's Good News to people all over the world.
If you are planning to travel Malaysia and Singapore by bus, you can now purchase your long-distance bus tickets directly from Bus Online Ticket, where you get to check the schedule as well as price of tickets from various bus companies.