Places to Visit in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sri Lanka Dambulla Rock Cave Temple

Sigiriya Rock is an ancient rock fortress located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sihagiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

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Anuradhapura

Sigiriya

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the right-wing branch (southern branch) from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 249 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world. The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc.In April 2014, the government banned all construction within 500 meters of the tree. Only construction that obviously will not harm the tree will be allowed.

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Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa

The Gal Vihara, also known as Gal Viharaya and originally as the Uttararama, is a rock temple of the Buddha situated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was fashioned in the 12th century by Parakramabahu I. The central feature of the temple is four rock relief statues of the Buddha, which have been carved into the face of a large granite rock. The images consist of a large seated figure, another smaller seated figure inside an artificial cavern, a standing figure and a reclining figure. These are considered to be some of the best examples of ancient Sinhalese sculpting and carving arts, and have made the Gal Vihara the most visited monument at Polonnaruwa.

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Minneriya National Park

Polonnaruwa

Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938.The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. The park earned revenue of Rs. 10.7 millions in the six months ending in August 2009. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka.The park is situated 182 kilometres (113 mi) from Colombo.

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Pigeon Island National Park

pigeon island

Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. The island's name derives from the rock pigeon which has colonized it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka.Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963. In 2003 it was redesignated as a national park. This national park is the 17th in Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era.Pigeon Island is one of the several protected areas affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

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Pidurangala

Temple of tooth relic

Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. It has an interesting history closely related to that of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Being less grand and far more difficult to climb it is often overlooked by tourists. Like Sigiriya, Pidurangala was formed by volcanic activity. Whilst Pidurangala appears larger than Sigiriya; its upper surface is steeply sloped and is of solid rock. For this reason it was not suitable for large-scale building activity. The rocky outcrops that surround the central rock gives one an indication of what the area around Sigiriya may have looked like prior to its clearing and preparation as a royal citadel.

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Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m (520 ft) over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, Vishnu and Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 m². Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha's temptation by demon Mara and Buddha's first sermon.

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Peradeniya Botanical Garden

Peradeniya Botanical Garden

Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It attracts 2 million visitors annually.It is near the Mahaweli River (the longest in Sri Lanka).It is renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

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Kandy Tooth Relic

Kandy Tooth Relic

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.

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Horton Plains

Horton Plains

The Horton Plains National Park at Ohiya is a beautiful highland plateau situated at an elevation of 2100 -2300m (6,900-7,500ft) above sea level. Sri Lanka’s Highlands along with Horton Plains National Park, the Peak Wilderness Protected Area and the Knuckles Conservation Forest was declared a World Heritage site in 2006.It is accessible via Ginigathena (185.4 km) or via the A5 Road (228.5 km) which connects Peradeniya with Chenkalady in the east via Gampola & Nuuwara Eliya.

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Yala National Park

Yala National Park
Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

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Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Dutch Fort
Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

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Madu River

Madu River
Take a magical speed-boat ride down the beautiful Madu River, a wetland estuary spreading over 900 hectares of which 770 hectares is covered with water and inhabited with 64 islands. The boat ride is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem; a world heritage site protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands being one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest. Journey past massive mangrove forests, glide under the canopy of the forest tunnels as they curve playfully towards the watercourse. Take in the unique biodiversity of the Madu River and its surrounding islands that boasts of hundreds of birds, plants, fish and animals.

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Sea Trutle Hatchery

Sea Trutle Hatchery
On the south coast of Sri Lanka, turtles have laid their eggs for generations. Swimming in from the Indian Ocean, they drag themselves up the sand on the beaches near the city of Galle and dig their nests, where they leave the eggs. Weeks later, their babies should hatch and make their way down to the coastline and into the water. Not all baby turtles survive. In fact, the natural survival rate of newborn turtles around the world is normally around five per cent. This is all part of a balanced ecosystem, though. Turtles usually lay more than a hundred eggs, so enough make it through to keep the species going. The rest become food for predators, which helps those species survive. As is often the case, though, there’s one species that is ruining it all. Humans.

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Train to Ella

Anuradhapura Ancient City
Kandy to Ella train trip is considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Therefore we facilitate our clients to book observation deck, luxury air conditioned compartment, 1st class AC compartment or 2nd class non AC reserved seats. The train starts from Colombo Fort Railway station and it takes about 3 hours approximately to reach Kandy/Peradeniya Railway station where the scenic trip begins. The train would reach Ella approximately in six hours and the most scenic part of the train journey is from Hatton to Haputale. It will be a good idea for travelers who go to Adam’s Peak in Maskeliya or White Water Rafting in Kitulgala to join the train ride from Hatton station.

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Isurumuniya

Peigeon Island National Park
Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tissa Wewa (Tisa tank) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. There are four carvings of special interest in this Vihara. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and The Royal Family.The temple was built by King Devanampiya Tissa (307 BC to 267 BC) who ruled in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura. After 500 children of high-caste were ordained, Isurumuniya was built for them to reside. King Kasyapa I (473-491 AD) renovated this viharaya[citation needed] and named it as "Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera".[citation needed] This name is derived from names of his 2 daughters and his name. There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is a cliff. A small stupa is built on it. It can be seen that the constructional work of this stupa belong to the present period. Lower down on both sides of a cleft, in a rock that appears to rise out of a pool, have been carved the figures of elephants. On the rock is carved the figure of a horse. The carving of Isurumuniya lovers on the slab has been brought from another place and placed it there. A few yards away from this vihara is the Ranmasu Uyana.

