Sacred City of Anuradhapura from Colombo

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From $85.00

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 12 hours

Departs: Colombo, Colombo

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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Unless you hire a car, visiting Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed ruined capital of Anuradhapura from Colombo, Negombo or Kandy in a day is impossible. This private tour delivers: with return air-conditioned transport and a driver-guide to show you around. Roam the temples, ponds, and shrines, including the Jetavanarama stupa; and hear tales of this ancient and sacred city you’d otherwise miss. Lunch and hotel pickup and drop-off are included for ease and comfort.

What's Included

2 x 500 ml of water bottle per person.

Hotel pickup and drop-off.

Service of an English speaking chauffeur guide.

Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle.

What's Not Included

Entrance tickets to the visiting sites.

Expenses of personal nature.

Food and beverages.


Traveler Information

  • ADULT: Age: 12 - 80

Additional Info

  • Face masks provided for travellers
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Temperature checks for travellers upon arrival
  • Face masks provided for travellers
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Temperature checks for travellers upon arrival

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

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.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
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.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Abayagiriya Stupa
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.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Isurumuniya Temple
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. 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.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Dagoba of Thuparama
Thuparama dagoba, 20m in height and 60ft in diameter, one of the smallest of ancient stupas was built by King Devanampiya Tissa in the third century BC. Thuparama dagoba is believed to enshrine the collar bone relic of Buddha. By the seventh century, the stupa was renovated by King Aggabodhi the second in the 7th century. The graceful monolithic pillars surrounding it once upheld a circular roof making the shrine a Vata Dage (Circular – Relic – house) a characteristically Sinhalese architectural feature. The roof doesn’t exist today. Originally constructed in the ancient architectural tradition of a “paddy – heap” shape, its present “bell” shape dates to renovation in the 1862. To the south-east of Thuparama dagoba are the ruins of a hospital as it is evident by the presence of an intact medicinal trough, an oil bath cut into a slab of stone.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Jethawanaramaya Stupa
The Jetavanarama Dagoba’s massive dome rises above the entire eastern part of Anuradhapura. Built in the 3rd century by Mahasena, it may have originally topped 120m, but today is about 70m – similar to the Abhayagiri. When it was built it was almost certainly the third-tallest monument in the world, the first two being Egyptian pyramids. Its vast, bulbous form is unplastered and said to consist of more than 90 million bricks.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

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