Category: Destinations

Discusses about travel destinations in Sri Lanka

Trincomalee

The nation’s port harbor, Trincomalee is to the more northeast of Sri Lanka. Trincomalee is a popular attraction to both travelers and locals due to its commercial reputation and the maritime location. The city is rich with a bundle of offers to the guests, whether it’s traveling with children, loved ones, and friends or merely by yourself. The guests can make their journey the best through the elements of spiritual experiences, natural wonders and elements of relaxation come together. . Most people just pass through the city on their way to the nearby beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, but the town has some charm, lots of history and an interesting melange of people.

ATTRACTIONS IN TRINCOMALEE

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THIRUKONESWARAM TEMPLE

Thirukoneswaram, or the Holy Koneswaram Temple, is a Hindu temple in Trincomalee on the east coast of Sri Lanka. The temple lies on a high rocky promontory surrounded on three sides by the sea. It has a history of over three millennia where its roots in 1580 BC according to the legend.This, still beautiful, historical monument is what remains of what once was a sprawling temple city equal to the ancient city of Madurai, India. This was zealously destroyed by the Portuguese in the 17th century. The remains of the old temple still lie on the sea bed to have a look.

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PIGEON ISLAND NATIONAL PARK

The island got its name from the rock pigeon which has colonized it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era. Floating in the great blue 1km offshore, Pigeon Island, with its powdery white sands and glittering coral gardens, tantalize with possibilities. A nesting area for rock pigeons, the island is beautiful enough, with rock pools and paths running through thickets, but it’s the underwater landscape that’s the real star. The reef here is shallow, making snorkeling almost as satisfying as diving, and it’s home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish and turtles.

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NILAVELI BEACH

Another beach resort in Trincomalee is Nilaveli, which is far less intimate than Uppuveli, with hotels scattered up and down little lanes off the coastal highway – it’s around four kilometres from one end of the village to the other. If you’re looking for some serious beach time, then Nilaveli could be just the ticket, for the sands are golden and the ocean inviting. Offshore, Pigeon Island offers fine diving and snorkeling.

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DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING

Trincomalee has won a great attraction as an important Whales and Dolphin watching destination. The best season for Whale and Dolphin watching in Trincomalee is May to October. During your excursion you will be able to spot various species of Dolphins and Whales, for instance; Bottlenose dolphin, Spinner Dolphin, Fraser’s Dolphin, Blue Whale, Killer Whale, Bryde’s whale and many more. During this season the ocean remains in tranquil, providing the most perfect surrounding to watch Whales and Dolphins in a closer proximity.

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Tissamaharama

Tissamaharama is a town in the Southern Province of Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. Today, the city serves primarily as a starting point for visits to Yala National Park and Kataragama. It used as early as the 3rd century B.C to be the capital of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Ruhuna. Only few structures can still be seen today from that era. After archeological excavations in 2010, the presence of normal early Tamils in Tissamaharama was verified. The Tissamaharama Tamil Brahmi inscription was investigated at the earliest stage in the southern city, a piece of black and red ware flat plate written in Tamil in the Tamil Brahmi script. Also dating back to that moment was the big artificial Tissa Wewa lake, which was component of an advanced irrigation system. In the area of Tissamaharama there are five primary lakes: Tissa Wewa ; Yoda Wewa ; Weerawila Wewa ; Pannegamuwa Wewa ; and Debarawewa.


ATTRACTIONS IN TISSAMAHARAMA

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YALA NATIONAL PARK

Yala National Park, bordering the Indian Ocean, is Sri Lanka’s most visited and second biggest national park. The park is made up of five blocks, two of which are now accessible to the public and adjacent parks. The blocks have individual names for the adjacent region such as Ruhuna National Park (Block 1), and Kumana National Park or’ Yala East.’ It is located in the country’s southeastern area and is located in the southern province and province of Uva. The park includes 979 km2 (378 sq mi) and is situated approximately 300 km (190 mi) from Colombo. In 1900, Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary and was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, along with Wilpattu, which was established in 1938. The park is best known for its wildlife diversity. It is essential to preserve Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds and has one of the world’s largest leopard densities. The park was visited by around 156,867 visitors in 2002. Foreigners, particularly Europeans, make up 30% of the total number of tourists. Block I is the primary visiting region. However, Block III (primary gate in the Galge region on Buttala-Kataragama Road) and the adjacent Kumana Park or’ Yala East’ (primary gate in Okanda, not far from Pottuvil on the east coast) are also becoming famous on their own.

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BUNDALA NATIONAL PARK

Bundala National Park is a wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka that is of international importance. Bundala harbors 197 bird species, the highlight being the larger flamingo that migrates in big flocks. In 1969, Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary and on 4 January 1993 was reassigned to a national park. Bundala became the first wetland in Sri Lanka to be declared a Ramsar site in 1991. In 2005, UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka, designated the National Park as a biosphere reserve. The national park is located southeast of Colombo, 245 kilometers (152 mi).

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TISSA LAKE

The lake, an artificial reservoir, is believed to have been built by either Mahanaga of Ruhuna or his successor Yatala Tissa of Ruhuna in the 3rd century BC to irrigate paddy lands and supply water to Tissamaharama’s thriving town. In 1871, the lake was restored. The southern coast embankment (or bund) promotes the Tissa-Kataragama highway (B464), which is lined by ancient Indian rain trees planted by the British to provide shade.

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TISSAMAHARAMA TEMPLE

The Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara in Tissamaharama, Southern Province of Sri Lanka, is an ancient Buddhist temple. After Arhant Mahinda Thera’s arrival in the country, it was one of the four main Buddhist monasteries developed in Sri Lanka. The site of the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara was consecrated by Lord Buddha himself, who spent some time there meditating with 500 arhats during his third trip to the island. From the 3rd century B.C., the Tissamaharama monastery was acknowledged as a pre-eminent Buddhist instructional center of Sri Lanka. The Tissamaharama Dagaba located in the monastery grounds is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest stupas.

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KATARAGAMA TEMPLE

Kataragama is a sacred pilgrimage city for the Sri Lankan people of the Buddhist, Hindu and indigenous Vedda People. There are also people from South India going to worship there. The town has the Kataragama temple, also known as Kataragama deviyo, a shrine devoted to Skanda Kumara. Kataragama is situated in the province of Uva, Sri Lanka’s Monaragala District. Although in medieval times Kataragama was a tiny village, today it is a fast-growing township encircled by jungle in Sri Lanka’s southeast region.
Also a significant attraction in the Kataragama region is the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa, which is thought to be constructed by the regional king Mahasena in the 6th century BC. The city has a venerable history from the last centuries BCE. It was the seat of government during the days of the Rohana kingdom of many Sinhalese kings. The town has experienced many changes since the 1950, with successive governments investing in public transport, medical facilities, and hotel services and business development.

