Foot Print Holidays
Anuradhapura was the greatest monastic city of the ancient world. It was the royal capital of a succession of 113 kings who oversaw a flowering of the arts that produced magnificent palaces, intricate and exquisite sculptures, ornate pleasure gardens, artificial lakes, monasteries, and of course the huge “Dagobas”, the domed buildings that protected the most sacred relics of Buddhism.

In this 2000-year-old City and 1st capital of Sri Lanka, You can see the Sacred Bo Tree, a sampling of the original tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Buddha Gaya in India, which is the oldest tree in the world and has been tended devotedly for 2300 years, even when the city was conquered.
Isurumuniya dating from the reign of King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century B.C., brings a tour of the ruins to a splendid climax. The most famous sculpture is of the “Isurmuniya lovers”, carved in the 6th century AD in the Indian Gupta style. Folklore identifies the young couple with Saliya, King Dutugemunu’s son, and the low caste maiden for whom he gave up the throne.
Mihintale, a rock Sanctuary, is a Monastic City of caves, temples & ruins, where Buddhism took hold of the Island and left behind an assortment of relics and monuments on the rocky hillside. It was in the reign of King Devanampiyatissa [250 – 210 BC] that the Arahath Mahinda, son of the great Buddhist Emperor Asoka, led a group of missionaries from North India to Sri Lanka. With his followers he settled in a hermitage of caves on the hill of Mihintale.

The three flight of steps at Mihintale, totaling 1840, take the pilgrim through the shadows of the spreading Temple Trees to the summit.

At the foot of the mountains are spread the ruins of a hospital [Vejja Sala], which takes back to the 3rd Century A.D., some 400 years before the earliest hospital in France. Among the remnants of walls & pillars are monolithic basins of bathing the sick known as “Beth Oruwa” or “Medical Boats”.
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