Sights in Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka), what to see

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General information on the inspection of the monuments of Anuradhapura

As we mentioned on the main page about Anuradhapura, all sights are in the old city, which is located to the West of the new town (the old town on the map). Its territory is quite extensive, the monuments are located far from each other. Therefore, to explore the complex better transport, at least on the bike. Even if you bring into the territory of the old town, to move from monument to monument on foot under the scorching sun – a dubious occupation and dangerous (easy to get heat stroke). On the streets of Anuradhapura and in the hotels tuk-tuks offer their services from $ 20 per trip for the day. You can browse through the complex in a rented transport: no restrictions on entry and relocation, no. Close to some of the attractions not to drive will have a little walk, but almost everywhere in such places are Parking where you can leave for the charge transport. The cost is 20-50 rupees (refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate).

How much is the attractions in Anuradhapura

Now about the payment entrance. The cost of visiting the complex – $ 25 adult / 12.5 dollars – kids. However, the area to which the entrance fee includes only the complex of Abhayagiriya (Abhayagiri). You can also call in for a transport. On the way you will find a ticket service, past which you will not miss, until you pay. Such banks on the road for two, and sneak in, bypassing their unlikely, to succeed.

Complex Abhayagiri is only a small part of the entire country, and it is possible to do without his visit, if you want to save. The rest is free territory, there are not a few monuments. Sometimes, though, near some of the monuments now and then is control, and then at the entrance asking to see your ticket. But this happens very rarely, and if you don't have a ticket in that case, you can just turn around and head for another attraction.

Also there are two places in the old city, for which a separate fee. This Palace, Isurumuniya and the Sacred Bo tree. The place is interesting and worth a visit, especially if you will save $ 25 on the input Board.

Find tours online (with reviews)

Useful tips

How to get around the stupa (or Dagoba). During the inspection the stupa (or Dagoba) you need to walk around in a clockwise direction, thus carried out all the ritual rounds. In a more proper ritual, it is recommended to crawl, lying on the ground, and measuring steps in their own growth.

Clothing. To visit not only the Dagoba, but all the sacred places need modest clothing: no short skirts and shorts, t-shirts, hats, shoes. As for shoes, it is left at the entrance to the Dagoba, the temples have special racks, if you are worried about stealing your shoes (and this happens, especially if the shoes good quality or new), take the package or bag in her hand to wear may not be allowed. And another thing: when you visit the Dagoba in clear weather, the floor heats up, and shoes must be removed, so it is recommended to wear socks.

Snake. Be careful when sightseeing, especially in remote and seldom visited. It is easy to run into a snake, especially in tall grass.

Sights In Anuradhapura

Places to visit in the old part of the city quite a lot (statues, trees Bo, numerous ruins, artificial lakes, etc.), but the most important and noteworthy monuments are the following:

It is these places we recommend you to visit first. And here's a more complete list of monuments of Anuradhapura:

The sacred Bodhi tree or Mahabodhi (Sri Maha Bodhi)

Священное дерево Бодхи, Анурадхапура

The Mahabodhi tree is the most revered place of pilgrimage in Anuradhapura. There is always a lot of people, and not only during religious holidays. It is considered the oldest tree planted by man, having a documented history and all planted later and growing now in Sri Lanka, the Bodhi tree (or Bo) are its branches (even his ancestor from India (the city of Bodh Gaya) died, and in its place put the process of Inury). In its essence the same, the Mahabodhi Tree is one of the varieties of ficus.

The Appendix of this wood taken from the trunk of the Bo Tree, under which he attains enlightenment, the Buddha, and brought the nun Sanghamitta (Sanghamitta, daughter of Indian Emperor Asoka (Ashoka) in the third century BC from India. Put him king Devanampiya Tissa (Devanampiya Tissa, St. 307-267 BC) in 249 BC.

Read more about the sacred tree and photos here...

💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: 200 rupees.

