Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura is the first Sri Lankan kingdom and it lasted the longest duration for a Sri Lankan capital. It was established in the Era of King Parakramabhahu in 377BC and was the realm for thousand years and some more (until 1017AD). Longer it was held strong, larger it had gotten and a large amount of memories of those magical olden eras are still there in the Anuradhapura city. Currently it is the capital of North Central Province and a major tourist attraction zone with its strong heritage. Lying some 205km north to current Sri Lankan capital Colombo this city with well preserved ancient ruins is named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This area also played a crucial role in, Sri Lankan as well as Asian Buddhist history. Still a massive area of around 40 square kilometers is covered with monastery complexes. Few special places among many of the famous are Sri Maha Bhodhiya, Ruwanweli Maha Stupa, Thuparamaya, Jethavana Stupa, Isurumuniya, Abhayagiri Stupa and Kuttam Pokuna. Sri Maha Bhodhiya is the Bho Tree which is one of the world’s oldest recorded trees if not the oldest. It is the right branch of Asathu Bho Tree that provided shade to the Lord Buddha when he enlightened. Therefore it is considered the most sacred of all trees to Buddhists. The large tree is protected with several gold plated fences and branches are supported. Ruwanweli Maha Stupa (Ruwanweliseya) is one of the most famous stupa in Sri Lanka.
It is both considered a marvel in architecture as well as a jewel Sri Lankan Buddhist stupa history. This stupa is said to be built enshrining precious Relics of Lord Buddha. It is 338ft tall and is a sight to watch. Kuttam Pokuna or Paired Ponds (Also Twin Ponds) are a masterpiece that unites Sri Lankan water engineering technology and architectural brilliance in a single place. Even though it is called twin, the ponds are not similar in size. The larger pond is about 132ft by 52 and smaller one is about 91ft by 51ft. The surrounding landscape is also beautiful and this place is a must visit in any tourist’s book to Anuradhapura.