Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura

Located in the historical city of Anuradhapura, just a few minutes away from the sacred Jaya Shri Maha Bodhiya, the Ruwanweliseya and the Jetavanaramaya Stupa, the Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura (the ‘Puravidu Bhavana’ as it is sometimes called) is an epicentre of history that gives the history enthuse a detailed account of one of the first kingdoms in Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Anuradhapura that thrived from the 4th Century BC to the 11th Century AC, further making it a very important museum in Sri Lanka.

Best Known For

  • Being located in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, the Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura is famed for being a focal point of knowledge in relation to the period of the ancient Kingdom of Anuradhapura, as it is confirmed to be the period in which Buddhism was introduced and embraced by the masses, making it the official religion of the island.
  • Possessing a number of exhibits; from Buddha statues to ancient coins and even scale models of ancient structures that once graced the kingdom, the museum is a place of comprehensive history.

Interesting Facts

  • The Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura was established in the year of 1947, with the efforts of renowned archaeologist, Dr. Senerath Paranavithana and was initially called the ‘Puravidu Bhavana’.
  • The reason for the establishment of the museum, according to Dr. Paranavithana, was to give easier access to the masses in learning and understanding the unique heritage of the island paradise of Sri Lanka.
  • Ever since the museum’s establishment, it has become a prime location for the history enthuse to learn about the rise and fall of the ancient Anuradhapura Kingdom.
  • Located in close proximity to other notable monuments of the ancient kingdom that thrived from the 4th Century BC to the 11th Century AC, such as the Ruwanweliseya and the Jetavanaramaya Stupa to name but 2, the museum allows you to explore the ancient kingdom with context and background.
  • Of course, the highlighting factor of the museum is the number of exhibits it possesses.
  • Such exhibits include ancient drawings, Buddha statues, puppets, ancient coins, jewellery, and beads, along with a scale model of the Thuparama Vatadage and a restored relic chamber that was found at the nearby Kantaka Chetiya Dagoba, thus rebuilding the grandeur that existed during the kingdom’s prime.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The museum in Anuradhapura is open from Wednesday to Monday and operates from 8.00am to 5.00pm, however, the ideal time to visit the museum is during the morning hours, since there are lesser crowds, making it easier to explore the museum.
  • Please adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the relevant authorities, as its confines hold priceless artifacts of the ancient Kingdom of Anuradhapura.
  • Photography is not permitted inside the museum.
  • Do keep in mind that the ticket you purchase for the museum also allows you to visit the Jaya Shri Maha Bodhiya, therefore it is recommended that you dress accordingly when visiting.

The Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura recreates the lost Kingdom of Anuradhapura, with its many artifacts and exhibits, making it possible for anyone to understand Sri Lanka’s illustrious heritage.

The information displayed is provided by Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura


Entrance Fee
LKR 200

Tickets At


Culture and Heritage

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