Anuradhapura is a city in Anuradhapura District of North Central Province of Sri Lanka. This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again.
About Anuradhapura District
Anuradhapura is belongs to the North Central Province in to Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in Sri Lanka.
In the sacred city of Anuradhapura and in the vicinity are a large number of ruins. The ruins consist of three classes of buildings, dagobas, monastic buildings, and pokuna (ponds). The city had some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world, situated in the dry zone of the country the administration built many tanks to irrigate the land. Most of the civilians are Sinhala, while Tamils and Sri Lankan Moors live in the district.
Special places in Anuradhapura:
Sri Maha Bodhiya
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a sacred bo tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is the southern branch from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date.
The Ruwanweli Maha Seya, also known as the Mahathupa (the Great Thupa) is a stupa (a hemispherical structure containing relics) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Two quarts or one Dona of the Buddha's relics are enshrined in the stupa, making it the largest collection of his relics anywhere. It was built by Sinhalese King Dutugemunu in c. 140 B.C., who became king of Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elāra (Ellalan) was defeated.
Thuparamaya is the first Buddhist temple that was constructed, after the arrival of mahinda thero(mahindagamanaya) in Sri Lanka. Located in the sacred area of Mahamewna park, the Thuparamaya Stupa is the earliest Dagoba to be constructed in the island, dating back to the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (247-207 BC). The temple has been formally recognised by the Government as an archaeological site in Sri Lanka.
Lovamahapaya is a building situated between Ruwanweliseya and Sri Mahabodiya in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because the roof was covered with bronze tiles. In ancient times, the building included the refectory and the uposathagara (Uposatha house).
Abhayagiri Vihāra was a major monastery site of Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism that was situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the nation.
The Jetavanarama stupa or Jetavanaramaya is a stupa, or Buddhist reliquary monument, located in the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the UNESCO world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. At 122 metres (400 ft), it was the world's tallest stupa, and the third tallest structure in the world when it was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301).
The Mirisaweti Stupa is a memorial building, a stupa, situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. King Dutugamunu (161 BC to 137 BC) built the Mirisaveti Stupa after defeating King Elara. After placing the Buddha relics in the sceptre, he had gone to Tissa Wewa for a bath leaving the sceptre.
Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa (vatadage) to cover it.
Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tissa Wewa (Tisa tank) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. There are four carvings of special interest in this Vihara. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and The Royal Family. The ancient Meghagiri Vihara or Meygiri Vihara is presently identified as the Isurumuni Vihara.