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Anuradhapura & Mihintale, Sri Lanka

sunny 33 °C
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We caught the early train to Anuradhapura as the sun was rising and it was a great way to see the countryside. Anuradhapura is famous for it's well preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilisation. It's spread over a large sprawling area, with a huge collection of archaeological and architectural gems such as huge stupas, ancient pools and temples that were built centuries ago.

We stayed at a great guesthouse called Liyana Holiday resort, and took up the owners offer of a tour around the vast ancient ruins area. You can also rent a bike, however due to the heat and our stomachs in recovery mode, we went with the comfortable option! Plus it meant we'd get loads of local info as we went to each place. Liyana cooked us some great dinner and breakfast too.

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Anuradhapura Highlights

There were some fascinating places:

  • Sri Maha Boodhi Temple - a famous, sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, which is said to be the southern branch from the Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.
  • Abhayagiri Stupa - A sight to behold, this huge stupa dates back to the 1st century BC, and was once 100m high. It's one of the greatest structures in the ancient world and it's scale is only matched by the pyramids of Giza. It stands out for miles, in amongst the surrounding forest.
  • Ruvanvelisaya Stupa - A white stupa which is surrounded by elephants.
  • Jetavanarama Stupa - Similar to Abhayagiri, this stupa stands 70m tall and is said to consist of more than 90 million bricks!
  • Archaeological Museum - A good stopping point to learn more about this fascinating area.
  • Isurumuniya - A temple just next to 'Thissa Wewa' lake, built into rock, it's a great place to visit. We also explored the area nearby including Isurumuniya Rajamaha Viharaya, set in a scenic tropical wonderland.
  • Ratnaprasada - A wonderful monastery, which was once 7 stories high.

Further to this, we did a day trip to Mihintale, which has a whole new world of ancient ruins to explore. A must see part of Sri Lanka.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Sri Lanka

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