🚶 How to get: the Bodhi Tree on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

Lovamahapaya or Bronze Palace (Lovamahapaya, Brazen Palace)

On the way of the tree of the Maha Bodhi (~50 m) to the stupa Ruwanweliseya (Sacred Stupa) on the right side you can see a small 2-storey building, surrounded on all sides by many stone pillars, 40 PCs 40 series – this is Lovamahapaya. It was originally a Palace for the monks. It consisted of 9 storeys and thousands of rooms, was lavishly and luxuriously decorated inside and out. The roof was covered with bronze plates, hence the second name - the Bronze Palace. It was built by king dutugemunu (Dutugemunu, Dutugamunu, Dutthagamani, St. 161-137 BC) in 150 BC used in the construction of the tree, so the original form is almost nothing left, although no attempts were made for its restoration (the last is dated XII century).

Unfortunately, to pass to the territory of Lovamahapaya not, around the perimeter of the house fenced iron fence. Here today to spend time praying monks, so maybe the entrance for tourists is closed.

💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

🚶 How to get: Lovamahapaya on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

The Stupa Of The Jetavana (Jetavana Dagоba, Jetavanaramaya)

Ступа Джетавана, Анурадхапура The Jetavana Stupa

Giant the Jetavana stupa is the world's tallest Dagoba, built of brick. And some sources attribute her the title of the tallest structure in the world made of brick. Its height was originally 122 m. approx., diameter of 112 m. For greater stability of the ancient builders deepened the base of the stupa at 8.5 meters into the ground. It was built by the king of Mahasena (Mahasena, St. 277-304 g) in the third century According to legend, the site of the construction of the Stupa seemed to be preaching Mahinda (Mahinda, who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka), and inside the walled zone of the Buddha. Earlier in the adjoining district there was a monastery of Mahavihara (Mahavihara), destroyed in the spread of the teachings of Theravada (Theravada). Originally built in the Jetavana monastery complex was given to the followers of the Mahayana teachings (Mahayana). Around the Stupa are seen numerous ruins, among which are:

  • To the West of the stupa is a construction, which was only part of the door opening with an 8-foot posts and walls called Gedige (see the map). Inside a large pedestal in the form of a Lotus, which is probably installed a Buddha statue.
  • Jantaghara (see the map) – something like a sauna for the monks.
  • Jetavana Museum (see the map), with exhibits found during excavations on the territory of the complex.
  • 💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    🚶 How to get: the Jetavana Stupa on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

    Palace, Isurumuniya (Isurumuniya)

    Дворец Исурумуния, Анурадхапура Palace, Isurumuniya View photos in 3D

    A kilometer South of the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is situated the Royal Palace, Isurumuniya. It is carved in the rock on the orders of king Devanampiya Tissa (Devanampiya Tissa, St. 307-267 BC). Subsequently placed at the disposal of the community, consisting of representatives of the upper class and who took monastic orders.

    Before the Palace was built a large swimming pool, next to a Temple with a statue of Buddha and the wall frescoes, there is a cave with a large colony of bats. At the very top, where you can climb the stairs on the opposite side of the main entrance stands a small white stupa, this place opens and a panoramic view of the surroundings. Isurumuniya is also famous for its rock reliefs that can be seen to the left of the pool: swimming elephants image, just above the visible carved a niche where visitors are trying to throw coins, if you look even higher, you can see another image of a man sitting above the right shoulder which the horse's head.

    Read more about the Palace, Isurumuniya and photos here...

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: 200 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: the Palace, Isurumuniya on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

    Thuparama Stupa (Dagoba Thuparama, Thuparamaya)

    Ступа Тхупарама, Анурадхапура

    The first stupa in Sri Lanka, dedicated to the appearance of Buddhism. The construction of this stupa and began the worship of stupas, as an important religious objects. Located to the North of the Mahabodhi Tree (~1 km). Thuparama built in the III century BC by king Devanampiya Tissa (Devanampiya Tissa, St. 307-267 BC) at the request of Mahinda (Mahinda) who brought this religion to Sri Lanka. In the walled Stupa an important Buddhist relic - Buddha's collarbone. The height of the Stupa is 20 m, diameter 18 m. Initially, she was a stupa-building for storage of especially important and revered relics. Around the Stupa was erected a domed roof supported by four rows of columns (total 176 units). More than once she was subjected to destruction and looting, but several times and rebuilt. After the last reconstruction Thuparama was lined with white marble.