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SELLA KATARAGAMA TEMPLE

Sella Kataragama is a tiny city on the banks of Menik Ganga about 4 kilometers north-west of Kataragama, weaved in the legends of the Kataragama deity (Skanda Kumaraya) just as much as Kataragama itself.
Skanda is also known as Murugan, Arumugam, Kandasami (Skanda Swami), Subrahmanya, and so on, according to Hindu beliefs. Many legends describe the birth of this deity and according to Hindu legends, after a fight with his wife Thevani, God Skanda went to Sri Lanka and landed in the southern portion of the island.
One day he saw a lovely 16-year-old local girl named Valli adapted by the tribe’s veddha chief living in the region.
Incapable of winning her love, Skanda consulted with his brother Ganesh to assist him. Finding that Valli feared elephants, Ganesh was planning to appear as an Elephant and Skanda for her rescue. Ganesh gave Skanda a pot of water before turning in to the elephant and requested him to pour the water on him after the planed assault to turn back to the human form.
When Skanda approached Valli at Sella Kataragama as an old man, she was choking on some food and he dropped all the water in the eagerness to help her. At the same moment, Ganesh appears and scares her in the shape of an elephant. Skanda provided to assist her with the marring condition. Valli consents to marry him without decision and then he appears in his real form. But sadly, since Skanda dropped the water, Ganesh has to remain with an elephant head. And later the newly wedded couple is thought to have lived in Sella Kataragama.

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South Coast

Prepare your senses for overload, for Sri Lanka is at its most sultry and enticing in the South: a magnificent coastline of dazzling white sand curves set against smart wooded mountains. Yes, you’re going to discover the area a pleasure to explore, with each bend on the coastal road revealing another idyllic area to investigate.by strangers, like a third of the buildings.

ATTRACTIONS IN SOUTH COAST

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TANGALLE SRI LANKA

Tangalle is a large city ruled by an urban council in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. It is one of the southern province’s biggest cities. It is 195 kilometers south of Colombo and 35 kilometers east of Matara.
Here is the gateway to southeastern Sri Lanka’s wide open spaces and wide open beaches. Before Hambantota, it is the last town of any size and has some charm of the old world. But its star attractions are the beaches.

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Hiriketiya Beach – Tangalla

A tiny beach with excellent surfing, plenty of greenery and some fine dining and hanging establishments. Hiriketiya is one of those sleepy beaches in the South that is no longer so sleepy after being found by backpackers. Locals can kick themselves for not discovering it sooner, but in addition to swimming, tourism also provides restaurants and hotels and stuff to do.

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Goyambokka Beach – Tangalla

The beach offers enough privacy by coconut and palm trees and plenty of natural shade. Occasionally strolling, with crabs and cracked coconut shells scattered around, the beach also offers food and drink choices in tiny cafes— you can pick up a free umbrella or deck chair by buying a snack.

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MIRISSA BEACH

Mirissa and its magnificent sandy, palm-fringed beach is perhaps Sri Lanka’s best-known southern coast resort. In addition to having the region’s largest fishing port, well-known for its tuna, mullet, snapper and butterfish, it is also one of the major whale watching facilities.
The calm feeling of tropical-island peace and loneliness of the beach is due to the reality that all hotels, guest houses and other tourist amenities are well laid back and mostly out of sight. So chilled drinks at sunset and moonlight walks in the surf are a specific delight for tourists as they wind down from the rigors of enjoying all of Marissa’s generous and big-hearted hospitality.

WELIGAMA BEACH

Weligama is a wonderful place to learn to surf, about a two-kilometer stretch of shallow sandy beach, translated as a sandy village. One of the best locations to find a link to the ocean in southern Sri Lanka and catch your first wave. Get there for first light and surf until sunrise, usually it’s still until 8 a.m. so a nice time to exercise on uncontroversial waves.

KOGGALA BEACH (STILT FISHERMEN)

Stilt Fishing is one of Sri Lanka’s most exciting traditional fishing techniques. Records show that it came into being shortly after World War II. This mode of fishing was used more commonly all along the shoreline until the 2004 tsunami, which led such operations to cease momentarily until the last years. Fishermen’s beautiful sight perched branched poles as they skillfully fish during dawn, noon, and dusk; now frequently found along the southern shoreline in cities like Koggala, Midigama, and Ahangama.

UNAWATUNA BEACH

A significant source of tourist attraction is the Unawatuna beach. The beach is a beautifully stretched region of sand-covered soil that with its exotic perspective and exceptional atmosphere can increase the expectations of any holiday. Corals are essentially aquatic invertebrates found in a number of indistinguishable polyps in colonies. One of this beach’s stuff that gives it the grip over the others is the corals that are considered and examined while snorkeling. One of tourists ‘ primary preferences is to appreciate the marine life and closely examine it, and if you’re one of them, the Unawatuna beach may just be the place to spend your vacation.

HIKKADUWA BEACH

Hikkaduwa is the name of a tiny city situated about 98 km north of Colombo on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Hikkaduwa beach, one of Sri Lanka’s best surfing sites, and the Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary, a few meters from the shore. In the months from November to March when waves increase, you can enjoy surfing to the fullest. In these months, many visitors have suggested surfing.

BALAPITIYA MADU RIVER

Take a magical boat ride down the wonderful Madu River, a 900-hectare wetland estuary of which 770 hectares are covered with water and 64 islands are inhabited. The boat ride is a great way to take a closer look at this complicated wetland ecosystem; one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest is a world heritage site protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Travel past huge mangrove forests, glide under the canopy of the tunnels of the forest as they curve towards the watercourse playfully. Take in the Madu River and its surrounding island’s distinctive biodiversity, which contains hundreds of birds, plants, fish and animals.
There’s plenty more to do; quench your thirst with a refreshing King Coconut Water drink and then continue to the Buddhist Monastery, see how Kraal fishing is done, how Ceylon Cinnamon is peeled and enjoy some’ fish treatment’ as they playfully nibble your feet at the’ fish spa.’ If it’s later at night, watch the fishermen light lanterns on traps in their canoes that capture prawns and other shellfish. It will definitely be a memorable day-out on the unforgettable Madu River’s peaceful waters.

BENTOTA BEACH

If you want to spend your holidays and have a calm and natural treat, without bars and restaurants, this is the most refreshing and relaxing place.
The 7-8 kilometer long Bentota Beach is truly a sign of peace, tranquility and cleanliness.
One of its greatest points is its quiet environment, which many individuals believe runs the beach’s natural and relaxing atmosphere. Everyone has plenty of space to settle in completely and fully enjoy the sun bath.

