Anuradhapura | Sri Lanka | Travellers Guide

Being the first point of the Cultural Triangle the history of {en:Anuradhapura} is as long as the chronological history of Sri Lanka. It was the very first capital of Sri Lanka and rose to prominence in the early stages of development of the island. In retrospect this city of ruins is a living symbol of what used to be the rich Sinhalese culture and architectural magnificence. The city is scattered with man made reservoirs and tanks such as the Kala Weva. Great battles have been fought here and many renowned kings have lived and died. Today the frequently visited places in Anuradhapura are the Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi, The Jetavaramaya, Isurumuniya, The Brazen palace and of course {en:Mihintale} where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka.

Anuradhapura Kingdom was built by King Pandukabhya, son of Princess Unmada chithtra. The city was the first of it’s kind with well designed sanitary system, Gardens, Irrigation and Water supply systems, Temples, cemeteries and burial grounds, etc. The city was then became the capital city of Sri Lanka and flourished under many subsequent Kings ruled for centuries. Anuradhapura Kingdom was highly vulnerable to invasions from South India and suffered usurp of throne several times, by invading Kings from south India. Singhalese Kings have managed to defeat the invaders after reorganizing the troops, although the invading kings ruled in the mean time. One such historic battle held Between King Dutugamunu and South Indian King, Elara. In that, King Elara was defeated and King Dutugamunu ruled the country in single sovereignty.

The Anuradhapura Kingdom was under constant threat from south Indian kingdoms. The King Mahinda V ascended to throne in 982 A.C, and was the last Sinhalese king to rule the country from Glorious city. At this time the South Indian realm Chola, became very powerful under the Great Rajaraja (985- 1018 A.C) and conquered Sri Lanka. The King Mahinda was captured and imprisoned in South India.

The South Indians ruled the country for next 75 years. They shifted the Capital city to Polonnaruwa due to strategic reasons after considering the vulnerably for attacks from both native Sinhalese people and other south Indian Kingdoms.

There are many worlds’ firsts in Sri Lanka, one of them being the first recorded instance of a wildlife sanctuary being created in the Mihintale vicinity. The Sri Maha Bodhi – believed to have been grown from a sapling of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment is the tree with the oldest historical record, over 2000 years.

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  1. […] It serves as a reminder of the force that inspired the creation of all the great buildings at Anuradhapura. The tree has been tended to by a succession of guardians for 2000 years. Though there are many […]