    Close Thuparama visible remains of buildings, apparently, is the hospital building.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: the Stupa Thuparama on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

    Ruwanweliseya Stupa (Stupa A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ruwanweli, Ruwanveliseya Dagаba)

    Ступа Руванвелисия, Анурадхапура

    The stupa located to the North of the Mahabodhi Tree (~500 m). Has several names White Stupa, Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya, Suvarnamali Mahaceti, Rathnamali Dagaba. The most revered of all the other speed, because it holds the most relics.

    Was laid by king dutugemunu (Dutugemunu, St. 161-137 BC) in 140 BC, and completed under his successor and brother Saddha king Tissa (Saddha Tissa, St. 137-119 BC). Its height is 92 m, the diameter 90. From the initial appearance, there is almost nothing left.

    The stupa is located on a square platform, the exterior of which is decorated with reliefs of more than a hundred elephants. Around the stupa in a circle you can see a sanctuary with 5 Buddha statues and frescoes on the walls and ceiling, 4 mini-Dagoba, the layout of Dagobah in a glass cube, and the stone statue, according to legend, this king dutugemunu.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: the Stupa Ruwanweliseya on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

    Stupa Mirisaveti (Mirisaveti Stupa, Mirisavetiya)

    The stupa is Mirisaveti (~700 m) to the West of the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, between the lakes Basawkkulma Tank (Abhaya Veva) and Thissa Wewa (Thissa Veva). This is the first stupa built by king dutugemunu (Dutugemunu, St. 161-137 BC) after defeating the Indian king Chola dynasty – Elroy (Elara). According to legend, it was founded on the place where the king stuck his scepter with the relics of Buddha before visiting the water festival, and couldn't get him out and came back. To complete the construction of the Stupa Mirisaveti was donated to the monks as a sign of remorse for what Dutugemunu didn't offer them the first harvest curry, as demanded by tradition. From the initial look is almost nothing left, she was completely rebuilt, now its height is 59 m and a diameter of 43 m.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: the Stupa Mirisaveti on the interactive map of Anuradhapura

    The Stupa Of Abhayagiriya (Abhayagiri Dagoba)

    Abhayagiri, the second tallest stupa at Anuradhapura, located further North (the Abhayagiri Stupa on the interactive map of Anuradhapura). It has reached the height of 112 m and a diameter of 106.5 m. the Stupa was Built during the second reign of king Valagamba (Valagamba, Vattagamani Abhaya, Valagambahu, St. 103, 89-77 BC) on a foot print left by the Buddha.

    The stupa was located in the center of a large monastic complex, where the ongoing training and dissemination of Buddhist currents of Mahavihara. It was an important religious centre, is known only in Sri Lanka but also abroad. It existed until the XII-XIII century At some time, the monastery became the custodian of the sacred Tooth of the Buddha, when his BC and brought to Sri Lanka.

    The area around the stupa contains the ruins of many ancient buildings and structures: Moonstone, Ratnaprasada, Bodhighara, Burrows Pavilion, Refectory, Elephant Pond, Assembly Hall, Kapara mula, Museum, Lankarama Complex, Samadhi Buddha Statue, Twin Pond. The entrance to this territory paid ($25) and quite strictly controlled. Here are the most interesting objects in this area:

