Nestling amidst low hills, and looped by the Mahaweli river, Sri Lanka's largest, Kandy is still the home of the arts and crafts, music and dance and song which flourished under the patronage of the Kandyan Kings. For Buddhists, Kandy is the sacred city. The focal point is the Dalada Maligawa also known as the Temple of the Tooth, where the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined. There are many shrines and temples in and around Kandy, where you will see rare paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings.
Nuwara Eliya Blessed a with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery, it's hard to imagine that Nuwara Eliya is only 180 Km from the hot and humid Colombo. Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights), also known as 'Little' England', was the favourite hill station of the British who tried to shape Nuwara Eliya into a typical English Village.
Adam's Peak Sri Pada (Adam's Peak) is the most iconic mountain of Sri Lanka. It's 2'243 meter (7359 ft) tall and it is a holy place for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians which ties it to Buddah, Shiva and Adam respectively
Tissamaharama About 40km (25 miles) north east of Hambantota, Tissa is the most convenient jumping-off point for Ruhuna National Park, to the east, and the Kataragama temple complex.
Yala National Park Yala National Park is famous for its elephant population seen in small and large herds, spotted deer, Sambhur, Barking deer, monkey, wild buffalo, wild Boer, sloth bear and innumerable varieties of birds, endemic and migratory. Peacock is the most famous of the birds at Yala.
Sigiriya Sigiriya, the spectacular 'Lion rock' fortress, stands majestically overlooking the luscious green jungle surroundings, and is one of Sri Lanka's major attractions. Highlights: the water gardens, the frescoes of the Sigiriya Damsels, the mirror wall with graffiti, the lion platform and the palace complex at the summit.
Buduruwagala Rock carving Although it is off the beaten track and seldom included in tour itineraries the Buduruwagala Rock carving site is perhaps the finest example of Mahayana Buddhism Scupltures that can be found in Sri Lanka dating back to 9-10 c. Its jungle setting adds depth to this site.
Dambulla Cave Temple Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here king Walagambahu took refuge in the 1st century B.C. He later turned the caves into a rock temple. Its rock ceiling is one large sweep of colorful paintings which depict Buddhist mythology and tales of the Buddha's previous births. Some of them are over 2000 years old. Within the cave temple there is the largest collection of the Buddha statues in a single place.
Dalada Maligawa - Temple of the Tooth The importance of Kandy is mainly due to being the home of the Dalada Maligawa, which houses the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. The tooth relic itself is claimed to have come to Sri Lanka some 1600 years ago, when a certain princess from southern India brought it to Anuradhapura, which was then the most powerful kingdom in Sri Lanka. As king and kingdoms rose and fell, it finally ended up in around 1100AD.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens These gorgeous gardens were first planned and laid out for King Keerthi Sri Rajasingha (1747-1780) and cover some 150 acres of trees, lawns and flowering shrubs, including a 50 acres arboretum of more than 10000 trees. Under British rule, the royal park became a botanical garden in 1821 and is the largest of Sri Lanka's three mail botanical gardens. The best known attraction of the garden is the Orchid house, which has more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids.
The Hummanaya-Blow Hole The Hummanaya-Blow Hole is a natural fountain, caused when sea water rushes through a submerged cavern and is pushed upwards. Hummanaya is located on the southern Sri Lankan coast. The ocean water flows underneath the shore, and then comes out of this hole due to pressure. Water shoots up every minute or so, and it gives very serene feeling. The spray is often as high as 25 meters, giving on lookers a sea bath on land.
Lighthouse at Devi Nuwara Lighthouse at Devi Nuwara, just a kilometer south of Dondra town, a British built octagonal lighthouse (1889) marks the southernmost point in Sri Lanka. Standing 54 meters tall, the light house presents sweeping views of up & down the coast. To the south from this tropical coast here, beyond the view of local fishing boats riding the indigo waves there is nothing until Antarctica.
Polonnaruwa The Island medieval capital (11c & 12c) rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. The city in it's day was fortified with three concentric walls, beatified with parks gardens and sanctified by many shrines. Pollonnaruwa shows the interesting blend of the influence of the south Indian Hindu culture on the Buddhist art and architecture in the scattered shrines and monuments still venerated daily by devotees.
Negombo Conveniently located in the proximity of the Bandarainake International Airport (aka Colombo International Airport) Negombo is the ideal starting point for any tour in Sri Lanka. From its origin as harbor and trade point Negombo maintain up to today its multicultural character which shows in the multitude of colors, activities, temple and churches which chracterize its vibrant city life.
Anuradhapura For 1500 years, from 4c BC when King Pandukabhaya made it his capital to 11c, Anuradhapura has been the capital of the Sri Lanka. Nowadays the ancient city remains an sacred place for buddisths and its ruins are one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka and are one of the most impressive archeological site of the island.
Colombo Colombo is the first city of Sri Lanka as well as its political and economical capital. Located on the delta of the river Kelani, Colombo is a place where the contemporaneity of the modern metropolis melts with the heritage of a millenary history spanning from its origin as trade point to present day through the portuguese, dutch and british colonial eras.