KOSGODA BEACH (SEA TURTLE HATCHERIES)

The Kosgoda Beach Turtle Care Center is one of 18 turtle hatcheries along Sri Lanka’s southern shoreline. The center is situated in Kosgoda’s southwest coastal village and was established in 1981. It is also very common as all five turtle species that visit Kosgoda’s Sri Lankan nest. This is not so with many of the island’s other hatcheries whose beaches host only some of the species. The center acts mainly as a hatchery and makes enormous attempts in their very original phases to increase the hatching rate and the survival of baby turtles. But the Care Center also operates on individuals who are sick or wounded; they are treated and released back into the ocean. They also operate local and foreign visitors ‘ voluntary programs and awareness programs.

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Sigiriya

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is an ancient rock fortress situated close the town of Dambulla in the central province of Sri Lanka in the Matale district. The name relates to a site of historical and archeological importance dominated by a huge rock column almost 200 meters (660 ft) high.The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.

ATTRACTIONS IN SIGIRIYA

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SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS

This location was chosen by King Kasyapa (477–495 CE) for his new capital, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle. On the top of this rock he built his palace and decorated with colorful frescoes on its sides. He constructed a gateway in the shape of a huge lion on a tiny plateau about halfway up the side of this rock. This place’s name is derived from this structure— the Lion Rock, Sinhagiri. After the death of the king, the capital and the royal palace were abandoned. It was used up to the 14th century as a Buddhist monastery. Sigiriya is a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO today. It is one of ancient urban planning’s’ best preserved examples.
Lal Srinivas and Mirando Obesekara described Sigiriya as a turning point in Ravana’s post-historical archeology. According to them, Sigiriya may be the Alakamandava (City of the Gods), which King Kuvera who was Ravana’s half-brother (Ravan) as mentioned in the Ramayanaya built up before 50 centuries ago.
The Sigiriya architect was a Danava called Maya Danava, according to Ravana Watha’s Palm Leaf Book (Puskola Potha) (about Ravana). On orders provided by Ravana’s dad, King Visthavasa (Vishravasamuni), he constructed up Sigiriya. The Sigiriya was called Alakamandava during that era and it was called Chithrakuta during King Kuwera’s era. Vibeeshana became the king after Ravana’s death and he moved the kingdom to Kelaniya. Chiththaraja used Alakamandava as his residence according to this book. Chiththaraja was Vibeeshana’s relationship with a Yakka Patrician.
Chiththaraja was also said to be one of the people who helped Prince Pandukabhaya get the kingship. Pandukabhaya’s parents were descended from Chiththaraja’s tribe.
Moreover, Ravana Watha was also portrayed as having chosen the Chithrakuta as his residence by Prince Kassapa who was King Daathusena’s son because her mom was a follower of Yakka’s faith and she also came down from them. King Kassapa was the only king to rebuild and preserve the Chiththakuta as King Ravana did. The renowned wall paintings in the Chiththakuta (later Sigiriya) can be regarded as showing about the land of the Sinhala. The Ravana Watha explains that the blue-colored lady picture represents the Yakka Tribe and other ladies represent the Tribes of Naga (Serpentine), Deva (Divine) and Gandabhbha (Celestial Musicians) and the beautiful flowers demonstrate the country’s unity.

SIGIRIYA MUSEUM

The Sigiriya museum is considered to be South Asia’s most appealing. The Sigiriya Museum reflects its cultural, technological and archeological importance, managed by the Central Cultural Fund. The Sigiriya Museum can explore three centuries of archeological studies on Sigiriya Sri Lanka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum’s design was influenced by Sigiriya’s advanced architecture itself. It pursued the Green Building idea with the masterful use of water and trees to stimulate a real experience. In addition, the floors are constructed to allow tourists to feel the Sigiriya climbing through the ascending terraces and broad stairs.

PIDURANGALA ROCK

A few kilometers north of Sigiriya, Pidurangala is a huge rock. The two rocks have an interconnected history: while in the 5th century King Kasyapa built Sigiriya Rock Fortress, he shifted monks residing around Sigiriya to a new monastery on Pidurangala Rock. An ancient cave temple still houses items from different vintages that represent Buddhist, Hindu and Western views, and it is believed that the stupa on the left side of the temple door marks the place where King Kasyapa was cremated. Pidurangala is a more difficult climb than Sigiriya, so those with bad physical fitness should not try it. There is no clear route to the top: steep, irregular steps give way to an expanse of rocks and crevices to be navigated by climbers to achieve the summit. From the top, the surrounding landscape offers magnificent views and an incredible view of the magnificent Sigiriya Rock.

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Polonaruwa

Ruins of Polonnaruwa, are one of the most prominent cultural locations in the country. Polonnaruwa was eventually created by King Parakramabahu I into a town and became the capital of the country until the early 13th century. Some of the most remarkable ruins are the Gal Vihara carvings.

The whole sculpture consists of four colossal Buddha statues-a samadhi image in meditation posture; a seated Buddha image inside a cave; a standing Buddha image 23ft tall, and a 46ft lying Buddha image depicting the passing away. Chart-topping British rock band Duran Duran went to this tropical island paradise in 1982 to create their music video “Save a Prayer,” and an ideal backdrop was created by the ancient town of Polonnaruwa.

ATTRACTIONS IN POLONNARUWA

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GAL VIHARA

The Gal Vihara, also known as Gal Viharaya and originally known as the Uttararama, is a Buddha’s rock temple located in the ancient town of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. Parakramabahu I fashioned it in the 12th century. The temple’s main characteristic is four Buddha rock relief sculptures carved into the face of a big granite rock. The pictures are a big sitting figure, another smaller sitting figure inside an artificial cavern, a standing figure and a reclining figure. These are regarded some of the finest examples of ancient Sinhalese sculpture and carving arts, making the Gal Vihara Polonnaruwa’s most visited landmark.
Uttararama’s pictures adopt a distinct style from the earlier Anuradhapura period’s pictures and demonstrate some important distinctions. The standing image’s identity is subject to a certain quantity of controversy between historians and archeologists, some of whom argue that it portrays the Ananda monk rather than the Buddha. Each of the pictures was sculpted in a manner that utilizes as much of the rock as possible and their heights seem to have been decided on the basis of the rock’s height itself. Each statue, as stated by the remains of brick walls at the site, appears to have had its own picture house. The Uttararama was where Parakramabahu I kept a congregation of monks to purify the priesthood of Buddhism and later drew up for them a code of behavior. This code of behavior was recorded on the same rock face in an inscription containing Buddha’s images.

