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Things To Do In Anuradhapura With Your Partner

From romantic walks or cycling tours through historic, religious shrines to soaring above the lush landscapes of the Cultural Triangle on a romantic hot air balloon ride, escape to Anuradhapura with your partner. The town is ideal for couples who share a love for history and culture, and a keen sense of exploring! Here are some of the most romantic things to do in Anuradhapura.


Ruwanwelisaya is often considered as Sri Lanka’s most magnificent temple. The strikingly white temple was built by the warrior king, Dutugamunu, who reigned from 137BC to 119 BC after he liberated the country from the 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.

Tip – Shoulders and knees must be covered before entering the premises. Footwear should be left at the entrance of the temple. Visit in the early hours of the morning or late evening, as the floor can get quite heated during the day.

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. Visit this special temple as you stroll through the sacred gardens.

Minneriya National Park

Take a break from exploring the ancient religious shrines and embark on an exciting safari with your partner. Best done in the early hours of the morning; visit the nearby Minneriya National Park for a chance of spotting the island’s gentle giants. Minneriya National Parks is a great option for elephant watching, as it’s only a 1.5-hour drive from Anuradhapura. The largest gathering of Asian elephants occurs within Minneriya National Park during the dry months from June to September. Hire a safari jeep to take you on a game drive, which would usually last for about 2.5 hours, where you’ll spot up anywhere between 200 to 500 elephants!

Tip – A sunrise safari from the park is a romantic, magical experience, especially for nature lovers. 

Hot Air Ballooning

Got the big question to pop? Or if you simply want to surprise your partner with a grand romantic gesture; there’s nothing quite like soaring above the clouds with dramatic views of Sri Lanka’s beautiful landscapes beneath you. Hot air ballooning is an unforgettable, romantic experience to partake in when you’re in Anuradhapura or the nearby towns of Sigiriya or Dambulla. As the sun rise, you’ll be amazed at how the island wakes up from its silent slumber. While hot air ballooning can be experienced at any time during the year, the months from 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!

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