Anuradhapura

Welcome to the world heritage site of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura.

A city that once stood so tall and mighty, it was depicted in unrealistic proportions on the map of Ptolemy as one of the greatest capital cities of the world. When you walk among these barren, overgrown ruins; know that centuries ago, many curious travelers, much like yourself, once walked these palaces and temples when they were buzzing market streets and exquisitely coloured hallways.

Let us start our journey at the Basawakkulama reservoir, overlooking the great stupas of an ancient world that touched the skies.

The tale of the kingdom begins in 543 BC. over 2500 years ago. A wayward prince from the city of Singhapura India infamously known as Vijaya is banished by his father King Singhabahu. The prince would reach the sunny shores of Lanka; as fate would have it: on the day of Lord Buddha’s passing. This prince; Vijaya, takes control of the island and its natives, becoming the first of a long unbroken lineage of kings to come. He sends forth his entourage to create villages and cities in his name. Vijaya’s right-hand man Anuradha travels to where you are right now, and decides to create the settlement of Anuradha Gaama, which will eventually become the great kingdom of Anuradhapura.

Let us look at the Basawakkulama tank once more. The first of a long line of reservoirs throughout the country that would leave modern irrigation engineers bewildered, and remains second to no other civilization in the world. 344 years after Vijaya, King Gamini Abhaya of the same bloodline would unify all of Lanka under the lion banner of Anuradhapura.

  • Basawakkulama tank