Anuradhapura Day Tour

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved historical ruins dating back to the CENTURIES (4th century BC – 11th century AD) during which it remained the capital of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura was also the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries and is known today as one of the oldest inhabited cities of the world.

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.

Transfers

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

Abhayagiriya Stupa in Anuradhapura
Abhayagiri Dagoba

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.

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura
Sri Maha Bodhi

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.

Ruwanwelisaya in Anuradhapura
Ruvanveliseya Dagoba

One of the best architectural marvels, and is considered a sacred site for Buddhists from Nepal, Tibet and other countries across the world.

Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum
Archeological Museum

An old British colonial building transformed into a museum to protect some of Anuradhapura’s ancient ruins.

Jethawanaramaya in Anuradhapura
Jetavanarama Dagoba

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!

Isurumuniya in Anuradhapura
Isurumuniya Vihara

A rock temple popular for its stone carvings of the ‘Isurumuniya Lovers’, ‘Horsemen’, ‘Elephants Pond’ and the ‘Royal Family’.

Thuparamaya in Anuradhapura
Thuparama Dagoba

The oldest Dagoba in Sri Lanka, constructed by King Tissa, to enshrine the right collarbone of Lord Buddha.

Kuttam Pokuna in Anuradhapura
Kuttam Pokuna

Bathing tanks that have existed for centuries – one of ancient Sri Lanka’s most outstanding achievements in the field of hydrological engineering.

Mirisawetiya Stupa
Mirisavatiya Dagoba

Built around the 2nd century BC by King Dutugemunu, and is said to have a relic of Buddha inside.

Nuwara Wewa in Ancient Anuradhapura
Nuwara Wewa

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

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Not to miss in this tour

Sunset at Nuwara Wewa.

The marvels of Ruvanveliseya Dagoba.

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