Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Attractions
21-09-2023 4.893 Views
Between ruins steeped in the history of ancient extinct civilizations, idyllic beaches and the warm welcome of Sri Lankans, Sri Lanka is a complete destination that will make you discover its treasures. You will also discover the face of a country still very attached to religion, with for example the visit of the Temple of Kandy, or that of Dambulla. More known for its beaches as far as the eye can see, the island peninsula is more than a pearl of the ocean. Your trip to Sri Lanka will be marked by this diversity of things to discover, it is certain that you will come back with plenty of memories !

THE ATTRACTIONS

Kandy

Adam’s Peak

Sigiriya « The Lion Rock »

Dambulla

Galle

Anuradhapura

Polonnaruwa

Yala Nature Reserve

Uda Walawe National Park

Sinharaja

The tea fields

Horton Plains

Discovery in train

Bentota

Jaffna

Tangalle

KANDY

Kandy was the capital of the Kingdom of Kandy. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Located 500 metres above sea level in a lush valley, it is considered the religious capital of Sri Lanka and a sacred place in Buddhism.

In fact, it houses an important relic: the tooth of Buddha in the temple of the same name. It also has one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world: Peradeniya, known for its many orchids, spices and medicinal plants. In short, a destination not to be missed!

ADAM’S PEAK

The mountain rises to more than 2,200 metres, located in the southwest of the island within the district of Ratnapura, called Adam’s Peak, is known for the presence of a rocky cavity, at its summit, similar to a footprint. According to the Buddhists, this would be Buddha’s. While for the Hindus, this would be proof of the passage of one of the gods of the Triumvirate on earth: Shiva or Vishnu. Finally, according to the Muslims, this would be the footprint of Adam (hence the name of the mountain) when he fell from the Gardens of Eden. Every year this mountain attracts many pilgrims and hikers who are reaching its ascent. Once at the top you can admire, as a reward, a breathtaking landscape!

SIGIRIYA “THE LION ROCK”

Sigiriya or «Lion Rock», located in the center of the country, is the site of an old royal palace built on a rock culminating at nearly 370 meters height.

It was towards the end of the 5th century that Kassapa, an illegitimate son who had fomented a coup against his father, made this place the capital. Indeed, the height of the walls as well as the thick surrounding jungle gives birth to a natural fortress, perfect to protect itself. He built canals to carry water to the top of the rock, feeding the king’s pool and the noble baths. Gardens and ponds bloom rapidly in the surrounding area, at the same time as imposing walls. You can also discover the fresco of the Ladies of Sigiriya, an important archaeological trace, the only representation of female figures from medieval times in Sri Lanka. Incredible view of the surrounding jungle, do not forget that you will have to climb quite a lot of stairs before arriving to the summit !

It is a very important archaeological site of Sri Lanka and which also gives the opportunity to observe a wonderful view at its top. This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DAMBULLA

Located in the centre of Sri Lanka, north of the city of Kandy, Dambulla contains more than 150 Buddha statues and 2100 m² of wall painting.

The city is known as a holy place appreciated by monks for meditation and prayer. Its many temples are carved in the cliff or built in the caves of the wide underground complex of the region. Among the 24 temples, only 5 can be visited by tourists. There is also the Golden Temple of the Buddha. An excavation site and ancient wall paintings have demonstrated the presence of indigenous people in the area, long before the arrival of Indians or Buddhism.

GALLE

Galle, located on the south-west coast of the island, is known for being the largest European fortress in Asia.

In fact, at first colonized by the Portuguese towards the 16th century who made it their trade port, it is really towards the 18th century, under Dutch domination, that the city is developed with several bastions and canals to make it a real jewel of the Dutch East India Company that will allow the supply of cinnamon to Europe. It will then come under English domination towards the 16th century where its development will continue within the British Raj. You can thus admire many European constructions like its lighthouse or its Dutch Reformed church. In addition, local culture, especially food, has a strong European influence, particularly from Portugal.

ANURADHAPURA

Anuradhapura is the ancient capital of a kingdom that existed from 380 BCE in the 11th century AD. It was founded by King Devanampiya Tissa and was therefore inhabited for nearly 2400 years. This city, with an area of 7,179 km2, is located in the province of Central-North.

It is now surrounded by monasteries and is considered a holy place in Theravada Buddhism. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Sri Lankan civil war between the Sinhala Buddhists and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Lam, an organization fighting for the creation of an independent state, it served as a base for the Sinhalese.

POLONNARUWA

Polonnaruwa, located not far from Dambulla in the centre of Sri Lanka, was the capital of the eponymous kingdom that succeeded Anuradhapra. Following the invasion of the Chola dynasty in the Kingdom of Anuradhapura, King Vijayabahu I chose to move the capital there. The city stretches over 120 hectares and is known for its magnificent ruins, religious remains, royal monuments and population from Macaque to Toque.

