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Pilgrimage

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

A pilgrim tour to Anuradhapura is one of the things I do whenever I am in Sri Lanka. Few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura and spent time among Buddhist offerings. Although we came back to Sri Lanka again within few months, with my desire to visit Anuradhapura, I arranged another pilgrimage.

In Anuradhapura sacred city, there are many historical places to visit. As a UNESCO heritage site, this sacred city is a must visit place for anyone who loves historical places. All the main attractions are easily reached by a vehicle. So, previously we always used the vehicle to reach each of the temples and stupas in Anuradhapura. However this time we walked more.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

Walking From Thuparamaya to Ruwanwelisaya

In sacred city of Anuradhapura, all the temples and sacred places are located in walking distances between those. From Thuparamaya, you can easily walk to Ruwanwelisaya and it is around 15 minutes’ walk if you walk leisurely and slowly. The best thing is that this route is with beautiful views and some other ancient ruins.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Ancient ruins in front of Thuparamaya temple complex

In our walk, we had a glance to other historical buildings and ruins around Thuparamaya temple complex. Starting from the ruins of Thuparamaya temple complex, we could see some other ruins along the way to Ruwanwelisaya.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

On one side, it is a small lake with the views of nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
View of Jethawanaramaya behind the lake.

My son who is still 4 years old could enjoy this nature walk with the views of birds namely kingfisher, oriole and even a vulture. Sounds of peacocks allowed us to connect with nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
We enjoyed the nature in this morning while walking.
Helpful tips if you plan walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya Stupa
Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Near the Ruwanwalisaya end,you can buy flowers.
  • The distance between these stupas is less than 1 km when you walk.
  • The best time for walking is in the early morning or evening to avoid heat of the sun.
  • There is a foot path which you can easily walk.
  • Near the Ruwanwalisaya end, you can easily buy flowers to offer.
  • There are ancient ruins along the way. You will also watch natural views while walking.

 

Do you like such walking tours among the historical places?

 

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.

 

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