Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura
/euh noor"euh deuh poor"euh, un'oo rah"deuh-/, n.
a city in N central Sri Lanka: ruins of ancient Buddhist temples. 30,000.

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(с 3rd century BC–10th century AD) Sinhalese kingdom centred at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.

Though plagued by invasions from southern India (which took actual control of the kingdom several times) and internal strife among warring clans, the kingdom of Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture. Its complex irrigation system is often considered its major achievement. The modern city of Anuradhapura (pop. 2001 prelim.: 56,632) contains vast Buddhist ruins and a bo tree grown from a slip of the tree under which the historical Buddha is said to have reached Enlightenment.

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      city, north-central Sri Lanka. It is situated along the Aruvi Aru River. The old section of Anuradhapura, now preserved as an archaeological park and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, is the best known of Sri Lanka's ancient ruined cities; in the immediate vicinity are huge bell-shaped dagobas (Buddhist commemorative shrines, or stupas) built of small sun-dried bricks, as well as temples, sculptures, palaces, and ancient drinking-water reservoirs. The city also contains an ancient pipal tree that is believed to have originally been a branch of the Bo tree at Bodh Gaya (Bihar, India), under which Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment. The Bo tree branch was planted at Anuradhapura about 245 BC, and it may be the oldest tree in existence for which there is any historical record.

 Anuradhapura was founded in the 5th century BC and was the Sinhalese capital of Sri Lanka from the 4th century BC until the 11th century AD, when invasions from South India forced the shifting of the capital. The city was abandoned and overrun by jungle; in the 19th century it was rediscovered by the British and subsequently became a Buddhist pilgrimage centre. The revival of the city began in earnest in the 1870s. The contemporary city, much of which was moved during the mid-20th century to preserve the site of the ancient capital, is a major road junction of northern Sri Lanka and lies along a railway line. The city is the headquarters of Sri Lanka's archaeological survey, and tourism is a significant factor in its economy. Pop. (2001 prelim.) 56,632.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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