Sri Lanka's most sacred city is Anuradhapura. Best known for its well-preserved ruins of the ancient Lankan civilisation, the city is also the home of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura was founded in the 6th century BC and later became the country's first capital, under King Pandukhabhaya. As such, it's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Its cultural importance has been recognised by UNESCO, which includes Anuradhapura on its World Heritage List, and the city figures as one of Sri Lanka's most celebrated visitor attractions.
Anuradhapura's ruins are numerous and include grand palaces, monasteries and monuments. The Sri Maha Bodhi is the spiritual centre of Anuradhapura's ruins and the geographical centre of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Grown from a cutting from the original Bodhi Tree - under which Buddha achieved Enlightenment in Patna, India - it's one of the main pilgrimage sites for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
Top itineraries in Anuradhapura
A tailor-made journey through Sri Lanka, visiting its most impressive ancient monuments and beautiful beaches as you explore Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Kandy, Polonnaruwa and more. Discover white-sand beaches, verdant tea plantations and architectural wonders dating back to the 11th century.
Top places to stay in Anuradhapura
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