Important Places to Visit

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Considered one of the most colourful religious pageants in Asia, Kandy's ten-day Esala Perahera is one of Sri Lanka's most spectacular festivals. The perahera (procession) is held to honour the sacred tooth enshrined in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

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Beach Villas

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Sri Lanka offers something unique for all traveler`s. The unique alternate to hotels are…… spending your vacation in a luxury villa along the coastline. Most of the beach villas are open directly on to beautiful Indian Ocean with Stunning sea View`s and gorgeous unspoiled golden Beach`s in southern Sri Lanka.  Read More

Activities

activities

Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers.

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Important Places to Visit


Major Cities



Colombo

  

colomboColombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka, with a population of 4,575,000 and 555,03 in the city limits. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (which is the official capital of Sri Lanka) suburb or the parliament capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is also the administrative capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. It was the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park, Mount Lavinia beach as well as the National Museum.



Kandy

   

kandyKandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

Its scenic location and its rich history has made it a favourite haunt for travellers. It is also the natural gateway to the stirring peaks of Sri Lanka’s hill country.  For almost two centuries Kandy provided a safe haven for the proud Kandyan Kingdom, until it finally fell to the British in 1815.



Galle

   

galleGalle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, Galle is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguesearchitectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city's natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuitpriests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island. Important natural geographical features in Galle include Rumassala in Unawatuna, a large mound-like hill, which forms the eastern protective barrier to the Galle harbour.



Jaffna

  

jaffnaJaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. With a population of 88,138, Jaffna is Sri Lanka's 12th largest city. Historically, Jaffna has been a contested city. It was made into a colonial port town during the Portuguese occupation of the Jaffna peninsula in 1619. It changed hands to the Dutch colonials, who lost it to the British in 1796.

 



Kataragama

   

kataragamaKataragama is a pilgrimage town sacred to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and indigenous Vedda people of Sri Lanka. People from South India also come there to worship. The town has the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama devalaya, a shrine dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragamadevio. Kataragama is in the Monaragala District of Uva province, Sri Lanka. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast-developing township surrounded by jungle in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka. It houses the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa. The town has a venerable history dating back to the last centuries BCE. It was the seat of government of many Sinhalese kings during the days of Rohana kingdom. It adjoins the popular Yala National Park.





Nuwaraeliya

nuwaraeliyaNuwara Eliya is a city, in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is "city on the plain" or "city of light". The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for Tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

The city was founded by Samuel Baker. Nuwara Eliya's climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England then, was also a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.

 



Anuradhapura

   

anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is the 01st ancient capital of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the center of TheravadaBuddhism for many centuries. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

It is believed that from the 4th century BC, it was the capital of the Sinhalese until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km).

 



Polonnaruwa

   

polonnaruwa

The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was the kingdom from which Sri Lankan kings ruled the island from the 8th century until 1310 ce. Pollonnaruwa was the 02nd ancient capitol of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Archeological evidence and accounts in chronicles suggests that the city is as old as Anuradhapura.

 

 

 

 

 



Trincomalee

  

trincomalee

Trincomalee is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and major resort port city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour, the city is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai and is home to other historical monuments. Attacked by the Japanese as part of the Indian Ocean raid during World War II in 1942. The city also has the largest Dutch fort on the island. The harbour is renowned for its large size and security; unlike any other in the Indian Ocean, it is accessible in all weathers to all craft. It has been described as the "finest harbour in the world" and by the British, "the most valuable colonial possession on the globe, as giving to our Indian Empire a security which it had not enjoyed from elsewhere." Popular tourist destinations include its beaches at Uppuveli, Nilaveli, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching, and the Kanniya Hot Springs.

 


Batticaloa

   

batticola

Batticaloa is a major city in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, and its former capital. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. The city is a major commercial city. It is on the east coast, 69 miles (111 km) south by south east of Trincomalee, and is situated on an islandPasikudah is popular tourist destinations, with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons.

