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Anuradhapura

The Sacred City of Anuradhapura

aukana_buddha_250

Aukana Buddha Statue

Anuradhapura became the capital of Sri Lanka in the 4th century BC. Sri Lankan history from the 4th century BC up to 10th century A.D is generally referred as “Anuradhapura” period. King “Pandukabhaya” the third king of Vijayan dynasty became the king after great struggle against his uncles. He is the one who formally planned the city, with gates, quarters for traders etc. Anuradhapura kingdom lasted one thousand and four hundred years until it was invaded by South Indian Chola forces in 1017. It was a very wealthy city which created a unique culture and a great civilization. Today Anuradhapura is one of the world’s major archaeological site it is covered area about 40 km².

Introduction of Buddhism took place in reign of king “Devanampiyathissa” in 250~210 B.C. During this time Emperor Ashoka in India sent many Buddhist

missionaries to Asian ountries. King “Devanampiyathissa” was a close friend of Emperor Ashoka ,he sent his son “Mahindha” thera as the head of a mission to introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka. By the introduction of the Buddhism, the city gained more prominence and the great building era began. During this time vast monastery complexes and some of the tallest buildings in the ancient world were built for example Jetavanaramaya, Maha Vihara and Abhayagiri. The Jetavanaramaya dagoba is treated as the tallest brick structure in the world. As Anuradhapura city was in dry zone rulers constructed large lakes to irrigate paddy lands and also to supply water to the city and also it had the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world.

srimaha-bodhi_newSri Maha Bodhia

Sri Maha Bodhia is the right branch of the secred Bodhi tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. This was brought to Sri Lanka by “Sangamitta Their” in 3rd century B.C. The Bodhi branch was received with respect by the King Devanampiyathissa and was planted in the terrace prepaired for it in Mahameuna garden Anuradhapura. This is treated as the oldest living tree in the world in documented history and it is a place respected by Buddhist’s from all around the world.

ruwan-weli-seyaRuwanweli Stupa the magnificent Stupa in Anuradhapura

Ruvanveli Dagoba was built by King Dutugemunu , who is treated as one of the most outstanding ancient Kings of Sri Lanka and this treated as one of the most greatest Stupas in the world.This magnificent huge Dagaba which is 103 meters in height and 287 meters in circumference was built in 2nd century B.C

abayagiriyaAbhayagiri Stupa in Anauradhapura

It was King Valagamba (Vattagamani Abhaya) in 103 B.C. founded this large monastery Abhayagiriya and gave it to Mahathissa thera who had protected the king when in adversity. Abhayagiriya is treated as the second highest dagoba in Sri Lanka

kuttum-pokunaThe magnificent Twin Ponds of Anuradhapura

Kuttam Pokuna or Twin ponds are the most magnificent bathing ponds located at Anuradhapura. These breathtaking beautiful ponds tell everyone how artistic and the knowledge ancient Sri Lankan had in engineering

aukana_stature_newAukana Buddha Statue

Awkana Statue is situated in Anuradhapura district 51 km southeast of Anuradhapura. The 13 meter high statue is carved out of solid granite on a lotus pedestal. This was built during the reign of King “Dathusena” in 5th century AD and this is treated as one of the magnificent carved stature in Sri Lanka

thuparama-stupa_newThuparamaya The very first Stupa built in Ceylon

Thuparama stupa is treated as the first historical built stupa in Sri Lanka by King Devanampiyathissa. It was built by enshrining the right collarbone of the Buddha. Originally this stupa was in a shape of a heap of paddy and later once the repairs were done it has the shape of a water bubble.

isurumuniya-150-100Magnificent stone carving of Isurumuniya Lovers

Isurumuniya temple was built by King Devanampiyathissa. It is very popular for its rock carving among them is the Isurumuniya lovers. It is believed that the figures may represent son of Dutugemunu “Saliya” and the law caste maiden “Asokamala” whom he loved. It’s known that he gave up the throne for her.King Kasyapa the 1st in 473-491 AD renovated this and named this as “Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera”

mihinthale_150-100Mihintale sri lanka

Mihinthale is located about 8 miles east of Anuradhapura about 1000 feet high mountainous range.place very popular among Buddhist as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. This was the place where Arahath Mahinda thera met King Devanampiyathissa. It is stated that King Devanampiyathissa constructed a Vihara

jetawana-stupa_150-100Jetavanarama Stupa in Sri Lanka

Jethavana stupa which is 121 meters in height was built by King Mahasena in 3rd century A.D. This massive brick structure is treated as the largest and tallest brick built structure in the world.

mirisawatiya_150-100Mirisawetiya stupa Sri lanka

Mirisaveti Stupa was built in 2nd century B.C. by King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara. Currently this stupa is partial decayed and under construction by the Cultural Triangle

Magul Uyana

Magul Uyana (Gardens) is situated close to Isurumuniya Vihara Anuradhapura. In the gardens there were lot of ponds and seats made from stone. It is said that Prince Saliya met Ashokamala met in this garden.

Rathna Prasadaya

This was skyscraper built by King Kanittha Tissa. During 8th and 10th centuries this was renovated by King Mihindu II and Mihindu IV

Vessagiri

Vessagiri is located about half a mile south of Isurumuniya, in a mountainous region. Scattered around 23 caves made of stone with the inscribed names of it’s donor. These are treated as the oldest inscriptions in Sri Lanka written in Brahmi script.


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