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Things To Do in Anuradhapura

A sacred and specific area of birth of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the Mihintale hill is situated about 13 km away from the city center. Don’t miss the stunning views of the top and feel the crazy windy weather. Remember, climb up the mountain when it’s not too populated since the little top viewing spot can only contain 4 to 5 people at a time.


Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi temple is a famous and sacred spot in Anuradhapura for its holy tree grown out of the middle temple. Take a free visit to this simple temple and witness how locals pray. It’s a serene place where you can leave all your tensions and worries out there and come inside.


Dating back to 267-307 BC, this charming rock temple is a stunning picturesque spot encircled by a beautiful pond. Make sure to snap some unforgettable pictures. Isurumuniya houses a room decorated with incredible stone carvings, like the “lovers” carving, which is the most famous stone carvings that are truly fascinating. Climb up to the top, back of the rock, to see a bell-shaped stupa and get surprised with breathtaking views. Locals praying and all tourists entering the area should only wear white out of respect.


Archaeological Museum
Puravidu Bhavana, or archaeological museum of Anuradhapura, houses some incredible carvings, artifacts, and old everyday items excavated in Anuradhapura and other ancient areas around Sri Lanka. The interior and exterior of the building are historically designed. Don’t miss the archaeological museum if you’re interested in exploring history through traveling in time.


One of the largest stupas and one of the most well-adorned structures in Sri Lanka, the Ruwanweliseya stupa is located in the center of the stunning heritage of Anuradhapura. King Dutugamunu, named as the hero of the island, constructed this magnificent dome.


Jetavanaramaya Monastery
Anuradhapura is the home to one of the largest monasteries in Sri Lanka. The world’s third-largest structure with an area of five hectares, the Jetavanaramaya monastery enjoys a glorious history showcasing the differences between two Buddhism sects, Mahayana and Theravada sects. The sanctuary opens new doors to the purest world of the Buddhist culture; that’s why it’s a Mecca for Buddhism lovers. You’ll find a part of Buddha’s belt preserved at the Jetavanaramaya.


Kuttam Pokuna
Also known as the twin ponds, Kuttam Pokuna represents the engineering significance and marvel of the old Sri Lankan era. There’s no evidence on the ponds’ origins; however, it’s said that it was constructed under King Aggabodhi I (575-608). Probably, monks used Kuttam Pokuna for bathing.


Abhayagiri Vihara
Dating back to the 1st century B.C., the moonstone of the Abhayagiri Vihara was once a magnificent structure of the ancient world with more than 100 m high that only Giza’s pyramids could match it at the time. Following many reconstructions, it’s now 75 m. Don’t miss out on visiting the visual beauty of the surrounding forest.


Ruwanwelisaya Stupa
One of the most sacred sites for Buddhists worldwide, Ruwanwelisaya Stupa is a magnificent stupa constructed by King Dutugemunu. The oldest stupa in Sri Lanka is an architectural marvel undergone restoration in the 20th century and repainted in white.


Tissa Wewa
An artificial reservoir, Tissa Wewa lake, is an excellent site to absorb the incredible sunset with the two glorious white stupas in the distance. Tissa Wewa is a bath for locals; it welcomes more than 100 people to get washed at bath time.


Wilpatthu National Park
One of the most stunning Sri Lankan National parks in Anuradhapura is the home to many natural lakes, villi. The park contains about 30 species of different mammals, including Lankan Sloth Bear, Elephant, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Buffalo, Mongoose, Sri Lankan Leopard, and Sri. Take a jeep safari along the park to experience one of the most unforgettable and enthralling safaris.

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