The ruins of Anuradhapura are considered as one of South Asia’s most reminiscent sights. The copiousness of temples, Dagebas, magnificent pools, places and many more political and religious structures enfolds the blood, sweat and tears that made the kingdoms flourish and fall.
Every crumbling temple, ancient pool is a story of the Sri Lankan in the making, studying the Anuradhapura history deliver the insight to social, economic and political saga from over 4th century BC.
According to Mahavansa, the great chronicle of the Sri Lanka, the city of Anuradhapura was named after a Minister called Anuradha who believed to be the person who made this area as a village settlement. Also, Anuradha was one of the ministers who accompanied king Vijaya from India, who according to the tradition, founded the Sinhalese Race in Sri Lanka.
Anuradhapura is the first capital of the Sri Lanka, flourished for almost 1500 years starting from the 4th century BC. From the point on wards the Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka, the civilization was built upon the teachings of Buddha. And today, Anuradhapura has become the most sacred city and the religious capital of Sri Lanka.
Today, several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples, among them the most famous and most visited are the Eight Sacred Sites scattered around Anuradhapura.
During the Poya days (full moon day of each month) the city becomes teeming figures dressed in white. Pilgrims travelling from all across the Sri Lanka head to Anuradhapura on religious days for special meditation, worship and pirith chanting events which last for the whole day and sometimes even overnight.
Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttlam and though Kurunegala.
From Kurunegala there are two routes that directs to Anuradhapura, through Dambulla or through Galgamuwa. The most common route is through Dambulla, as Dambulla is another famous temple built in a complex of caves that are filled with ancient frescoes.
Traveling from Puttlam is another renowned route among naturalists/environmentalists, since it gives the opportunity to reach the scenic Wilpattu area with ease.
Also for the backpackers out there, the trains available from 1st class to 3rd class and buses on normal, semi-luxury and luxury categories that leaves Pettah Main bus Stand.
The best way to visit Anuradhapura is on a tuk tuk, a three wheeler or hiring a Scooter or a cycle. Most hotels, guest houses, hostels have cycles for daily hire. And there are a lot of private companies around the town, which hires scooters for a reasonable price.
Anuradhapura is a town that caters to a wide range of travellers, from backpacker’s hostels, to 5 stars luxury and boutique hotels.
Visiting Anuradhapura should be on the top of your list if you’re a history enthusiast as well as a ruins specialist.