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Koneshwaram Hindu Temple

Koneshwaram Hindu Temple
Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee, a Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. It is one the Pancha Ishwarams dedicated to Shiva. Built significantly during the reign of the early Cholas and the Five Dravidians of the Early Pandyan Kingdom atop Konesar Malai, a promontory overlooking Trincomalee District, Gokarna bay and the Indian Ocean, its Pallava, Chola, Pandyan and Jaffna design reflect a continual Tamil Saivite influence in the Vannimai region from the classical period. The monument contains its main shrine to Shiva in the form Kona-Eiswara, shortened to Konesar and is a major place for Hindu pilgrimage". The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc.In April 2014, the government banned all construction within 500 meters of the tree. Only construction that obviously will not harm the tree will be allowed.

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Gadaladeniya Temple

Gadaladeniya Temple
Gadaladeniya Rajamaha Viharaya with an ancient monastery is found on the flat rock at Diggala in the district of Kandy. According to a inscription there this temple was built by King Buwanekabahu IV in the year 1344. The chief architect of this temple has been a south indian called Ganesvarachari. Therefore this temple is essentially a South Indian design.The main shrine room has seated (in Vajrasana) Buddha Statue under a Makara Thorana and four standing Buddha images. The makara thorana is decorated on both faces with gods such as Brahma, Suyama, Santhusuta, Natha and Maithree, and two attendants.

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Mihintale

Mihintale Rock
Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

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Ritigala

Ritigala
Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and mountain in Sri Lanka. The ruins and rock inscriptions of the monastery date back to 1st century BCE. It is located 43 km away from the ancient monastic city of Anuradhapura.

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Mirissa

Mirissa
Mirissa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in the Matara District of the Southern Province. It is approximately 150 kilometres south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 4 metres above sea level. Mirissa's beach and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination
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Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka.
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Lankathilakaya Temple

Lankathilakaya Temple
Lankatilaka Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Udunuwara of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located on Daulagala road approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) away from Pilimatalawa junction and a few kilometres from the ancient buddhist temple, Gadaladeniya Vihara. It is considered as the most magnificent architectural edifice created during the Gampola era.

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Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa Temple
Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. The citadel of Yapahuwa lying midway between Kurunagala and Anuradhapura was built around a huge granite rock rising abruptly almost a hundred meters above the surrounding lowlands.

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Temple Ambekke Devalaya

Temple Ambekke Devalaya
In the Udu Nuwara area of the Kandy district lies a temple with a history of over six centuries. Built during the reign of King Wickremabahu III (1371-1394AD) who ruled in the Kingdom of Gampola, the temple is practically covered in wood carvings. The woodwork is confirmed by UNESCO as some of the best and most detailed in the world. The temple is dedicated to the god known as ‘Murugan’ by the Hindus and ‘Katharagama deity’ by the Buddhists.

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Ramboda Water Falls

Ramboda Water Falls
Ramboda Ella is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and located by the Pussellawa, the A5 highway( Pussellawa- Nuwara Eliya road). If you are coming from Peradeniya , when you just pass the Ramboda Tunnel, you will came a cross a bridge. The water fall located by it. Actually Ramboda falls consists of three sections. You will get a good view of the middle section from the A5 highway, just above the bridge. This is very small in size with compared to other parts. You can get a far view of the top part from the main road, but not the complete view of the fall. You needs to climb up to see the top part of the Ramboda falls and there is a pathway just before the bridge.You may find the climbing bit difficult, but you will be compensated with the great view of the top fall and the surrounding.

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Nuwara Eliya City

Nuwara Eliya City
Nuwara Eliya City is called Little England. Tour was founded in the 19th Century by the British Many at the buildings retain features from the colonical period such as the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hostel etc.Nuwara Eliya can be reached from Colombo via Kandy, which is the gateway to the Central Highlands of the island. Colombo-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya is the most scenic highland motor road of Sri Lanka. Though the city of Nuwara Eliya has no Railway station, the highland railway line that winds past the city of Nanu Oya makes the journey by train one of the most scenic and memorable experiences. The journey to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy by train as well as by car is equally spectacular. The alternative route to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo is via Hatton which is located in the southern area of the Central Highlands.

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Nine Arch Bridge

Nine Arch Bridge
Ella is has become one of the major tourist hotspots of Sri Lanka and it is largely due to the epic scenery and hikes in the region such as Ella Rock and Adam’s Peak. However, it’s the smaller attractions, hidden gems and laid back vibes of the town that keep people in Ella for up to a week at a time. One of those unique attractions is the Nine Arch Bridge in between Ella station and Demodara station.The Nine Arch Bridge in Ella is on the Demodara loop and spans 91 meters at a height of 24m. The beautiful nine arches make it a very picturesque spot especially as it is located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting. Behind the railway, a forest is booming and below, tea leaves are being cultivated.

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