Anuradhapura the spiritual jewel
Anuradhapura, surrounded by a lush forest, is an architectural and spiritual jewel. It is one of the most sacred places of Buddhism in the world. This wonderful place welcomes you in perfect harmony of mysticism, history and legend. Unlike other archaeological sites, Anuradhapura is an active religious center and its spirituality and vitality give you a peaceful and relaxing feeling during your visit.
Evidence of its millennial history as capital of the Sinhala kingdom, are the astonishing ruins, some perfectly preserved, others well restored. The city, as well as having magnificent temples and palaces, also had large parks and a complex technologically advanced irrigation system just partially visible today. Anuradhapura is synonymous with great architecture, with grandiose palaces, striking monasteries and impressive dagoba (red brick bells that have a funerary function). Thanks to its extraordinary beauty Anuradhapura has become one of the focal points of the country’s cultural triangle and it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.
There are many stories about this magical and mystical place, but the most striking is the Bodhi Tree (the tree of enlightenment). The Bodhi Tree was destroyed 250 years after the end of Gautama Buddha’s life (in sanskrit Mahaparinibbana), but a branch of the same tree was saved and planted here in Anuradhapura. So it was from this branch, child of the original tree, that the sacred Bodhi Tree of Bodhi Gaya was reborn. Over time even the transplanted tree suffered damages, but each time a branch of it was saved and re-planted. The tree that is venerated today is not actually the same tree of 2500 years ago, but in its trunk flows the sap of its original ancestor, contemporary of Buddha. Sitting under its branches one senses life, the civilizations and the succession of religions and history, flowing,