Arunadhapura - Ruins of Sri Lanka's First Capital

Trip Start Nov 29, 2013
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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The interior north central region of Sri Lanka is known as “The
Cultural Triangle” because it contains most of the major historical sites, including
the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the Buddhist cave art at
Dambulla, and mountaintop fortresses and temples at Sigiriya and Mihintale,
making up one of Asia’s biggest concentrations of archaeological sites.Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s capital for about a thousand
years from 380 B.C. onwards, and became an important religious center as well
when Sri Lanka adopted Buddhism. It is a huge sprawling complex of archaeological
and architectural wonders included enormous dagobas, brick towers, ancient
pools, and crumbling temples. Our bus took us to numerous sites spread through
a large area. I didn’t write down the name or significance of each dagoba and
temple, so I can’t get very specific on the significance of each ruin of which
I am posting a picture.In the afternoon we drove to the nearby town of Mihintale to
see its mountaintop temple and dagoba. The place’s holy significance is that it
was the spot where in 247 B.C. while he was stag hunting Sri Lanka’s king
converted to Buddhism and began to process of making Sri Lanka into a Buddhist
nation. It was quite a climb to the top of the hill and painful in the
afternoon. Sri Lanka may be beautiful, but it’s an absolute sweatbox. On the
way up our guide Tikiri explained the importance of the ruins - a large
hospital, a monks’ refectory and relic house, assembly hall, temples and
dagoba.I’m not usually big on having a pool at the hotel when I
travel, but in Sri Lanka most hotels we stayed at had pools. They were very
useful in the heat, especially upon return from Anuradhapura and Mihintale.

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