Anuradhapura Museum

Coordinates: 8°20′50″N 80°23′37″E / 8.3473°N 80.3936°E / 8.3473; 80.3936
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Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum
side view of the museum
Former name
Puravidu Bhavana (පුරාවිදු භවන)
Established7 July 1947; 76 years ago (1947-07-07)
LocationArchaeological Museum, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
TypeArchaeological Museum, Historical Museum
FounderSenarath Paranavithana

Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum (also known as Puravidu Bhavana) is the oldest and the largest museum belonging to the Department of Archaeology of Sri Lanka.[1]


The museum is located near the Ruwanwalisaya Stupa, adjacent to the Anuradhapura Presidential House in the Anuradhapura District, North Central Province, Sri Lanka.


The museum is one of the archaeological museums of Sri Lanka.[1] It is situated in the old administration building (පරණ කච්චේරි ගොඩනැගිල්ල), in the sacred city of Anuradhapura.

Earlier Department of Archaeology had a residual collection of artifacts and Dr. Senarath Paranavithana started recording these artifacts according to the orders of the Archaeological Commissioner, Arthur Maurice Hocart. This museum was initially maintained in a part of a hospital located near Sri Maha Bodiya and Ruwanwalisa in Anuradhapura. But later on due to lack of facilities, Paranavithana constantly insisted on the necessity of establishing the museum in a new place.

According to the reports, in 1948, this collection of goods, which was kept on the south side of the Anuradhapura department building, was organised as a museum with the contribution of S. Shan Muganathan and G. D. Ranasinghe.

According to this request, the government gave the old administration building (පරණ කච්චේරි ගොඩනැගිල්ල) in Anuradhapura for the establishment of the Archaeological Museum. The establishment of the museum was delayed because the building was functioning as a centre to accommodate the Anuradhapura flood victims in 1940s.

Accordingly, with the help of Nisshanka Wijeratne, who was the Anuradhapura Governor at that time, the museum was able to acquire two buildings from this grant building and the adjoining two-storey recording building. Officially, Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum was established under the prime effort of former Director General, Dr. Senarath Paranavithana.[2]


The museum is used to exhibit antiquities found from various regions of Sri Lanka such as Buddha statues, Relic caskets, drawings, puppets, coins, jewelries, Beads and other miscellaneous things.[2][3] Among these antiquities there is a model of the Abhayagiri Stupa, Jantāgara and Paṁcāvāsa building etc. [4] Also Anuradhapura Archaeological museum holds the largest Inscription collection of Sri Lanka.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Anuradhapura Museum (National)". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Archaeological Museum". Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum :Reflecting the rich heritage of the Rajarata". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  4. ^ "The Sacred City of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 3 July 2015.

8°20′50″N 80°23′37″E / 8.3473°N 80.3936°E / 8.3473; 80.3936