Sri Lanka is interested in its tourist attractions. Many monuments including the ancient city, ancient monasteries, royal palaces, gardens, irrigation systems, as well as painting and sculpture, indicate the enormous cultural and technological achievements of the ancient civilizations of the island.
Sri Lanka tourist attractions are very popular in tourist circles around the world. History buffs will find ancient cities, forts, ancient monasteries, royal palaces, numerous monuments of ancient architecture.
Nature lovers will be able to plunge into the world of the tropical jungle, mountain waterfalls, national parks with their amazing wildlife.
The Sri Lankan government, aware of the need to preserve its rich cultural heritage , and turned in 1978 to UNESCO to include the country in a worldwide program of assistance for the restoration and conservation of ancient monuments, which led to the creation of the Foundation of the Cultural Triangle.
In October of the same year by the General Assembly of UNESCO, the project was approved, and the monuments of Sri Lanka declared world cultural heritage.
10 Most Interesting Sri Lanka Tourist Attractions
The history of Sri Lanka is rich in its heritage. Visit to Sri Lanka and not spend 3-4 days to visit the most interesting sights – so do not see and do not understand Sri Lanka!
The great travelers and writers, kings and prominent figures of culture and art, all enthusiastically described his stay in Ceylon. There really is something to see.
1. Galle Fort
Travelling to the south of the country , you can’t miss one of the most interesting historical sites on the island – the city of Halle, the third largest city in Sri Lanka, 116 km. south of Colombo.
2000 years ago, the Arab merchants stayed in Halle, traveling between Arabia and China. Historians claim that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to set foot here on the island. Still, the main merit in the establishment belongs to the Dutch city of Galle.
The first Europeans arrived on the island by accident. In 1505 a Portuguese fleet off course and found refuge in the bay. Hearing the morning crowing rooster ( cock in Portuguese – “halo” ), the Portuguese gave its name to the square.
By 1587 the Portuguese settled down in Galle, Southern Province Kandyan State. In 1589 , after a collision with one of Kandyans, the Portuguese built a simple reinforcement to protect the port and the fortress called Fortaleza Santa Cruz.
In 1820, an English hunter discovered in the jungles of Sri Lanka, the ruins of the huge city of Anuradhapura, the existence of which is mentioned in the ancient books of Buddhist monks. In the early 20th century began the first serious archaeological excavations that are going on in our time.
Archaeologists suggest that the first human settlements in the Anuradhapura district belong to the V century BC. The city was named in honor of the star in the constellation Scorpius – Anuradha, which means “light.” At its height the city covered an area of 52 square km and a population of tens of thousands of people.
In a well-planned city of two-storey houses were common, as well as running water (I in BC. E.), Roads and bridges, palaces, monasteries, temples, stupas, a hospital and a cemetery. Anuradhapura remained the capital of the Sinhala state for 1,400 years. But the constant intervention of the southern states of India has led to the fact that the city was largely destroyed in 993 g, and the capital moved to Polonnaruwa.
In Sri Lanka, in the V century. BC Kasap (477-495 gg.), The eldest son of King Datus (459-477 gg.), Was to inherit the throne, but his father decided in favor of his younger son Moggallana (Kassapa’s mother was a concubine).
Kassapa was kindled hatred for his father and put him in prison, and in 477 he took part in his killing. Moggallana was horrified by the terrible deeds older brother and hid in South India. Fearing reprisals, Kassapa decided to build the capital in a remote place. And he chose the rock of Sigiriya, 180 m in height.
The King and his architects have cleared the area around the rock and built a magnificent city, surrounded by gardens with fountains and pools. Built the most amazing staircase in the world: the step cut between the legs, neck and the jaw immense size of a lion. Lion – the emblem of the state and form of intimidation.
At the top of the rock palace built-citadel. Citadel begins with “Lion platform” from which there were only feet. Steps lead up to a terrace the size of 1.7 hectares, which was once a palace.
Polonnaruwa – a city in the northeast of central Sri Lanka. In 1982, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a while Pollonaruva was the royal capital, it is due to its convenient location at the intersection of important land transport routes between Colombo and Batticaloa, has become a medium-sized city and became known for its ancient city. Now it is well preserved as a historical park. The fact that it is close to several national parks attract many visitors.
For three centuries, Polonnaruwa was the royal capital of Cholskese and Sinhalese kingdoms. In spite of the nearly 1,000-year-old age, she is much younger than Anuradhapura and better preserved. The monument is located in a fairly compact garden and their development is easier to follow.
Pollonaruvu best explored by bicycle, which can be rented at several places in the city. For a small fee you can also hire a guide who will tell a lot of interesting facts.
