Top things to do in Anuradhapura

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 Sri Lankan in Anuradhapura

Hotel Shalini

With its airy, upper-storey pavilion and dripping eaves, this haveli (town house)-style building has a charming setting, but it's the food that really stands out. The menu changes daily, but the family recipes norma…
Top Choice International in Anuradhapura

Sanctuary at Tissawewa

There is no more atmospheric place for a leisurely meal or drink than the veranda or dining room of this beautiful colonial hotel. Try the chilli-marinated grilled pork chops, a club sandwich or the four-course set …
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…
Historic Site in Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura World Heritage Site

The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools a…
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 storeys high with a graceful, tiered roof. The entrance is marked by a beautifully carved muragala (guardsto…