Anuradhapura: Where it all started

Posted on November 18, 2016
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The origin of Sri Lanka is one where legend and history interweaves deeply and some accounts say that the stories of origin may even date back to 32,000 BC. However we start our expedition in Anuradhapura – the first capital of Sri Lanka; Anuradhapura was the capital for 120 kings for over 1300 years with a remarkable explanation of bravery, leadership and architectural ingenuity that lasted for centuries.

Anuradhapura is one place you want to be to feel humble and bask in the glory of a foregone era. A genuine masterpiece and an archaeological paradise. I always feel amazed at the achievements of a less technologically advanced time such as the 3rd Century BC.

Places of interest

During our travels, we always found these places amazing and shouldn’t be missed when travelling to Sri Lanka and exploring the island. These places are also known as the eight places of veneration, the local flock to these sites to receive blessings from Buddha and to be awestruck by the marvellous history the country possess.

  • Sri Maha Bohiya – Oldest living tree (historically authenticated) in the world dating back to the 245 BC. If you go during a week-day you will see many locals invoking prayers and foreigners meditating to find consolation in this highly calm, spiritual environment. I would try to avoid week-ends and public holidays
  • Thuparamaya – Considered to be the first ever Dagoba (A dome shaped Buddhist shrine) in the world, the most unique feature of the structure is the slender pillars of surrounding Vatadage (circular relic house) some of which still stands.
  • Mirisawetiya – Built by the great King Dutugemunu (167 – 137 BC). Legend says that the King could not move his sceptre from where he kept and to this miracle he built Mirisawetiya and the name means “Chilli Pod” was a token of apology as the King failed to offer a Chilli curry to the monks as is the custom of Buddhists
  • Jetavanaramaya – This was the 3rd tallest structure at the fall of the Roman Empire. This architectural marvel took over 93 million bricks
  • Lankaramaya – One of the most unique feature is the “Eth Pokuna” a pond to bathe elephants, however the interesting fact is water to this pond is supplied through underground canals that are in operation even after centuries!
  • Ruwanweliseya – Perfect example of bravery, destructed in many battles for supremacy and yet after many centuries standing tall with pride
  • Lovamahapaya – The legends say the plan for this 9 story structure is believed have come down straight from heaven and was the tallest building in the land for a millennium from 155 BC to 993 AD
  • Abhayagiri Dagoba – Abhayagiri means the “Hill of Protection” and is believed to be a monastic centre that held 5,000 monks

Well there you are, the fabulous Anuradhapura and places you shouldn’t miss when travelling to Sri Lanka. Keep a look out for another fantastic thing you can do when touring Sri Lanka.

So, if you’d love us to put together a tour to see the wonders of the ancient Ceylon in complete luxury; contact us at info@ananka.com.au

Till we meet again, Stay blessed!

– Shiv –

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