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POLONNARUWA VATADAGE

The Vatadage of Polonnaruwa is an ancient structure that dates back to Sri Lanka’s Polonnaruwa Kingdom. It is thought that during the reign of Parakramabahu I was constructed to hold the Buddha’s tooth relic or during the reign of Polonnaruwa’s Nissanka Malla to hold the Buddha’s alms bowl. Both of these venerated relics at the moment would have provided excellent meaning and importance to the structure. It is the best preserved instance of a vatadage in the nation, located in the ancient town of Polonnaruwa, and has been characterized as the “ultimate growth” of this type of architecture. Excavation research at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage started in 1903, abandoned for several decades.
The structure has two stone platforms decorated with elaborate stone sculptures, built to protect a tiny stupa. A single door facing the north enters the reduced platform, while the second platform can be accessed through four doors facing the four cardinal points. Surrounded by a brick wall, the upper platform includes the stupa. It is surrounded by four Buddha statues, each facing one of the entrances. There were also three concentrated rows of stone columns, probably to support a wooden roof. The whole structure is adorned with sculptures of stone. Some of the sculptures at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage are regarded the finest examples of such architectural characteristics, such as its sandakada pahanas. Although it has been suggested by some archeologists that it also has a wooden roof, others dispute this hypothesis.

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POLONNARUWA LANKATHILAKA IMAGE HOUSE

Polonnaruwa Lankathilaka Image House is a monolithic Buddha house constructed on the south side of Kiri Vehera by King Parakramabahu (1153-1186). The house is full with bricks and the exterior walls are covered with sophisticated designs and sculptures. The statue of the Buddha is also produced entirely of clay bricks and it was 41 feet high. This statue was built with specially made flat bricks and today the part above the shoulder is demolished. There are two huge pillars made of bricks at the entrance to the Lankathilaka building. The highest is 58 feet high. These pillars are believed to have been twice as high before destruction. This building has had five stories, according to chronicles. This is also a part of the Privena Alahana.

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SANDAKADA PAHANA (THE MOON STONE)

Sandakada pahanas are semi-circular stone slabs, elaborately sculpted and generally discovered at the bottom of staircases and entrances. But Polonnaruwa’s ruins show distinctive departures from this ancient and beautiful Sinhalese architectural custom’s traditional characteristics. Moonstones featured a half lotus in the center during the previous Anuradhapura period, surrounded by bands portraying swans, foliage, and four procession animals: elephants, lions, horses, and bulls. However, the single band depicting the four animals was separated with the Polonnaruwa moonstones, and each was given its own distinct band. Meanwhile, instead of putting moonstones only at entrances to Buddhist temples in the Anuradhapura tradition, they are also discovered at other buildings ‘ entrances in Polonnaruwa.

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Thivanka Pilimage image house 

Thivanka Pilimage image house and original wall paintings, classical art and carvings in their initial form are undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Polonnaruwa’s ruins. Built by King Parakramabahu (1153–1186) as part of the Jethavanarama Complex, it involves an imposing Buddha sculpture curved in three locations, hence the name ‘ Thivanka.’ The sheer quantity, style and quality on display led one art scholar to say that the dominant characteristics of the internal chambers ‘ walls are elegance, elaboration and magnificence. A pleasure to behold is the graceful expressions on the faces of the gods, the dramatic poses in which their bodies were cast and the delicate fingers held in equally dramatic mudras.

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STATUE OF PARAKRAMABAHU OR PULASTYA RISHI

The magnificent statue of 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m), sculpted from a rock face just north of Polonnaruwa’s primary ruins, is a source of mystery and speculation. It is believed to portray either King Parakramabahu I himself or perhaps a famous 12th-century sage. It is definitely an impressive figure, a grave of face, holding in his two hands what might be a book. Noted historian Mendis Rohanadeera proposed depicting a person from the Lambakanna clan, citing the fact that a hare, a symbol of Lambakanna, can be seen above his left shoulder. But others have pointed out that the statue is situated near the ancient library of Potgul Vehera and is thus likely a tribute to one of the esteemed and respected sages of Polonnaruwa.

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GAL-POTHA STONE BOOK

A massive slab 26 ft 10ins (8.2 m) long and 4 ft 7ins (1.4 m) broad, the Gal Potha, or Stone Book, is literally a cornerstone showing some of Polonnaruwa’s history. The text— three columns, 72 lines and 4,300 characters— is the king’s own character reference to himself, created by King Nissanka Malla, who ruled from 1187 to 1196. It not only lauds his accomplishments but also sets out his eligibility to occupy Sri Lanka’s royal throne. As well as the text, the rock side portrays lovely sculptures of two rows of geese, plus a seated Goddess Lakshmi figure holding two flowers, with elephants pouring water over it.

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WEIJANTHA PRASADA (ROYAL PALACE)

King Parakramabahu I (1153–1186) built the Weijantha Prasada as a majestic 1,000-room, seven-story palace with all the trappings of his luxurious royal life. The structure is enclosed by massive walls over a meter thick and 30 ft (9 m) high, including a 150-foot-square central building with its pillared hall, 102 ft long and 42 ft high. Much of Plonnaruwa’s history is written in what remains of the ancient stone and brickwork of this splendid building. The entrance is formed by a lion gate, and with its three levels rising from a stone cellar, the uppermost level is filled with stone pillars, what once must have been a truly remarkable monument is the core of the Polonnaruwa ruins.

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RANKOTH VEHERA

Rankoth Vehera is the largest stupa in the ruins of Polonnaruwa at 108 ft (33 m), and one of the most revered. It was built in the same style as the Ruwanweli Maha Seya in Anuradhapura, built with bricks long before being substantially renovated by King Nissanka Malla, who reigned from 1187 to 1196. The guardstone is a distinctive characteristic of this stupa. It features an elephant instead of the more usual bull, which corresponds to the frieze of sculpted stone elephants surrounding the foundation. Within a brick boundary wall, the remains of the shrine rooms and sangawasa, where the monk lived, can still be seen on the north and south sides.

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NISSANKA LATHA MANDAPAYA

A distinctive characteristic of Polonnaruwa’s ruins and their sacred architectural heritage are the stone columns Nissanka Latha Mandapaya— not straight, but curved in three places. Built by King Nissanka Malla (1187–1196), this impressive monumental structure was used for the chanting of Buddhist scriptures according to a neighboring stone inscription. The columns of the building are the best known examples of this element of ancient Sri Lankan architecture, according to leading Sri Lankan archeologist Senarath Paranavithana.

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SATHMAHAL PRASADA

More mystery in Polonnaruwa’s history, this time found inside the Dalada Maluwa in the distinctive stepped-pyramid form of the Sathmahal Prasada stupa. Legend has it that this seven-story building was built for Cambodian troops who worked for the then king, reflecting the style of comparable structures found in Cambodia and Thailand. Made of brick and over 30 ft (9 m) wide, it actually strongly resembles a stupa at Wat Kukut in Lamphun ‚ Thailand, revealing many prevalent architectural characteristics in South East Asia. No favorable proof has yet been uncovered to support the hypothesis that King Parakumbahu the Great, who ruled from 1153 to 1186, was constructing this building.

