Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka is a popular tourist city of great cultural significance in the world. It is the capital of the North Central Province of the island and the capital of the District of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura is one of the medieval capitals of Sri Lanka, renowned for its well-preserved historical monuments of the Sinhalese civilization. It was the third capital of the kingdom of Rajarata, after the realms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara. 

The area, now a World Heritage Site, has been the center of Buddhism in Theravada for many generations. The town sits 205 km (127 mi) north of the present capital of Sri Lankan, Colombo, in the North Central Province, on the banks of the ancient Malvathu River. It is one of the oldest surviving populated cities in the world and is one of the eight World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Places to visit in Anuradhapura are a list of world-famous tourist attractions that you must visit at least one time in your life. It’s so majestic and breathtaking.

The History of Anuradhapura

Founded in the 5th century BCE, Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese people from the 4th century BCE to the 11th century CE, when invasions from South India forced the city to relocate. The city was abandoned and overgrown by forest until it was rediscovered by the British in the 19th century and turned into a Buddhist pilgrimage site.

The 1870s saw the beginning of the city’s resurgence. Located at a key road and rail intersection in northern Sri Lanka, the modern city was mostly relocated in the mid-20th century to protect the old capitol site. Archaeological surveys are based here, and the city benefits greatly from tourism.

What to see in Anuradhapura, the sacred city?

Many of the Buddhist temples and monasteries, magnificent palaces, pavilions, gardens, bathing ponds, and gigantic reservoir structures, all of which are works of art in their own right, maybe seen for the first time in this well-planned pre-Christian city. The city of Anuradhapura has a plethora of unique attractions.

Originally, the city had been designated for the monarch, his ministers, and economic operations. At the same time, the suburbs were intended to function as both a service to the city and a settlement for ascetic communities. Ancient ruins and archaeological sites remain unexcavated at many of the rehabilitated monuments that dot the landscape here. Sinhalese Buddhist civilization was born in Anuradhapura.

Sri Lanka’s Ancient Wonders of Engineering

The ancient stupas and reservoirs of Anuradhapura are the city’s crowning achievements. Ancient Sri Lankan civil engineering wonders, such as stupas and dagobas (pagoda-type buildings) with magnificent domes, were created by considering the effects of lightning on high-rise structures, among other variables.

Rock carvings of enormous wealth and grace; enormous stone columns that stand proud among the ruins of royal palaces, Buddhist monasteries, and temples; and magnificent stone-cut swimming pools with advanced hydrology engineering techniques are just some of the other attractions in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Visit Anuradhapura, the sacred city

In modern times, some of the sites are still used as sacred places and temples. The regular rituals in Anuradhapura give the city a liveliness that contrasts sharply with the museum-like ambiance of Polonnaruwa. All in all, Anuradhapura is a must-see while in Sri Lanka.