The Great Old City of Sri Lanka

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The Great Old City of Sri Lanka Powered By Docstoc
					The great city – Anuradhapura
In the two thousand years of the Golden Age of Sri Lanka's history, the Sinhalese built great reservoirs
with ingenious irrigation systems to feed the rice fields that were the tranary of the country. The
earliest tanks were constructed at Anuradhapura and Magama and they enabled the agricultural systems
to flourish and the population thereby to meditate on things spiritual.

With the establishment of the Buddhist religion, the ancient people constructed massive stupas, domed
shrines on sacred sites, complete with extensive monastic complxes, containing stone and brick built
multi- storied buildings, roads, monumental sculptures and cave temples with mural paintings of great
beauty and delicacy. Enshrinements were made in Buddha statues and relic houses, offerings made of
precious minerals and gemstones, and artefacts of more simple muuld. The art and architecture of the
early Sinhalese was most striking and delicate in composition, being both elegant and austere.

The ancient royal city of Anuradhapura, designed by the genius of King Pandukabhaya in the fourth
century before the dawn of the Christian Era, was the epitome of modernity, with four guardian gates at
the cardinal points, water and sanitation facilities. Attendant villages surrounded the enclosed city and
brisk trade was conducted on a network of roads.

 With such a legacy of cultural, religious, social and technological excellence, Sri Lanka has long
strived to preserve and maintain this heritage. The Department of Archaeology has done sterling
service over many decades. Notably, Mr.H.C.P. Bell, Prof. Senerat Paranavithana and many others
have given their life's work to this purpose.

The Govermnent inaugurated th Cultural Triangles of Sri Lanka at an international gathering on 25
August 1980. The Triangle is formed by connecting Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy with an
imaginary line, containing within it places of worship, palaces and halls of learning. Today,great steps
have been taken in presering ancient monuments within the Triangle. These living fragments of history
will enable future genarations to see and appreciate the glories of the past.