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LOTUS POND

The lotus pond is a beautiful and beautifully built granite bathing pool located just outside Polonnaruwa’s primary ruins. Created in the form of an eight-petalled flower of blooming lotus, this jewel of pokuna architecture is off the beaten tourist path in a romantic and quiet garden-like environment. In his 1990 Annual Report, the Archeological Commissioner describes it somewhat dryly as “a gigantic lotus flower of granite in full bloom 24 ft 9 in in diameter, with five concentrated laminae of eight petals gradually decreasing to 5 ft 4 in in diameter.” None of which represents the charm and beauty of Polonnaruwa’s mystery and history as a tiny but vital instance. This is something that, so to speak, needs to be seen in the stone to be fully appreciated.

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WATADAGE

Legend has it that this splendid building was finished in just 60 hours in the center of the ruins of Polonnaruwa and that it initially housed the Buddha’s Relic of the Tooth. Built of brick and wood under King Nissanka Malla’s reign (1187–1196), only part of the ground floor now remains, including an inner sanctuary containing three Buddha granite statues. Polonnaruwa’s history is reflected in the construction of this impressive building, and its wardrobes and moonstones and the symmetry of its stone pillars evoke all the mystery and history of the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

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KIRI VEHERA

A queen of King Parakramabahu, who reigned from 1153 to 1186, is said to have built the 80 ft (25 m) Kiri Vehera, which lies west of the Lankathilaka Pilima Ge picture house and is the second biggest stupa at Polonnaruwa. One of the many sacred buildings that make up Polonnaruwa’s ruins, the Kiri Vehera is also the only one that has survived since it was built in its original condition, almost 900 years ago. It is believed that the many smaller stupas restored around Kiri Vehera were burial chambers of high priests and royalty. Over the ages, thieves and treasure hunters have plundered and damaged them and the Kiri Vehera.

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ATADAGE

Atadage Dalada Maligaya is the house constructed by King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) of the Buddha’s tooth relic. The building is constructed on 54 pillars of stone. The tooth relic was likely produced of timber on the second floor. The second floor access is through a case of granite stairs. There are still few steps left of this staircase that led to the building’s upper chamber. At the bottom there were three Buddha statues and only one core remains today. This is also believed to be King Vijayabahu I’s only remaining building.

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Pasikudah

May the alluring wonders along the eastern shores of Sri Lanka call out to you. Explore azure seas and stretches of soft, powdery beaches at Kalkudah before scheduling day trips to the magnificent Batticaloa Lighthouse. We provide ample space in which to head out to some of the most sought after places to visit in Pasikuda; a treat for the adventurous spirit. Pasikuda, meaning “green-algae-bay” is situated in Eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka between Kalkuda and the Indian Ocean, approximately 35 kilometers from Batticaloa Town. The turquoise blue waters of the bay attracts local and foreign tourist to this wide sandy place under the hot tropical sun to surf, swim or just frolic in the water. Many other activities are available from kite surfing, boogie boarding to surfing and sailing across in a canoe.

Kallady Beach

Traverse across a large, unspoilt shore at Kallady Beach in Batticaloa which is famed for its beautiful sunrise and stop by to help out fishermen haul in their daily catch.

Kokkadicholai Hindu Temple

Be fascinated by the legends surrounding this shrine which originated from the word ‘Sivalingam’ which means ‘sprung up by itself’. On holy days devotees from across the country commute and pay homage here.

Palmyrah Handicraft Outlets

Outlets selling products made out of the Palmyrah tree and handcrafted to perfection would make excellent souvenirs to take back home. Take your pick from a number of outlets that are located near our property.

Water Sports

For the adrenaline junkie, our shores serve as ideal surroundings in which one’s thirst for adventure might be quenched. Talk to our instructors who will readily assist you in suiting up for what lies ahead.

Batticaloa Lighthouse

Built by the British in 1913, the lighthouse which is 28 metres in height is flanked by the Indian Ocean and the Batticaloa Lagoon and stands testament to the town’s glorious heritage and colonial influence.

Kalkudah Beach

A ‘must-do’ for beachgoers looking for quality time out here in the tropics. The area comprises private patches of sand where one could unwind. Swimmers will be delighted by its clean and calm waters as well.

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Nuwara Eliya

At an altitude of more than 1,800 m above sea level, Nuwara Eliya’s scenic landscape is known as “Little England” due to its similarity to English bungalows and its cool climate (in some hotels there are even log fires).


It was the retreat for British residents from coastal heat in colonial days and even today rituals such as horse racing, boating on the lake, lovely flower garden contests and golf tournaments take place during the April and August local holiday season. Most of the new flowers, fruits and vegetables in Sri Lanka are cultivated in the region and dairy and strawberry farms are also available. The Haggala Botanical Gardens close the city, like a walk across Horton Plains, is a prime attraction.

Attraction in Nuwara Eliya

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SHRI BHAKTA HANUMAN TEMPLE

Built by Sri Lanka’s Chinmaya mission and devoted to Hanuman, this significant and revered Hindu temple commemorates the legendary war between Rama and King Ravana. The temple houses for Hanuman’s 16 ft statue, a key character in the Hindu epic Ramayana, portrayed as an incarnation of Lord Shiva by some sacred texts. The Chinmaya mission branch of Sri Lanka, dedicated to supporting both the philosophy of Ramayana and the pilgrimages of the Ramayana Trail. While traditionally not as popular among Sri Lankan Tamils as he is in India, Hindu missionaries and local Tamil religious leaders have also started to build Hanuman temples here in latest times.

SITA AMMAN TEMPLE

Legend has it that Sita Eliya’s colorful Hindu Seetha Amman Temple marks the place where Sita prayed for Rama to rescue her when the demon king Rawana kept her captive. Many Tamil wedding groups make a point of stopping here for puja, gathering across a stream by the rock face where circular depressions are said to be Rawana’s elephant’s footprints. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism is planning to create the temple complex an official pilgrimage site based on allegations that the tale is not just a legend, but that Sita has actually been jailed here.

TEA PLANTATION & FACTORY

Nuwara-Eliya Located at approximately 2000 meters above sea level which is surrounded by lush tea plants and misty mountains. It is also the “heart” of the tea productions of Sri Lankans and produces the world’s finest tea. Ramboda Tea Factory is located in the town of Ramboda at about 1200 m above sea level. And it’s surrounded by quiet, scenic surroundings. Visiting the tea factory is an education on the procedures engaged in the withering, rolling, fermentation, drying, cutting, sieving and grading of tea. It’s likely the most extensive tea factory tour around, and then you can taste the finest cup of tea from Sri Lanka and purchase the highest quality tea products from the showroom at the factory.

