It is rightly said that there is no end to fun in Sri Lanka. Often called the ‘Teardrop of India’, Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of beaches, heritage monuments, rich wildlife and a lot more. You will fall short of words in praising this island nation once you start exploring its lush tea estates, verdant botanical gardens, national parks, magnificent waterfalls and world heritage sites. Sri Lanka is also renowned for its unique and rich culture which dates back to over 2,500 years.
Wonders of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s first capital, Anuradhapura is the oldest city and one of the most sacred places for Buddhist followers. The heritage city comprises palaces, monasteries, monuments, temples, pleasure gardens, bathing pools and wooded parks. Listed as the World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura was founded around 5th century BC.
This world heritage site is remarkable for its extraordinary irrigation systems. It houses the Brahmanic monuments built by the Chola Rulers and the ruins of the garden city built by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
Digamadulla and Kandy
Digamadulla served as the agricultural and spiritual capital of Sri Lanka during the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. On the other hand, Kandy deserves a special mention for its intricately carved houses, palaces and temples.
The marvel of ancient time, Sigiriya is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the first century BC and used to be a monastery. Later, King Kashyapa converted it into a fortress in the 5th century AD which is located atop a rock plateau. Featuring splendid frescoes, mirror walls, terrace and water gardens; Sigiriya is a fine example of ancient urban planning. Overlooking lush jungle, Sigiriya is truly a wondrous creation of all time.
Golden Temple of Dambulla
The cave temple, a world heritage site, is a famous pilgrimage place which is extremely revered by Buddhists. There are more than 80 caves in the nearby areas, out of which five are of major significance. Among various cave temples in Sri Lanka, it is the largest and best preserved one. These caves boast of exquisite mural paintings which portray the life and events of Lord Buddha. They also feature a 15 metre long reclining Buddha statue along with his other 156 statues in various sizes and poses.
Popular as ‘Little England’, the hill station was once the favourite place of the British during colonial times. This attractive town is perfect to witness the breathtaking beauty of Sri Lanka. Attractions like Lake Gregory, Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Lakshapana Falls, Lover’s Leap Waterfall and Devon Falls make it a popular tourist spot.
Other Prominent Attractions:
Like its heritage, Sri Lanka is rich in biodiversity. One can find 91 species of mammals, 433 species of birds and 106 species of amphibians here. For wildlife lovers, Sri Lanka is a heaven offering them ample opportunities to capture its diverse flora and fauna. Bundala National Park, Yala West National Park, Uda Walawe National Park, Wasgomuwa National Park, Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, Horton Plains National Park, Wilpattu National Park, etc. are home to many rare and exotic wildlife species.
This ‘tropical paradise’ comes with plenty of beaches where beach bums can revel in their choice of activities. The beaches of Unawatuna, Bentota, Arugam Bay, Mirissa, Uppuveli are considered among the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, canoeing, surfing and scuba diving are popular water sports at these beaches.
Exhilarating Adventure Sports
Apart from various water sports, adventure seekers can go for hiking and trekking expeditions. Daring souls must try rock climbing and waterfall climbing to ensure a spine-tingling time.