 

Ratnapura

   

rathnapura

Ratnapura ("City of Gems”) is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka and the Ratnapura District. The palm candy produced traditionally in this region, but the more common explanation in Sri Lanka is that it comes from the Sinhala "ratna" meaning gems and "pura" meaning city. It is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubiessapphires, and other gems. Apart from gem mining, the city is known for rice and fruit cultivations. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the city. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea. There is a well-established tourism industry in Ratnapura. Sinharaja Forest ReserveUdawalawe National ParkKithulgala, and Adam's Peak are especially popular among tourists.

 

Cultural Triangle & World heritage Sites

 

Anuradhapura / Polonnaruwa / Sigiriya / Dambulla / Kandy / Galle Dutch Fort / Sinharaja Rain Forest -


Sri Lanka’s Cultural triangle is situated in the centre of the island and covers an area which includes the World Heritage cultural sites of the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the Ancient City of Dambulla and the Sacred City of Kandy. Due to the constructions and associated historical events, some of which are millennia old, these sites are of high universal value; they are visited by many pilgrims, both laymen and the clergy (prominently Buddhist), as well as by local and foreign tourists.

 

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Hill Country

 

kandy

  

 

 Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly Tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

 

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Nuwaraeliya

  

Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is "city on the plain” or "city of light". The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for Tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

Due to its highland location, Nuwara Eliya has a subtropical highland climate with a mean annual temperature of 16 °C (61 °F). In the winter months it is quite cold at night, and there can even be frost. However, it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher during the day.

 

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Bandarawela

   

Bandarawela is a big town, situated in Badulla District, Uva Province, Sri Lanka, which is 28 km away from Badulla. Due to higher a ltitude, Bandarawela has a mild weather condition throughout the year hence, it is popular among the citizens to spend the vacations with their family members. Both roads and railway transportation facilities are available to reach the area within a few hours. Bandarawela town, tinted with a colonial past resting among lush forestation has found its niche among its visitors as a base for eco-tourism.


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Ella

   

Ella is a beautiful sleepy small village located high in the mountains in Sri Lanka's hill country famous for its spectacular views, Sri Lanka's wildest looking waterfall, ancient caves and wonderful trekking paths. From the famed Ella Gap, you can see between the green steep mountain-sides and down nearly 1,000 meters to the coastal plain below, and out towards the Indian Ocean.

Ella is perfect for Hiking and trekking activities. But it's also a perfect location if you just want to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

To take in some history, visit the mysterious Ravana Caves and the ancient Ravana rock temple. The Ravana temple is beautifully adorned with elephants, dragons and people carved into the rock in colors, and a statue of the Buddha in recumbent position. The Cave of Ravana is remarkable because it is associated with the romantic legend of Rama and Sita, from the Indian epic poem, the Ramayana. The cave is also noted archaeologically where discovered 10 skeletons of the cannibalistic Balangoda Man, Homo sapiens balangodenis.

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Haputale

  

Haputale is a town of Badulla District in the Uva Province, Sri Lanka. The elevation is 1431 m (4695 ft) above the sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Haputale is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than its surroundings, due to its elevation. The Haputale pass allows views across the Southern plains of Sri Lanka. The South-West boundary of Uva basin is marked by the Haputale mountain ridges, which continue on to Horton Plains and Adam's Peak to the west. CNN named Haputale as one of Asia's most overlooked destinations.

 

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Rain Forest

Sinharaja Rain Forest


Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forestsecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the 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 it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are about 3 elephants and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The most common larger mammal is the endemic Purple-faced Langur.

 

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Peak wilderness Sanctuary

  

peakPeak Wilderness sanctuary is a natural reserve in Sri Lanka. It is the third largest (by area) of the 50 sanctuaries in the country. Peak Wilderness sanctuary is a tropical rain forest that spreads over a land of 224 square kilometers around the Sri Pada (Adam's Peak) mountain. A huge forest area that belonged to the Peak Wilderness was cut down and cleared during the British colonial rule in Sri Lanka (1815-1948) to gain land for the massive tea estates which are still functioning in Nuwara Eliya district. The remaining portion of the Peak Wilderness was declared a wildlife sanctuary on October 25, 1940. The contours of Peak Wilderness vary from 1000 to 7360 feet above sea level. Therefore, it possesses unusual geographical formations compared to the other natural reserves of the island. Bena Samanala (6579 ft), Dotalugala, Detanagala, are some of the taller mountains in the Peak Wilderness. It is also the birthplace of Kelani, Kalu, Walave rivers and many tributaries of the river Mahaweli which make waterfalls such as Dotalu falls, Geradi falls, Galagama falls (655 ft), and Mapanana falls (330 ft) inside the sanctuary.

