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Things To Do In Anuradhapura With Uga Ulagalla


Located right in the centre of the Cultural Triangle and birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the ancient and sacred city of Anuradhapura is one of the country’s most historically rich places and is a must-visit destination.


Situated in Anuradhapura itself and easily accessible to plenty of sites around, look no further than Uga Ulagalla if you’re wondering where to stay! Experiencing this city steeped in culture and heritage is made effortless with Uga Ulagalla.


Why Choose Uga Ulagalla?


An expansive high-end property spanning over 58 acres, Uga Ulagalla is tucked away in the village of Thirapanne, boasting of lush greenery as far as the eye can see, numerous ponds and streams, and is nestled among two beautiful reservoirs. It’s seeped in luxury and is ideal for a lavish getaway in this ancient city.


If you're a history enthusiast, you’ll love staying here; going back to the 1900s, the land was once a majestic ancestral home to the village chieftain! Preserving its heritage, the property has been painstakingly restored with the surrounding environment remaining as unscathed as possible. As such, you'll see the 150-year-old mansion still standing today at the heart of the property. Undoubtedly, once you get to Uga Ulagalla, you are almost immediately transported back in time!


In true Sri Lankan fashion, you are welcomed with the traditional “Ayubowan”, big smiles and 2 traditional welcoming rituals that are unique to Uga Ulagalla and date back to the chieftain’s time; yet another reason why you’ll want to experience the magic of this property for yourself.



The aged wooden window and the bells are preserved pieces from the original property.
The aged wooden window and the bells are preserved pieces from the original property.

Accommodation at Uga Ulagalla


Ulagalla’s accommodations are made up of 25 luxurious, large villas, all with their own pool! We had the amazing experience of staying in a Deluxe One Bedroom Pool Villa, which features an exquisite bedroom and bathroom, an incredible living room, a nature-immersed deck and of course, a plunge pool where you can enjoy a delectable floating breakfast!



The Deluxe One Bedroom Pool Villa at Uga Ulagalla.
The Deluxe One Bedroom Pool Villa at Uga Ulagalla.


Places To Visit In Anuradhapura


There is no shortage of places to visit in Anuradhapura, meaning you’ll definitely need a few days to thoroughly explore and discover what this city has to offer. With the help of Uga Ulagalla’s excellent staff, you can do this with their learned tour guides and even have little picnics while you soak in the history and culture brimming in Anuradhapura.


1. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi



Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

Known as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi temple is home to the sacred Bodhi Tree. The sapling of this tree was brought from North India by King Devanampiyatissa and was planted in 288 BC, making it the oldest tree with a known date of planting.



A group of Bhikkunis meditating at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
A group of Bhikkunis meditating at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.

At Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, you’ll find countless pilgrims from all over the country and world flocking here to worship and meditate.


2. Brazen Palace or Lovamahapaya


Built by King Dutugemunu, the Brazen Palace or Lovamahapaya was once a soaring 9 stories. The site was a monastery as well as a university where monks from around the globe would study Buddhism. What’s more, it’s believed that the plans for this grand construction were sent down from the heavens!



The Brazen Palace (Lovamahapaya).
The Brazen Palace (Lovamahapaya).

3. Ruwanweli Seya



Ruwanweli Seya Stupa

Also known as the Mahathupa owing to its sheer size, the Ruwanweli Seya was a creation of King Dutugemu’s over 2500 years ago. Aside from the grandeur of this temple, Ruwanweli Seya attracts many visitors as it enshrines the largest collection of Lord Buddha's relics anywhere in the world.


4. Thuparamaya



Thuparamaya and columns from a walkway that once supported a roof sheltering the sacred edifice.
Thuparamaya and columns from a walkway that once supported a roof sheltering the sacred edifice.

Covering nearly 3.5 acres, Thuparamaya or Thuparama Seya is believed to be the first Stupa built in Sri Lanka by King Devanampiyatissa. This sacred location enshrines the relic that is Lord Buddha’s right collar bone.


5. Abhayagiri Stupa



Abhayagiri Dagaba.
Abhayagiri Dagaba.

Rising up to an incredible 245 ft., the Abhayagiri Dagaba was built by King Valagamba during the 1st century BC and was a monastery that house 5000 monks!



One of the Twin Ponds, one of many sights found at the Abhayagiri Stupa
One of the Twin Ponds, one of many sights found at the Abhayagiri Stupa

6. Elephant Pond



Elephant Pond.
Elephant Pond.

In ancient times, this vast pond is where the 5000 monks from the Abhayagiri Monastery would bathe. The Elephant Pond is quite an impressive structure that stands at 9 meters deep, takes in water from the nearby tank, and even has a filtration system.



Picnic organized by Uga Ulagalla at Elephant Pond.
Picnic organized by Uga Ulagalla at Elephant Pond.

7. Jetawanaramaya




Once standing at a whopping 400 ft. tall (before its top was knocked off) and built by King Mahasen, Jetavanaramaya is the largest dagaba in Sri Lanka and used to be the largest structure in South East Asia.




8. Abhaya Wewa



Abhaya Wewa, with Ruwanweli Seya in the background.
Abhaya Wewa, with Ruwanweli Seya in the background.

The Abhaya Wewa was the first reservoir to be built in Sri Lanka. In the scorching heat and dry land of Anuradhapura, reservoirs are of immense importance because without them, it would've been a challenge for the city and its people to thrive.


9. Ritigala Kanda


Hidden away in the mountainous terrain of Ritigala Kanda is Ritigala Forest Monastery, one of Sri Lanka's oldest monasteries.



Ritigala Forest Monastery
Ritigala Forest Monastery

The micro-climate alongside the endemic flora found at Ritigala is quite unique as they are much different to what you’d find in the surrounding areas. In order to make the most of this experience at the Ritigala Mountain and Monastery, we’d certainly recommend asking the staff at Ulagalla to arrange this excursion!



Exploring the ruins at the Ritigala Forest Monastery.
Exploring the ruins at the Ritigala Forest Monastery.


Things To Do At Uga Ulagalla


While there are countless places to visit in Anuradhapura, there’s plenty of actives to do at Ulagalla itself!


1. Become One with Nature at The Two Reservoirs



Kayaking at the Wannemaduwa Tank, where over a 100 species of birds can be found
Kayaking at the Wannemaduwa Tank.


2. Sip On a Drink at The Observatory



Drinks and canapés at The Observatory at Uga Ulagalla.
Drinks and canapés at The Observatory at Uga Ulagalla.

3. Indulge in A Hearty Sri Lankan Meal at Kamatha



Evenings at the Kamatha Village Restaurant at Uga Ulagalla, a highly recommended spot for dinner.
Evenings at the Kamatha Village Restaurant at Uga Ulagalla, a highly recommended spot for dinner.


4. Pick Out Ingredients from The Organic Garden for Your Lunch





The chef at the traditional kitchen nearby will whip something up for you then and there
The chef at the traditional kitchen nearby will whip something up for you then and there

5. Experience Ulagalla On Horseback



Horseback Riding at Uga Ulagalla.
Horseback Riding at Uga Ulagalla.


Final Thoughts


All in all, we had a truly magical experience at Uga Ulagalla. The luxurious property is perfect for honeymooners, or even for a lavish getaway. While staying here does usually fall on the pricier side of the spectrum, it’s absolutely worth every penny. (They’ve also got some amazing offers going on currently, so can enjoy some savings!)


Don’t forget to check out our vlog detailing our experience in Anuradhapura with Uga Ulagalla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKqbOxKVoZk&t=209s




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