It was during 380 BC that Anuradhapura was made the royal capital of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura became a kingdom during the time of King Pandukabhaya. It was the kingdom and royal residence for 119 consecutive Singhalese Kings until 1000 AD and it was then that Anuradhapura was abandoned as the capital. Polonnaruwa became the next kingdom following Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura boasts of some magnificent work of art that includes temples, the tallest dagoba of the country, relics from palaces, traditional baths and monasteries. The holy Bo tree – Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura also holds a significant place in the history of the city and country. The Bo tree that was is actually a branch of the original holy Bo tree, which resides in India. It is under the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Bodhi Gaya by which Lord Buddha found enlightenment some 2500 years ago.
During the early stages of the second century BC, explorers from Palk Strait started to reside in the northern coast of the country. With them arrived the intruder called Elara, who later became the highest in power and ruled from Anuradhapura. Elara was challenged by the then monarch Gemunu who was the son of King Kavantissa. Gemunu the ruler of the South went into a battle with Elara who was defeated thereby uniting the separate realms, in which single kingdom arose for the first time in the country.
During the reigning period of King Dutugemunu, Buddhism was benefited immensely. The kingdom of Anuradhapura was the place of rule for one thousand and five hundred years. In spite of the invasions of South Indian Pandyans, Chola and Pallava, this amazing city remained stable.
Some interesting tourist attractions include Aukana Buddha Statue, Guard stone at Thuparama, Isurumuniya Lovers, Abhayagiri Stupa and Monastery, Ruwanweli Seya, Ritigala and Jethawana Monastery.
Anuradhapura is a world heritage site that was confirmed by UNESCO and is also situated in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Considered amongst most sacred significant locations attributed to Buddhist followers, Anuradhapura is a truly remarkable city complete with the best of wildlife, irrigational network and world acclaimed historic monuments. Farming is the main source of living in Anuradhapura and it is home to a modest farming community.