AnuradhapuraArcheological Museum

Established in 1947, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Senarath Paranavithana, the Anuradhapura Archeological Museum is a trove of ancient treasures.


When excavation efforts in the area started paying off, artefacts of the ancient Sinhalese kingdoms dating back to the 5th century BC started to surface. It became apparent that these artefacts needed a home, and that’s how the Anuradhapura Archeological Museum came to be.

What You Can See Today

Among the archaic displays sit many artefacts unearthed during the excavation of the Kantaka Chethiya dagoba. The museum displays are almost an ode to a long gone era, preserved in a state of semi deterioration, but still able to convey its original splendour.

A model of the Thuparamaya temple’s vatadage sits in the museum, an awe-inspiring recreation. The museum contains a variety of antiquities, from ancient coins and jewellery to statues and inscriptions, as well as portraits of Lord Buddha made from limestone from as early as the 6th century AD.

Aside from the artefacts themselves, the museum also provides an overview of rural lifestyle and how it evolved over various time periods.

❂ Useful Tips:

  • The museum is located near the Heritage Site Entry ticket counter.
  • It is open from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm.
  • It is closed on Tuesdays and on public holidays.
  • No photography is allowed within museum premises.

Learn more about the history of Anuradhapura