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3.5 / 5 21 votes

Country rank: 8 out of 53 Places To Visit In Sri-lanka

Sub-Region: Anuradhapura District


Ideal duration: 2 days

Best time: July-September and December-January (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Anuradhapura (Check Flights)


"Rejuvenating getaway!"

Anuradhapura Tourism

Anuradhapura is a historical paradise as it houses several heritage monasteries, palaces and monuments. It is known for its vast dagobas or brick stupas, ancient ponds and pools and magnificent temples. The city was established as the first capital of Sri Lanka in 377 BC. It was also at this time that Anuradhapura rose to prominence as a seat of political and economic importance.

Anuradhapura was built around a cut piece from the Bodhi Tree, or the 'tree of enlightenment', which is considered sacred by Buddhists. This city was on the peak of political and religious activities for around 900 years. It was invaded in 998 AD, after which it lost its importance. After being overlooked for several years, this World Heritage Site is now accessible again. Currently, Anuradhapura is an important religious site and a popular tourist attraction.

Apart from the Dagobas, the most popular tourist attractions in Anuradhapura are its ruins, or Anuradhapura World Heritage Site, the scared Maha Bodhi tree, Lovamahapaya or Brazen Palace, Archeological museum, Isurumuniya Vihara or rock temple, Ratna Prasada or jewel palace, Royal Pleasure Gardens, Kuttam Pokuna or ponds, Buddha's samadhi, Royal Palace and many more. Amongst the well-known dagobas are Mirisaveti, Ruwanveli, Abhayagiri, Jetavanarama, Thuparama, Lankarama, and many more. Interestingly, the monasteries in Anuradhapura occupy a whopping 16 square miles by area. With this, it is evident that Anuradhapura is culturally and religiously significant to an unimaginable extent.

Authentic Buddhist traditions, archaeological ruins, lavish palaces, traditional monasteries and informative museums define the grandeur of Anuradhapura. Even though it is a large town, Anuradhapura gives the feel of being in a village. With its well preserved cultural sites, ponds and monuments, Anuradhapura is a well-established tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Tourists visit this town for a rejuvenating getaway, to seek peace and to satiate their inquisitiveness.

Hotels in Anuradhapura

Top Hotels in Anuradhapura

  • Ulagalla by Uga Escapes

    USD 187 /night onwards

  • Ramsey Resort

    USD 24 /night onwards

  • Hewage Resort

    USD 18 /night onwards

View All Hotels in Anuradhapura >

More on Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura has no special customs that need to be observed, except one should be barefooted while walking around the holy sites. One should touch the holy things with the right hand only. One should dressmodestly and politely, and women cannot bare shoulders when visiting the holy sites.

Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages spoken there

Pandukabhaya established Anuradhapura as a capital in 380 BC. Under Devanampiya Tissa Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka. It was also at this time that Anuradhapura rose to prominence and held a seat of importance.

Anuradhapura does not have much of a nightlife. Also drinking in public is unacceptable in Sri Lanka. However some hotels which have bars are - Milano Tourist Rest, Avasta Resort and Spa,Uga Ulagalla, Rajarata Hotel, Cottage Tourist Rest, Heritage Hotel, Hotel Shalini, Palm Garden Village, London Palace.

Anuradhapura does not have much of shopping centres and stores but there is a market in the new town on weekdays which can be visited to get a touch of the local flavor.

The LKR is the local currency in Sri Lanka which replaced the British pound in the country.There are portraits of previous Sri Lankan prime ministers as well as ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the fronts of the bank notes.The backs have Sri Lankan flora and fauna, landscapes, industries as well as pictures showing local culture and history.

1 LKR = 0.46 INR.

The average daily budget of a tourist would depend on whther the travel is luxurious or budget travels. So a budget trip would cost 1500 - 2000 LKR each day while a luxurious trip would be in the ball park of 30,000 LKR each day.

Buddhism is the main religion

Mango Mango, Seedevi and Casserole restaurants are the recommended places for a taste of authentic Sri Lankan food in Anuradhapura. Pol Sambola and milk rice are some local dishes to try out.

Best time to Visit Anuradhapura

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