Sacred City of Anuradhapura from Sigiriya
(SKU:LK60210100) Discover Anuradhapura and Mihintale on this 10-hour tour from Dambulla. Accompanied by a guide, explore cultural sites in Anuradhapura, including Sri Maha Bodhi and Thuparamaya. Visit Mihintale, a central mountain peak thought to be a symbol of Buddhism. Travel comfortably in a private vehicle. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
per adult from
Hotel pickup available
What's included :
- Transport by private air-conditioned vehicle.
- Service of an English speaking chauffeur guide.
- 2 x 500 ml of bottled water per person.
What's excluded :
- Entrance ticket (s) to visiting sites.
- Food and beverages.
- Expenses of personal nature.
- Entry/Admission - Ruwanwelisaya
- Entry/Admission - Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
- Entry/Admission - Abhayagiri Stupa (අභයගිරිය දාගැබ)
- Entry/Admission - Mirisawetiya Temple මිරිසවැටිය රජමහා විහාරය
- Entry/Admission - Isurumuniya Temple
- Entry/Admission - Mihintale
- This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Ruwanwelisaya, Abhayawewa Rd, Anuradhapura 50000 Sri Lanka
The construction of Ruwanweliseya was prophesied by the great Buddhist missionary Maha Thera Arhath Mahinda, who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka from India during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (250-210 BC).
Having heard of the prophesy of Maha Thera Mahinda to the effect that a great Stupa would be built by a great king at a certain location at Anuradhapura, King Devanampiya Tissa had an inscription pillar planted at the said location narrating the prophesy.
A little more than a century later, the inscription pillar was destined to be found by a fitting hero: King Dutugamunu (101-77 B.C.), who rescued the Sinhalese Buddhist nation from the Dravidian invader. “The Hero of the Nation” wasted no time and commenced the construction of Ruwanweliseya also named Maha Stupa or Ratnapali Stupa or Swarnamali Stupa.
Following the declaration of the king that no work at the great stupa should go unrewarded, a streak of luck dawned on the pious king: a rich vein of Silver was discovered at a village subsequently renamed Ridigama meaning Village of Silver in Sinhala. The construction of the stupa cost the king 6.4 million coins in wages alone.
Standing at a circumference of 370 feet and a height of 180 feet, Ruwanweliseya, the third largest stupa of Sri Lanka, is the focal point of the Maha Vihara, the first monastery of Sri Lanka. It is believed that a considerable amount of relics of Buddha is enshrined in this glorious stupa, built in replicating the shape of a bubble of water. At the eastern entrance to the stupa is a statue of King Dutugamunu. According to the records made by Fa Hsien, the Chinese Buddhist monk, who toured Sri Lanka in the 5th century CE, Maha Vihara monastery housed no less than 3000 Buddhist monks.
Since the death of King Dutugamunu, “The Hero of the Nation”, the great stupa had been renovated by a succession of Sinhalese kings till King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196 AC). By the 19th century, Anuradhapura, once the greatest monastic city of the world, also named Anurogrammon, by the Greek cartographer Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 AD) was deserted; Ruwanweliseya was in ruins.
In the year 1893, a patriotic and pious Buddhist monk called Naranvita Sumanasara Thera supported by a community of humble villagers in the region, took upon the Herculean task of reconstructing the great stupa. The community resulted in forming a society called Ratnamali Chaityawardhana Society.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
It is hard to believe – but there is no shadow of doubt at all – that this small tree with limbs so slender that they must be supported on iron crutches, is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world (2,250 years).
It has never since been without its hereditary attendants and care, to the very end, of the country’s kings. As lately as the reign of King Keerti Sri Rajasingha, a wall was built around the tree. In 1966 it was enclosed with a golden railing.
The great ancient Sinhalese Buddhist monuments of Anuradhapura are clustered around this Peepal tree (ficus religiosa) called Sri Maha Bodhi, a sapling of the Peepal Tree at Buddha Gaya, Northern India in whose shelter Gautama Buddha attained supreme enlightenment.
The sapling was brought to Sri Lanka by Buddhist nun Sanghamitta, the daughter of King Asoka of India during the 3rd Century B.C. To the north of the well protected and well adorned tree are three great monasteries: the Mahavihara, the Abhayagiri and the Jetavana.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Abhayagiri Stupa (අභයගිරිය දාගැබ), Watawandana Rd, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Abhayagiri Monastery spreading over an area of 200 hectares, was founded by King Valagamba also known by Vattagamini Abhaya (109 BC-89-77 BC) following his ascent to the throne for the second time, having the Dravidian invaders put to sword and fire. The monastery was built following the destruction of the Jain hermitage, whose ascetic Giri had taunted King Valagamaba while he was fleeing from invaders from Southern India 14 years back. The monastery was donated to Buddhist monk Thera Mahatissa as a token of gratitude for the moral and material support extended to the king, at a time of adversity, in exile building an army to regain his kingdom.
