Anuradhapura looks misleadingly like any other Sri Lankan town when you arrive: an unremarkable clock tower, a single train station and small shops lining a busy main road. But the town’s simple facade gives nothing away regarding the enormous scale of its heritage as the heartland of Sri Lankan Buddhist culture.

The main feature of this area remains the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, believed to have been planted from a cutting from the tree Buddha attained enlightenment under in Bodhgaya, India. Beyond this, Anuradhapura is bursting with archaeological wonders: colossal dagobas (stupas), temples, palaces and venerable Buddhist sites scattered among the jungles and villages of the area.

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