According to the chronicle of Mahavansha, the name of Anuradhapura city became popular after, the establishment of the civilisation near the Mallwathu Oye river bank in 6 centaury of B.C. by a minister named Anuradha. It is said that Anuradha is a prince, who arrived along with prince Vijaya from Dhambadhiva(India).
During the 4th centaury of B.C., the king Pandukabhaya had selected Anuradhapura as his capital city. In addition, he gradually transformed it in to a well organised city filled with architecture. During his reign he made hospitals, roads, burial grounds, lakes and religious places and maintained the safety and security system of the city, sanitary facilities including all the facilities for the city.
It is said that after the death of Kalawela and Chithraraja of local “Yakka” tribes chieftains during the king Pandukabhaya period started commemorating them and worshipping them constructing two kovils near the Abhya tank.
As it has been a requirement at the functions held for worshipping them to symbolizing some paintings (“bali and yaga”), where it reflects that even at that time inhabitants also were involved with this paintings during this period. It seems that involvements in art and architecture were another part of their day to day life and their culture.
Anuradhapura stood as the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom for about fifteen centuries. Throughout that period, many kings considered Anuradhapura as their capital and developed it.