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Best Time: July-September and December-January Read More

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"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.

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History of Anuradhapura

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.

Religion of Anuradhapura

Buddhism is the main religion

Nightlife in Anuradhapura

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.

Shopping in Anuradhapura

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.

Anuradhapura Customs

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.

Language of Anuradhapura

Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages spoken there

Exchanging Money in Anuradhapura

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. 

Daily Budget for Anuradhapura

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.

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FAQs on Anuradhapura

Who should visit Anuradhapura?

Founded by Minister Anuradhapura in the 6th century BC, Anuradhapura is one of the principal cities in Sri Lanka. It is the capital of North Central Province and Anuradhapura district. A town with strategic, historical, cultural and religious value, Anuradhapura is a majestic place. This city is known to have the reminiscences of the Sri Lankan civilization and is one of the eight World Heritage Sites in the country.

What are the places near Anuradhapura?

The top places near to Anuradhapura are Sigiriya which is 55 km from Anuradhapura, Colombo which is located 165 km from Anuradhapura, Kandy which is located 116 km from Anuradhapura, Nuwara eliya which is located 157 km from Anuradhapura, Galle which is located 251 km from Anuradhapura

What are the things to do in Anuradhapura?

The top things to do in Anuradhapura are Sri Maha Bodhi, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Ruwanweliseya, Jetavanaramaya Monastery, Thuparamaya, Abhayagiri Vihara. You can see all the places to visit in Anuradhapura here

What are the top hotels in Anuradhapura?

There are 316 in Anuradhapura which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Anuradhapura are Niwahana Holiday Residence, Wenasa Hotel, Ceylonima Home Stay, Sidangana, Kulama, THE Lake Villa, Yaluwa Tourist Rest. You can see all the hotels in Anuradhapura here

What is the local food in Anuradhapura?

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.
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What is the best time to visit Anuradhapura?

July-September and December-January is the best time to visit Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. During these months, the weather is dry and comfortable for day trips. Also, the hotels and other accommodation options will be expensive during these peak months in the country. However, if planned early, you can save a few penny, nonetheless! Tourists keep off from Anuradhapura in March, the start of spring. The weather is too warm and humid during this month. The temperature ranges between 95.5°F (35.3°C) and 90.7°F (32.6°C), which is too much for the tourists to visit the places in the country. June-August is the summer season in Anuradhapura, and the weather is warm with the least precipitation. Also, as of July till September is the busiest in the country, the places are crowded. September-November is the fall season and the temperature ranges between 93.8°F (34.3°C) and 86°F (30°C). It rains significantly, and the weather is not too bad. December to February are the winter months, and the weather is pretty enjoyable for the travellers. The highest temperature goes up to 32°C.
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