Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north central part of the Island was the first capital (5th century BC – 9th century AD), the centre of the island’s Buddhist civilization and undoubtedly the grandest ancient city of Sri Lanka. The city was said to be a model of planning – there were hostels and hospitals and a water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs. By the middle of the third century BC the fame of the island’s first capital had spread to the distant lands of the Mediterranean.
Anuradhapura was to continue as the national capital for over 1300 years up to the 10th Century AD when repeated innovations by Indians and a struggle for royal succession resulted in the capital being withdrawn to Polonnaruwa. It still remains home to the sacred bo tree, the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world which was brought to Sri Lanka over 2000 years ago by the sister of Mahinda who introduced the Budda’s teachings to the country. Today the monuments of Anuradhapura’s heyday survive for you to visit surrounded by the solemn umbrage of trees and an ancient parkland – it is essential viewing!