YALA NATURE RESERVE

Yala Nature Reserve is located in the Uva region of southern Sri Lanka, which is the second most populated. It is one of the largest reserves in the country and one of the first to be created.

It attracts a lot of people every year and is home to many animal species: Sri Lankan elephants, monkeys, swamp and marine crocodiles, snakes like the Indian cobra or Russel’s viper, buffalo, but also, the famous and majestic leopard of Sri Lanka! In total, the reserve is home to 44 mammal species and more than 210 bird species that you will be able to observe and hear singing.

UDA WALAWE NATIONAL PARK

This national park is located in the south of the country, in the province of Sabaragamuwa, close to that of Uva. In this reserve you can see elephants in their natural environment, it is probably the best place to observe them. The park is also home to deer, crocodile, coyote, buffalo and several dozen bird species, including near the Walawe River. A well-deserved break amidst Sri Lankan flora and fauna!

SINHARAJA

This forest reserve is a very humid rainforest in the south, in the province of Sabaragumuwa and has an area of about 60.90 km2. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989. Despite its dense vegetation, it is possible to come across animal species such as leopards, monkeys, reptiles such as vipers and many endemic bird species.

THE TEA FIELDS

As Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tea exporter in the world, it is worth visiting and discovering its magnificent fields. You can enjoy a magnificent landscape of plantations and vegetation as far as the eye can see. The best known are those located in the center of the country in the mountainous regions between the cities of Kandy and Ella. With 2,000 hectares of fields at an altitude of about 2,000 metres, this is a must-see stop when visiting the country!

HORTON PLAINS

Not far from Nuwara Elya, south of Kandy, is a park called Horton Plains. Located in the highlands of the country, about 2200 meters above sea level, this protected park is known for its magnificent hikes to enjoy the landscapes and flora. The highlight of this park is called World’s End. This place is one of the points of interest of the park, the others being waterfalls, temples and a botanical garden. Indeed, the path stops to give way to emptiness. A cliff 700 meters high, located on a tip of the plateau, where you can see the southern part of the island.

DISCOVERY IN TRAIN

In the recent years, the government has been working to build or renovate railway lines. In addition to the “infrastructure” aspect, Sri Lankan trains take full advantage of the country’s beautiful green landscapes. Thus, a train trip became a «must» during a trip there. Something to do and you will not regret! We recommend two routes: Kandy-Badulla (the most beautiful train ride in the world, according to the Backpacker) and Colombo in Galle to enjoy the beaches.

BENTOTA

Located on the east coast of Sri Lanka, about 60 Km from Colombo the capital of the country, this seaside resort includes several nautical activities such as scuba diving that allows to observe the sumptuous seabed of the country, Jet Ski, canoe, paddle, surf... Or simply farniente, you can enjoy this moment to rest on the wonderful white Sri Lankan sandy beaches.

In addition to these nautical activities, you can visit the temple of Galapota, a Buddhist temple that was destroyed in the sixteenth century and subsequently rebuilt or the market of Aluthgama to taste the local flavors.

We also recommend taking a walk along the Bentota Ganga River to admire a slew of bleach and discover beautiful flora and fauna.

JAFFNA

Jaffna is the second largest city in the country. It is located in the north of Sri Lanka where the people are mostly Tamil, of Hindu faith.

You can visit the most famous religious monument in Jaffna, Nallur Kandaswamy, who calls himself Kovil in Tamil. It is a temple that is dedicated to the Hindu god of war, Murugan who is according to legend, the son of Shiva and Passover. If you come during the holidays between July and August, you will meet many faithful who have come to worship the latter.

The Jaffna library is also a unmissable place of the city, It was burned in 1981 by Sinhalese, burning irreplaceable Tamil books and manuscripts and stirring up already strong tensions. Some consider this to be the triggering event of the civil war. Rebuilt identically, the library can now be visited. The civil war has kept Jaffna away from modernization. Here we find a typical Sri Lankan city where cars are scarce. The city is famous for its varieties of mangoes as tasty as each other but also its many bazaars.

TANGALLE

The city of Tangalle, located at the southern tip of Sri Lanka, is particularly famous for its idyllic beaches, still relatively preserved from mass tourism. Indeed, in recent years, the Sri Lankan beaches have piqued the interest of travelers, revealing many jewels of nature to the rest of the world.

With a rocky coast and strong waves, it is a paradise for surfers, as well as a place where turtles come to give birth. Tangalle and its surroundings have many beautiful beaches and you will be spoilt for choice! Sublime landscapes and a dense fauna to admire up close will always be awaiting you there!

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