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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 18, 2019
Headline for Less Known Facts About Anuradhapura - The more you know
Joanna James Joanna James
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Less Known Facts About Anuradhapura - The more you know

Anuradhapura is a historical place in Sri Lanka that holds a great religious significance to the people of the country.


About Anuradhapura

The Kingdom was the first of its kind to be founded in this country and historians say that the establishment dates back to 540 BC. The city was ruled by many kingdoms during its time and all the structures and ruins found in Anuradhapura reflect all of these kingdoms. Being the first capital of Sri Lanka, this place has the infrastructure that will tell you about how advanced architecture and engineering was back in the day. There are many things for you to see in Anuradhapura and a proper Sri Lanka sightseeing excursion is not complete before you look around this town and the ruins it has. If this is your first trip to the country and you are new to the area it is better to get the help of a local tour agent likes of Truly Sri Lanka.


Emptiness For A Thousand Years

After an Indian king invaded and took over Anuradhapura, it was not the capital of Sri Lanka. In 993 AD the capital was moved to the town of Polonnaruwa. Because of this, Anuradhapura was deserted and lay in ruins for almost a thousand years. Afterwards, in the 1800s, the British people rediscovered the place and then started repopulating the city. In the year 1980, UNESCO decided that the city was a World Heritage site. Anuradhapura today has a population of about 50,000 people and is also home to the Survey of Ceylon headquarters.


Oldest Tree In The World

Bodhgaya in India has the tree under which Lord Buddha first found his enlightenment. The daughter of Emperor Ashoka brought the right-handed branch of this tree to Sri Lanka and then planted this branch in a park. Today. that tree has grown to be the sacred big tree which is found in Anuradhapura.


The Age-Old Map

The kingdom of Anuradhapura appears on Ptolemy’s world map; which is one of the oldest world maps known to mankind. Drawn up in the second century and based on writings from the person's book, Geography, this map is the first map known in history that uses both longitudinal and latitudinal lines. This map was drawn up even before America was discovered and therefore has only the three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa.


Irrigation System In Anuradhapura

The central part of Sri Lanka has a pretty dry climate and because of that, the crops in Anuradhapura did not get much rain. T solve this issue, the rulers of this Kingdom created a complex network of canals and reservoirs that were designed to collect and store the rainwater which was then sent to different parts of the town to be used in rice paddies. This town is home to some of the largest and oldest reservoirs in the world. For instance, there is a 54-mile long canal with a gradual slope at every single foot of it its length. This will definitely be an interesting sight to see and you will be spellbound by the grandeur of the architecture that was found back in the day.

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