Sri lanka best Ancient city Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura, the first capital city in Sri Lanka, has a unique place as a Theravada Buddhist center,
Anuradhapura is a world heritage site, is the longest kingdom in Sri Lanka. from the 4th century BC until the 11th century BC. It was the main kingdom of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura lies at a height of about 295 feet above sea level in the northern plains of sri lanka. Today anuradhapura is the capital of the north-central province
According to “mahawamsa“
Anuradha is a person first settle in anuradhapura who included with prince Wijaya(Aryan) who had migrated from India, He started a rural settlement called anuradha on the west bank of branch of the malwa Oya(river)
This village made a city by Pandhukhabaya of the 4th century BC. Then king mutasiva built the mahamevnawa and decorated the city and the earliest evidence of architectural creations in Anuradhapura dates back to the reign of king devanampiyatissa. after that, the rulers including king Dutugamunu, Walagamba, Vasabha, Mahasen ,dhatusena and others developed the Anuradhapura city
The rapid growth of the city of anuradhapura underwent a shart downturn in the Pandya invasion of the 9th century AD and the Chola invasion of the 10th century.
The old town of Anuradhapura is located on the west bank of a branch of the malwathu oya. it is bounded on the west by bulankulama tank. southwest by basavakkulama tank. on the south by tissa wewa and on the east by Kandy lake (Jaya wewa)
The ruins of the ancient city of the Anuradhapura have spread and the city plan is divided in to two main parts.
Inner city and outer city
There are Royal buildings in the inner city and religious buildings in the outer city. according to Mahayana, there were separtate buildings belonging to different castes and foreign traders. Recent excavations confirm that the kingdom of Anuradhapura had great relations with foreigners. some of the main buildings in Kandy including Anuradhapura are about 250 acres of land. among them are the royal palace, the dalada mandiraya, and the maha pali hall.
outer Kandy is mainly found in temples and many other buildings. thuparamaya is the first stupa that was built in the city of anuradhapura .since then a large number of temples have been built in Anuradhapura by the kings who have come from time to time. The construction of the great dagaba of mirisawetiya and the ruwanmali seya which was built by king dutugamunu between 161 and 137 BC is the beginning of the construction of the dagaba
Later king walagamba built the abhayagiriya and king mahasena built jetavanarama. three largest chaitya s of sri lanka are ruwanmalisaya, abhayagiriya and jethvanarama. most people who go the anurhadapura expect to worship atamasthana. sri maha bodhi, lovamahapaya, ruwanwelisaya, lankaramaya and mirisawetiya are considered to be atamasthana.
When the kingdom of anuradhapura fell and the Sinhala kingdom moved to other parts of the country . anuradhapura was covered with jungle.It was again exposed in 1874 during the British rule. The old town and the new town are two parts. the old town’s residential and commercial properties have been removed as much as possible and moved to the new city. The old city covers an area of about 9 square miles
There is also massive irrigation system in anuradhapura. The first is the abhayavapi, a tank made by king pandukabhaya. Today it is known as basavankulama.The kings of anurapura cultivated the land under the irrigation schemes of tiss wewa and Nuwara well. The old town of Anuradhapura has a very good road network with strong bridges. The artistic creations of the buddha and Budha statues reflect the creativity of the artist. sandakada pahana. Muragala, Korawak Gala etc are such great creations.
scholars believe that ancient anuradhapura was one of the most spectacular cities in the world. The city was ravaged by periodic hostilities. Started by king padukabhaya and ruled by 109 local kings, the kingdom or anurhadhapura collapsed after the soli invasion in 1017 CE.
The solis ruled the country from polonnaurwa. The last ruler of anuradhapura was the fifth mihindu king. Then king vijayabahu built a palace in anuradhapura and held his royal patronage, but he made his kingdom in polonnaruwa.
It was the last ceremony in anrudhapura , on april 10,1448 when princess chandravathi of parakrmabahu was anointed as ulakuda devi in anradhapura and married a prince named sundara pandya. after the estabalishment of the anuradhapura kachcheri in 1873 and the appointment of a goverment agent. the old city of anurdhapura was cleared and research in to ancient buildings was begun.
mahawamsa has given ruwanweliseya an extraordinary place. It indicates that it is considered as one of the most important stupas in Sri Lanka.
It was not only considered the largest stupa in Sri Lanka at that time.
Perhaps the most important reason is that most of the relics are enshirned in it.
Although later larger stupas were built. the concern for ruwanweliseya is still very much a concern.in fact, it is the most important budhdhist monument Sri Lanka. ruwanwelseya made by king “Dutugamunu”, the first national hero of the sinhalese, it has national significance.
Above all, the ruwanwelseya is a sacred place where the kakusanda, Kongama, Kassapa and gautama buddha’s footprints have been attained.Mihindu there introduced this place to the king. Devananpiyatissa and offered a flower bud and announced that a grandson of the king would build a stupa in the future. The king erected a stone pillar there.
Our king dutugamunu certainly remembers when we speak about ruwanweliseya.
This is because the ruwanweliseya stupa is one of the most historical things that came up during the reign of king dutugemunu. To prove it, there is a stupa of king dutugemunu who is worshiping in front of the ruwanweliseya.
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