Declared a world heritage city by UNESCO, the sacred city of Anuradapura is considered Sri Lanka’s first known kingdom and the Island’s capital for many centuries. Now in picturesque yet fascinating ruins – huge bell-shaped stupas built of small sun-dried bricks, temples, sculptures, palaces, age-old drinking-water reservoirs, wild life, art and architecture – this ancient sacred city is a draw for Buddhist pilgrims and visitors. Glorious monuments of its heyday survive to tell a story past…amid the stillness of cold stony silence, the austere umbrage of trees, and the tranquility of the sheltering sky. See the world’s oldest Bo tree – Sri Maha Bodi – under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, the tallest Dagabas and remains depicting Buddhism.


  • Huge Bell-Shaped Stupas
  • World’s Oldest Tree Sri Maha Bodi
  • Art and Architecture

 Places to stay

Anuradhapura, Palm Garden Village

Hotel Style: Resort

Set on the edge of an ancient irrigation system, this beautifully created space is set in the midst of one of Sri-Lankaメs oldest cities, Anuradhapura.  See Hotel

Anuradhapura, Ulagalla Resort

Hotel Style: Resort

3.5hrs from Katunayake International Airport, this meticulously restored former chieftain mansion ('walawwa'), was opened in 2010 and is a luxurious retreat amidst 58-acres of lush woodlands, paddy fields and the Ulagalla reservoir in Anuradhapura.  See Hotel

Forest Rock Garden

Hotel Style: Resort

Forest Rock Garden Hotel is the first Sri Lankan hotel constructed entirely atop stone boulders and cement pillars, depicting the country's rich cultural heritage and proximity to nature.  See Hotel

 Things to do

2-3h-Village Tour, Harbarana from Anuradhapura

Experience rural Sri Lankan life during your visit to Habarana, lasting around three hours. Explore the local forest and bush by bullock cart and on foot, followed by a scenic canoe ride on a picturesque lake where you can see farmers working in the fields. After, have authentic lunch at a charming village house for an authentic experience. Your English speaking guide will also point out birds and local flora.

1h-Dambulla Rock Cave Temple from Anuradhapura

The Dambulla rock caves are the largest, best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, dating back to the 1st century B.C., converted into residential quarters for monks, thus becoming a Buddhist temple. Be amazed by 5 caves (converted into shrine rooms) under a vast overhanging rock, containing images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. One of the most important centres of Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day visit to Sigiriya from Anuradhapura

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Sigiriya dates back over 5,000yrs to the Mesolithic period. Sigiriya (Lions Rock), lies on the steep slopes and summit of a granite peak standing 180m high (‘Lion’s Rock’- dominating the jungle on all sides). In the 5th century AD, King Kassapa I left Anuradhapura for Sigiriya to build a palace and city modelled on the mythical abode of ‘Kuvera’- God of Wealth. Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress..identified uniquely by its shape, recognizable from great distances. See the Sigiriya Rock Paintings or Frescoes of Sigiri Damsels, locally called ‘Sigiri Apsaras’, painted on the western rock face cavity, 100m above the rock base. See the Mirror Wall here, covered in graffiti from the 7th-10th centuries.

Day visit to Sigiriya from Anuradhapura

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