Anuradhapura – the world’s oldest tree and a very beautiful moonstone.
There is much to look at in Anuradhapura: the world’s oldest tree, moonstones, Ruwanweli Dagoba, water basins and observing that the locals offer sacrifices to the Buddha.
Anuradhapura became UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. And that’s not without reason, since it’s a Buddhist center.
We were lucky to visit the area close to the full moon, and for example a number of processions through the area.
The world’s oldest tree
Sri Maha Bodhi is said to be the world’s oldest tree. It should have grown from cuttings of the tree in which Buddha Sakyamuni was sitting 2.500 years ago.
You can not get quite close to the tree today, as it has become a bit fragile in its old days 🙂 And the tree is stiffened by some beams so it does not collapse. But great fun to see a tree, which also historically means so much in Buddhism.
Sacrifice gifts to Buddha
It is a good day for the local people to offer a sacrifice to the Buddha.
It had not been thought of by tourists, but there were some friendly locals who came to us and gave us some flowers, and then we could go to Buddha. So we also became part of the cerimony.
In the area there was also a temple, and there was a huge Buddha figure:
The moonstone is perceived by Buddhists as a “spiritual door mat”, where you pass all steps on the road to the highest realization by going over it.
There are more of such Moonstones in Sri Lanka, but this should be one of the most beautiful. It is decorated with different animals, including elephants:
Around this Dagoba (built about 140 years BC) there are hundreds of carved elephants:
Finally, we saw two water basins where the monks bathed. They were constructed so that there was a slope so that the water could come from one basin to another.
I had an intention to try to dip my toes in the pool – but my surroundings thought it was a bad idea. At least they would not save me if I fell into the water 🙁
Close to our hotel (The Lakeside Hotel at Nuwarawewa, Anuradhapura) there was also a small town where we went down to look.
There were various small shops, many of which sold military clothing, but it was told that only the local affiliated with the military who could buy this clothes.
We also saw this business. And now the big question is: What service can you buy in this business? 🙂