Sri Lanka is an island country in Asia. It features among the world’s top tourist destinations – courtesy of its diverse scenery. Although there are many attractions that should not be missed while on tour in Sri Lanka, here are the eight most spectacular.
1. Sigiriya Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
This rock fortress in Sigiriya is among Sri Lanka’s top attractions. BuiIt by a King called Kassapa, it is alleged that he transformed the massive rock boulder into a palace that had water gardens, walls, and frescoes. Among the amazing things here is the frescoes gallery, which is painted on sheer rock walls. Despite the fact that only 22 of the estimated 500 paintings are now intact, it is still the most majestic part of this great attraction.
2. Dambulla Cave Temple
Around the 3rd Century BC, this region became the biggest Buddhist monastic settlement in Sri Lanka. The site holds archeological evidence of man’s past – including a cemetery in Ibbankatuwa. The Cave Temple, along with rock art found in 5 caves and 157 statues of different sizes found throughout, are strong testimony to Sri Lanka’s rich culture.
3. Ancient Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s oldest city, was founded in 4th century BC. This site is home to the sacred Bo Tree, grown from a branch of the famous Bodhi tree under which Buddha sat when he reached enlightenment. Here there are also the remains of Ruwanweliseya Dagaba, Kuttam Pokuna, Brazen Palace, and Seated Buddha Sculpture, amongst others. Other attractions include bathing ponds, monasteries, temples, irrigation tanks and stone carvings.
4. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Founded in 1975 by the Sri Lankan Wildlife Department and lying on 24 acres of land, this is home to the world’s largest herd of elephants in a given region. Currently, it is the habitat of around 3,000 animals – making it a spectacular area of unique experience that can’t be found elsewhere.
5. Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya is a town with a temperate climate that gives it a very unique feel. It was dubbed ‘Little England’ courtesy of its colonial architecture. Attractions here include tea plantations, Haggala Botanical Gardens, Hortons Plains and the World’s End, which offers exciting walks though the mountain environment.
This city became the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka after the fall of Anuradhapura in 993. Today it is a showcase of rich, ancient Sri Lankan architecture incorporated with Buddhist monasteries and monuments buiIt by King Parakramabahu-I.
7. Sacred City of Kandy
This is a Buddhist sacred site commonly known as the City of Senkadagalapura. It was the last city of the famous Sinhala kings. Its patronage was key in the Sinhala culture, which flourished for over 2,500 years – up until the time of Sri Lanka’s invasion by the British. It is scenically located right in Kandy’s heart. The Tooth’s Temple is the main monument and is considered the most sacred shrine in Buddhism.
8. Yala National Park
Also known as Ruhunu National Park, it is the most frequented and 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka. It offers the best opportunity for wild elephant sightings, and is also home to various animals, such as buffalo, leopards, monkeys, crocodiles, and bears. The most peculiar thing here is the cat’s purr that can be heard from quite a distance.
Sri Lanka is a top destination for all types of tourists due to its diverse attractions, ranging from game to architecture and archaeology. When you are seeking a top place to visit, look no further, get a Sri Lanka Visa and tour this spectacular country.