Anuradhapura was the first capital of the Singhalese kingdom until 1100 AD. This popular tourist spot has much to offer for those who love to learn more about Sri Lankan antiquity. But because it is the second holies place in Sri Lanka it also offers a present day insight in Sri Lankan religious culture and traditions. Bodhi Tree Temple 

The Sri Maha Bodhiya, or sacred Bodhi Tree, is the second most sacred place in Sri Lanka, after the Sri Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy. This Bodhi Tree is allegedly a cutting from the original Bodhi tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment, and has been continuously guarded for over 2000 years, making it the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. 


Ruwanwelisaya is the oldest and most voluminous stupa at Anuradhapura, has been fully restored, painted white, and is currently a centre of worship. The enormous stupa stands on a huge platform carved with elephants that is of a later date. King Dutugemunu is said to have started the construction of this stupa but he fell ill before it was finished. Since it was his dying wish to see the stupa when it was completed it is said that his son builds a wooden frame on the place where the stupa was being built. After that, the son covered the frame in white cloth to show his father what the stupa would look like in future.


You can find the Lovamahapaya is located between the Bodhi Tree Temple and Ruwanwelisaya. The 1600 stone pillars that we see today are that is left of this enormous building. Also called the Brazen Palace, this nine-storey monastery was once home to a thousand monks, whose duties included tending the sacred Bo tree, which grew right next to the building. The highest monks lived in the apartments located on the highest floors of the monastery so they would be least distracted by the sounds and sights of the outside world. The roof of the monastery was covered with bronze tiles, hence the name Brazen Palace.