Anuradhapura District is one of the two districts which form the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The district is also a UNESCO declared world heritage city for its historical and archaeological remains. As per the census static, more than 80% population of the district are Sinhalese and Buddhism remains as the main religion of the district. The district holds a prominent place in the history of Ceylon.
Latitude: 8 degree NorthLongitude: 80 degree East
As the district is located in the intermediate plain of the Sri Lankan topography, the area is centred to border by other districts. Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitheevu districts to the North, Kurunagala, Mathale districts to the South, Puttalam district to the West and Pollanaruwa, Trincomalee districts to East.
The district situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka which result warmness in the district. The annual temperature could be 25 – 30 degree Celsius. The climatic condition could be more sunny and dry during the months March to October. From November to February can be considered as wet season for the district. Average annual rainfall could be 1300 – 1400 mm. It is advisable to consider the enough protective measurements against dehydration when you plan a trip to the district.
By road – To reach Anuradhapura District from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka via bus services, number of routes are available. One is, starting from Colombo passing Kurunegala, Dambulla to get the Anuradhapura, which could be the long journey. Other one is passing Galgamuwa by taking Padeniya highway, which is comparatively less distance and comfort route for the travelling. The shortest time route could be Colombo – Puttalam & Puttalam – Anuradhapura. Travel time varies from 4.5hrs to 6.5hrs depending on route and bus. Even luxury / semi luxury bus services are available with limited numbers and intercity services are available for every 30 minutes.
If the traveller wish to travel by taxi or car rental service, through-out from Bandaranaike International Airport to Anuradhapura which is a 3 1/2 hrs travelling (varies depending on traffic) have to pass nearly 200km. The service rate also differs from 13,000.00 Sri Lankan Rupees to 17, 000.00 Sri Lankan Rupees depending on the comfort of travelling. To get the bus from Anuradhapura there are two bus stands available. One is old bus station, which is for local service and to catch the busses for Southern route. The other one is new bus station, which used to get the busses that are heading towards North and East.
By train – There are two stations available for the district. One is closer to old bus station and the other is further down towards South. The travelling time could be nearly a 4hrs journey to cover the distance of 205km (approximately) from Colombo fort station to Anuradhapura station. A/C intercity trains, express trains & long distance train services are available daily between the stations. Ticket fair varies from 240 Sri Lankan Rupees to 600 Sri Lankan Rupees depending on the class of train. Check the Sri Lanka railways website to plan your journey from your destination.
As the district values a lot to the culture & history of Sri Lanka, sacred archaeological venues are comparatively rich in this District. Also the district served as the capital Kingdom for the Ceylon rulers for many centuries. The influence of Buddhism in the district can noticed with the existence of structures and archaeological remains. Dagobas namely, Thuparamaya, Ruwanwelisaya, Abhayagiri Monastery, Jetavanarama monastery and stupa, sacred Sri Maha Bodhi/ Bo tree, Isurumuniya Temple, Kuttam pokuna /twin ponds, Buddha Samadhi statue, moon stone, Lovamahapaya, Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya and many other structures value the district.
Other than admiring these spots, climbing on Sigiriya, Mihinthale, Dambulla rocks are famous among tourists and locals. The district is famous for souvenir collection. You can find a variety of wooden crafts and other lots for your souvenir collection. Although the district maintains the ancient look, number of hotels and restaurants provide facilitate accommodation for the tourists. The district is special dedication for the historical venues interested ones.