10 Top Travel Destinations in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, welcomes you with its crystal clear blue seas, pristine white sandy beaches, a reserved culture and rich history. For nearly 30 years, civil war against the Tamil and the Sinhalese population plagued the country. It brought about a crippling effect on its tourism industry as countless travel advisories were announced for tourists. But finally, the conflict ended in May 2009, thus leading to a very peaceful island paradise.
Sri Lanka is now starting to reconstruct itself and is boosting its tourism industry.
Here in Dambulla, you will see the largest potted cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. There is also the Rangiri Dambulla global stadium, which was built in 167 days. The city also boasts the largest rose quartz range in South Asia, and also Namal Uyana, the Iron wood forest. Ibbankatuwa primitive burial site near Dambulla cave temple complex is the newest archaeological site that brings significant historical importance.
Bundala National Park
Bundala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s leading attractions for birdwatchers with plentiful sea and other birdlife. The park is also home to a huge population of elephants, leopards, estuarine and marshland crocodiles, turtles and other fauna.
Hikkaduwa is a small town located in the south coast of Sri Lanka, renowned for its great beaches and corals. Hikkaduwa is mainly a tourist attraction and serves as a great spot for snorkelling, surfing or simply enjoying the sun.
As the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is filled with great hotels, restaurants, shopping and every form of transport imaginable. Just east of the Fort is the traditional bazaar Pettah, where you enjoy a colourful retail experience. To the south is the seaside promenade of Galle Face Green where informal cricket games are played by city folks. Just off the north end of Galle Road is the colonial stronghold the Fort, which is now home to countless government offices and residences.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka, which is home to orphaned and abandoned wild young elephants. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary to around 60 elephants that are fed, bathed and cared for. The star attraction is viewing the elephants enjoy their daily river soak.
Nuwara Eliya is situated at an elevation of 1990 metres amidst vast tea plantations. Nuwara Eliya is one of the highest and most stunning towns in Sri Lanka’s hill region and was constructed by English tea growers, and remains their favourite hill station during colonial times. The town is home to the magnificent Hakgala Botanical Gardens, and boasts of the best golf course in Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya is an olden rock stronghold and palace ruin, which is enveloped by a widespread network of reservoirs, gardens and other structures. Sigiriya is a renowned tourist attraction known for its frescos that look similarly to those found in the Ajanta Caves in India. The Sigiriya was built during King Kassapa I’s regime, and is a World Heritage Site.
The hill city of Kandy is set around an attractive man-made lake in a scenic hill country. It is in Kandy that you will find and experience the Esala Perahera Festival typically held every August. The Kandy Festival makes you see elephants parade in the courtyards of the temple and thousands of people from all over the country flock the area each year.
Polonnaruwa is known as an ancient city featuring Gal Vhara and the 12th-century stone sculptures. The statues located in a cluster along a dirt road are sitting, reclining and standing. These are venerated as being among the most sacred monuments in all of Sri Lanka. You can also see palace ruins, friezes and bas-reliefs.
Anuradhapura is one of the olden capitals of Sri Lanka, renowned for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan people. The olden city is considered blessed to the Buddhist world, and is today surrounded by monasteries. The city of Anuradhapura is also relevant among Hindu legends as it is the fabled capital of the Asura King Rayana in the Ramayana.