History of Tea

It was in 1824 that the British brought the first tea plant from China and planted it in Peradeniya, Kandy, in the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is regarded as the country’s first non-commercial tea crop to be cultivated. A Scotsman was provided the assignment of increasing tea on just 19 acres of land in Loolecondera Estate in Kandy nearly two decades later, in 1867, James Taylor. This is the first commercial tea crop to be cultivated. Coffee growers shifted to tea as an alternative commercial crop with the disastrous coffee blight that swept through the coffee plantations. Taylor keen to experiment with tea, quickly set up his own’ factory’ tea, likely the first in the country in Loolecondera Estate’s bungalow verandah.
The leaves were placed on tables by side and the firing on clay stoves was carried out over charcoal fires, with wire trays to air the leaves. A delicious tea was the end product, likely the first commercial cup to be brewed. Taylor later developed fundamental leaf rolling equipment, had a lot of individuals to help him in the tea process, and a year later he sent the 23 pounds of tea to London. With his creative thinking, Taylor continued to create the tea sector until he died at the age of fifty-seven in 1892. Pure Ceylon Tea stamped today with the Lion logo symbolizing 100% Pure Ceylon Tea packed in Sri Lanka is world-renowned as the world’s best tea. Today’s tea export is one of the country’s most significant foreign exchange sources. The industry has more than 1 million direct and indirect employees and is the world’s fourth largest tea producer.

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

Queen Elizabeth toured this quintessentially British church when she arrived at Nuwara Eliya during her official visit to Sri Lanka in 1954. The Queen later gifted the church a royal-blue carpet and a beautiful stained-glass window to commemorate what she considered to be a special highlight by all accounts. It is reported that she was particularly fascinated by the enormous (and unfortunately now obsolete) pipe organ of the church and the two ancient lych-gates, where the planters who went to the church would dismantle. The church’s first wedding was of a Ceylonian pair, and the first baptism in 1843 was of a soldier’s girl in the 95th Light Infantry.

LOVER’S LEAP FALLS

Lover’s Leap waterfall is in the district of Nuwaraeliya and it is only waterfall that is nearest to Nuwaraeliya city. Lover’s leap isn’t a big waterfall, but it’s beautiful. The leap falls of enthusiasts in April month are very popular with local and international tourists. This waterfall’s main access route is from the side of Magastota square and the lake. Gregory lake side of this waterfall is a nice view point. This waterfall is less than 2 km from Nuwaraeliya city.

RAMBODA WATER FALLS

Ramboda Falls is 109 meters elevated and 11th largest waterfall in Sri Lanka, consisting of 03 parts and 729th highest waterfall in the globe located in the region of Pussellawa, on the Ramboda Pass highway. It was created by Panna Oya, a Kothmale Oya tributary. The fall’s altitude is 945 meters above sea level.

WORLD’S END

World’s End is located in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s Horton Plains National Park. It is a pure cliff with a fall of approximately 4,000 feet (1,200 m). It is one of Horton Plains National Park’s most visited parts. It is one of Sri Lanka’s key tourist attractions. One kilometer from the main cliff is a smaller cliff with a drop of 1,000 feet, known as the Small World’s End. The Indian Ocean is visible on clear days, 81 km to the south.

HAKGALA BOTANIC GARDENS

More than 10,000 species of plants are found in what is one of the best-known botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, originally designed to grow cinchona, the bark of which yields quinine, once the only malaria treatment. Today, the garden is known for its orchids and roses, as well as temperate plants such as Australian, Bermuda and Japanese conifers and cedars, as well as Himalayan, Chinese, Persian, Mexican and Californian cypresses. Visitors are encouraged to explore the site adjacent to the Strict Nature Reserve of Hakgala and the second largest of Sri Lanka’s five botanical gardens, the others being Peradeniya, Henarathgoda, Mirijjawila and Seetawaka.

GREGORY LAKE

Built in 1873 by a former British governor, this amazing lake in the middle of Nuwara Eliya is now a favourite attraction for inhabitants and tourists alike. It also offers an increasingly famous seaplane taxi and airborne sightseeing services landing strip, as well as frequent flights between Nuwara Eliya and Colombo. Features include swan boat rides, pony rides, paddle boats and jet skiing, while paved walkways and bicycle trails run through hedged gardens in forms like birds and animals.

VICTORIA PARK

Nuwara Eliya’s Victoria Park, initially the study field for the adjacent Hakgala Botanical Garden, is known as one of South Asia’s finest public parks. Renamed in 1897 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the colourful plants, trees, stone-flagged trails and green lawns are a favorite for both tourists and locals. It is alive with flowers from around March to May, and from August to September, and is home to many species of Hill Country birds, including the Kashmir flycatcher, Indian pitta, and gray tit. A miniature train and playground for tiny children are located at the far end of the park.

MOON PLAINS

The amazingly beautiful and vast slopes of the Moon Plains are among the jagged peaks of Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands. Located just off the city of Nuwara Eliya; this latest attraction was once the dump site of the tons of garbage used by the nearby city’s dwellers. It was cleaned and refurbished in 2010, and is now categorized by Nuwara Eliya Municipality as an Agricultural and Environmental Tourism Zone. The Moon Plains are home to many wildlife elks, wild buffaloes, deer, the occasional leopard, and many bird kinds. The primary point of concern, however, is the’ Mini World’s End’ perspective. A location on the apex of a sharply falling cliff, giving the surrounding landscape a 3600 perspective.

NEW ZEALAND FARM

There are two farms in Ambewela, Ambewela Farm and New Zealand Farm. It boasts its superior cattle breed, contemporary technology and high-quality pastures where cattle graze freely because of the ideal climate in the hill country. The farms have Ayreshire and New Zealand purebred livestock. The farm management requires excellent care to provide them with a balanced diet and sterilized water to preserve the quality of milk from the cows. They also receive outstanding 24-hour healthcare. Also portion of the Ambewela farms are Sri Lanka’s biggest grasslands. It has rabbits, pigs and goats besides the cattle.

TRAIN JOURNEY NUWARA ELIYA TO ELLA

This highland scenic train rides a glimpse of panoramic green highland through the clouds as well as train moves through long tunnels with never-ending sequence where train reaches the highest elevation track in Sri Lanka and you pass through Tea Plantations, Tunnels, Bridges, Mountain Forests, Deep Valleys and Typical Highland Countryside during this 03 hours ride.

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Negambo

From a fishing village with its peerless mangrove lagoon to a major beach resort on the west coast, Negombo has a wealthy history. It’s the ideal location to begin your Sri Lankan vacation just 35 minutes from the international airport. Known as’ Little Rome’ due to its abundance of Roman Catholic churches, the city has two separate personalities: the busy metropolitan shopping and business area, and the tourist strip on the southern’ beachside.’ Also central to a significant wetland eco-regeneration plan is the canal and southern end of the lagoon, which seeks to create a haven for wildlife and biodiversity on the west coast. Negombo is also a perfect starting point for excursions to the main tourist attractions of Sri Lanka: the Eastern Cultural Triangle and Hill Country, the northern Kalpitiya Peninsula, Colombo, and the southern beaches.

