Attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Anuradhapura

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Dating back to the 1st century BC, this colossal dagoba was the ceremonial focus of the 5000-strong Abhayagiri Monastery. Originally over 100m high, it was one of the greatest structures in the ancient world, its sc…
Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Anuradhapura

Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba

This magnificent white dagoba is guarded by a wall with a frieze of 344 elephants standing shoulder to shoulder. Apart from a few beside the western entrance, most are modern replacements of the originals from 140 B…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Anuradhapura

Sri Maha Bodhi

The sacred bodhi tree is central to Anuradhapura in both a spiritual and physical sense. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India and is said to be the oldest historically authenticated tree in the…
Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Anuradhapura

Jetavanarama Dagoba

The Jetavanarama Dagoba’s massive dome rises above the entire eastern part of Anuradhapura. Built in the 3rd century by King Mahasena, it may have originally topped 120m, but today is about 70m – similar to the Abha…
Top Choice Museum in Anuradhapura

Archaeological Museum

The old British colonial administration building has recently been renovated and has an interesting collection of artwork, carvings and everyday items from Anuradhapura and other historic sites around Sri Lanka. Exh…
Buddhist Monument in Anuradhapura

Isurumuniya Vihara

This charming rock temple, dating from the reign of Devanampiya Tissa (r 307–267 BC), is set around a lovely lotus pond, the corner of which is carved with images of elephants playfully splashing water. The central …
Ruins in Anuradhapura

Ratnaprasada

Most of the 8th-century Ratnaprasada or 'Jewel Palace' lies in ruins today, though it was originally seven stories high with a graceful, tiered roof. The entrance is marked by a beautifully carved muragala (guardsto…
Buddhist Stupa in Anuradhapura

Sandahiru Seya

Two thousand years after the first of the great dagobas was constructed, a huge new stupa, the Sandahiru Seya, is rising on the south side of Anuradhapura, commissioned by President Rajapaksa in 2010. Designed to re…
Buddhist Stupa in Anuradhapura

Thuparama Dagoba

In a beautiful woodland setting north of the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba, the Thuparama Dagoba is the oldest dagoba in Sri Lanka – indeed, probably the oldest visible dagoba in the world. It was constructed by King Devanam…
Gardens in Anuradhapura

Royal Pleasure Gardens

Known as the Park of the Goldfish, these extensive 2000-year-old royal pleasure gardens cover 14 hectares and contain two ponds skilfully designed to fit around the huge boulders in the park. Look out for the fine e…