| Share


Anuradhapura (ənōˈrädəpōˈrə) [key] or Anarajapura ənäˈräjə–, city (1995 est. pop. 40,000), N central Sri Lanka, on the Aruvi River. Rice plantations and vegetable gardens surround the city, which is famous chiefly for its vast Buddhist ruins and as a pilgrimage center. Founded in 437 B.C., it was the capital of a Sinhalese kingdom and a Buddhist center until the 8th cent. A.D., when, after a Tamil invasion, it was abandoned in favor of Pollonarrua. Ruins include several colossal stupas (some larger than the pyramids of Egypt), a temple hewn from rock, and the Brazen Palace (so called from its metal roof). A sacred bo tree at Anuradhapura was grown from a slip of the tree at Bodh Gaya, India, under which Buddha reputedly attained enlightenment. The Archaeological Survey of Sri Lanka has its headquarters in the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Anuradhapura from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sri Lankan Political Geography

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring