The past few nights in the midlands have been hot and humid. But today, the weather has changed quite quickly. It was cloudy and windy so we had to make a quick pit stop to pick up some fabric to wrap myself in. It’s almost a 2-hour ride from Habarana to Anuradhapura. By the time we got there it was almost noon.
We should have been there for before 10am as this place is huge and has a lot to cover. Half a day is better than nothing I’d say! Charitha, our guide (a friend and contact of Rusty’s) met us at the ticketing office, which is attached to the museum. Have been told that Charitha is an excellent guide, and truth be told, he is exceptionally good! It’s about USD 25 to visit the site which also includes the fee for the museum.
It is believed that Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka from 3 BC to 11 AD, and it was the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia during that period. It has superb town planning for its time and it spans over 42 kilometer square. According to Charitha, it had a population of almost 2 million people.
People still do live on the site, and they live well over a ruin that is yet to be discovered hence UNESCO is trying to relocate them. This will take a long time as to the people living here, this is their home and even though the offer is lucrative, it’s sentimental value that they can’t depart with.
Anuradhapura had many school (referring back to the ancient times) where anyone could come and study. No, they were not monks but student who wore the same robe and attended class in different areas of specialty, like a university. When a person joins the school, depending on how long you would like to stay, you will be treated as equals. No one person is higher from the other, and everyone has to lend a helping hand in doing chorus around the school and other amenities.
I was told that they had students from all over the world, coming to Anuradhapura to attend these schools. Ancient IVY League university I’d say.
In Buddhism, one should always consider all living things and shall not bring harm to them. So they have also considered the microorganism in the earth hence creating this filter system.
These pots would be changed every month, and the by-product in the pots is actually used as compost for plants and trees.
Talk about advance technology!!! I’m impressed, now where is our civilization in all this? Hmmm…
The carvings on these buildings are beautiful. You would need your own transport to shuttle you from one section to another. You can get a bicycle but it’s a lot to cover on pedal power. We partly walked and took the tuk tuk around the place, and I only covered a fraction of what is more to come.
Anuradhapura’s visit is not to be rushed, and no guidebook can help you here so do get a guide and please get Charitha to take you. Yes it may sound biased but I doubt anyone could have done a better job than him. And I’m certainly not going to give you a lengthy history lesson (of what I acquired) here, as its only best that you are there and having it told to you then.
I would definitely come back and get the full tour of Anuradhapura and this time I’ll be there at 7am in the morning or when the doors open, as I know it would take a long time to cover the place. The carvings on these ruins are some of the best I’ve seen thus far!
Up next: Kandy