Famous Places in Anuradhapura

Sri Mahabodhi

The Bodhi Tree, also known as Bo (from the
Sinhalese Bo), was a large and very old Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in Bodh Gaya (about 100 km/62 mi from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar), under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism later known as Gautama Buddha, achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi. In religious iconography, the Bodhi tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed.
term "Bodhi tree" is also widely applied to currently existing trees, particularly the Sacred Fig growing at the Mahabodhi Temple, which is allegedly a direct descendant of the original specimen. This tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four holy sites for Buddhists. Other holy Bodhi trees which have a great significance in the history of Buddhism are the Anandabodhi tree in Sravasti and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura. Both are believed to have been propagated from the original Bodhi tree.


The Ruwanwelisaya is a
stupa in Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu, who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, were defeated. It is also known as Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya and Rathnamali Dagaba.
The stupa is also one of the
Solosmasthana (the 16 places of veneration) and the Atamasthana (the 8 places of veneration in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura). The stupa is one of the world's tallest monuments, standing at 300 ft (92 m) and with a circumference of 950 ft (292 m).


Lovamahapaya is a building situated between Ruvanveliseya and Sri Mahabodiya in the ancient city of
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is also known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because the roof was covered with bronze tiles.In ancient times, the building included the refectory and the uposathagara (Uposatha house). There was also a simamalake where the Sangha assembled on Poya days to recite the formula of the confessional. The famous Lohaprasada built by King Dutugemunu, described as an edifice of nine stories, was a building of this class. One side of the building was 400 ft (120 m) in length. There are 40 rows, each row consisting of 40 stone pillars, for a total of 1600 pillars. It is believed that it took six years for the construction of the building and the plan was brought from the heavens. The building was completely destroyed during the reign of King Saddhatissa.


King Mahasen (273-301 AD) has the honour of being the creator of the largest stupa in
Sri Lanka. A part of a sash or belt tied by the Buddha is believed to be the relic that is enshrined here.
At a height of over 400 feet (120 m), it is one of the tallest
stupas in the world (the tallest being Phra Pathom Chedi, Thailand), largest brick building ever built, and 3rd largest structure in the ancient world, after the two largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Approximately 93,300,000 baked bricks were used to build the stupa (Ratnayake 1993). This stupa belongs to the Sagalika sect. The compound covers approximately 8 acres (5.6 hectares) and once housed over 3000 Buddhist monks. One side of the stupa is 576 feet (176 m) long, and the flights of stairs at each of the four sides of it are 28 feet (8.5 m) wide. The doorpost to the shrine, which is situated in the courtyard, is 27 feet (8.2 m) high. The stupa has a 6 m deep foundation, and sits on bedrock. Stone inscriptions in the courtyard give the names of people who donated to the building effort.

Abhayagiri Dagaba

The Abhayagiri Dagaba is situated in
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities. Historically it was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colors. To the north of the city, encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds, carved balustrades and moonstones, stood "Abhayagiri", one of seventeen such religious units in Anuradhapura and the largest of its five major viharas. Surrounding the humped dagaba, Abhayagiri Vihara was a seat of the Northern Monastery, or Uttara Vihara.
The term "Abhayagiri Vihara" means not only a complex of monastic buildings, but also a fraternity of Buddhist monks, or
Sangha, which maintains its own historical records, traditions and way of life. Founded in the second century B.C., it had grown into an international institution by the first century of this era, attracting scholars from all over the world and encompassing all shades of Buddhist philosophy. Its influence can be traced to other parts of the world, through branches established elsewhere. Thus, the Abhayagiri Vihara developed as a great institution vis‑a‑vis the Mahavihara and the jetavana Buddhist monastic sects in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura.

Mirisaveti Stupa

The Mirisaveti Stupa is situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara, built the Mirisaveti Stupa. After placing the Buddha relics in the sceptre, he had gone to Tisawewa for a bath leaving the sceptre. After the bath he returned to the place where the sceptre was placed, and it is said that it could not be moved. The stupa was built in the place where the sceptre stood. It is also said that he remembered that he partook a chilly curry without offering it to the sangha. In order to punish himself he built the Mirisavetiya Dagaba. The extent of this land is about 50 acres (20 ha). Although the king Kasyapa I and Kasyapa V renovated this, from time to time it was dilapidated. What stands today is the renovation done by the cultural Triangle Fund.


Thuparamaya is a dagaba in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
Thera Mahinda him self had introduce Theravada Buddhism and also chetiya worship to Sri Lanka. At his request King Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha and is considered as the first dagaba built in Sri Lanka, after the introduction of Buddhism. This is considered the earliest monument of chronicled Sri Lanka. The name Thuparamaya comes from "stupa" and "aramaya" which is a residential complex for monks.
This chetiya was built in the shape of a heap of paddy. This dagaba was destroyed from time to time. During the reign of
King Agbo II it was completely destroyed and the King restored it. What we have today is the construction of the dagaba, done in 1862 AD. As it is today, after several renovations, in the course of the centuries, the monument has a diameter of 59 ft (18 m), at the base. The dome is 11 feet 4 inches (3.45 m) in height from the ground, 164½ ft (50.1 m) in diameter. The compound is paved with granite and there are 2 rows of stone pillars round the dagaba. During the early period vatadage was built round the dagaba.


Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri lanka. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa (vatadage) to cover it. The round courtyard of the stupa seems to be 10 feet (3 m) above the ground. The diameter of the stupa is 45 feet (14 m). The courtyard is circular in shape and the diameter is 1332 feet (406 m).