Anuradhapura Era


Commencement of Anuradhapura Kingdom

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.

The Period After The Introduction Of Buddhism

During the reign of King Dhevanampiyatissa, with the arrival of the son of king Dharmashoka of India, who is Arahant Mahinda Thera and his daughter who is Arahant Sangamitha Theri, the Buddhism was established in Sri Lanka. The introduction of Buddhism leads to social, cultural and religious development all over the island.
It can be ascertained that skilled artists, sculptures, craftsmen belonging to 18 different classes arrived Sri Lanka with Arahant Sangamittha Theri, with the sacred Bodhi tree to Sri Lanka.
For a certain period after the arrival of Mihindu Thera, the Buddhist monks lived in caves with deeply incised protective drip ledges which can still be seen in Mihintale. These caves were renovated with brick walls, granite frames, granite tablets with the help and directions of architectures who arrived from India.
As a result of the gratitude and the devotion of the king and the royals, towards Buddhism, many monasteries and temples were built for the monks and to those who came to listen to the sermons. The remains of those buildings can still be seen across the thousands of acres in Anuradhapura.