Anuradhapura is a sacred city popular among Buddhist tourists that was once the ancient capital of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura is now majorly in ruins but the ruins of ancient city still bring in an amazing picture of ancient Sri Lanka civilization among travellers. The fascinating ancient ruins of Anuradhapura that are of major interest for tourists include huge bell-shaped Stupas built of small sun-dried bricks, temples, sculptures, palaces, and ancient drinking-water reservoirs. Anuradhapura is home to many of the ancient grandest monuments of Sri Lanka that are very popular as tourist attractions.
The city of Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies 205 km north of the capital city Colombo. Anuradhapura remained the capital of Sri Lanka from 4th century BC till the beginning of the 11th century AD.
The ancient city of Anuradhapura is considered sacred to the Buddhist world and is frequented by religious tourists to visit many ancient Buddhist monuments. Travellers can visit some of the most famous as well as the tallest Dagobas of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bodhi-tree in Anuradhapura. The Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura was grown from a sapling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago lord Buddha found enlightenment.
Anuradhapura gained its historic importance in the 3rd century BC after Sanghamitta brought a cutting from the Bodhi Tree (‘Tree of Enlightenment’), the Buddha’s fig tree to Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura became the political and religious capital of Sri Lanka in 4th century BC that flourished for 1,300 years. The city of Anuradhapura could be counted amongst the most developed cities in the world having some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world, and well managed health care and education system.
Anuradhapura was permanently abandoned in 10th century AD and the site lay hidden in the Jungle till the 19th century. The city of Anuradhapura was again rediscovered in the 19th century by a British group headed by Ralph Backhaus and became a pilgrimage tourism site once again. Today, the splendid sacred city of Anuradhapura, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, draws many Buddhist pilgrims and tourists from Sri Lanka and outside Sri Lanka also. Anuradhapura was once the greatest monastic city of the ancient world with the largest repository of Buddhist texts.