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Things To Do In Anuradhapura With Your Partner

Deemed as one of Sri Lanka’s holiest sites, Anuradhapura is a city many Sri Lankans- especially Buddhists- hold close to their heart. The ancient city, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once a thriving ancient civilisation. A little known fact is that Anuradhapura is one of the most romantic destinations in the country, while many couples flock to the beaches for a romantic getaway, Anuradhapura has a certain historical charm and when you’re walking through the ruins under the hot sun and balmy winds it is as though you’ve been transported to another time. So come discover Anuradhapura.


Ruwanwelisaya is often considered as Sri Lanka’s most magnificent temple. The temple was built by the warrior king, Dutugamunu, who reigned from 137BC to 119 BC after he liberated the country from the invading south Indian king. The colossal structure is truly breathtaking and it is hard to believe that it was built in a time before modern technology. Sadly, Dutugamunu did not live long enough to see the completion of his temple, however, on his deathbed, the King’s brother brought him to the temple, and had covered the dome in a white cloth and constructed the upper part with bamboo which was painted gold to show the king what his temple would look like for the years to come.

Sri Maha Bodhi

Sri Maha Bodhi is a shrine dedicated to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, one of the oldest trees in the world. Buddhism was spread to Sri Lanka by the Indian Emperor Ashoka when he sent his son to preach a sermon to King Tissa of Anuradhapura; as a sign of friendship, the Emperor later sent his daughter with a sapling of the bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment. Today, that sapling has become a large tree looming tall and surrounded by statues and gold fences, Buddhist flags hang from its branches. This temple is one of the most special sites in Sri Lanka, and you and your partner must visit it.

Minneriya & Kaudulla National Parks

Elephants are a hallmark of Sri Lanka and when you visit the island you must make the effort to see the Sri Lankan elephant at least once. Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks are a great option since they’re only an hour and a half drive from Anuradhapura, and they are the two best places to watch elephants. Although they’re two separate parks, they join in the middle to form a corridor, giving the elephants a larger area to roam. The largest gathering of Asian elephants occurs within these parks during the dry months from June to September. You and your partner can hire a safari jeep to take you on a game drive- that normally lasts about 2 ½ hours- where you will see anywhere between 200 to 500 elephants!

Hot Air Ballooning

Definitely the most romantic experience you can have in Anuradhapura/ the Cultural Triangle. Watch the sunrise over the rolling plains of the central province, as the sky changes from a deep purple to light pink, orange, lilac and finally sky blue; there is something magical about watching the whole world gradually light up in the warm glow of the morning sun. There isn’t really a season for hot air ballooning, only depending on visibility, but it is generally thought that November – May provides the best conditions. Soar above the surrounding landscapes as you enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Cultural Triangle. This would be the pinnacle of romance and you should definitely try it.