Holidays in Anuradhapura
ANURADHAPURA “World Heritage Site”- the capital of Sri Lanka from the 05th Century B.C. to the end of the 10th Century A.D. was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas constructed of bricks and are hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagobas are the Ruvanveliseya dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. and is 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and the Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.
Lovamahapaya (Brazen Palace)
The first Lovamahapaya was constructed by King Devanampiyatissa at the site consecrated by Arahat Mahinda. A great new building was erected by King Dutugemunu (161 – 137 B.C.), which was 150 feet in height and 150 feet square, in 9 floors, with 1,000 rooms for the use of the Bhikkhus. This building caught fire and King Saddhatissa (137-119 B.C.), the brother of King Dutugemunu, re-constructed it with 7 floors.
King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) did major repairs to the building and added 2 ponds for the supply of water. What you see today, 40 rows of 40 pillars in each raw (1600) are the remains of Parakramabahu’s work.
Ruvanweliseya (Maha Thupa)
King Dutugemunu built the Maha Thupa and before he could complete he fell ill and knew that he would not be able to complete it. He asked his brother Saddahatissa to complete before his death and in order to satisfy the King, he covered the entire Dagoba with white cloth and informed the King that he had completed the dagoba. King Dutugemunu went and saw the dagoba (covered with white cloths) completed by his brother and is said to have died there. It is in the Bubble shape.
Today, after 1940 repairs the Dagoba is 350 feet in height and 300 feet in diameter.
The first historical dagoba, constructed by King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd C.B.C., enshrining the Collar Bone Relic of the Buddha. The Thupaghara (vata-da-ge) was built by King Vasabha (67-111 A.D.).
In 840A.D. the Pandyans plundered all the valuables of the Thupa. King Sena II (853-887 A.D.) restored the Dagoba. Cholas plundered the entire vihara in the 10th Century and Parakramabahu I restored it. Originally this dagoba was in the ‘Paddy Heap’ shape and now it is in “Bell shape”.