Mihintale is located 11 km. East of the first ancient capital of Sri Lanka – Anuradhapura. It is in this place there were the first on the island of Buddhist monks, and it is here that the Sinhala first heard the word of the Buddha.
Mihintale or “mountain of Mahinda”, so named in honor of the first Buddhist missionary who introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka, includes 4 mountains.
King Devanampiyatissa (247 BC) was built the first Buddhist monastery to Mahinda and his companions. Whether a believer or a tourist, he must go up to 1840 steps to see the many buildings that were part of a large monastery complex.
On a small platform surrounded by three mountains, is one of the most ancient stupas, which contains the remains of one of the first Buddhist monks – Mahinda. On the mountain on the left – a statue of Buddha, in front – the rock on which, according to legend, one of the founders of the levitated Buddhism – the messenger of the Indian king Ashoka.
6. Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada)
From the jungle to the south-west of Sri Lanka rises lonely and mysterious mountain peak known as Adam’s Peak. Its height from the amounts to 2,243 m
This peak may be a slight exaggeration named one of the most revered holy sites in the world. It was sacred to the indigenous inhabitants of the island, Vedda, who called her “Samanala Kanda ‘(mountain butterflies) in honor of Samana, one of the four mystical divine protectors of the island, and thanks to thousands of butterflies that gather here every year in the last hours of life.
Later this mysterious place has become an object of worship for members of the four major religions represented on the island: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Buddhism was the most common, although the variety represented on the island, he carried the features of both Hinduism and Islam.
At the top of the peak cavity length is about 1.5 m and a width of 76 cm Shaped human foot, and it is perfectly visible from a Buddhist temple and a temple erected in honor of Samana. There is a mystical belief that the water that collects in the basin, has a miraculous healing power.
7. Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) – Kandy
Around 540 BCE deceased Buddha was cremated and the fire got out four teeth, which were taken to the world. The tooth was brought to Ceylon in 371. After several centuries of being in India, the shrine has been sent to Ceylon IV ruler of Kalinga, Hurler defeat in the war and who feared for the fate of the state. A relic of the island has forwarded the governor’s daughter, hiding it in his hair.
This tooth has long been attributed magical power: who owns them, had all the power. Therefore, the tooth of the Buddha became a possession of the royal dynasty.
The original place of storage was selected the city of Anuradhapura, then the tooth was moved to the town of Polonnaruwa, as early as the beginning of the XVIII century it was moved to Kandy. Then, specifically for the storage of this shrine was erected a temple Dalada Maligawa. Tooth hidden in seven caskets, one inside the other.
8. Yala National Park
Yala National Park, known also under the name of the Ruhuna National Park is located in the southeastern part of Sri Lanka, almost to the shores of the Indian Ocean. He is one of the oldest, the second largest and most visited national park in the country.
This park is located 300 km from Colombo and covers an area of 979 km2. Once there was an ancient kingdom of Ruhuna, which now resemble the ruins of ancient cities only, scattered among the forests and savannas. Already in 1900 there was established wildlife reserve, and in 1938 it received the status of a national park.
The base of the park – flat, dry savannah, umbrella covered with shrubs and trees, where often there are small green oases around the lakes, hills and even small mountain ranges
9. Dambulla Buddhist cave temple
Dambulla – Buddhist cave temple, dating back to the II century BC. The caves are cut in the mountain, which towers over the city. Below, at the base of the mountain lift, made a huge statue of Buddha, stone stairs stylized waves, and the area in front stairs framed magnificent flower arrangements.
Decorated with all the obvious aim to capture the imagination of pilgrims. The territory of monkeys running around, not in the least embarrassed by our presence. Here, on the square, is a three-story building – the museum. Temple of the richest temples in Sri Lanka. He has his own radio station with continuous access to the programs broadcast on religious themes, even its own newspaper.
As with any church, he is both a monastery, where monks still live. A lot of monks very young age.
Kurunegala – one of the ancient capitals of the Sinhalese state. Kurunegala is located at 116 km. to the north-east of Colombo and 42 km. from Kandy. The city is surrounded by seven mountains – Etha-gala, Ibba-gala, Ada-gala, Elu-gala, Yakdessa-gala, Kuruminiya-gala and Wandura-gala. In the eastern part of the city is a rocky hill, with a minimum height of 150 m, on top of which there is a huge statue of a seated Buddha. From the top of a beautiful view of the surroundings.
By way of lifting the rock cut down steps by which in the refreshing cool of you can climb to the top of the hill. This place is popular among the locals, here you can also see tourists, pilgrims and Buddhist monks. Above, a ten minute walk away, is a small Dagobah, and nearby observation deck where you can relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Another attraction of Kurunegala – the lake, which stretches around the city, as well as the old chapel, built in 1922.