Anuradhapura Day Tour
Located in the North central province of the island, Anuradhapura is about 205kms north of Colombo. The city continuously draws millions of tourists to the sites of ancient ruins – which are the most expressive and unmatchable sites in all of South Asia. A magnificent collection of architectural and archaeological marvels include massive dagobas, crumbling temples, giant brick towers, and archaic pools that were constructed during the several thousand years that the Kingdom of Anuradhapura ruled the nation. At present, these sites that you will visit on your Anuradhapura day tour are used mostly as temples and holy places hence should be given respect at all times.
Historical prominence of Anuradhapura
• 4th century BC was when Anuradhapura became the capital of ancient Lanka – during the reign of King Pandukhabaya.
• Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BC – during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa.
• King Tissa built the country’s first Stupa to house the relic of Budhha’s right collarbone.
• He also planted the sacred Bo Sapling brought by Princess Sangamitta, Indian Emperor Asoka’s daughter. Today, this tree is considered as the oldest living tree in the world.
• King Tissa built irrigation tanks and a man-made lake (still in use today) to develop inland agriculture.
• Towards the end of the 3rd century, King Mahasena built 16 irrigation tanks and the tallest stupa: Jethavanaramaya.
• In the 2nd century BC, King Dutugemunu successfully recaptured the city whenever it fell to invading Indian armies.
• King Dutugemunu’s reign saw a massive construction boost including monuments such as Ruwanweliseya Stupa, Mirisavetiya Temple, and the Brazen Temple.
At a glance
Is this day tour for me?
Throughout the centuries, Anuradhapura became a center for commerce and religion as well as a place for learning and cultural expansion. Hence, an Anuradhapura day tour is for just about anyone who has an interest in trading, religion, culture and history.
Can it be tailor-made?
Yes, this Anuradhapura day tour itinerary can be customized according to your requirements.
When to go
As part of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura is a tourist friendly destination at any time of the year.
Hotel – Tour – Drop
Things you will do
Visit the most popular ancient ruins of Anuradhapura.
Indulge in an authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry meal.
Learn about Sri Lankan history during your day tour of Anuradhapura.
Places you will visit
Dating back to the 1st century BC, this ‘Fearless Hill’ was part of a 5000 strong monastery. Its original height was 100meters, making it the highest structure in the ancient world, after the Pyramids of Giza.
This is the site where the sacred Bo Tree that came in from India was planted. It is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.
One of the best architectural marvels, and is considered a sacred site for Buddhists from Nepal, Tibet and other countries across the world.
An old British colonial building transformed into a museum to protect some of Anuradhapura’s ancient ruins.
A popular tourist attraction in Anuradhapura, built around the 3rd century BC. The un-plastered dome is said to be constructed with over 90 million bricks!
A rock temple popular for its stone carvings of the ‘Isurumuniya Lovers’, ‘Horsemen’, ‘Elephants Pond’ and the ‘Royal Family’.
The oldest Dagoba in Sri Lanka, constructed by King Tissa, to enshrine the right collarbone of Lord Buddha.
Bathing tanks that have existed for centuries – one of ancient Sri Lanka’s most outstanding achievements in the field of hydrological engineering.
Built around the 2nd century BC by King Dutugemunu, and is said to have a relic of Buddha inside.
The largest tank in Anuradhapura, covering an area of about 12 square kms, and was built in the 20th century BC. This location offers spectacular views of Anuradhapura ancient city at sunset.
As experienced on Instagram
Real people, real views
How they experienced it
Not to miss in this tour
Sunset at Nuwara Wewa.
The marvels of Ruvanveliseya Dagoba.
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