Anuradhapura - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Anuradhapura


The remains of the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura are sited about 130 miles (205km) north of Colombo, standing majestically in the jungle that for generations hid away the palaces, monasteries and monuments, which have been there since the third century BC. The ancient city was capital of the island for more than 10 centuries, until an invasion in 993, having initially been founded around a fig tree grown from a cutting of Buddha's 'tree of enlightenment'. The remains visible today consist of several magnificent dagobas (domes built to enshrine sacred relics), sculptures, carvings, ruined palaces and monasteries, bathing ponds and irrigation tanks. Tourist facilities and hotels are available in the nearby 'new town' of Anuradhapura. A recommended way to view the many scattered archaeological treasures is to hire a bicycle, or travel between sights on a 'Tuk-tuk'.

Information & Facts

Most people speak Sinhala, which is the national and official language. Tamil is also spoken, and English is spoken at most tourist establishments.

The unit of currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR), which is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and travellers cheques in US Dollars are recommended. ATMs are becoming more common, but outside the main cities they are unlikely to accept international cards. Credit cards should be used with caution due to the potential for fraud. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change, banks and hotels, but exchanging cash is more expensive than exchanging travellers cheques. Banks are closed on Sundays.

Opening Times
Daily 8am to 5pm
Local time is GMT +5.30.
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