Anuradhapura, the most renowned of Sri Lanka’s early cities and capitals, has also been called the cradle of Sinhalese Buddhist civilization. The capital of the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, it is famous for its well preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. The city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. With a history that dates back to 400 BC, Anuradhapura served as the capital city for 1400 years. During this period many stupas, palaces, hospitals and complex irrigation systems were built, and even today these palaces, monasteries and monuments draw many pilgrims and visitors to the sacred city.
Within Anuradhapura are the eight most sacred sites that can be seen by visitors. The Sacred Bo Tree – the Sri Maha Bodhi which was brought as a sapling from India to Sri Lanka in 236 BC. The Ruwanwelisaya (Gold Dust Dagaba) which was built to house the relics of the Lord Buddha, while the oldest dagaba in Sri Lanka, the Thuparamaya, is said to contain the right collarbone of the Lord Buddha. The Lovamahapaya or the Brazen Palace, was originally a monks’ quarters in the 2nd Century BC. The Abhayagiri Dagaba is said to enclose a footprint of the Lord Buddha and the massive dome of the Jetavanarama Dagaba, the tallest structure at its time, rises above the eastern part of the city. The Lankaramaya and Mirisvetiya Stupa complete the eight sacred sites of Anuradhapura. In addition to these ancient places in Sri Lanka there are also many other sites of historical and aesthetic significance.
Anuradhapura is 60 km away from Jetwing Vil Uyana and a one and a half hour drive each way from the hotel. The excursion begins at 07.30 hours, after breakfast, and takes eight hours. The hotel provides a water bottle, binoculars, transport, entrance fees, lunch at Tissaweva Rest House, and a fresh fruit juice on return. Guests are advised to wear comfortable clothes suitable for a visit to a religious site, sunglasses, caps or hats and bring their cameras, insect repellent and sun block with them.