Travellanka October 2017

61 Ancient Cities | Most of these ancient irrigation works such as the Tissa Wewa, Basawakkulama and Nuwara Wewa at Anuradhapura, the massive Parakrama Samudhra or Sea of Parakrama, Giritale and Minneriya in the Polonnaruwa region, the Kalawewa and Balaluwewa still provide water to irrigate the rice fields of the dry zone in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura – 206 km 1 Sri Lanka’s first capital, founded in the 5 c. B.C., according to the ancient Sinhala chronicle Mahavamsa, was a model of planning with precincts set aside for huntsmen, scavengers, heretics as well as for foreigners. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels and hospitals. Anuradhapura was an example par excellence of a Hydraulic Civilization. The construction of reservoirs, canals and irrigation channels during this period exhibited an amazing T hegentleswayofBuddhism introduced in 247 c. B.C. which, transformed the Indo-Aryan Sinhalese has produced magnificent feats of architecture and construction. In the massive dagobas, the ornate pleasure gardens and palaces and the exquisite sculpture which abounds, particularly at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Sri Lanka’s ancient cities are also the centres of the irrigation works of the past. Massive reservoirs built to collect rain water, river diversions, giant aqueducts and miles long irrigation channels are proof of a civilizationhighlydeveloped inthescienceof irrigation,hydraulicsandwatermanagement. Documented history of Sri Lanka dates back to 3rd c. B.C. when the island was among the most advanced and developed nations of the pre-modern world and the seat of an important historical civilisation in Asia. The ruined cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya extending from 3rd c. B.C. to 12c. A.D. record a grandeur unsurpassed. Ancient Cities – Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa Anuradhapura Sigiriya Polonnaruwa 1 2 4 6 5 1 7 8 3 9 10 Dambulla Habarana Kandalama Nalanda Gedige Kurunegala Yapahuwa Aukana Buddha Mihintale Polonnaruwa Visitor Information Centre Parakrama Samudraya Minneriya NP to Trincomalee to Jaffna For detailed map - see separate guide map insertion For detailed map - see separate guide map insertion to Colombo to Kandy 1 ANCIENT CITIES Anuradhapura 1 Mihintale 2 Aukana Buddha 3 Polonnaruwa 4 Parakrama Samudraya 5 Polonnaruwa Visitor Information Centre 6 Sigiriya 7 Dambulla 8 Nalanda Gedige 9 Kurunegala 10