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Sacred City – 8D Sri Lanka Guides
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Day Tour to the Sacred City of Anuradhapura

The day tour to Anuradhapura the sacred city , is a World Heritage Site, famous for its well-preserved ruins and surrounding monastries. Anuradhapura was one of the ancient capitals and the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. Anuradhapura was a Kingdom in the ancient kings era in Sri Lanka. There are many ancient ruins like Ruwanweliseya Stupa, Samadi Statue, Abayagiri Stupa, the oldest human planted tree in the world and the the branch of the bodhi tree where Buddha sat under and got enlightened, The “Sri Maha Bodhi Tree”. The irrigation system in Anuradhapura is also very advance during the ancient Sri Lanka.

Ruwanwelisaya

(most number of Buddha’s relics and greatest stupa in Sri lanka) The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa that is considered a marvel for its architectural qualities. It is sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu c. 140 B.C., who became lord of Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated. This is one of the Solosmasthana (the 16 places of veneration) and the Atamasthana (the 8 places of veneration in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura). The stupa is one of the world’s tallest monuments, standing at 103 m (338 ft) and with a circumference of 290 m (951 ft). The stupa was an ancient ruin in the 19th century. After fundraising efforts by Sinhalese bhikkhu, the stupa was renovated in the early 20th century. The the final crowning of the stupa took place in 1940. The largest Stupa after Ruwanwelisaya built was the Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya. This stupa took 33 years and 3 months to complete.

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

(the branch of the bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment was taken from bodh gaya and planted here) Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the right-wing branch (southern branch) from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world. The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc. In April 2014, the government banned all construction within 500 meters of the tree. Only construction that obviously will not harm the tree will be allowed.

Abhayagiri Vihara

(rice bowl used by Buddha enshrined in stupa) Abhayagiri Vihara was a major monastery site of Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism that was situated in Anuradhapura. Historically it was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colours. To the north of the city, encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds, carved balustrades and moonstones, stood “Abhayagiri”, one of seventeen such religious units in Anuradhapura and the largest of its five major viharas. One of the focal points of the complex is an ancient stupa, the Abhayagiri Dagaba. Surrounding the humped dagaba, Abhayagiri Vihara was a seat of the Northern Monastery, or Uttara Vihara and the original custodian of the Tooth relic in the island.

Thuparamaya

(collarbone of Buddha enshrined in stupa) Thuparamaya is a dagoba in Anuradhapura. It is a sacred place of veneration for the Buddhist. Mahinda Thera, an envoy sent by King Ashoka who introduced Theravada Buddhism. At his request King Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha. It is considered to be the first dagoba built in Sri Lanka following the introduction of Buddhism. This is considered the earliest monument, the construction of which was chronicled Sri Lanka. The name Thuparamaya come from the words “stupa” and “aramaya” which is a residential complex for monks. Thuparamaya dagoba has been built in the shape of a bell. Over the centuries, after several renovations, the monument has a diameter of 59 ft (18 m), at the base. The dome is 11 ft 4 inches (3.45 m) in height from the ground, 164 1⁄2 ft (50.1 m) in diameter. The compound is paved with granite and there are 2 rows of stone pillars surrounding the dagoba.

Depending on time, you may wish to add other locations:

I would like to take some time to get to know your travelling style and preferences. If you like to move fast to cover as many places as possible or prefer to take it slow & easy and spend more time at certain locations.

Tour Plan & Details

Type
Private Day Tour
Mode of Transport
Car / Van
Duration
10 Hours
No. of Guest
1-6 pax (Car/Van)
Pickup Point
At your hotel in Kandy (Free of Charge)
Pickup Time
7.30 a.m
Stop 1
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Stop 2
Ruwanwelisaya
Stop 3
Abhayagiri Vihara
Stop 4
Thuparamaya and Drop-off at hotel