ATTRACTIONS IN NEGOMBO

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NEGOMBO FISH MARKET

The island’s second biggest fish market is the Negombo Fish Market. It’s called lellama by local individuals. Close to the Old Dutch Fort Gate, the fish market is held every day except Sundays. Negombo fish output in the year 2009 was 20,010MT and 28,250MT in the previous year 2010, according to Sri Lankan Fisheries Department statistics. It’s about 8.4 percent of the total fish manufacturing in Sri Lanka.

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ST. MARY’S CHURCH

The Christian religion strongly influences Negombo. In reality, Negombo was provided the name ‘ Little Rome’ because of the extremely decorated Roman Catholic churches of the Portuguese era such as St. Mary’s Church, which is one of Negombo’s most significant buildings. St. Mary’s Church is Negombo’s largest cathedral with a painted ceiling and numerous saints ‘ alabaster sculptures. Construction of the church began in 1874 and was finished in 1922 after nearly 50 years. It’s also one of Sri Lanka’s bigger cathedrals. More than 90 percent of Negombo’s population is Roman Catholic, making the church a very important building in the city. The architecture is magnificent, with some beautiful paintings in the church. It is known in the Sinhala language as Mahaweediya Palliya and is simple to discover. The church is made up of three primary levels that are instantly evident when approaching the front structure.

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NEGOMBO DUTCH FORT

Negombo Fort, constructed to protect Colombo by the Portuguese. After Colombo, Jaffna and Galle, the fort at Negombo was likely the next in strategic significance. The initial Portuguese fort was a fragile structure captured in February 1640 by the Dutch forces under Philip Lucasz ‘ command. Before they succeeded in December 1640, the Portuguese made several efforts to take it back. They then reinforced the fortifications and succeeded in defending the fort until the Dutch, commanded by Francois Caron, captured it in January 1644. The original bastions were demolished during the fort’s siege by the Dutch cannons. However, in 1672, the Dutch later rebuilt it not on the usual square pattern, but on a pentagonal one, although it had only four bulwarks, the fifth was never built. The fort was situated between a lagoon and a sea inlet on a small strip of land. It was encircled by a dry moat, and through a drawbridge the door was accessed. It was occupied without resistance by the British in February 1796. The British authorities decided in the early 1800s to demolish the fort and construct in its location a prison built from the fort’s rocks.
All that remains today is a part of the eastern rampart with mounds on its northern and southern ends, where there were earlier bastions, and a recessed arched gateway. There is a granite slab above the gateway, inscribed on the date 1678, surmounted by a highly decorative gable. The Prison Department still uses the site as a prison.

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HAMILTON CANAL

The Hamilton Canal (also frequently known as the Dutch Canal) is a channel that connects Puttalam to Colombo through Negombo. The British built the canal in 1802 and finished it in 1804. It was intended to remove salt water from the wetlands of Muthurajawela. The canal has been named after Gavin Hamilton, Revenue and Commerce Government Agent.
At one moment, the canal was an significant connection in the transport path that provided the colonial administration of the Dutch. It runs for over 60 miles, with Negombo running through part of the route. Today it is a tourist attraction and one of the most exciting ways to see the city and its surroundings.

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National Parks

MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK

Minneriya National Park, Sitting in the center of the cultural triangle, Minneriya is a nice solution to the busier parks in the south and in a day between visiting the ancient towns, it is simple to weave here. The dry season is the best time to visit the 8,890-hectare park, preferably from June to September, when the old tank, the lake that dominates the region, dries out and the grasses and shoots move through. During this period you can see herds of feeding and washing up to 150 elephants, as well as toque macaques and sambar deer. Cormorants and painted storks are among the hungry bird flocks. Minneriya, nearest to the ancient town of Polonnaruwa by vehicle, has been upgraded from a nature reserve to a national park due to the increasing amount of visitors coming to see the elephants.

KAUDULLA NATIONAL PARK

Kaudulla National Park is a Sri Lankan national park situated 197 kilometers (122 mi) from Colombo. It was designated as a national park as the 15th such area on the island on April 1, 2002. Like Minneriya, Kaudulla provides a great opportunity for elephants to get near and personal. Up to 250 elephants are in the park in October, including juvenile male herds. The best time to visit is January to March and May to June, less reliably. Sri Lankan elephants migrate to the Minneriya reservoir for drinking and feeding during the drought period. The elephants migrate to the Kaudulla tank around the month of September in search of more water and food.

YALA NATIONAL PARK

Yala National Park, bordering the Indian Ocean, is Sri Lanka’s most visited and second biggest national park. The park is made up of five blocks, two of which are now accessible to the public and adjacent parks as well. The blocks have individual names for the adjacent region such as Ruhuna National Park (Block 1), and Kumana National Park or’ Yala East.’ It is located in the country’s southeastern region and is located in the southern province and province of Uva. The park includes 979 km2 (378 sq mi) and is situated approximately 300 km (190 mi) from Colombo. In 1900, Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary and was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, along with Wilpattu, which was established in 1938.
The park is best known for its wildlife diversity. It is essential to preserve Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards, Sri Lankan Bear and aquatic birds and has one of the world’s largest leopard densities. Foreigners, particularly Europeans, make up 30% of the total number of tourists. Block I is the primary visiting region. However, Block III (primary gate in the Galge region on Buttala-Kataragama Road) and the adjacent Kumana Park or ‘ Yala East ‘ (primary gate in Okanda, not far from Pottuvil on the east coast) are also becoming famous on their own.

KUMANA NATIONAL PARK

Sri Lanka Kumana National Park is known for its fauna, especially its big flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is located on the southern shore of Sri Lanka 391 kilometers (243 mi) southwest of Colombo. Kumana is adjacent to Yala National Park. Kumana was previously known as the National Park of Yala East. Kumana Bird Sanctuary is included in the Kumana National Park, proclaimed in 1938. Kumana is one of Sri Lanka’s largest nesting and breeding grounds for birds. In the National Park, 255 species of birds were registered. Ten thousand birds are migrating to the Kumana swamp region from April to July. Inhabitants of reproduction are rare species such as black-necked stork, smaller adjutant, Eurasian spoonbill, and large thick-knee. Together with waterfowl, there are waders belonging to the Scolopacidae and Charadriidae families. Pintail snipes are migrating from Siberia to 11,000 kilometers (6,800 mi) flying 9,000 kilometers (5,600 mi).