The main stupa at Abhayagiri Monastery , Abhayagiri Stupa was built over a footprint of Buddha. The Bo tree at the monastery is an off-shoot of the Sri Maha Bodhi tree also at Anuradhapura. Standing at 370 ft in height, when it was first built, Abhayagiri Dagoba was the second tallest dagoba in Sri Lanka. During its glorious days, Abhayagiri Monastery was home to one of the finest libraries in the world. In memory of the Chinese Buddhist monk Fa-Hsien who studied the Buddhist manuscripts therein in the 5th Century CE, a new museum was established by the Chinese government so that the archaeological treasures discovered in the recent excavations could be deposited and displayed.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Mirisawetiya Temple මිරිසවැටිය රජමහා විහාරය, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Mirisawati Dagoba was built by King Dutugamunu (161-137 BC), “The Hero of the Nation”, following the water festival held on the seventh day of the victory of the Great War that rescued the nation from the Southern Indian Kingdom of Chola. Mirisawati Dagoba was the first monument built by the king following his consecration.
The location of the great stupa, according the great historical narrative, Mahavamsa, is of exceptional significance.
On the seventh day of the water festival at the Tissa rainwater reservoir, the King planted his spear, the royal standard containing a Relic of the Buddha, on the shore and laid his clothes. On his return from the bath at the reservoir, the king couldn’t pull out the spear off the bank. In spite of the repeated attempts the spear couldn’t be retrieved. Having read the miracle as an omen, on the location enshrining the spear containing the relic of Buddha, was built the Mirisavati Dagoba and monastery.
Having completed the construction in three years, the king donated the Viharaya to the Buddhist monks. He also declared the dagoba was built in repentance of his failure to offer a portion of pepper curry in alms giving to the Buddhist monks. He had eaten it first.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Isurumuniya Temple, At Royal Pleasure Gardens, Anuradhapura 50000 Sri Lanka
Isurumuniya Temple, built by King Devanampiyatissa, is located close to the Royal Pleasure Gardens by the side of Tisaweva (Tissa rainwater reservoir). The Isurumuniya temple, built partly into a cave with a lovely pool in the front and with a boulder forming the rear wall, is a treasure-trove of exquisitely carved stone sculptures.
The rock face bordering the rear of the pond is well adorned with a couple of exquisite rock carvings. One is of a herd of Elephants giving the impression of their playful antics in the pond. The sculpture has also captured the majesty of the leader elephant of the herd. The other one is of a noble horseman and his horse. The horseman’s right hand rests on his raised right knee.
Also at the temple is a celebrated sculpture on a slab of granite called ‘Isurumuniya lovers’. This has now been shifted to the Isurumuni Archaeological Museum. The lovers are identified as King Dutugamunu’s son Saliya and his non-royal consort Asokamala, the ultimate lissom women with matchless beauty. Saliya forfeited his royal titles for the sake of his lover. The stepping stone at the entrance called Sanda Kada Pahana (English: Moon stone), the guardstones at the entrance to the temple and the balustrades are exquisite carvings done in stone.
Duration: 30 minutes
Stop At: Mihintale, Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
Mihintale Mountain, with the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, began to serve as a residential area for the venerable monks headed by Arahath Mahinda Mahathera. But soon, with the royal patronage, the sanctuary housed a multitude of with monastic buildings-stupas, uposathgharas, bodhigharas- to serve the monks. Sixty eight cave dwellings provided the monks shade and shelter. Mihintale, the sanctuary for many thousands of laymen as well as holy men, had all the facilities and amenities for basic living.
Duration: 40 minutes
Departure Point :Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Central Province
Traveler pickup is offered
Your hotel in Sigiriya
Departure Time :8:00 AM
Return Detail :Returns to original departure point
Hotel Pickup :
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Instant Confirmation
- Comfortable walking shoes and hats are recommended
- A maximum of 8 people per booking
- Near public transportation
- Infant seats available
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Most travelers can participate
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Face masks provided for travelers
- Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience
- Gear/equipment sanitized between use
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
- Regular temperature checks for staff
- Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
- Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
- Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
- You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
- For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.