Anuradhapura is a notable and highly explored ancient city in Sri Lanka, which is known for its ruins which represent the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka. This destination is visited in large numbers by the people of the Buddhist religion and is the major pilgrimage destination of the nation. Anuradhapura used to be the capital of this Island in the early period and almost all major rulers of Sri Lanka resided here during their ruling period.
This ancient city is one of the sacred world heritage sites because of some breathtaking attractions. The hotels and tourism industry are well developed in this city and attention has been is given towards guest comfort and hospitality. While most sightseeing in Anuradhapura concerns archeological sites and exquisite stonemasonry, you can also combine the history trip with an exploration of the new town’s shops and major department stores. This ancient city is home to not only temples but also pools and budget accommodation places Your trip to Anuradhapura for 2 days might turn into 4 or even 5 when you get along with their relaxed paced lifestyle.
How to get to Anuradhapura
If you have just flown into Sri Lanka, then the best ways to reach Anuradhapura from Colombo are as follows:
By Bus: Many busses are running from Colombo to Anuradhapura in a day. Buses are very cheap in Sri Lanka and they shouldn’t cost more than 500 LKR.
By Train: The train from Colombo to Anuradhapura is the most budget-friendly and quickest way to get to Anuradhapura. It costs roughly 270 LKR and takes around 3 and a half hours.
By Taxi: You can get a Taxi to Anuradhapura if you are leaving from Colombo or Katunayaka Airport. It takes around 4 hours and it costs around 7,000-9,000 LKR, which is between 4 people.
When is the best time to visit Anuradhapura?
The best time to visit Anuradhapura is year-round. However, April and September are the best months as the weather is dry and sunny and you would be able to explore the destination comfortably.
Although the weather in Anuradhapura remains the same throughout the year, the best time to visit Anuradhapura has been recorded to be April and September. During these months, the city receives less rainfall and it is a dry season which makes it perfect for sightseeing. So, if you want to explore this place without any hassle then you know when to plan your trip.
I visited in September and the weather was warm, but there was no rain or cloud which was nice.
If you are visiting in the peak seasons of the year then you need to make sure that your accommodation gets booked well in advance. The rush of tourists remains so high during such periods that getting good hotels and resorts at the best price becomes tough especially in the case when you plan to book after arrival.
Final Thoughts on visiting Anuradhapura
Exploring the sacred city of Anuradhapura is much like going to visit Mayan ruins and Roman ruins. Each site at Anuradhapura will tell a story. It is evident how important religion was to this ancient society, and how pivotal the kingdom was in spreading Buddhism throughout Sri Lanka.
It is important to know that there are significant distances between some of the attractions, and so transportation will be needed to make the most of each day. Tuk-Tuks are always available to take you around to each of the sites, but a personal tour guide is more helpful. Comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and airy clothing are a must for touring Anuradhapura. Most stupa sites require all guests to remove their shoes, this is where socks come in handy and dress appropriately as a form of respect. All the sites I visited feature free admission, but donation boxes are set up to help cover maintenance costs.
Monkeys, birds, and lizards are just some of the local critters you will encounter at each of the sites. Remember that the monkeys are wild, and although they seem tame, I advise that you never touch or try to feed them. They can pass on quite a few nasty things to people that surely you do not want to take back home with you. Plus, they are notorious for stealing things.
I sincerely hope you will enjoy and appreciate your time spent in Anuradhapura among the ruins before heading off on your next Sri Lankan adventure.
I had a wonderful time in this ancient city and I know you will too.