At a glance

It is the first ancient capital of Sri Lanka with roots that go back to the 4th century BC. As the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, it is one of the most revered cities in the land and Buddhism’s monument capital. The impressive collection of Anuradhapura temples, stupas, statues, and stoneworks has given the city UNESCO World Heritage Site status. There are also ruins of monasteries and palaces thousands of years old. It is not just an archaeological city but the heart of Sri Lanka’s civilization with a sophisticated network of reservoirs and waterways built for irrigation. Anuradhapura belongs to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka and contains the most sacred tree in the world.

Hidden Gems

  • The Moonstone at Abhayagiri is the most elaborate in Sri Lanka.
  • Archaeological Museum showcases artifacts from the Anuradhapura period.
  • Ratna Prasada Guard Stone is the most impressive guard stone of the era.
  • Kuttam Pokuma, the twin stone bathing ponds are both, stunning and ingenious.
  • The ancient Samadhi Statue depicts Buddha in meditation position emanating tranquility.

Where to Shop in Anuradhapura

You can buy Buddha statues, souvenir items, corn on the cob, fruit, and vegetables from small vendors near the sites. Pharmacies, stores, and banks are available in the town.

Where to Eat in Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura does not offer an extensive selection of fine dining restaurants, except within hotels. However, Sanctuary at Tissawewa, LuLu’s Feeding Point, The Lakeside, and Banana Cafe are great restaurants.

The Route

Best Times to Visit

It is a year-round destination. March to July is the hottest season. June is the busiest month