Exploring the Cultural Heritage of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

srilankaLocated in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, Anuradhapura is a wonderful tourist spot. The pleasant city is home to a number of archaeological and architectural wonders. Mammoth dagobas, ancient pools, soaring brick minarets and age-old temples depict the city’s rich history and culture. Although many of these structures are now in ruins, Anuradhapura is still considered one of South Asia’s most notable historical destinations and draws history buffs from all over the world. Here is a quick look at the top tourist attractions in this ancient Sri Lankan town.

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Dating back to the 1st century, Abhayagiri Dagoba is one of the greatest historical structures in Sri Lanka. The brick monument soars 75m above the forest floor, and looks stunning due to its gorgeous architecture and colossal size. The monument complex also has some interesting bas-reliefs, and a large slab with a Buddha footprint.

Bodhi Tree Temple

This sacred Buddhist temple is home to an over 2000-year old Bodhi tree. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists and is frequented by monks and worshippers in large numbers. April and December are particularly busy months. Make sure you leave your luggage at the hotel, as tourists are not allowed to carry anything inside the temple complex.

Ruwanwelisaya

Ruwanwelisaya is just a short walk from Bodhi Tree Temple, and is one of the oldest and most voluminous stupas in the region. Visit the place to see different ancient images, sculptures and smaller stupas built in all four corners of the complex.

Archaeological Museum

Another must-visit site in Anuradhapura, this museum has a superb collection of historical artefacts, carvings and gems and religious objects that were found at various sites in the region. Many interesting sculptures, scattered across the museum’s grounds, are also worth checking out.