 

National Parks



Yala National Parks

   

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi). Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.

 

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Minneriya National Park

   

minneriyaMinneriya National Park is in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts.



Udawalawe National Park

   

udawalaweUdawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.



Wasgamuwa National Park

   

wasgamuwaWasgamuwa National Park is a natural park in Sri Lanka situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts. It was declared to protect and to make a refuge for the displaced wild animals during the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984 and is one of the four National Parks designated under the Project. Originally it was designated as a nature reserve in 1938, and then in the early 1970s the area was regraded as a strict nature reserve.Wasgamuwa is one of protected areas where Sri Lankan Elephants can be seen in large herds. It is also one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka.


Horton Plains National Park

  

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.

The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the MahaweliKelani, and Walawe. The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park.

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Kaudulla National Park

  

kaudullaKaudulla National Park is located 197 kilometres (122 mi) away from the largest city, Colombo. It was designated a national park on April 1, 2002 becoming the 15th such area on the island, along with Minneriya and Girithale BirdLife International have identified Kaudulla as an Important Bird Area.It now attracts and supports a variety of plant and animal life, including large mammals, fish and reptiles.



Wilpattu National Park

   

wilpattuThe unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. The park is located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka, the park is 131,693 hectares and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its Leopard population.



Gal Oya National Park

  

galoyaGal Oya National Park in Sri Lanka was established in 1954 and serves as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. An important feature of the Gal Oya National Park is its elephant herd that can be seen throughout the year. Three important herbs of the Ayurveda medicine, TriphalaTerminalia chebulaTerminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis are amongst the notable flora of the forest.



Lahugala National Park

   

lahugalaLahugala National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Sri Lanka. Despite its land area, the park is an important habitat for Sri Lankan Elephant and endemic birds of Sri Lanka. The national park contains the reservoirs of Lahugala, Kitulana and Sengamuwa and they are ultimately empties to Heda Oya river. Originally it was designated as a wildlife sanctuary on July 1 of 1966. Then the protected area was upgraded to a national park on October 31 of 1980.


Bird Sanctuaries

   


Bundala National Park


bundalaBundala National Park
 is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of Birds, the highlight being the Greater Flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and redesignated to a national park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka.


Kumana National Park

  

kumanaOnce acclaimed by Readers Digest, as the best nesting and breeding environment in the worldKumana National Park in Sri Lanka is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is situated on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast. Kumana is contiguous with Yala National Park. Kumana was formerly known as Yala East National Park, but changed to its present name in 5 September 2006.

 

 

 

Best Beaches in Sri Lanka

 


Mount Lavinia

   

mount-lavinaFamed for its "Golden Mile" of beaches, it has often been a hot spot for tourism and laid back nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka. The city's name is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor of Ceylon from 1805–1811.

The Village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern bustling city, the governor’s home, which he named "Mount Lavinia House" and his monuments that has been preserved within the walls and high ceilings of what is today the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The statue of 'Lady' Lavinia as the girl later became known, is still found in the middle of a water fountain at the entrance of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Whatever the legends, the town came into official recognition when Governor Maitland used the postal address Mt. Lavinia, Ceylon, in 1805, while writing to the British Secretary of State, Lord Castlereagh.



Bentota

   

bentotaBentota is a beach town in Sri Lanka, located in the Southern Province, about 7–8 kilometres (4.3–5.0 mi) south of Beruwala on the A2 highway. The name comes from a mythical story which dates back to kings time saying a demon called Bem ruled this river. Bentota is a tourist attraction, with handful of world-class hotels. It is a destination for watersports. Bentota also delivers an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda. Bentota is famous for its toddy production, an alcoholic beverage made out of coconut nectar.



Hikkaduwa

   

hikkaduwaHikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle. Arranged around the heavily trafficked main Galle to Colombo road which runs mostly parallel to the shore, Hikkaduwa's beach and night life make it a popular tourist destination. A well-known international destination for board-surfing, the town was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations. And Hikkaduwa is a main City that gains Tourism income to the SriLanka. Many tourists visits Hikkaduwa as there are so many things they can enjoy there.



