Recorded as the oldest surviving tree in the world today, the sacred “Jaya SiriMaha Bodhi” Bo Tree, was brought to Sri Lanka by Their Sanghamitta and planted in its present place by King Devanampiyathissa. It is said to be the southern branch of the Jaya SiriMaha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.
Listed as one of the 8 sacred places a Buddhist must visit, Ruwanwelisaya stupa is considered a great sanctity which has made it sacred to the Buddhists all over the world. Built by King Dutugemunu, this massive,ancient monument with its architectural qualities is one of the world’s tallest monuments and stands majestically signifying the holiness of Anuradhapura.
This stupa is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and belongs to the complex of AbhayagiriViharaya which was constructed in the reign of King Valagamba. It is considered one of the tallest buildings of ancient times .
This Vihara is situated between two giant rocks and is a beautiful templebordered by the TissaWewa from one side and paddy fields from another. This was initially built by King Devanampiyatissa and subsequently developed by many kings thereafter. The face of the rock is adorned by many stone carvings. Isurumuniya is famous for the stone carving of ’The Pair of Lovers’, thought to be Dutugemunu’s son Saliya and the law caste maiden Asokamala.
Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, which was later renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars which depict an ancient building built encircling the stupa. Eth pokuna (Elephant pond) is an ancient man made pond situated close to Lankaramaya. The water to this pond has been supplied from the Periyamkulama Tank through a network of underground canals.
The MirisavetiStupawas built byKing Dutugamunuafter defeating King Elara. The Dagaba was again damaged by the recurrent Chola invasions and it is said that King Parakaramabahu 1(1153-1186 AC) did a comprehensive restoration and built the stupa to a height of 120 feet. This magnificent structure is a must see for any visitor to the sacred city.
This is a structure built by King Devanampiyathissa on the request of MahindaThero. This building has been described in ancient chronicles as a nine story building supported by 40 rows of pillars with 40 pillars in each row and was adorned with corals and precious stones. Its roof was covered with copper-bronze plates.
Situated 13 km east of Anuradhapura, Mihinthale is an ancient rock temple, and is regarded as one of the most sacred places for Buddhists. The famous meeting between MahindaThero and King Devanampiyathissa took place here, after which the Sri Lankan King and his people embraced Budhism. The area of Mihintaleis surrounded by with a jungle and with rock boulders scattered around the mountainous area. This area is dotted with many caves which were earlier used by monks for meditation.The temple is accessible through a flight of steps carved in rock. The architectural marvels and ancient sculptures are still visible among the ruins and many stupas.
Known as the golden temple of Dambulla, this is a World Heritage Site. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. These caves contain an array of statues of Buddha, many Kings and Gods. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Dambulla Rock Temple is famous for its intricate patterns and images painted on the overhanging rock.