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5 Things You Need To Know About Anuradhapura

 It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Anuradhapura is on the list of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which is hardly surprising. The city is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet. Archaeological finds date back to its origins, in the 10th century BC.

A proud former capital

Today, Anuradhapura is one of Sri Lanka's main cities in the north-central province. In the distant past, it was an even more important city on the island. Anuradhapura had the honour of being the capital of the kingdom of Rajarata. In fact, the city is thought to have served as the capital between the 4th century BC and the 11th century AD.

It houses an old fig tree

One of the main attractions of Anuradhapura is an ancient fig tree. He is known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. This tree is said to be linked to the legendary Fig tree of Buddha Gaya in India.

It is said that the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in the shadow of the original Sri Maha Bodhi tree of Buddha Gaya. Sri Lankans believe that an Anuradhapura's tree was cut from the original tree planted in 288 BC. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is well over 2,000 years old.

It has two ingeniously designed ponds

In the gardens of the Abhayagiri Monastery are the twin ponds, or Kuttam Pokuna, 1500 years old. The irrigation system set up for ponds is quite progressive. It is often touted as one of the most advanced examples of hydraulic engineering that existed at the time.

King Aggabodhi commissioned the construction of these swimming pools in the 6th century AD for the monks of the monastery. The two basins are approximately 130 feet and 90 feet long, and are shaped in stone.

It has an ancient moonstone

The Abhayagiri Monastery is also home to the Sandakada Pahana, an ancient stone of the moon carved from stone. What is a moonstone, you ask? It is a stone slab carved in the shape of a semicircle and bearing intricate sculptures. Moonstones are usually placed at the entrance to Buddhist temples. It dates back to the 1st century BC.

Take a close look at the lotus flower shown in the centre. Around her are many levels of animals that are carved on her face. Each of these creatures symbolizes a different worldly concept, such as birth, aging disease and death. The lotus, on the other hand, represents Nirvana. Thus, the moonstone would symbolize the overcoming of karma, temptations and the cycle of life and death. In Buddhism, this means the path of enlightenment.

Interested in the city and its many historical wonders? Set aside time in your itinerary to spend a few days there. Accommodation in Anuradhapura is easy to find and staying in the city does not have to be expensive. If you're trying to stick to a modest budget, check out these guesthouses in Anuradhapura. They provide all the necessities that are part of yoho's promise. Namely, WiFi, air conditioning, TV and breakfast.

During your stay, you can also visit other cities that are part of the cultural triangle.