Unawatuna

   

unawatunaUnawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. It is a suburb of Galle city which is situated about 5 km southeast to the city center. Off the coast of Unawatuna, beneath the Indian Ocean lies a number of coral reefs, shipwrecks, and a great variety of fish and turtles. The turtles still wade onto the shore to lay their nests and eggs, and at times, as if to lay first claim to the sandy shore now invaded by the tourists and dotted by restaurateurs, even go right into the beach front restaurants .

The Rumassala coral reefs at the east end of the Galle Harbor attract divers, but are now endangered due to possible port development. Eco treks in the shrub jungles of Rumassala are also available.



Koggala Beach

   

koggalaThe place located in south of the country has finest beach and historical Madol Duwa (island surrounded by lake) as mentioned in Sri Lankan literature. You can spot the very famous Stilt fishermans here, fishermans who sit on stilts and fish when there is a suitable tide.

 

 


Mirissa Beach

   

mirissaMirissa is a small, beautiful and rocky beach which is calm, relaxing and almost private.Whales and dolphins watching, deep sea fishing, river trips, snorkeling and bird watching are activities you could do while you holiday in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. Many tourists come to Mirissa for whale watching. For low cost, you can watch the whales & Dolphins in the Indian Ocean off the Mirissa harbour during November - April season.

 


Arugambay Beach

 

arugambayThe place located in south east of the country is a fine beach near associated with fishing villages. It has been identified as the best surfing beach in Sri Lanka and 4th best in south East Asia. It also comes with the ten best surfing beaches in the world. Wide sandy beaches and lagoons associated with neighbouring Kumana bird sanctuary are added values for visitors going to Arugam bay. Lahugala National Park and Yala East National Park are also located within 10–30 km radious from Arugambay centre. Magul Maha Viharaya (Buddhist temple), Kudumbigala Temple (Buddhist temple), Shastrwela Buddhist Temple, Okanda Hindu Temple are some of places with heritage values. In addition to beaches, wildlife, culture heritage and nature places of interest make Arugambay a unique tourist attraction in Sri Lanka.



Pasikuda

  

Pasikuda and Kalkuda are two separate beaches situated nearby in Batticloa district of eastern province. These beaches are famous for its sand and calm water.

Pasikudah has become a popular tourist destination amongst locals and foreigners alike. This is because Pasikudah is known to have one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world. In other words, people walk kilometers into the sea because the water is only a few inches deep and the current is relatively weak compared to the rest of Sri Lanka's coasts.

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Nilaveli

   

Nilaveli is a coastal resort town located about 20 km North-West of TrincomaleeSri Lanka. The natural habour and beach is one of finest in the world. Nilaveli is ideal place for water sports like scuba diving.

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Kalpitiya Beach

  

Kalpitiya is located in Puttalam district, North Western province of Sri Lanka. It is known for its serene beauty. It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. It provides nursing grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans. The coastal waters are also home to spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even the illusive dugong that are of great appeal to potential tourists.


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Negombo

 
negamboNegombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, located on the west coast of the island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon. Negombo is the fifth largest city in the country after the capital ColomboKandyJaffna and Galle, and it is the second largest city in Western province after Colombo. It is one of the major commercial hubs in Sri Lanka of about 128,000 inhabitants in the city limits, approximately 37 km north of Colombo city. Negombo is known for its huge and old fishing industry with busy fish markets and sandy beaches. It`s only 7 km from island's main International Airport. The beauty of the beach and surrounding star class hotels gave more attraction of tourists.

 

 

 

Religious Places



Sri Maha Bodhi

  

srimahabodhiSri Maha Bodhi - Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi treeSri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world. The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc.

In the 3rd century BC, it was brought to Sri Lanka by SangamittaThera, the daughter of Emperor Asoka and founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. In 288 BC it was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa on a high terrace about 6.5 m (21.3 ft) above the ground in the Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura and surrounded by railings.