UDAWALAWA NATIONAL PARK

Udawalawe National Park is located in Sri Lanka on the border between Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces. The National Park was established to provide sanctuary for wildlife displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River and to safeguard the reservoir catchment. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares of land area (119.00 sq mi) and was established on June 30, 1972. The region was used for shifting cultivation (Hena farming) prior to the designation of the national park. After the national park was proclaimed, the peasants were gradually withdrawn. The park is 165 kilometers from Colombo (103 mi). Udawalawe is a significant habitat for Sri Lankan elephants and water birds. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Lakes Land) is a park on Sri Lanka’s island. The distinctive characteristic of this park is the existence of “Willus” (Natural Lakes)-natural water basins or depressions filled with rainwater. Located in Sri Lanka’s lowland dry area on the northwest coast. The park is 30 km south of Anuradhapura, 26 km south of Puttalam (about 180 km north of Colombo). The park ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level and is 1,317 square kilometers (131, 693 hectares). There are nearly 60 lakes (Willu) and tanks spread all over Wilpattu. Wilpattu is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest and oldest national parks. Wilpattu is one of the world-renowned top national parks for its population of leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya). The Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust performed a remote camera study in Wilpattu from July to October 2015. A sample of forty-nine individual leopards in the surveyed area was photo-captured and the core area density was between Block I of Yala National Park and National Park of Horton Plains.

WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK

Wasgamuwa National Park is a Sri Lankan natural park located in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa. The park is 225 kilometers from Colombo. During the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984, it was declared to protect and make a refuge for displaced wildlife and is one of the four national parks designated under the project. It was originally designated as a nature reserve in 1938 and was then considered a strict nature reserve in the early 1970s. Wasgamuwa is one of the protected areas that can be seen in big herds of Sri Lankan elephants. It is also one of Sri Lanka’s major bird area. Wasgamuwa’s name originated from the words ‘ Walas Gamuwa. ‘ For sloth bear, “Walasa” is Sinhala, and “Gamuwa” is a wood.

BUNDALA NATIONAL PARK

Bundala National Park is a wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka that is of international importance. Bundala harbors 197 bird species, the highlight being the larger flamingo that migrates in big flocks. In 1969, Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary and on 4 January 1993 was reassigned to a national park. Bundala became the first wetland in Sri Lanka to be declared a Ramsar site in 1991. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. The national park is located southeast of Colombo, 245 kilometers (152 mi).

HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in Sri Lanka’s central highlands, covered with mountain grassland and cloud forest. This plateau is rich in biodiversity at an elevation of 2,100–2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft), and many species discovered here are endemic to the area. In 1988, this region was designated as a national park. Located 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from Ohiya, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from the world-famous Ohiya Gap / Dondra Watch and 32 kilometers (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya, This is also a popular tourist destination. The Horton Plains are three main Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe headwaters. The plains are known in Sinhala as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools from the culture of Balangoda were discovered here.
The vegetation of the plains is grasslands surrounded by mountain forest and contains many endemic woody plants. Sri Lankan’s large herds of sambar deer are typical mammals and the park is also an important bird area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but limited to the Horton plains. Forest dieback is one of the park’s main threats, and some studies suggest a natural phenomenon causes it. The sheer precipice of World’s End and Baker’s Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park.

SINHARAJA RAIN FOREST

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a Sri Lankan national park and a hotspot for biodiversity. It is of global importance and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
Sinharaja is the last feasible region of main tropical rainforest in the country, according to the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN). Over 60% of the trees are endemic, and many of them are uncommon.
The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the lowland rainforest ecoregion of Sri Lanka, was saved by its inaccessibility from the worst commercial logging and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The name of the reserve translates as the Kingdom of Lion. The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

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Matale

Matale, often written as Mathale, is the largest town of the Matale District of the Central Province, of Sri Lanka. Colombo and near Kandy are 142 kilometers away. Matale town is something of an urban sprawl, with very little to sightseers to commend. It’s what lies to the north and east— a fertile valley filled with spices, vanilla and rubber plantations, and the beautiful Knuckles mountain range, with its unparalleled views, certainly worth a visit.

ATTRACTIONS IN MATALE

THE ALUVIHARE ROCK TEMPLE

The Aluvihare Rock Temple (also known as Matale Alu Viharaya) is a sacred Buddhist temple in Aluvihare, Sri Lanka’s Matale District. Surrounded by mountains, the Aluvihara Cave Temple is located 30 km south of Kandy on the Matale-Dambulla highway. Aluvihare Rock Temple’s history is traced back to King Devanampiyatissa’s reign in the 3rd Century B.C. It is thought that after Buddhism was introduced to the country during his reign, the King constructed the dagaba, planted the Bo sapling and established the temple.

CEYLON SPICE GARDENS

Sri Lanka is renowned for visiting a spice garden in Matale to see many distinct kinds of spices. The Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island, just 25 km from Kandy’s hill capital. You will be introduced to various spices and show how to grow and process some of these spices. In the area, a processing and training unit has been set up and farmers are grouped into a cooperative to ensure fair prices and you can also buy spices. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to walk in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove and curry trees, cinnamon and the precious ginger cardamom.

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NALANDA GEDIGE

Nalanda Gedige is an old full stone temple close Matale, Sri Lanka and was regarded the center of Sri Lanka as its initial site. The structure was built with dravidian architecture in (Pallava style) between the 8th and 10th centuries and is thought to have been used by Buddhists. This construction is also described by some academics as a dravidian architecture devoted to a Mahayana cult with pronounced Tantric teaching and renowned for an ancient monument of potential Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhist affinities. Nalanda Gedige is intended with a mandapa on the lines of a Hindu temple, an entrance hall (originally roofed), a brief passage to a bare cello, and an outpatient round the holy core. There are a limited number of original Hindu deity statuettes within the temple, but on the southern side of the tympanum above the sanctuary a statue of the God Kubera appears, a feature that can only be seen in Sri Lanka. The richly decorated facade parts, reassembled laboriously in 1975, are predominantly in the style of South Indian. Although they cannot be exactly dated, sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries they are thought to have originated.

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SEMBUWATHTHA LAKE

Sembuwaththa Lake is a charmingly scenic but lesser-known attraction on a plateau of a local tea plantation, 14 kilometers from Matale town. Surrounded by tea areas, the lake offers stunning views of the rolling hill nation, while summer cottages and a mountain-fed swimming pool provide an idyllic place to relax and recover. The British colonial rulers constructed a golf course on the site, according to local villagers. If true, finding a more dramatic water hazard would be hard pressed!

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SRI MUTHUMARIAMMAN TEMPLE

The temple is renowned in the region for both Hindu and Buddhist individuals. Hindus venerate the Hindu goddess of rain and fertility, Muthumari Amman, while Buddhists venerate this temple as a location devoted to Pattini goddess, the patron deity of fertility and health. Sri Muthumariamman Temple history can be traced back to the nineteenth century.

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