TourAnuradhapura with Your Partner
If you thought ancient ruins could not be romantic, you may want to reconsider! The archaic and otherworldly city of Anuradhapura has a lot to offer in terms of romance. With monasteries tucked away in patches of forests, majestic leopards stretching upon branches, and the taunting remnants of haunting stone palaces, Anuradhapura is a great place to visit with your significant other.
Anuradhapura was not always a city of ruins. It was once a great kingdom, built by King Pandukabhaya during the 4th century. What was once extremely dry land was transformed during his reign. Water tanks and irrigation systems were set up to support agriculture, and life was prosperous. In fact, Sri Lanka is considered to have had one of the most complex irrigation systems in the ancient world.
After suffering a barrage of invasions, the kingdom of Anuradhapura finally fell, but not for nothing. The ruins of old structures have told us much about its past, and survive to this day to tell a story of perseverance, endurance and ingenuity.
Here are some spots you should visit on your trip:
- Kala Wewa
- Mahasen Palace
- Biso Maligawa (Queen’s Palace)
- Sri Maha Bodhi Tree
- Lovamahapaya (Brazen Palace)
Explore the Ritigala Forest Monastery
Ritigala lies along the route to Habarana from Anuradhapura. It’s a mountainous region lining the dry zone, and is about 40km from Anuradhapura. This site isn’t only unique because of its hidden monastery, but also because it is home to numerous endemic herbs, some that are so rare, they can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a strict nature reserve, one of three in Sri Lanka.
The Ritigala reserve stretches for about 5 sq.km., with the highest peak of its mountain range reaching 2,514 ft (Kodigala). Wild elephants tend to roam here in the afternoons and evenings, which can be dangerous, so visitors are advised to stick to exploring the area in the mornings.
Camping at Wilpattu National Park
At 1,300 sq.km, Wilpattu National Park is Sri Lanka’s largest national park. With as many as 30 species of mammals, numerous birds and reptiles, Wilpattu is a hotspot for wildlife activity. May to September is the perfect time for camping and wildlife sightings here, as the dry season will draw out the rarer inhabitants. Romantic getaways in the city aren’t what they used to be, which is why a night in the wilderness is exactly what you need!
❂ Useful Tips:
- Rent out a couple of bikes and explore the ancient city.
- Keep in mind that you will need to cover your shoulders and legs to enter temples and religious sites.
- Be mindful of the monkeys that inhabit the cultural and historic sites. They tend to take off with unattended belongings.