An Unforgettable Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka

An Unforgettable Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

When we are in Sri Lanka we always love to arrange pilgrimages with family members. As a country with lot of sacred cities, temples and historical sites, Sri Lanka offers many reasons for us to plan pilgrimages each year. It can be a pilgrimage to see temples and ruins of ancient city Polonnaruwa or it can be a pilgrimage to see Anuradhapura attractions, we always find these tours as a way to bond with family members while spending time in religious activities. Our trips to Kandy are also pilgrimages most of the times as temples are the main attractions, not only for visiting but also to spend time with religious and spiritual activities.

So, here is a travelogue of one of our recent pilgrimages to Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

It was last June that we were in another holiday in Sri Lanka. During this period, we spent time to visit Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka. I’ve visited Anuradhapura Buddhist attractions many time, but I still plan to visit the same places again simply due to the Buddhist beliefs and to spend time in spiritual activities.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Stopping at a fruit stall is a great way to have a break.

As of most pilgrimages, we left our home early in the morning with the hope of reaching Anuradhapura in the noon. On the way to Anuradhapura, we stopped in few places for breakfast and for short breaks. As there are fruit stalls along the road to Anuradhapura, it is always enjoyable to taste different fruits which are also fresh.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Travelling with a kid,we always like to have short breaks during road trips.

Finally, we reached Anuradhapura. After having lunch, our first visit was to the ‘Sri Maha Bodhi Tree’ which is one of the sacred places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Sri Maha Bodhi tree

It is believed that ‘Sri Maha Bodhi tree’ is a sapling of Bodhi tree that Buddha was sitting during his enlightenment.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Offerings at the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

As usual we always like to visit Ruwanwalisaya in the evening to avoid the sun. During the day time, it can be really hot and it is not easy to go around the stupa and do the offerings with proper concentration.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Ruwanwalisaya Stupa

In Thuparamaya, we also could see and  join another Buddhist offering which is called ‘Kap ruk Poojawa’.After visiting both Thuparamaya and Ruwanwelisaya which are must visit attractions in Anuradhapura, we reached our accommodation.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Kap Ruk poojawa at Thuparamaya

It was the day before June Full moon day which is also called ‘Poson Poya’.In Sri Lanka, full moon day is a holiday and it is a day for Buddhist activities. As a Majaor poya day,Pososn Poya is a crowded day for Anuradhapura and temples were full of devotees.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Thuparamaya Stupa after Kap ruk poojawa

We also spent time having meals and drinks from ‘Dan sal’.Dan Sal are the places that people offer food and drinks for anyone without any charge. It is completely free to drink or eat from a ‘Dansala’ and these events are mostly organized during the major full moon days.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Dan Sala (It was a Biscuit Dan sala organized by a major Biscuit brand of Sri Lanka which travellers to Anuradhapura received biscuits free. 🙂

As the city was fully crowded, we also experienced huge traffic jam. However we could visit the major attractions including Abhayagiriya and Jethwanaramaya.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Mirisawetiya stupa

We had great two days in Anuradhapura spending in spiritual activities. It was a pilgrimage that we like to remind again and again.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
It is easy to buy flowers and other necessary things for offerings at the entrance of each Buddhist places.
Useful tips for planning a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura

Leave early and reach Anuradhapura early morning to save time. So, you can visit more attractions during the few days of stay.

Follow the rules when you enter into the sacred city and the temples. Check this post on how to behave in a Buddhist temple if you are not sure.

Avoid bathing in lakes if you don’t know the designated places to have a bath or to enjoy water activities. Always read the sign boards and warnings before you go to the water/lakes.

Hiring a van from a car rental service is always our preferred way to reach Anuradhapura when we plan pilgrimages. This is a stress free way to reach Anuradhapura.

Accommodation in Anuradhapura

Book your accommodation before you reach Anuradhapura. During the crowded days, it is not easy to find proper accommodation.

We booked Creston Park Accomodation through Agoda which is a decent budget hotel that is great for family holidays. The good thing about Creston Park Accomodation is that their food is really delicious. Also staff is friendly.The location is strategic and near to sacred city of Anuradhapura. (Accomodation Near Anuradhapura Pooja Nagaraya)

If you look for booking a complete house for your group, then check AirBnb for such accommodation .Most of the houses offered are affordable in rates. Use this link to book and save up to $50 SGD travel credit.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

Have you been to Anuradhapura? Do you like pilgrimages? If so, do you plan such trips with family members and friends? Please share your thoughts below.

 

25 COMMENTS

  1. Sri Lanka is one of my favorite destinations – have been there many times and would love to visit again. Your well written post brought back some good memories. Thanks.

  2. Sri Lanka looks incredible! I have seen many posts on this place but none as good as this one. I enjoyed your post 🙂

  3. I’d love to visit this place someday. I’ve got an ever-growing bucket list. I think it would be fun to visit the fruit stalls. We don’t have anything like that around here.

  4. That’s a good tip about the swimming. People see water and think they can get in no matter what, but that’s simply not the case.

  5. This is a very interesting trip. It is always exciting to visit places like this. The huge tree looks amazing.

  6. Oh wow how incredibly beautiful! It looks like such a beautiful place with so much to see and do, I;d love to visit one day although Im not sure it would be quite as enjoyable with my four children in tow! Beautiful photos!

  7. Wow!! this is a great place, I love your adventure here in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka this is one of the cities that I would love to explore. there are tons of beautiful and lovely history to discover. great post Amila!

  8. Going on a pilgrimage with one’s family I am sure is an experience of a lifetime. In a away its a holiday. I feel privileged when I get to spend time with my family especially when when its us alone without any distractions. It seems that this pilgrimage with your family was like that. Such experiences are priceless

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