Atamasthana -The 8 Sacred Places in Anuradhapura

Atamasthana is the most important site in Anuradhapura, which is the main site for Buddhist believers to visit. Gautama Buddha introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka, and from that time onward, Sri Lanka designed an excellent civilization upon Buddha’s teaching. Therefore, Atamasthanaya is an incredible place for relaxing our minds and body. When you travel to Atamasthanaya, don’t forget to wear a white dress.


01 Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi(The sacred Bo Tree)

The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the main reason for the nomination by UNESCO as a World Heritage city as Anuradhapura. This is Lord Gautama Buddha’s offshoot of the tree under which the Buddha once attained enlightenment. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is India’s Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree of Bodhgaya southern branch. Emperor Dharmashoka’s Queen Thishyarakkha destroyed India’s oldest original Bodhi tree because of a different religious faith. Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree was planted in the historical Royal Park in Anuradhapura in the ‘Unduvap’ month (December) 288 BC. According to written history, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was nominated as the oldest tree planted by humans worldwide.

02 Ruwanweliseya Stupa

AndyWFUK, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ruwanweliseya Stupa was built by the great king Dutugamunu who reigned from Anuradhapura. This is a vast pagoda which shape call Bubulakara(A Water Buble), and the stupa shows Sri Lankan ancient engineering marvel. Gautama Buddha’s one Drona of the relics is included, which is the biggest collection of his relics anywhere. This pagoda is known as “Ruwanweliseya,” “Mahathupa,” “Swarnamali Stupa,” and “Rathnamali Dagaba.”The great King Dutugamunu didn’t live to see the conclusion of this stupa. After the king passes away, king Dutugamunu’s brother King Saddhatissa has, completed the work of the stupa. This Stupa was combined with another complicated thing that was associated with Osiris, the sun god of rebirth and the afterlife, by the ancient Egyptians. The three main historical stupas clustered south of the ruined Southern wall of Anuradhapura, namely Ruwanweliseya, Jetavana, and Mirisavatiya, perfectly align with the celestial layout of Bellatrix, Rigel, and Mintaka, three of the seven stars of the Orion constellation,

03 Jethavanaramaya Stupa

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The Jetavanaramaya was established in Anuradhapura and constructed by King Mahasen (276-303). In the 12th century, King Parakramabahu restored this Stupa for the final time. This Stupa is thought to have housed a piece of the Lord Buddha’s belt or sash. Originally 122 meters high, and it was supposed to be the world’s highest Stupa made of bricks. This is also the third-largest edifice of the historical world. This is currently 71 meters tall. The stupa composite covers 8 acres, a length of around 175 meters on one side. There are remnants of four doorways (Vahalkada) on the individual of the Stupa’s four sides. Around the Stupa, there are the ruins of several ancient buildings.

04 Mirisavetiya Stupa

Nipuna Gamage, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

King Dutugemunu (161BC – 137BC) erected the Mirisaweti Stupa after defeating South Indian invader king Elara. According to history, King Dutugemunu went to Tissa Wewa for a bath one day, leaving the scepter behind. When he returns to the scepter, it is said that the scepter cannot transfer it from its current location. As a result, the King built this Stupa on the spot where the scepter became trapped. It is also reported that King Dutugemununu used to offer delicacies to Buddhist monks before eating them himself. However, one day he failed to bring a dish composed of chilly. As an apology, the King has named this Stupa Mirisawetiya (“chilly” the Sinhala word is “Miris”). Several rulers afterward repaired the Stupa.

Suggested Trailoka: 11 Things to do traveling to Anuradhapura

05 Thuparamaya Stupa

Nipuna Gamage, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thuparamaya is thought to be the first built Stupa in Anuradhapura.  This was constructed by King Devanampiyathissa (307 to 267 BC). The stupa is said to house Lord Buddha’s right collarbone relic.

06 Abhayagiriya Stupa

Saqib Qayyum, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Abhayagiri Stupa is located in the Anuradhapura District of North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Abhayagiriya is the second-highest stupa in the country. In the first century BC, King Valagamba, also known as Vattagamani Abhaya and Valagambahu, completed the stupa. The name Abhayagiri was created by merging the words “Abhaya” (King’s name) and “Giri” (the name of the Jain monk). According to mythology, the king erected this stupa to commemorate an occurrence that occurred while fleeing a battle with Tamil invaders. According to tradition, a Jain monk named Girihas cried at the king, “the giant black Sinhalese is departing,” as he passed through this spot on his way to safety. However, after fourteen years, King Valagamba reclaimed the kingdom by fighting the invaders and constructing this massive stupa in the same spot.

07 Lankaramaya Sthupa

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The Lankaramaya stupa was built by King Walagamba. This stupa was initially known as Somarama Stupa. There are three rows of stone pillars visible surrounding the stupa, indicating that Vatadagaya (Cover of Stupa protector) built a house enclosing the stupa to protect it.

08 Lovamahapaya(Brazen palace)

Z thomas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lovamahapaya is located between Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanweliseya.The Mahawamsa states that the Lowamahapaya was created by King Dutugemunu (161-137 BC) with a nine-story structure. Nowadays, you can see only one flow structure, Ruins. This shows Sri Lankan pride and ancient building technology.

Why important Atamasthana & Anuradhapura?

Anuradhapura and the North Central Province offer more activities for tourists. A renowned historical kingdom in Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura was the center of Theravada Buddhism and a major pilgrimage destination. UNESCO designated Anuradhapura a World Heritage Site in 1982 because it is a sacred city. It was in the 5th century BC that archaeologists began looking for clues about this ancient civilization. Today, the entire world is fascinated by the architectural engineering of this city. The majesty of stone monuments, structures, and ruins cannot be overstated. Some statues seem unable to comprehend their own construction.

Anuradhapura is in the North Central Province. If you’re in any of those cities—or even if you’re not—you’ll have no problem getting here. This city is 202 kilometers from Colombo. The best time to visit Anuradhapura is from January through September and December. Be sure to wear a plain white dress if you’re visiting the Atamasthana sacred sites of Anuradhapura. 


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