    • Ratnapriya (Ratnaprasada) (see the map of Anuradhapura) with carved stone slabs and installed in front of the entrance to the temple images Guardstone (security), sometimes they are replaced by simple plates.
    • Moonstone (Moonstone). Interesting design of the main building entrances are moonstone (Moonstone), they can be seen almost everywhere, in front of a flight of stairs. According to the beliefs of Buddhists, they symbolize the cycle of human rebirth and represent the semi-circle, divided into sectors with images, as a rule, swans, floral ornaments, animals (elephants, lions, horses, bulls), the flames. Especially well preserved they are in the Palace Mahasena (Mahasena Palace) (see the map of Anuradhapura).
    • On site there are three statues of the Samadhi Buddha (Bodhigara): Samadhi Buddha Statue (1st Samadhi Statue) (see the map of Anuradhapura), 2nd Samadhi Buddha Statue (see the map of Anuradhapura), 3rd Samadhi Buddha Statue (see the map of Anuradhapura). The old Samadhi Buddha Statue, considered the best statue of Buddha depicting him in a moment of meditation and is dated to the IV century ad
    • The refectory (Refectory) (see the map of Anuradhapura) – in other words, "the monastic dining room". Is in ruins, but there stands a stone the likeness of a boat or Canoe Rice 19 m, which housed nearly 5,000 servings of rice for the monks.
    • Nearby is another object, an artificial pond Eth Pokuna (Elephant Pond) (see map Anuradhapura), the largest artificial pool in Anuradhapura, was intended to store and provide water to the Abhayagiri monastery.
    • Museum of Abhayagiriya (Abhayagiri Museum) (see the map of Anuradhapura) created in honor of the Chinese monk Faxian, who came to study here in 412 BC., was engaged in the translation of Buddhist texts into Chinese and wrote a long treatise about his pilgrimage. The Museum displays various artifacts found on the territory of the Abhayagiri.
      🕐 Working time: Monday, Wednesday – Friday 8.00 – 17.00, Tuesday – 7.30 – 16.30, day off – Saturday, Sunday.
    • To the East of the Abhayagiri Stupa are located two lakes – Cottam Pokuna (Kuttam Pokuna, Twin Ponds) (see the map of Anuradhapura), similar to each other. It is quite beautiful and original engineering structures, connected by a pipeline, intended for the bathing of monks. Water was supplied to them after the pre-stage of purification, first in North pond (length approx. 28 m) and then South (approx. length 40 m). On the North wall of the small pond is visible a small stone drain, through which water entered the pond, and slightly above the stone with the image of naga (snakes). The construction of these ponds dates back to around VI.
    • Lankarama (Lankarama, Lankaramaya) (see the map of Anuradhapura) built by king Valagamba (Valagamba, Vattagamani Abhaya, Valagambahu, St. 103, 89-77 BC) in the I century BC in the image and likeness of Thuparama Stupa (Dagoba Thuparama, Thuparamaya). Had a roof supported by three rows of columns (only approx. 88.) are located around the Stupa. The diameter of the stupa is 14 m. Probably, it served as a repository for important relics, and masked was under the house.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: entrance to the Abhayagiri on a single ticket is 25$ (see the beginning of the article). Tickets are sold at ticket offices at the entrance/the entrance to the complex. You can watch free only the pond of Kuttam Pokuna.

    Other monuments

    Dakkhina Stupa (Stupa Dakkhina)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    On the way to Isurumuni (Isurumuniya) to the right of the Kurunegala Road visible dilapidated stupa Dakkhina, it is remarkable that was founded on the site of the cremation of king dutugemunu (Dutugemunu, St. 161-137 BC), who made a lot for development of the state.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    Vessagiri (Vessagiriya, Vessagiri)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    Further down the road Kurunegala Road (~800 m) from the Isurumuniya (Isurumuniya) is Vessagiri. Is a network of 23 mountain caves since the most ancient brahmin inscriptions. Its construction made for Malev and meditation more than 500 monks and belongs to king Devanampiya Tissa (Devanampiya Tissa, St. 307-267 BC). Around the visible ruins of buildings and Dagobah.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    Folk Museum Anuradhapura (Anuradhapura Folk Museum)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    Next to the Stupa Ruwanweliseya (Sacred Stupa) is the folk Museum of Anuradhapura. It contains household items, tools and other artifacts showing the traditional way in the small community (Nuwara Kalaviya).

    🕐 Working time: 9.00 – 17.00, day off – Tuesday, Sunday.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets cost: adult - RS 300, children 150 rupees.

    Archaeological Museum (Archaeological Museum Anuradhapura)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    Museum with a large collection of various archaeological finds collected in the territory of Anuradhapura, Mihintale and other areas of Sri Lanka (stone sculptures, coins, letters, jewelry, household items and much more).

    🕐 Working time: Monday, Wednesday-Friday 9.00 – 17.00, day off – Tuesday, Sunday.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets cost: unknown.

