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Anuradhapuraya Sri Lanka - One Day Tour in Anuradhapuraya

What to See


Anuradhapuraya
Anuradhapuraya

Anuradhapuraya situated in the north central province was the capital of the ancient Ceylon, in 3rd century, where the ancient places of worship are situated. Now it's UNESCO world heritage site and 176km from Negombo.

Vijaya the traditional first king of Ceylon come and settled in Tambapanni or Tammenna. His ministers founded settlements, giving them their own names. Originally founded by a minister called by Anuradha and he named Anuradhagrama. Pandukabhaya who developed Anuradhagrama and renamed it as Anuradhapura and made it his capital. He reigned from 400-455 B.C. Pandukabhaya the first tank builder of the ancient period was credited to have constructed Jayawewa which is known as Basawakkulama.

Theravada Buddhism was introduced Ceylon during the reign of king Devanampiyatissa. Mahinda , the son of king Asoka who introduced Buddhism to Ceylon. And his sister Sangamitta brought with her the southern branch of the Botree and planted it at Anuradhapura.

King Dutugamunu was considered as the national hero of the Anuradhapura period. His main ambition was to save Ceylon from the tamils and be the benefactor of Buddhism.

There are 8 main place of worship known as Athamasthana, there are

  • Sri Maha Bodhiya
  • Ruwanveli mahaseya
  • Thuparamaya
  • Lovamahapaya
  • Abhayagiriya
  • Jetavanaramaya
  • Mirisavetiya
  • Lankaramaya
There is some other place of artistic, historical and archaeological value which should be visited.


Wilpaththuwa National Park
Wilpaththuwa National Park

Leave early morning from Negombo to Wilpaththu, stop a while the jeep safari, for breckfast. After Wilpaththu we will leave to first capital of srrilanka in the 3rd century BC, Anuradhapuraya. Go around a world heritage site, and back to Negombo.

The park is located 30km west of Anuradhapura and 26km north of Puttalam and spans the border between the north central and north western province.'The land of lake' is bordered by the Modaragama aru in the south, the Kala oya in the north, and the Indian ocean in west. Situated Ranging from sea level to 152 metres above. The wilpaththu national park is the largest and one of the oldest national parks in Srilanka,in the area with acreage of 131,693 hectares. nealy 60 lakes (willu) and tanks are found spread throughout wilpaththtu. They are often flat and basin like while containing purely rain water. The best time to visit wilpaththu during the month of February and octomber.

The most common animals found in the park are the crocodiles, land monitor, common cobra, deer, bear, rat snak , Indian python, Elephants are less frequent preferring the Pomparippu plain and the open areas around the Kala-oya.

Kumbukwila and nelunwila are paradise for bird watchers'. The painted stork, the open bill,little cormorant, Sri Lanka Junglefowl along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are to be found at Wilpattu National Park. Wetland bird species that can be senn in Wilpattu are the Garganey , Pin tail , Whistling teal , Spoonbill , White ibis , Large white egret , Cattle egret and Purple heron.


Sri Maha Bodhiya
Sri Maha Bodhiya

During the reign of king Devanampiyatissa, Sangamitta their brought with her a branch of the Bodhi tree under which prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment in Bodhi Gaya in India. This is the oldest living tree in documented history. This tree was planted at Maha Mevuna Uyana. It was planted on a high terrace about 21 feet above the ground and Surrounded by railings and today it's one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Srilanka Today it's propped up on a frame of iron crutches and protected by golden railing. The parapet wall around the compound where the botree is planted is about 700ft in length to protect from the wild elephant by King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha.


Ruwanweli Seya
Ruwanweli Seya

After defeating the Tamil king Elara, King Dutugamunu became the hero king of the ancient Ceylon. His ambition he became a benefactor of Buddhism and erected many religious buildings.

Ruwanweliseya was builtby king Dutugamunu. It is also called Mahathupa, Swarnamali chaitya. The stupa is one of the world's tallest monuments, standing at 91m and with a circumference 290m. Inside of the dagaba are enshrined valuable gems statues made of gold, various valuable objects and also relic of the buddha which measures about dom.The stupa is surrounded by parapath walls with its figures of the Elephant. This elephant wall has an imposing effect, but its function is also symbolic. The elephant seem to support the platform of the Dagaba, Buddhist mythology thy hold up the earth. There are 1900 figures of elephants on the wall consisting of 475 on each side. There for it's known as the Elephant compound.


Thuparamaya
Thuparamaya

After defeating the Tamil king Elara, King Dutugamunu became the hero king of the ancient Ceylon. His ambition he became a benefactor of Buddhism and erected many religious buildings.

After introduced Theravada Buddhism, King Devanampiyatissa builds Thuparamaya. Since it is believed to enshrine the right collarbone of the Buddha and is considered as the first dagaba built in Ceylon. It's not the right shape since the original resembled a heap of rice, Rather than the present bell like from. This dagaba was destroyed from time to time. During the reign of king Agbo 2nd it was completely destroyed and the king restored it. There are two rows of stone of pillars round the dagaba. These monolithic columns are arranged in four concentric circles of decreasing height and would haveprotected the old dagaba under a conical roof.


Lovamahapaya
Lovamahapaya

Near the sacred Bo tree and Ruvanvelisaya is the brazen place (lovamahapaya). It's built by king dutugamunu. 1600 stone pillars were used for the building; there are 40 rows, each rows consisting 40 stone pillars. These chronicles tell of a palace nine storey high, each floor with 100 rooms, and a throne of ivory with a seat of mountain crystal. It wasn't royal palace, but residence for monks. It's believed that it took six years for the construction of the building.