Samadhi Statue

   

samadhiThe Samadhi Statue is a statue situated at Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment, also called Nirvana. Whether the Buddha's Enlightenment was the experience technically called Samadhi, or some other phenomenon, may depend upon the philosophical allegiance of the believer. In the Dhyana Mudra the Buddha sits cross - legged with his upturned palms placed one over the other on his lap. This position is universally known throughout the Buddhist world, and this statue is therefore one of the most typical pieces of Buddhist sculpture. It is not to be confused with the very similar "Earth-Touching Mudra," which depicts the simple action the Buddha took to fend off the illusions projected by Mara, who was desperate to prevent the Buddha from realizing that his, Mara's, projections, and with them the entire world, are an illusion. This statue is 8 feet in height and carved from granite.



Kandy

   

daladamaligawaSri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhisttemple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCOworld heritage site partly due to the temple. Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily, at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.



Kataragama Temple

   

kataragama-templeKataragamam Temple in Kataragama, Sri Lanka, is a Hindu and Buddhist temple complex dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragama deviyo. It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the majority SinhalaBuddhists, Hindu minority Sri Lankan Tamil people, Sri Lankan Moors and the Vedda people. It is a collection of modest shrines, of which the one dedicated to Skanda-Murukan, also known as Kataragama deviyo, is the most important. For most of the past millennia, it was a jungle shrine very difficult to access, today it is accessible by an all-weather road.



Adam's Peak

   

adamsAdam's Peak (Sri Pada or "Butterfly Mountain”) is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall pointed mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas. The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands, in the Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa Province—lying about 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura. The surrounding region is largely forested hills, with no mountain of comparable size nearby. The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve, housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, and including many endemic species. Adam's Peak is important as a watershed. The districts to the south and the east of Adam's Peak yield precious stones—emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous, and which earned for its ancient name of Ratnadvipa.

 


Koneswaram Temple

  

koneswaramKoneswaram temple of or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee, a Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Built significantly during the reign of the early Cholas and the Five Dravidians of the Early Pandyan Kingdom atop Konesar Malai, a promontory overlooking Trincomalee District, Gokarna bay and the Indian Ocean. The monument contains its main shrine to Shiva in the form Kona-Eiswara, shortened to Konesar and is a major place for Hindu pilgrimage. Connected at the mouth of the Mahavilli Ganga River to the footprint of Shiva at Sivan Oli Padam Malai at the river’s source, the temple symbolically crowns the flow of the Ganges River from Shiva’s head of Mount Kailash to his feet.

 


Munneswaram

  

muneswaramMunneswaram Temple is an important regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although myths surrounding the temple associate it with the popular Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-king Rama. The temple is one of five ancient temples (Ishwarams) dedicated to Shiva in the region.

The temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva (Siva) is the most prestigious and biggest, and is popular amongst Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to GaneshaAyyanayake and Kali. The Kali temple is also popular with Buddhists and Roman Catholics who frequent the complex. Post-19th century, most of the devotees of all temples in the complex belong to the majority Sinhala Buddhist ethnic group, the temples, excluding the Ayyanayake and the Buddhist temple, are administered by families belonging to the minority Hindu Tamils. In addition to these two Hindu festivals, the temple has a festival of its own, the Munneswaram festival, a four-week long event attended by Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, and Muslims.



Seetha Amman Temple

   

sitha-ammanSeetha Amman Temple is located approximately 1 kilometer from Hakgala Botanical Garden.The temple is located in the village called “Seetha Eliya” in Nuwara Eliya. This place is believed to be the place where Sitha held captive by the king Ravana in the Lanka of the epic, Ramayana.

 

 

Water Sport Destination

 

Bentota Beach

 

 

bentota-beachThe famous Beach located in south of the country, 110 km from Colombo International Airport has romantic scenery hotels and very popular for wind surfing and water skiing, along on the River and the Sea.

 

 

 

 



Hikkaduwa

   

hikkaduwa-beachThe place located in south of the country, 150 km from Colombo International Airport is the first area to be developed for tourism. The famous coral reef and scuba diving gets tourist's more pleasure there.

 

 

 

 



Unawatuna

   

unawatuna-beachDescribed as most wonderful beach location by the nature, Unawatuna is one of the best Scuba Diving Locations in Sri Lanka. It is famous beach, Scuba Diving, Surfing and Sea Food in Sri Lankan Style. Unawatuna, is giving the chance to travelers looking for an authentic Sri Lankan beach resort to have a unique time.

