The Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum is one of the most feature-rich archaeological museums in Sri Lanka. From extravagant collections of artworks, mintage, weapons and more – all belonging to the ancient era of Sri Lanka – this is a location well worth visiting if you want to know about the rich culture and history of Anuradhapura.
The Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum lies in between two major historical landmarks – the Brazen Palace and the Ruvanvaelisaya Stupa. As such, you can make a small detour to visit the establishment. The museum itself was established in 1947 through the continued efforts of Sri Lankan archaeological pioneer, Doctor Senerath Paranavithana. This makes it one of the oldest museums found in Sri Lanka! In actual fact, the museum building was once used by the British
The artefact collection on display here is extensive and you’ll be able to view everything from scriptures and tabloids of that date back centuries to more recent colonial relics. Essentially, a visit here will feel like a trip through time as you slowly unravel the secrets of Sri Lanka’s ancient past. You’ll also be able to see many religious artefacts here, these range from an array of resplendent Buddha statues, to sculptures of Hindu Gods and even evidence of ancient pagan worship.
Some of the most interesting exhibits found in the museum include dioramas of some notable historical locations found in Anuradhapura. These reconstructions recreate these sites to look like they once did during their heyday. Seeing these recreations will give you some perspective of what once was as you tour through the sacred sites of Anuradhapura.
For anyone touring through Anuradhapura taking in all the cultural sight and landmarks, a visit to the museum can help put everything in perspective as you learn about the rise, heyday and decline of Sri Lanka’s great kingdoms. The museum is open 9 am to 5 pm every day except Tuesdays and every poya day.