Ruins, Anuradhapura (Ceylon). 18 February 1868
Artist: Leighton, Stanley (1837-1901)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the ruins at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka by Stanley Leighton (1837-1901), dated 18th February 1868. This image is inscribed on the front in pencil: 'Thupa-Rama, Anarajapoora, Ceylon. Wed. 18 Feb. 1868. S.L.' February 1868.
Anuradhapura was the seat of government for over 1000 years and is the spot where Buddhism first gained importance on the island in c. 260 BC. As a result, the area contains many ruined Buddhist shrines and monasteries as well as royal palaces and other related ruins. Seen in this drawing is the remains of a Buddhist site with a stupa in the centre. A stupa is a round shrine with a finial on top where important relics were housed; they can be found in almost every town of this predominately Buddhist country. Other important sites in Anuradhapura include the 1600 columns that remain of the Brazen Palace and the Sacred Bo tree (Sri Maha Bodhi), the tree believed to be a sapling from the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.