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historic sights, important place of Buddhist pilgrimage
In a nutshell
An ancient cultural triangle that displays centuries of rich culture throughout the island
anilpradhanshillong Says: The same act of abdication of the throne of Britain by the King-Emperor Edward VIII to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, in December 1936, was done by King Dutugemunu's son, Saliya for his beloved, low-caste maiden, Asokamala, many centuries ago...
anilpradhanshillong Says: The famous Bo-Tree is on an elevated pavilion with a strong iron grill right round it. As you approach the peepul tree, you will notice its right branch supported by long brass poles at different levels. This is the tree that the Buddhist nun, Sanghamitta, the daughter of...
anilpradhanshillong Says: Our next stop was 16 kms away at Mihintale. This is the place where Emperor Ashoka’s son, Mahinda first preached Buddhism to King Devanampiyatissa (307 BC-267 BC) in 247 BC. A pilgrimage is held here on the full moon day in June every year to commemorate this event. A very...
anilpradhanshillong Says: To round off the day, we then went to the Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove of artefacts. Established centuries ago in 437 BC, it remains closed on Tuesdays and on all Sri Lankan holidays. The timings are 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. It houses terracotta objects, paintings,...
anilpradhanshillong Says: Our last stop for the day was the Jetavena Stupa and Monastery built by King Mahasena (276-303 AC) in the Nandana Pleasure Garden where the son of Emperor Asoka of India, Mahinda, preached Buddhism. Subsequently, the place was named ‘Jotivana’ meaning, ‘the place where the...
anilpradhanshillong Says: Next to this ruin, on the other side of the road is the Ratnaprasada or the Chapter House, earlier a five storied structure built during the reign of King Kanitthatissa (164-192 AD). Like the Lovamahapaya (The Great Copper Roofed Mansion) or the Brazen Palace used by the...
anilpradhanshillong Says: The Queen’s Pavilion by the side of the road and within the Abhayagiriya complex, has the finest example of a moonstone, its shape resembling a half-moon with intricate carvings. It is supposed to symbolise the endless cycle or birth-death-rebirth (outer circle) as well as a...
anilpradhanshillong Says: The Kuttam Pokuna or Twin Ponds are a marvel of ancient engineering skill, built during the reign of King Agbo I (576-608 AD). They served the bathing purpose of the monks of Abhaygiri Monastery. The two ponds are not exactly of the same dimension. The southern one is 132...
anilpradhanshillong Says: The Buddha Samadhi is also not very far off. A row of shanty shops, selling flowers, garlands and incense sticks, line the way to the 2 m (6.5 ft.) Buddha statue, carved during the 4th century. The hollow eyes suggest an inlay of some precious stones which may well have been...
anilpradhanshillong Says: A short distance away is the Ruwanveli Seya or Ruwanveli Dagoba. It is a huge white dome, built in the shape of a bubble of water by King Dutugamunu (101-77 BC). Legend has it that the construction of this monument was prophesied by Emperor Ashoka’s son, Mahinda, the man who...
anilpradhanshillong Says: After you remove your shoes and walk towards the Bo-Tree, the Lovamahapaya (The Great Copper Roofed Mansion) or the Brazen Palace will be to your left. Though in ruins, you will notice its regal appearance and all that goes with royalty. Now, only 1,600 stone pillars in 40...
Next to the Twin Ponds is a quaint shop (Jayamini Lace Centre) selling intricately-crafted lace items. The lady stocks table mats, bed sheets, shopping bags, souvenirs made of wood and of bamboo. Next door is a cold drink stall.
What to buy: Lace table clothes, covers, local curios, paintings, cushion covers, bags, dolls, table mats, foodstuffs.
Updated Jan 28, 2012
The first day i used a guide to visit the complex, i had some good conversations with him; he was studiying tourism and was a Buddhist monk, he gave me some interesting opinions about Buddhism and Sri Lanka, he also showed me the main interesting spots in the site. The next day i wandered throught the ruins by myself with a bicycle.
Updated Dec 21, 2010
When you buy your ticket to the tourist spots of Anuradhapura at the counter situated within the premises of the Archaeological Museum, you may request for a half day ticket for one day and another half day ticket for the next day (You have to produce your passport before the tickets are issued for a concession if you are from one of the SAARC nations). Else, they will issue you a full day ticket for one day only. While this may be sufficient if you are there for only a day, this rush-rush sight-seeing will surely rob you of the nuances of each of the tourist spots that the place has to offer.
We paid LKR 1,439.50 (US$ 12.50) per ticket for the two days (Dec. 2011).
Unique Suggestions: Abhayagiriya section
Queen’s Palace and Moonstone
Ratnaprasada (Chapter House)
First Samadhi Buddha Image and Bodhighara
Lovamahapasda (Brazen Palace)
Sri Maha Bodhi Tree and Shrine
Updated Jan 28, 2012