Anuradapura

Anuradapura – the ancient Singhalese capital city which flourished from around 500BC to around 1100AD receiving ambassadors from China, Rome and Persia with a variety of dynasties before being moved south to Pollanaruwa. Anuradapura had four monastic communities Abeygiria, Jetavanarama, Isurumuniya and Maha vihara each covering an area of several sq km with upto 5-10,000 monks each. Anuradapura contains several large dagobas relating to the monastic communities as well as the Sri Maha Bodhi. a large spreading tree(Ficus religiosa, reputedly the oldest historically documented tree, bought as a cutting from the tree under which the Gautama Buddha gained enlightenment in Bodhgaya in India.