1. The Ancient City of Anuradhapura Cycling Tour
Your tour will start at the Ranmasu Uyana (Royal Park) at approximately 8 AM where you will be met by your cycling guide and provided with bicycles and helmets as well as refreshments for the ride. Depart along the third-oldest manmade reservoir in Sri Lanka. The embankment of Tissa Wewa is 2 miles long and 25 feet tall. From Tissa Wewa, bike to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura City, where the ancient monuments and ruins lie. Your guide will tell you many native stories and legends about Anuradhapura along the way. En route to the city, stop by the Isurumuniya Temple, built by King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BC. This temple is the location of many famous stone carvings that you will get to see, including the Isurumuniya Lovers, the Royal Family, and the Elephant Bathing. Once you get to the Anuradhapura Ruins, view the Abhayagiri Stupa that was part of the massive Abhayagiri Monastery. The Stupa was the second largest brick structure in the world after Jetavanaramaya. You will be able to see the elaborate moonstones and the reclining Buddha. You will also be able to see the famous giant Samadhi Buddha statue and the beautifully designed Twin Ponds (Kuttam Pokuna) that were also part of the Abhayagiri Monastery. After the Abhayagiri monastery area, continue to the Jetavana Pagoda, built in the 4th century AD and the largest brick structure of the ancient world. Jetavana remains an impressive sight with its carved bas reliefs, high arches, and beautifully shaped lotus pedestals. The last stop is at the Ruwanwelisaya Pagoda, the oldest that is still in use where you can see pilgrims worshipping. Here you’ll see plenty of elephant sculptures, from the full-sized elephant sculptures in the outer wall to the old stone elephants in the base of the stupa.