Anuradhapura: Sri Lanka’s Ancient City of Kings

Anuradhapura is a breathtaking city in Sri Lanka, steeped in history and culture. It was once the capital of the Sri Lankan kingdom and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anuradhapura is full of fascinating monuments, temples, and ruins that are sure to captivate any traveler. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular attractions in this ancient city.


About Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been established in the 4th century BC. It is an important center of Buddhism, and many ancient monuments and temples are dedicated to the religion. Anuradhapura has been an important center of Sri Lankan culture and history for centuries, and its ruins remain an important archaeological site today.


Must-See Attractions

There are many incredible attractions to explore in Anuradhapura, from ancient ruins to intricately carved temples. Here are some of the must-see sights in the city:

  • Ruwanwelisaya: This ancient stupa was built by King Dutugamunu in the 2nd century BC and is one of the most important monuments in Anuradhapura. It is said to contain relics of the Buddha and is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
  • Abhayagiri Monastery: The Abhayagiri Monastery was once one of the largest and most important Buddhist monasteries in the world. It is home to many ruins, including a large stupa, and is a great place to explore Sri Lankan history.
  • Jetavanaramaya: This massive stupa is the largest brick building in the world. It was built in the 3rd century AD and is still an impressive sight to behold.
  • Thuparamaya: This ancient stupa is believed to be one of the oldest Buddhist monuments in the world. It is said to contain a relic of the Buddha, making it an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
  • Lovamahapaya: The Lovamahapaya is an ancient temple complex that was once used as a monastery. It is now a ruin, but it is still an impressive sight to behold.


Where to Eat

Anuradhapura is full of delicious restaurants and cafes. Here are some of the best places to eat in the city:

  • Tandoori Hut: This popular restaurant serves up delicious North Indian cuisine. From tandoori chicken to naan bread, this restaurant is sure to satisfy your craving for Indian food.
  • Kottu House: This restaurant specializes in Sri Lankan kottu, a dish of chopped roti, vegetables, and spices. Kottu House has a great selection of vegetarian and meat dishes.
  • Munchee Café: This charming café serves up delicious sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. It is a great spot for a casual lunch or a quick snack.


Where to Stay

Anuradhapura has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses. Here are some of the best places to stay in the city:

  • The Kingsbury Anuradhapura: This luxury hotel is located close to many of the city’s attractions. It offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant.
  • Anuradhapura Rest House: The Anuradhapura Rest House is a budget-friendly option for those seeking comfortable accommodation. Located in the heart of the city, this guesthouse offers clean rooms and basic amenities, making it a convenient choice for travelers on a budget.
  • Hotel Alakamanda: Situated amidst lush greenery, Hotel Alakamanda provides a tranquil retreat for guests seeking relaxation. With spacious rooms, a restaurant serving authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, and a serene ambiance, it offers a peaceful stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city.



Anuradhapura stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage and ancient history. From its awe-inspiring monuments and temples to its delectable cuisine and comfortable accommodations, the city offers a captivating experience for travelers seeking to explore its treasures. Whether marveling at the grandeur of Ruwanwelisaya or savoring the flavors of Sri Lankan kottu, a visit to Anuradhapura promises an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

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