This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again.
Anuradhapura attests in a unique and specific way to the Sinhalese civilization. On numerous occasions the city was submitted to the assaults of invaders from southern India - Tamils, Pandyas, Cholas, etc. It stands as a permanent manifesto of the culture of Sri Lanka, impervious to outside influences