Anuradhapura

About 205 km north of Colombo is Anuradhapura, the first capital of Sri Lanka established in the 4th century BC that remained the Royal Capital for over ten centuries Anuradhapura Kingdom lasted one thousand and five hundred years.
Despite the intrusions and clashes of South Indian.Anuradhapura has been made royal capital by the king Pandukabhaya in 380 BC. It remained residence and royal capital for 119 successive Singhalese kings till the year 1000 AD when it was abandoned and the capital moved to Polonnaruwa.

Foremost among the numerous historical monuments in Anuradhapura is the Sacred Bo Tree - Sri Maha Bodhi, grown from a branch of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. A mass of stone pillars close to the Sri Maha Bodhi identified as the Brazen Palace was once a nine storied building. Isurumuniya is famous for its beautiful stone carvings. Samadhi Buddha image is a masterpiece of sculpture. Among the extensive ruins covering the city of Anuradhapura are Buddha images, temples, palaces, bathing ponds, monasteries, hospitals, alms halls and beautiful stone carvings and irrigation tanks. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagoba of Sri Lanka

Man Made Tanks

There are three man made tanks inside the city limits of Anuradhapura. They are Abhaya Wewa, Tissa Wewa and Nuwara Wewa. The last mentioned Nuwara Wewa has been attributed to King Vatthagamini and it is the closest attractin to our Holiday Bungalow.It sprear ds over 51 Sq. Km.
Nuwara wewa has an embankment of three miles. Height of the embankment varies from 37 feet to 12 feet depending upon the elevation of the ground. Top of the embankment is 12 to 16 feet wide. The embankment is sloped at 3 horizontals to 1 vertical. Two sluices (one at low level and another at high level) have been provided for water discharge.


Dagoba
A dagoba is a dome enshrining sacred relics or the bodily remains of the Buddha, or articles used by Him like the alms bowl and other objects of veneration. It is built in different sizes on a pedestal with a spire on top crowned with a pinnacle. The earliest dagobas had a stone umbrella on top of the dome in place of the spire. The largest dagobas in the Island are seen at Anuradhapura.

Thuparama
Thuparama is the first dagoba to be built in Anuradhapura during the reign of King Devanmpiyatissa (3rd century BC) enshrining the right collarbone of the Buddha, His alms bowl and other relics. The original dagoba, which was much smaller in size, was renovated and rebuilt several times and the last restoration had been in 1862 in it its present form. The concentric rows of stone columns around the dagoba had at one time held a wooden roof in position over it.

Ruvanveli Dagoba
Ruvanveli Dagoba built by King Dutugemunu who ruled the country in the 2nd century BC is a huge dagoba measuring 103 metres in height with a circumference of 287 metres. The dagoba was in a state of disrepair when discovered in the early 20th century and was restored in its present form according to earlier dimensions.
 

Jetavana Dagoba
Jetavana dagoba is an enormous brick structure standing in the centre of a large monastic complex, built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasena. The dagoba stands on a square platform measuring 3.2 hectares in extent and is rated as the largest and tallest brick built monument in the world. In its original form it would have been 120 metres high, shorter than only two Pyramids of Egypt. It has been declared a World Heritage Site. The super structure of the dagoba is currently being restored under the UNESCO Cultural Project.

Abhayagiri Dagoba
This colossal dagoba is the centrepiece of a monastic complex founded by King Valagamba in the 1st century BC that subsequently developed into an international institution attracting scholars from many countries. The Chinese monk Fa-hien came here in the 5th century in search of Buddhist manuscripts and spent two years. his is the second highest dagaba in Sri Lanka. ABAYAGIRI MONASTERY which was developed up to an international university in the 5th - 8th Century AD .In its original form the dagoba was 115 metres high but now it is only 75 metres high with a circumference of 667 metres. It was at the Abhayagiri complex that the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka was first housed.
Sri Maha Bodhi
The right branch of the Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) in Buddha Gaya in India under which the Buddha attained enlightenment was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC by Arahat Theri Sanghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Asoka. It was planted in Anuradhapura and is venerated to this day by the Buddhists from many countries of the world. This is the oldest recorded tree in the world of which the exact age is known

The Brazen Palace
 
The Loha Pasada or the Brazen Palace was founded in the 2nd century BC as a chapter house. In its original glory it had been nine stories high with a roof of copper tiles, hence the name Brazen Palace. The original building was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt and renovated several times by different kings. What now remains is a mass of 1,600 stone pillars standing close to each other.

Isurumuniya

This picturesque rock temple dates back to the 3rd century BC. The beautiful stone sculptures seen at the temple are considered the most beautiful works of art in Anuradhapura. The Isurumuniya Lovers, bathing elephants in bas-relief, man seated in relaxed form are yet unidentified but beautiful to look at. A small dagoba on top of the rock and a pond at the base add beauty to the place

 

Ritigala

The ruins of Ritigala and the Ritigala mountain is situated approx.35 km off , Anuradhapura Sri Lanka. The monastery at Ritigala consists of meditation platforms and walkways that are in perfect harmony with the huge boulders, trees and streams of the serene environment in the Habarana jungle. Some opinions point out that Ritigala may also have housed a hospital. After the monastery had been abandoned for a very long period, it was rediscovered by the then government surveyor James Mantell in 1872. Ritigala had been used as a base for battle by Pandukabhaya the founder of Anuradhapua city.

Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of “Willus” (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka.
The park is located 30km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 131, 693 hectares and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its Leopard population. The Leopard population in Wilpattu is still not yet known.