    Artificial water bodies (Tank, Wewa, Veva)

    In seasons of drought, in the absence of the ability to adequately provide water on crops necessitated the creation of artificial reservoirs for collecting water. With this purpose was created an artificial lakes (reservoirs) for the storage and use of water for agricultural purposes. Large reservoirs in Anuradhapura three, among them there are several smaller, and they are all absolute masterpiece irrigation projects of that time:

    • Basawakkulama Tank (Basawkkulama Tank, Abhaya Wewa, Abhaya Veva) (see the map of Anuradhapura) is the oldest reservoir. Built by the king of Pandukabhaya (Pandukabhaya, St. 377 - 367 BC). An area of about 130 ha.
    • Nuwara Wewa (Nuwara Veva) (see the map of Anuradhapura) – the largest in Anura, its area is about 1,200 ha. Built by king Valagamba (Valagamba, St. 103, 89-77 BC) in the I century BC
    • Tissa Wewa (Tisa Veva) (see the map of Anuradhapura) was established in the reign of king Devanampiya Tissa (Devanampiya Tissa, St. 307-267 BC). It is approximately 160 hectares.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    The Royal Palace (Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    was a temporary residence of king Vijayabahu (Vijayabahu I, St. 1056-1111 city), liberated Anuradhapura from the reign of Chola dynasty. 3 years later the king moved to the new capital city of Polonnaruwa. The size of the Palace is 39 m at 66 m.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    Dalada Maligawa (Dalada Maligawa, The Temple of The Tooth Relic)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    The first Church in Sri Lanka, built specifically for the sacred Tooth relic brought to the island in the fourth century In the centre of the pedestal, on which was kept a relic, well preserved window openings, which originally had 11.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    Mahapali Refectory (Refectory)

    (see the map of Anuradhapura).

    Housed about 3000 monks, with 3-meter trough (Canoe Rice) for rice and deep pit, which you can go intended for potable water storage.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    photo of the attractions of Anuradhapura

Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
admin 30 November, 2017
The site presents guides to Central cities and sites of Sri Lanka:
The cultural triangle
Adam's Peak
Forest Sinharaja
Nuwara Eliya
The guides will be supplemented.
In this topic you can ask questions and discuss travelling to these places. Changes to the guides are appreciated :SUPER ...
Competent 5 January, 2018
Correct though Pinnawella at Pinnawala. In English, too. ...
admin 5 January, 2018

Thanks for noticing. As it turns out, the first time for you to remember and pronounce then. It was also with Polonnaruwa-Polonnaruwa for a long time myself retrained. ...
AMN Oct 10, 2018
Assalamu Alaikum.
I would like to ask. can I find in Sri Lanka Halal food
thank you.
and sorry for the mistakes ...
admin October, 10, 2018

Hello! Yes, I can, but this kitchen is not very widespread. Looking for Muslim hotels, if they operate such restaurants. ...
Павел112244466 11 November, 2018
Here you write "you can still get from Matara to Bandarawela" what kind of bus? What's the number? As he goes ?? If you write a guide, write all the information or just certain. ...
helka November 19, 2018
Good day, tell me whether in Polonnaruwa storage or where to leave bags if you arrive there in the morning, walk around the Ancient city, and then go by bus to Kandy. ...
admin 19 November, 2018

Not sure what injury is there. Rather rather sure that they are not, because there is the entrance and ticket control on-street storage no. Maybe there is something in the office selling tickets, but it is unlikely that the Sri Lankans before this would have thought of. If you really look for a place where to leave things, it is best to railway station so should be storage, as on all other stations. Well, in case you can try to negotiate for a nominal amount of staff offices for the sale of tickets or to go into the first hotel and the clerk to negotiate. The last version working and tested 100%.
And generally I on your place would think if you can master this route without lodging. I can understand if it's a tour or car with driver. But to come in a new strange city, to find a place where to leave your Luggage, find the cashier, to get to the entrance, navigate through the vast territory... besides, you need something to get around distances. Will have to find a tuk-tuk for the whole day. IMHO, knowing how difficult travel in hot countries, I would come in the evening, slept, and bright and early the next day I began to explore the Park. ...
helka December 2, 2018
Thank you very much for the reply. The fact that we were coming and so in the morning, so will spend the night in Dambulla, and was planning to rent a tuk tuk for the whole day.
About things have already booked a cheap guest house, where they leave it at that. )) And I hope the night will be in Kandy, because if you come to Polonnaruwa in 10 hours then to 16 hours the time I think that would be enough to see the most important thing, especially on a tuk tuk. ...
admin December 2, 2018

Well, in principle Yes, 6 hours on a tuk-tuk. Determine for yourself the most important thing to look at. I hope our guide to Polonnaruwa read. ...