Abhayagiri Dagaba
Abhayagiri Dagaba

Abhayagiriya Dagaba is the ruins of a monastery on the northen part of the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Was built in 88 BC by King Vattagamini. It was originally 135 metres high, with a circumference of 667 metres. The Dagaba was rebuilt several times to reach its peak 75 metres high. Was the centerpiece of a monastery of 5000 monks. The Chinese monk Fa-Hien came here in the 5th century in search of Buddhist manuscripts and spend 2 years. The Dagaba built over a foot print of the Buddha.


Jetavanaramaya
Jetavanaramaya

The largest stupa in Anuradhapura. Built by King Mahasen , Who was also built the biggest tank Minneriya (273-301 A.D) with a 113 Meters diameter base standing on massive brick foundation set in to a huge bed concrete. It 122 Meters hight, and its compound of the stupa is 8 acres (3 hectares) of land. This is the considered as the largest stupa in the whole world. One side of the stupa is 576 feet in length. The 4 flight of steps at the four sides is 28 feet in depth. The doorpost to the shrine which is situated at the courtyard is 27 feet in length.


Mirisawetiya Stupa
Mirisawetiya Stupa

King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara, built the Mirisavetiya stupa. After placing the Buddha relics in the scepter, he had gone to Tissawewa for bath leaving the scepter, after the bath he returned to the place where the scepter was placed, and it is said that it not could not be moved. The stupa was built in the place where the scepter stood. It is also said that he remembered that he partook a chillie curry without offering it to the sangha. In order to punish himself he built the Mirisavetiya. The extent of this land of about 50 acres. from time to time it was renovated by King Kasyapa 1st and kasyapa 5th . Today is the renovation don by the cultural Triangle fund.


Lankarama
Lankarama

This was built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada. Nothing is known about the ancient from of stupa, and later this was renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is not doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa(vatadage) to cover it. The round courtyard of the stupa seems to be 10 feet above the ground. The diameter stupa is 45 feet. The courtyard is circular in shape and the diameter is 132 feet.


Isurumuniya
Isurumuniya

Built by King Devanampiyatissa , is situated near Tissawewa. After 500 children of high-caste were ordained, isurumuniya was built for them to reside. King Kasyapa 1st (473-491 A.D) renovated this viharaya and named it as 'Boupulvan Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera' This name is derived from name of his two daughters and his name. There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is acliff. A small stupa built on it. It can be seen that the constructional work of this stupa belong to the present period. Lower down on both sides of a cleft, in a rock that appears to rise out of a pool, have been carved the figures of elephant. On the rock is carved the figures of a horse. The carving of isurumuniya lovers on the slab has been brought from another place and placed it there.


Moonstone
Moonstone

Sadakadapahana also known as Moonstone. The first moonstone was created during the latter stage of the ancient capital Anuradhapura. This is related to the sun, because in earlier time many cultures of the world venerated the sun, as the giver of life, fertility and growth. They were only placed at entrances to Buddhist temples during Anuradhapura era.

The moonstone has a deep metaphysical interpretation with each carved panel representing a spiritual stage in a person's ascent to nirvana. The outside ring depicts a flame, symbolizing desire; the rapaciousness that Buddha taught should be conquered to avoid suffering. In the next ring a stately frieze of animals symbolizing vitality walk from left to right, the direction of good omen. In Anuradhapura moonstones these included a bull; horse, elephant and lion, but the Polonnaruwa specimens omit the bull out of respect for Hinndu.

Next you come to the circle with the twisting creeper symbolizing the life-force. According to Buddhism, when you surpass this craving, you are able to choose well over evil and go in search of the truth. This stage is represented by the goose or Hamsa. The next ring, an exquisite scroll with an ornamental lotus flower in its centre, is symbolic of purity and the approach Nirvana or enlightenment.


Kuttam Pokuna
Kuttam Pokuna

The most magnificent specimen of bathing tanks is the pair known as Kuttam Pokuna at Annuradhapura. This is situated in close proximity to Abhayagiri Viharaya. The garden which separated these two pond is 18 1/2 ft. The largest of this pair is 132ft in length and 51ft in breadth, while the smaller is 91 ft long, the breadth is the same. The depth of the smaller pond is 14 ft and the larger pond is 18 ft. The sides and the bottom of the ponds were faced with wellcut granite slabs. Round the pond is a magnificent wall. Leading to the pond are a beautiful flight of steps on both sides, and decorated with'' punkalasa'' and scroll design. There were underground ducts bringing water in to these pond and others emptiying them. A wall is built to enclose the ponds, and inside it is a small compound.


Samadhi Statue
Samadhi Statue

This statue situated Mahamevuna Park at Annuradhapura. It is said, that this is one of the best pieces of sculpture. The statue is 8 ft in height and made of granite and its symbolized the posture of meditation in which Buddha sits in the cross - legged position with upturned palms, placed one over the other on the lap.


Mihintale
Mihintale

Situated 18 km east of Annuradhapura, close to the Annuradhapura- trincomalee road. It is 1000 feet in height and is one of the peaks of mountain range.

Srilanka Buddhism begins with the story of an Indian missionary called Mahinda, this was where King Devanam Piyatissa met with strange hunting accident that led to his conversion. He was on a deer hunt fullmoon day of the month june in the year 247 BC. When his quarry gave him an unexpected jolt. Instead of the deer he expected to uncover, he found a man in monk's robes. It was the Indian prince Mahinda, sent on a mission by his father, king Tissa, who with the zeal of a recent convert had imprinted his new-found religion on his own country and was looking to spread the world. Buddhism soon overwhelmed the island, embraced with fervour by the Sinhalese people, whilst in India it declined.

Always happy to backdate for spiritual purposes, the legend claims that the Buddha himself sanctified this mountain three centuries before the advent of Mahinda. Regardless of your belies, the beautiful shrines, stupas, caves and above all the wondrous setting, make Mihintale unforgettable.