Sri Lanka’s first capital founded about the 4th century BC. According to the Mahavansa, the Sinhala Buddhist chronicle, the city was a model of planning. This city is home to many of the earliest grandest monuments of Sri Lanka. A popular destination of Sinhalese Buddhist’s prilgimages because of its many ancient Buddhist monuments.
More than a hundred years before Tsin-Shee Hwang-Tee had set his millions of laborers at work on the great wall of China, ancient Anuradhapura was a flourishing city and the capital of Lanka, as the island was called by
the ancients. It was a youthful contemporary of Babylon and Nineveh, greater than either in territorial area, and was in its glory and amplitude when Rome and Carthage were young. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagoba of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bo-tree. This tree was grown from a sapling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago the Buddha found enlightenment.
According to the Mahavansathe city was a model of planning. Precincts were set aside for huntsmen and scavengers and even heretics and foreigners. There were hostels and hospitals, separate cemeteries for high and low castes. A water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs.
With the introduction of Buddhism, the city gained more prominence and the great building era began. The Mahavansa states that King Kutakannatissa built the first city wall to a height of seven cubits with a moat in front of the wall. This fortification was further enlarged by raising the wall a further 11 cubits to 18 cubits by King Vasabha. The king also added fortified gatehouses at the entrances of which the ruins can be seen to date. The Mahavamsa also states that soothsayers and architects were consulted in the construction.
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