The Heart of Our Ancient Civilisation
As an ancient capital of Sri Lanka for over a millennium, Anuradhapura remains one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Here, the crossroads of island history and mystery combine to serve you eight cultural marvels built upon our regal Sri Lankan heritage.
Anuradhapura’s ageless skyline is made up of magnificent dagabas, including the brilliantly white Ruwanwelisaya, the skyscraping Jetavanarama, the verdurous Abhayagiri, the noteworthy Mirisvetiya and Lankaramaya, and finally Thuparamaya – the oldest dagaba in Sri Lanka, said to shelter the right collarbone of the Lord Buddha. Surrounding these grand symbols of Buddhist veneration are also the well-preserved ruins that earn Anuradhapura the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including sites of hospitals, monasteries, advanced irrigation systems and palaces such as the Lovamahapaya (Brazen Palace). Perhaps most significant to the Anuradhapura however, is the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi at the heart of the ancient kingdom. This sacred Bo Tree was brought to Sri Lanka in 236 BC as a sapling of the tree under which the Lord Buddha gained enlightenment, making it one of the oldest surviving trees in the world.