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Srilinka Place of Interest

 
 

Anuradhapura

Hundreds of years prior to the birth of Christ, while other regions were emerging from the stone ages, Sri Lanka was a land of highly advanced cities of which Anuradhapura was the greatest. Its ruins today display infinite detail of rare beauty, delicately set in the world’s mightiest masses of monumental masonry, second only to the pyramids of Egypt.

As it was only the Buddhist religion that was considered worthy of permanence, Buddhist structures alone were given to the imperishable medium of stone.

For Buddhists there are eight places of particular sanctity within Anuradhapura. These are the Sri Maha Bodhi, the Ruwanweli Seya, the Thuparama Dagoba, the Jetavanarama Dagoba, the Abhayagiri Dagoba, the Lankarama Dagoba, the Mirisaweti Dagoba and the Isurumuniya Viharaya.

From a non-religious point of view, Anuradhapura is captivating for its architectural excellence. The city has an appeal that relates to almost anyone and even the least artistically inclined traveler will find himself in awe and wonder.
 

Colombo

Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka. It is a drive of about 45 minutes from the Bandaranayke International Airport. It is a commercial hub with a population of about one million, an ethnic hodgepodge of the diverse cultures, races and religions of Sri Lanka. Although Colombo has a rich past, it is also a bustling, modernized metropolis that is governed by a strong western influence. There are high-rise buildings and noisy street bazaars, flashy sports cars and one-man trishaws, chic western fashions and the traditional sarong. The Pettah bazaar is definitely a must-see for the avid shopper, the selection is not exclusively Sri Lankan, but the range is quite wide and the prices fair. Other places of interest include the fascinating National Museum, the Independence Memorial Hall and the parliamentary House complex.
 

Kandy

Sri Lanka's last royal citadel with an exotic oriental atmosphere, it is picturesquely situated among mountain, lake & river. A cultural sanctuary where age old customs, arts & crafts thrive & flourish. Kandy's center of attraction is the `Dalada Maligawa' - the temple which enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The city is renowned for its exquisite silver & gems Kandyan jewellery & handicrafts of wood, brass & silver. The Royal Botanical gardens at Peradeniya, just outside Kandy is famed for its rare collection of Orchids and herb gardens.
 

Galle Fort

The Galle fort, a "world Heritage Site" today provides a glimpse of Sri Lankan Dutch Heritage. As the Galle town outside the fort jostles with life, the imposing walls of the fort envelopes a much calmer atmosphere and takes one a few centuries back to the Dutch Colonial Era.
 

Hikkaduwa Coral Reef

The coastal town of Hikkaduwa on the South Coast is well known for its 'Coral Sanctuary'. The reef is well populated with a variety of tropical fish and turtles which can easily be seen even when snorkeling not far from the shore. Coupled with such a magnificent undersea world and the teeming thrust of beach life, Hikkaduwa is a haven for both divers and beach lovers.
 

Pinnawela

Pinnawela is a small town a short distance from Kegalle. It is not particularly fascinating except for one unique orphanage situated in this town, the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. Established in 1975 as a place to house young elephants who found themselves separated and lost from their herds or orphaned by poachers, Pinnawela has now become a popular tourist site.
 

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa, which was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th century has more to see and leaves less to speculation than Anuradhapura, the capital that preceded it. Due to its more recent past, Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. Ornamental friezes and delicately carved pillars decorate most of the ruins, making the metropolis fascinating to any visitor. The Terrace of the Tooth Relic, at the heart of the city is a platform that houses 12 of the grandest buildings. Of these, the Vatadage and the Thuparama image house are the most spectacular. Further away from the centre of the metropolis is the Gal Vihara, which consists of four statues of the Lord Buddha. Cut from a single granite wall, these rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan art. Other sites of particular interest are the Lotus bath, the Medirigiriya Vatadage and the Lankatilake image house.
 

Sigiriya

Sigiriya offers amazing sights comprising of a massive monolith of red stone rising 600 feet from the green scrub jungle to accentuate the lucid blue of the sky. It was one of the loveliest royal cities that ever graced the earth in the 15th century. And today, it is perhaps the single most remarkable memory for visitors to Sri Lanka. Ruins of the fabled palace spread across the very peak of the "Lion Rock", so-named, perhaps, because visitors formerly began the final harrowing ascent through the open jaws and throat (giriya) of a lion (sinha) whose likeness was once sculpted halfway up the monolith. Only gigantic paws remain today. Within a grotto on Sigiriya’s sheer west face, beautiful bare-breasted maidens still smile from incredible fresco paintings. Surrounding the foot of the rock, extending for several hundred meters, are Asia's oldest surviving landscape gardens, incorporating lovely ponds around the Sigiriya’ s plinth of fallen boulders. This all makes visit to this unique place a must.
 

Yala National Park

Sri Lanka offers a vast and varied range of flora and fauna. One-tenth of her entire land is under the protected areas in the forms of national parks and sanctuaries.

The Yala National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the country. Though it is mainly a thorny scrub forest, it is the best place to see the large herds of elephants with calves in their natural habitat. The habitat is also shared by the leopards, bears and other species of wild fauna. There are accommodations (Bungalows) with all basic amenities at the Yala National Park. Trained Nature Guides, commonly known as "trackers" accompany all guests making them familiar with the flora and fauna in the park.

 

Horton Plains

Horton Plains is one of Sri Lanka's most fascinating and stupendously beautiful regions. It lies high up in the central hills of the island, nestling on a wild and windswept saddle at an elevation of about 7,200 feet. There are a series of vast open plains rolling along as far as the eye could see, dipping now and then into misty vales and mossy, muddy marshes, often rising up again into pointed peaks and running into deeply wooded areas of moss covered forest. Vast jungle covered cliffs of awesome height & ice cold, crystal clear streams, pools and waterfalls mark her verdant face. The Horton Plains grips you with her unique atmosphere and ever-changing character while you are there and then beckons you again with her cold, stark beauty when you have left her. Two of the main attractions are "Worlds End" & "Bakers Falls".

Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak is a cone shaped mountain rising to a height of about 7,353 feet. It is an equally revered site for both the Buddhists as well as the Christians. The Buddhists call it "Sri Pada" (holy footprint) as they believe that the Buddha had left his footprint on the summit of the mountain whereas the Christians have a firm belief that Adam & Eve resided here, hence the "Adam’s Peak". This peak offers spectacular views of the sunrise.
 

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka's picturesque hill resort about 1,890 meters above sea level. It is renowned for its perennial spring like climate & carpets of lush green tea. Visit one of Asia's finest golf courses & the Haggala botanical gardens, famous for its superb collection of roses and the rare fernery. Your visit to Nuwara Eliya should be best combined with the famous Tea states and factories.
 

Avukana

The major attraction here is the massive statue of the Buddha which stands 39 feet in height and is hewn out of sheer rock. It is considered as one of the finest stone statues in Asia. It dates back to the 5th Century AD.
 

Ratnapura

Ratnapura, about 100 km away from Colombo in the foothills of the Adam' Peak, is the most famous gem-mining locality in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka produces precious stones such as rubies, Sapphires, Cat's Eyes, Alexandrite, Aquamarines, Tourmalines, Garnets, Amethysts, Topaz, etc. Legend has it that King Solomon procured a great Ruby for Queen Sheba from this locality.