Day trip to Anuradhapura – The Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura is an ancient town in Central Lanka. It is a part of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya & Polonoruwa being the other two edges of the triangle. We did a day trip

Anuradhapura is an ancient town in Central Lanka. It is a part of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya & Polonoruwa being the other two edges of the triangle.
We did a day trip from Dambulla. We took a bus from Dambulla clock tower to Anuradhapura. The two towns are 65kms apart. It took us 1.5Hrs to reach Anuradhapura, at around 10.30AM. It was a very hot day, and we hired an auto-rickshaw (Tuk-tuk). He agreed for 1000LKR for showing us 8 spots in Anuradhapura.
Around 10Kms from Anuradhapura is Mihintale, which is also a place worth visiting, but due to paucity of time, we skipped it.

Listing the must visit places, in the order we visited them:
1. Isurumuniya Temple: This was the temple where the ruling king had built a home for few high-caste children, who were ordained by him. There is a wish pond in the lake, and a lovely temple. Entry fees is charged for foreign tourists here.

Isurumuniya temple

2. Ruwanweliseya Dagoba: This is a huge hemi-spherical Stupa with a huge Buddha statue in the centre. Locals were seen praying and offering fruits and flowers to Buddha.

The Magnificent Hemispherical Dagoba

3. Jethawanaramaya Stupa: Yet another beautiful and magnificent Stupa, with the Sleeping Buddha statue housed inside it.

The Magnificent Jethawanaramaya

4. Abhayagiri Vihara: This was known to be of huge historical importance when the Royal Capital operated from this place. The restored version of this monument is below. It is believed that the dome is made of 92Million bricks!!

5. Thuparamaya Dagoba: This is another small Buddhist temple, with the locals offering fruits and flowers to the deity, Lord Buddha

7. Samadhi Statue: Samadhi is debated whether this is to be co-related with death or with the meditation posture. Here, the Buddha statue is seen in a meditating position.

Buddha in a Meditating Posture

8. Kuttam Pokuna: It translates to Twin Ponds in the local language. There are two water bodies adjacent, known for community baths, known for the hydraulic and architectural superiority.

Twin Lakes

9. Sandakada Pahana /Moonstone: The Moonstone is a unique piece of Sinhalese architecture which is a carved semi-circular slab of stone usually placed at the end of stair-cases, at the entrances of homes etc.

The Sri-Lankan Moon stone

We finished our day tour at around 4.30PM. Our tuk-tuk dropped us in the Anuradhapura bus stand, from where we took a bus back to Dambulla.

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