Anuradhapura is a historic city located in the island of Sri Lanka. Situated some two hundred kilometres from the capital of Colombo, it is a highly popular tourist destination within the country. It served as the capital of the tropical island for over one thousand years and while its glory days maybe over the city still has a lot to offer. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, Anuradhapura is full of historic buildings waiting to be explored.
The Sri Maha Bodhi is probably the most well-known tree in the land. The tree was grown from a branch from the actual Bodhi tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. The offshoot was brought to the island by Sanghamitta, the daughter of the Indian king, Asoka, and it was planted here by king Devanampiya, the then king of the island. Venerated by Buddhists, it remains an important Sri Lankan landmark.
The Aukana Buddha is a thirteen metre tall granite statue of Buddha dating to the 5th century. It is located outside of Anuradhapura and is a magnificent example of early Sri Lankan architecture. The Thuparama Temple is thought to contain a clavicle of Buddha. Many believe that the Thuparama Temple is the oldest dagoba in the country. The Isurumuniya Temple is another popular spot renowned for its intricate stone carvings, the most well-known of which is the Isurumuniya Lovers.
One can hardly visit Anuradhapura without stopping by Ruwanveli Seya. Built in the 2nd century, the temple is a stunning piece of architecture. There are many statues found here including one that is thought to be of King Dutugamunu, the emperor who ordered the construction of the Ruwanveli Seya. Other popular spots include Mihintale, Ritigala, and the Jethawana Monastery.
While the island becomes increasingly popular as a tourist destination the local government is improving infrastructure such as roads and public transport to keep pace. However, Sri Lanka travel can still be difficult and uncomfortable. To avoid delays and ensure comfort tourists should consider joining Sri Lanka tours provided by a reputed outfit like Jetwing Travels. They take care of the nitty-gritty of travel so one can focus on what is important.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.