How to Travel Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura divides into two distinct areas: Anuradhapura New Town, which is home to almost all the town’s accommodation and practical services, and the Sacred Precinct to the west, site of the ancient city. The entire town is hemmed in by three great reservoirs , Nuwara Wewa to the east, and Tissa Wewa and Basawakkulama Tank to the west. The New Town is bisected by Main Street, where you’ll find the post office, banks and other services.
Most of Anuradhapura’s accommodation is just east of here on or near Harischandra Mawatha. Arriving in Anuradhapura by public transport, you’ll come in at one of four places. The principal train station, Anuradhapura Station, is on Main Street just north of the centre of the New Town, a Rs.100 tuktuk ride from the Harischandra Mawatha guesthouses; there’s a subsidiary train station, Anuradhapura New Town Station, at the southern end of Main Street, though not all services stop here. Buses from Kandy and Colombo pull in just south of the Old Bus Station on Dharmapala Mawatha, east of Main Street. All other services arrive at the New Bus Station, at the southern end of Main Street.
There are branches of all the major banks strung out along Main Street, each with ATMs accepting foreign cards. The ancient city is crowded with pilgrims at weekends and, especially, on poya days, and is also the focus of several festivals. The largest, held on Poson poya day (June), commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka with enormous processions.