Anuradhapura Ancient City,
Sri Lanka, Cultural Triangle
Info : Anuradhapura Ancient City
Famous for its well preserved ruins of an ancient civilisation, Anuradhapura is one of the ancient Sri Lankan capitals. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The ancient city which is considered sacred by Buddhists contains a vast collection of archaeological and architectural wonders such as large dagobas, soaring brick towers, ancient pools and crumbling temples built during the citys 1000 years of rule over Sri Lanka. The ruins of the ancient city cover an area over 16 square miles, and yet more is still to be uncovered.
Of the various sites across Anuradhapura Sri Lanka, one particularly worth visiting is Sri Maha Bodhi. This sacred Bodhi tree, central to the ancient city in both the spiritual and physical sense, was brought as a cutting from Bodhgaya in India by the sister of Mahinda, who originally introduced the Buddhas teachings to Sri Lanka. It is also the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world having been tended by an uninterrupted succession of guardians for over 2000 years. There are many Bodhi trees in Anuradhapura Sri Lanka, but the oldest and holiest stands on the top platform.
Intricate carvings and incredibly detailed stonework in general are one of the highlights of the trip. In some areas we can see perfectly cut pieces of flat rock measuring up to twenty meters long. We have no idea where the knowledge to do this came from. Like much of the city, it remains a complete mystery. The main dagoba is also said to be the largest brick-made building in the world.
Spend a day wandering around this ancient city, visiting palaces, dagobas, gardens and the sacred Bodhi trees. A guide here is essential to bring the ruins to life. The size has to be seen to be believed, and the more it comes to life it is easy to see how this is evidence of the what was the world's most advanced civilisation at the time.
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We were very grateful to our travel advisors Nick and Sam Clark to have suggested some of the places we stayed at which were excellent