Find your peace in Sri Lanka’s rich and quiet beauty. Home to pristine beaches, gorgeous wildlife, breath taking landscapes, historical artefacts, and ancient ruins; there’s just so much to discover! And while you’re there, don’t forget to sip on the ever-popular Ceylon tea.
Scroll down to catch a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s wonders.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Known by locals as the “eighth wonder of the world”, Sigiriya Rock or Lion Rock, is one of the most visited places in Sri Lanka. This gargantuan rock stands 200m tall amidst the forested plains below. The entrance is magnificently guarded by two giant lion paws while colourful frescoes adorn the walls. Another striking feature of Sigiriya Rock is the Mirror Wall where back in the olden days, it was polished so thoroughly that the king could see his reflection in it. Make your way up 1,200 stairs for a spectacular view of its surroundings and explore the ancient architectures that was also once a palace and a monastery.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (7.00am – 4.00pm)
- Ticket price: USD30 / Rs 3900
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
The crown jewel of Kandy City? The Sri Dalada Maligawa also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which houses a tooth of the Buddha. The entire temple complex is over three centuries old with many rebuilt and repaired due to acts of war and ravages of time. Each building follows the classical Kandyan architecture and is a sight for art lovers with its exquisite paintings and structures. The door to the chamber where the tooth resides is carved in ivory. The tooth rests on seven gemstone-studded golden caskets.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (5.30am – 8.00pm)
- Ticket Price: Rs 1,000
Source: Lakpura LLC
Whale Watching in Mirissa
Seek the gentle giants off the southern coast of Sri Lanka where the whales pass by in their migratory route to the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. If you’re fortunate enough, you might be able to spot the largest animal on earth, the Blue Whale. Other whales that pass by are Bryde’s Whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales and Fin Whales.
Pods of dolphins like the Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, and Striped Dolphins also sometimes make an appearance, playfully leaping out of water to the delight of viewers. On some days, there’s a chance to even see flying fish, turtles, mantra rays and sharks.
Pro-Tip: the best time to whale watch is between November and April
- Opening Hours: as early as 6.00am – 7.00am (depends on your tour)
- Ticket Price: varies on tour groups
Source: Best of Lanka
Dambulla Cave Temple
There are 5 caves that make up the Dambulla Cave Temple, the fifth cave however holds no historical value as it was done in the second decade of this century. The other four caves contain statues and paintings depicting the various epochs of the Sinhalese culture. There are about 150 Buddha statutes and paintings in these caves. Though the climb is not as challenging as Sigiriya Rock Fortress but be prepared to walk up 364 steps up to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple.
- Cave 1: Deva Raja Viharaya (Temple of the King of Gods)
- Cave 2: Maha Raja Viharaya (The Temple of the Great King)
- Cave 3: Maha Alut Viharaya (The Great New Temple)
- Cave 4: Paschima Viharaya
Pro-Tip: Wear modest clothing when visiting as it is a temple.
Source: Lakpura LLC
Sri Maha Bodhi (The Sacred Bo-Tree)
The Sri Maha Bodhi is over 2,000 years old and is said to be the oldest tree with a written history. It was grown from a branch of the Sacred Bodhi – the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Even after Anuradhapura was abandoned, some brave Sinhalese continued to take care of the tree, lighting bonfires to keep wild elephants away. Situated within a temple, Sri Maha Bodhi continues to attract thousands of pilgrims every day.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (6.00am – 12.00pm; 2.00pm – 9.00pm)
- Ticket Price: Rs 200
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park in Sri Lanka yet it is the most visited. The protected area stretches for 130,000 hectares of land consisting of light forests, scrubs, grasslands, tanks and lagoons. It is divided into 5 blocks, but only two are open to the public as the other parts are designated Natural Reserve. Yala is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species. People visit Yala in hopes of catching sight of their popular residents; the leopards, elephants, sloth bears and more. It all really depends on their luck if they are able to spot them on that day.
Pro-Tip: The best time to visit Yala is between February and July as the water levels are low, bringing the animals into the open.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (6.00am – 6.00pm)
- Ticket Price: Click here for the ticket prices
Source: Yala National Park
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