Anuradhapura’s widespread ancient sacred site has towering stupas and monastic complexes. These well-preserved vestiges belong to the Sinhalese capital city which was established around a cutting from the ‘tree of enlightenment’, the Buddha’s fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. Anuradhapura flourished for 1,300 years and was abandoned after an invasion in 993.
Among some of Anuradhapura’s main attractions are: Abhayagiri Dagoba, the world’s largest stupa; the 2,200-year-old the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, the oldest documented tree in the world, planted from a sapling taken from the original tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment; the Brazen Palace, a 2000 year old monks’ dwelling; the first temple to be built in the island; the Samadhi Buddha depicting the Buddha in a state of deep meditation; the Kuttam Pokuna, twin ponds used by the ancient monks for bathing; and Mihintale, a grand stairway of 1,840 steps that leads to a summit.
We will explore the widespread site which includes , the largest stupa on the island and the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree – which was planted from a sapling taken from the original tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.