What you need to know about the ancient city of Anuradhapura

May 22, 2017

In a Gist: Weathered ruins and tall dagobas are what make up Anuradhapura, a historical city that was the capital of the country for a long time.

Cycling is the best way to explore the ancient city of Anuradhapura. By wandering around on a cycle, you will get an idea of what the city that ruled Sri Lanka for over a thousand years looked like before its downfall in 993 AD.

History: Minister Anuradha and Prince Vijaya from India came to Anuradhapura and began a settlement in the 6th century BC. In 380 BC, the city first became a capital under Pandukabhaya, during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. For over a 1000 years, the city remained the capital and saw several kingdoms ruling it.

Geography: The sprawling cityscape covers more than 16 square miles and includes massive dagobas, old trees, reservoirs, and crumbled foundations. Anuradhapura is a huge city but just one day is sufficient to explore what there is to see. If you are a history lover, 2-3 days would be needed to examine the significance of each landmark.

What to see in Anuradhapura:

Many locals still reside in Anuradhapura, giving the city a vibrant feel. Cars drive past the roads through which the dagobas are within eyesight distance while shops and houses are scattered on either side of these roads. The mix of modern and ancient Sri Lanka existing side by side gives the perception of a very peaceful atmosphere in the city. Blue Lanka Tours offers detailed cultural itineraries that cover the city of Anuradhapura along with other cultural cities such as Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy where you can learn more about the history and culture of Sri Lanka. Here’s a gist of what you should see in Anuradhapura:

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