 



Mirissa

  

mirissa-beachMirissa is a small, beautiful and rocky beach which is calm, relaxing and almost private. Whales and dolphins watching, deep sea fishing, river trips, snorkeling are activities you could do while you travel in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. Many tourists come to Mirissa for whale watching. You can watch the whales in the Indian Ocean off the Mirissa harbour in the November-April season.


Arugambay

arugambay-beachThe place located in south east of the country is a fine beach near associated with fishing villages. It has been identified as the best surfing beach in Sri Lanka and 4th best in south east Asia. It also comes with the ten best surfing beaches in the world. Wide sandy beaches and lagoons associated with neighbouring Kumana bird sanctuary are added values for visitors going to Arugam bay. Lahugal National Park are Yala East National Park are also located within 10–30 km radious from Arugambay centre.

 

Nilaveli

 

nilaveli-beachThe place located in east of the country. The natural habour and beach is one of finest in world. Nelaveli is ideal place for water sports like scuba diving.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Major Attractions

 

Kandy Esala Perahera (Procession)

 

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Considered one of the most colourful religious pageants in Asia, Kandy’s ten-day Esala Perahera is one of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular festivals. The perahera (procession) is held to honour the sacred tooth enshrined in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

History:
According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre. A belief grew that whoever possessed the Sacred Tooth Relic had a divine right to rule that land, wars were fought to take possession of the relic. After many wars and many deaths, a royal couple disguised themselves and set sail to Sri Lanka with the relic hidden as a hair ornament. It is claimed that Sri Lanka was chosen as the new home for the tooth relic because the Lord Buddha had declared that his religion would be safe there (in Sri Lanka) for 2,500 years. At the time of the royal couple’s landing, the king of Sri Lanka, King Kirti Sri Megavanna, was overjoyed that the Sacred Tooth Relic was in Sri Lanka and received it with great veneration. He built a magnificent palace within the Royal Palace Complex and enshrined the Relic in it. Thereafter, he ordered that an annual perahera be held in honour of the Sacred Relic. As time went on, the land was threatened with foreign invasions and the location of the kingdom was moved from city to city. Upon each change of capital, a new palace was built to enshrine the Relic. Finally it was bought to Kandy, where it is at present, in the Temple of the Tooth.

Esala Perahera:
The most important and respected in this processing is the holy Tooth Relic. The golden casket containing the secred tooth relic is carried on back of a tusker which is attractively decorated. It is the chief elephant called “ Mligawa Etha “ of the class of elephants belonging to the Maligawa .The “Diyawadana Nilame” the chief lay official who is responsible for everything regarding the Processing strolls in a grand way clad in full regalia. Besides the Maligawa tusker, there are so many other elephants taking part in the Perahera many among the spectators usually count the number of elephans taking part in the processing. All these p1elephants are beautiful decorated. The spectators are fortunated enough to witnees many rare items of the Up- country dances and songs confined only for this colourful event. The whole pageant is extremely colourful. It incorporates all aspects of up –country art. Each plaer of perahera takes pride in playing the part assigned to him with religious devotion.
The perahera comprises the Tooth Relic, which is at the head of the procession, and is followed by the processions of four deities: the Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini devales. The Tooth Relic itself has not been carried in the perahera since 1848, since when it was considered unfavourable for it to leave the temple sanctuary and its place is now taken by a replica.
The ten days of the festival begin with the Kap Tree Planting Ceremony, during which cuttings from an Esala tree (Jak or Rukkattana are accepted), are planted in the four devales. This act represents a vow that the festival will be held, the beginning and end of each perahera is signalled by a deafening shot. During the festival, the perahera parades through the streets of Kandy throughout the night. The perahera actually comprises five separate processions, which follow one another around the city streets: one from the Temple of the Tooth and one from each of the other four devales.

Always in the same order, the Maligawa Tusker elephants heads the procession with the replica casket of the Tooth Relic on its back and is followed by the processions of the Natha devale, the Vishnu devale, the Kataragama devale and the Pattini devale. The deity Natha, as a Buddha-to-be, takes precedence over the other divinities and is always directly after the Sacred Tooth Relic procession. As its centrepiece each procession has an elephant carrying the insignia of the relevant temple or, in the case of the Temple of the Tooth, the replica Tooth Relic.

