Our time in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, has been a brief but wonderful two days. We spent time exploring the ancient city on bike and by foot, and took in the spectacular sites of the enormous dagobas, temples, spiritual sites and ancient ruins.
Our slick wheels
Riding our bikes in the sweltering heat, we rode through the city centre – past people and animals, cars, buses, trucks and tractors. People were constantly smiling, waving and yelling “hello” as we passed them. The ride was often really peaceful: around rice fields and lotus ponds, through empty stretches of road and path, and past remnants of ancient monasterys and palaces. At other times, you could feel the breeze of the passing bus or truck as it honked and whizzed past, only centimeters away from our bikes.
We bought a ticket that allowed us entry into the historic areas, and spent time riding between each site on our maps.
Lankarama, Abhayagiri Monastery – 1st Century BC
Abhayagiri Dagoba, Abhayagiri Monastery – 1st or 2nd Century centerpiece of monastery
Moonstone, Abhayagiri Monastery – a ruined 9th Century school for monks
Ratnaprasada, Abhayagiri Monastery – 8th Century guard stones
Hoppers in the making! A national food of Sri Lanka
Thuparama Dagoba – constructed in the 3rd Century: the oldest visible dagoba in the world
The Royal Palace, Citadel – 12th Century
Jetavanarama Dagoba – 3rd Century
Cycling through the ‘Buddhist Railing’
Vessagiriya – Remains of cave monastery complex (4th and 5th Century)
Isurumumiya Vihara – Rock Temple
Royal Pleasure Gardens
Sri Maha Bodhi – the sacred Bodhi tree: the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world
Brazen Palace: The 1600 columns are remnants of a 9 storey palace, built more than 2000 years ago
Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba – (140 BC)