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Showcasing Over 2000 Years Of Sri Lanka

By Natalie Horsley

Posted: 22nd April 2015 11:33

The sacred city of Anuradhapura was formed around a cutting from the Buddhist “tree of enlightenment”, brought to the land in the 3rd Century B.C. But after being swallowed by an encroaching jungle the city was lost to the wilderness where it continued to flourish for over 1,000 years. The tree cutting that this wonderful city originated from has now grown into a fully-fledged Bodhi tree, standing as the oldest surviving historic tree in the world in addition to a huge tourist attraction and an important religious landmark.

During the 4th Century B.C., Anuradhapura become not only the capital of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, it also became the sacred city of Buddhism leading to many Dagoba’s being created and remaining intact until this day. 

Dagoba’s are common in the sacred city with each one bearing its own distinctive features. They often soar to towering heights and even one of the smallest religious buildings, The Thuparama Dagoba, is still an impressive 20 metres in height and 60 metres in diameter. An impressive shrine with a great religious, cultural and historical significance is the Mirisawati Dagoba; the first one to be built by King Dutugamunu, dubbed “The Hero of the Nation”, in the 2nd Century B.C.  However the most impressive structures arrived under King Dushta Gamini; his creations include the impressive Mirisavatayi Dagoba and the extraordinary Lovamahapaya, more commonly known as Brazen Palace due to the bronze roof tiles.  He also ordered the construction of the Ruwanweli Dagoba; however, he passed away before completion.

The historical importance of Anuradhapura is impossible to measure as it shows a piece of history that is difficult to recreate and a piece of natural beauty that demonstrates the uninfluenced existence of a city dating over 2,000 years.

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