The first capital of Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura (203 km from Colombo), Sri Lanka's first historical capital founded around the 5 th century B.C. gives a fascinating glimpse of a stately, well laid-out pre-Christian metropolis of gigantic Buddhist shrines and monasteries, splendid palaces, pavilions, and parks, bathing ponds and vast reservoirs, many of them are masterpieces of architecture, art, sculpture and engineering.
Anuradhapura offers a host of memorable sightseeing highlights. The Thuparama Dagaba which enshrines a collar-bone relic of the Lord Buddha, the Isurumuniya Rock Temple which is a treasure trove of sculptures, the 2,200 year old Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo Tree) which is the world's oldest historical tree, the 1 st century B.C. Abhayagiri and 3 rd century A.D. Jetawana Dagabas (UNESCO World Heritage sites) 380 ft and 400 ft in height respectively are second in height only to ancient Egypt's two mightiest pyramids at Gizeh.
Anuradhapura 's three main ancient irrigation lakes Tissawewa and Nuwarawewa in the south and Basawakulama in the north nourished its agriculture and adorned the capital for nearly two millennia as it does today.
Things you can do
- The Sacred City of Anuradhapura
- The Medieval Capital of Polonnaruwa
- The Cave Temples of Dambulla
- The Sigiriya Rock Fortress
- Ritigala - Mountain of Mist and Mystery
- The Royal City of Kandy
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