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During the final five nights of the festival, the Randholee Perahera, things become progressively spectacular, Randholees were royal princesses in the harem of the Kandyan Kings of Sri Lanka and the Randholee Perahera is when the chief

and secondary Queens ride through the parade in their beautifully decorated palanquins. They are joined by a massive cast of participants including as many as a hundred brilliantly caparisoned elephants, dignitaries dressed in traditional Kandyan costume, thousands of drummers, dancers and acrobats. They dance, walk on stilts, twirl batons, crack whips, swing fire pots, and carry banners. The Pattini procession, the only one devoted to a female deity, attracts many female dancers decorated with peacock feathers, peacock feathers are a religious symbol.
Following the last perahera, the water-cutting ceremony is held before the dawn of the next day at the Kandy Lake. A priest wades out into the Mahaweli Ganga and “cuts” the water with a sword. This ceremony symbolically releases a supply of water for the coming year and divides the pure from the impure. The Tooth Relic is traditionally believed to protect the land against drought. After the water-cutting ceremony, a final “day” perahera is held and the procession of the Tooth Relic and the four devales parade around the city one last time for the year.
The perahera is traditionally held over the last nine days of the lunar month of Esala, finishing on Nikini Poya day. This usually falls during late July or early August through the exact dates vary according to the vagaries of the lunar calendar, the authorities sometimes choose for slightly different dates depending on practical and astrological considerations. Filled with brilliant colour, dance and tradition, the essence of Sri Lankan history is captured in the annual Kandy Esala Perahera.

 


Adam's Peak (Sri Pada)

 

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Adam`s Peak also known as Sri Pada is an ancient pilgrimage site, which has long attracted thousands of pilgrims from all faiths. It is the pilgrimage to the sacred mountain, Sri Pada, popularly known in english as Adam`s Peak. This conical mountain is 7`360 feet high, soaring clear above the surrounding mountain ranges.
According to history, when the Buddha visited Sri Lanka he placed one foot on the north of the royal city and the other on sumana –kuta (Adam`s Peak) fifteen yojanas, or about hundred miles distant.
The legendary evidence of Siam brings up that the Buddha left the print of his left foot on Adam`s Peak, and then, in one stride, 2strode across the Siam, (now Thailand) where he left the impression of his right foot. It is called Phra Sat, and its appearance is supposed to be like that of the foot print on Adam`s Peak and of similar size. Broad steps lead up to this walled enclosure containing the rock over which is a tower-like structure. The portion marked off as having the imprint of the Buddha`s foot is about five feet seven inches long and two feet seven inches broad. The hole in the rock in Thailand, which is believed to have the imprint of the Buddha`s right foot, is about five feet long and two feet broad. Buddhists attribute this universal size to the fact (such is the belief) that the Buddha was about thirty-five feet tall.
The real footprint on Adam`s Peak is believed to be set in jewels beneath the visible rock and hindus believe it that of the god Siva. The Tamil name of the rock (Civan-oli-pata) means “the mountain path of Siva`s light”. Muslims believe the footprint to be that of Adam (hence the Adam`s Peak), Christians, that of St. Thomas, the disciple Jesus.
Alongside the rock is a shrine containiing images (one of which is made of silver) of the god Saman and a Brahmin priest officiates at this shrine. In front of the shrine is a small table on which pilgrims place camphor and lighted candles.    

 

Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

 

Famed for its "Golden Mile" of beaches, it has often been a hot spot for tourism and laid back nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka. The city's name is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor of Ceylon from 1805–1811.
The Village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern bustling city, the governor’s home, which he named "Mount Lavinia House" and his monuments that has been preserved within the walls and high ceilings of what is today the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The statue of 'Lady' Lavinia as the girl later became known, is still found in the middle of a water fountain at the entrance of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Whatever the legends, the town came into official recognition when Governor Maitland used the postal address Mt. Lavinia, Ceylon, in 1805, while writing to the British Secretary of State, Lord Castlereagh.

 

Lion RocK Sigiriya


Is an ancient palace located near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavangsha, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure - Sihagiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.

 

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