Anuradhapura, aka: Anurādhapura, Anuradha-pura; 4 Definition(s)


Anuradhapura means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

India history and geogprahy

Anuradhapura in India history glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

The tradition is that Anurādhapura was first founded as a village settlement in the second half of the 6th century B.C. by a Minister named Anurādha of the first, traditional King, Vijaya. Some years later a Sakka prince of the same name was overlord there: he built a tank, and to south of the tank, a residence. “Because it had served as dwelling to two Anurādhas and also because it was founded under the constellation Anurādha, it was called Anurādhapura”. King Paṇḍdukābhaya is said to have made it his capital in the 4th century B.C. and to have laid out the town and its suburbs in a planned way.

The embellishment of the town with thūpas and vihāras began in the reign of Devānaṃpiya Tissa (B.C. 247-207) but these earliest buildings were neither large nor elaborate. The embellishment proper commenced with King Duṭṭhagāmaṇi Abhaya, who ascended the throne in B.C. 161, and continued unabated to the closing years of the 10th century, a period of 1150 years.

The Chinese monk, Fa-Hsien, who visited Ceylon from 411 to 413, has given a description of Anurādhapura as he saw it, and he says that “it was full of lay chiefs, dwellings of head-merchants grand, main streets and side streets level and well-kept, and between 50,000 and 60,000 monks in the City”: he mentions also the rich decoration of the temples, the beautiful works of art and the great procession of the Tooth-Relic. The walled Citadel or Inner City, within which was the Royal Palace, had an area of about 200 acres. No traces exist of an outerring of walls enclosing both Citadel and City, whose area in the 10th century extended to nearly 20 square miles.

Source: Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1963

The Cholas occupied Polannaruwa (Anuradhapura) in Sri Lanka in the 36th regnal year of Mahinda V. They took Mahinda V, his wife and all his treasures to Chola country. Mahinda died 12 years later around 200 BCE. According to Rajavaliya, Sena V attacked Tamils and routed them. A Chola king brought an army of 95000 Tamils and landed in Sri Lanka.

Source: The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka

Anurādhapura (अनुराधपुर) was the ancient capital city of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—Anurādhapura is mentioned in the Dīpavaṃsa. It was the ancient capital of Ceylon, but it is now in ruins.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Anuradhapura in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Anurādhapura (अनुराधपुर).—the ancient capital of Laṅkā or Ceylon; founded by अनुराध (anurādha). Also called अनुरोधपुर (anurodhapura), described by Rājaśekhara as full of curiosities. It is a large town in the north of Ceylon "with 16 square granite pillars which supported the floor of an enormous monastery called 'The Great Brazen Palace' said to have been built in 161 B. C."

Derivable forms: anurādhapuram (अनुराधपुरम्).

Anurādhapura is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms anurādha and pura (पुर). See also (synonyms): anurādhagrāma.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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