What to do and see in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka: The Best Places and Tips

September 4, 2017 Joeann Galban

Anuradhapura (Sinhalese: අනුරාධපුරය; Tamil: அனுராதபுரம்) is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.
Restaurants in Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka +94 77 783 5266
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Mihintale

Reviewed By Marco M - Trieste, Italy

Very interesting place, even if it's overshadowed by more wellknown and visited Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa and Sighiriya. The ascent is vey rewarding, Panorama from the rock is very nice. Pay attention to the monkeys, they are agressive and potentially dangerous. Hide food and drinks as they will try to stole it.

2. Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka +94 71 442 9375
Excellent
55%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 774 reviews

Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba

At 300 feet, it is the third biggest stupa in Anuradhapura.

Reviewed By AnilAggarwal - Kurukshetra, India

It is one of archaeological treasure in Anuradhapura. It is a hemispherical stupa built by King Dutugemunu in 140 BC, tallest monument like Egypt pyramids.Its height is 103 meters & circumference is 290 meters.Renovated in early 19th century. At night its view is stunning due to illumination.Its white dome shines like a pearl. Most venerated among ancient stupas.
You have to be properly dressed & to remove shoes.
Place is having a feeling of divine energy. Stupa have relics.
Same ticket is for whole Anuradhapura sites.

3. Jethawanaramaya Stupa

B341 Watawandana Road | Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka +94 77 266 2716
Excellent
48%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 366 reviews

Jethawanaramaya Stupa

Reviewed By exploreslk - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Jethawanaramaya Stupa is the largest stupa in the world which is built by King Mahasena (273–301). It is also considered to be the largest brick structure of the world, by volume. It is situated in World Heritage City, Anuradhapura.
Originally the stupa was 121.9m high, but after several renovations by several kings, it is only 70.7m high today. It is estimated that more 93 million bricks have been used to built this giant stupa.
The stupa is a part of the Jethawanaramaya Monastery. The remains of the monastery can still be seen around the stupa. If you ever visit the place, don't forget to see them, especially the Image House (the building which the statue of Lord Buddha placed).

4. Sri Maha Boodhi Temple

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka +94 77 783 5266
Excellent
50%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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4.5 based on 413 reviews

Sri Maha Boodhi Temple

Reviewed By AnilAggarwal - Kurukshetra, India

Temple is one of most important place in Anuradhapura heritage city. Branch of sacred fig tree branch was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa here in 288 BC which was brought by Sangamitta Theri daughter of King Ashoka from Sri Maha Boddhi Tree ( Bodh Gaya India) under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Later several kings contributed in its safety by railings & walls.
There is annual custom to pay homage & offerings for life betterment.
This place is having aura of divine energy.
You have to be properly dressed & remove shoes.
Must place to visit

5. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka +94 77 077 6952
Excellent
47%
Good
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4 based on 544 reviews

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

This city is known as the home of an offspring of the Bo tree where the Buddha found enlightenment.

Reviewed By AeroSwissTW - Taichung, Taiwan

To see the tree grown from a sapling of the original Bodhi tree in Lumpini, Nepal, where the Buddha achieved enlightenment and that was brought here by King Asoka's daughter and planted in 288 BC, is truly overwhelming and yet soothing and totally mesmerizing, indeed. It's the oldest tree of its kind in the world, and it's been attended to by appointed care-givers since that time.

6. Abhayagiri Dagoba

Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
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4.5 based on 150 reviews

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Reviewed By Cat M - London, United Kingdom

This ancient monument is surprising as architecture and the fact that it lasts. If you are religious probably it will have a different meaning to you.
The stupas are nice and quiet to walk around but in Anuradhapura they all seem very similar. The ancient city does not offer much else to be honest, so the 25USD for the entry seems a bit much.

7. Isurumuniya Temple

At Royal Pleasure Gardens, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka +94-777-835-266
Excellent
38%
Good
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4 based on 373 reviews

Isurumuniya Temple

Reviewed By caddyandbellA - Perth western Australia

It was nice to visit this temple when there were few people there.It is a small temple in comparison to others and that’s a nice change.Lovely water feature next to the temple and nice views over the man made lake at the back and into town.Its ok as part of the Ancient City tour but is paid for separately at 200rp per person so very cheap.

8. Dagoba of Thuparama

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka +94 72 801 6428
Excellent
39%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
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4 based on 161 reviews

Dagoba of Thuparama

This ancient site is believed to house the collarbone of the Buddha.

Reviewed By mrdom

The oldest although it doesn't look old or simple, with a courtyard, shrines around the base, and the interesting stone pillars all over the place. Probably the most interesting dagoba here but not full of people. Don't miss the simple brick shrine outside covering buddha's footprint.

9. Wilpattu National Park

Putlam - Anuradhapura Road, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
53%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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4 based on 154 reviews

Wilpattu National Park

Reviewed By Dinali A - Gampaha, Sri Lanka

“Wilpattu national park”, is an hour drive away from the city of Anuradhpura. Named after the hundreds of “willus” (lakes), In Wilpattu: the largest national park in Sri Lanka, a range of wildlife can be eye witnessed. Popular among them are the families of leopards and the Wild Bear who cross road near your safari jeep trucks. Apart from that, herds of deer, dancing peacocks, several bird species who are inherent to Sri Lanka. If you prefer a day ride in Wilapptu, visit “Kudirmalai” in the national park, a scenic beach overlooking the Gulf of Mannar.

10. Samadhi Statue

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Excellent
35%
Good
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Satisfactory
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Poor
2%
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Overall Ratings

4 based on 183 reviews

Samadhi Statue

Reviewed By mrdom

It just looks old but it's one of the oldest around and a model for the classic pose. Very popular with Sri Lankans.

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