Sigiriya & Dambulla
Sigiriya & Dambulla
Sigiriya, an ancient palace, was once nominated as the 8th wonder of the world. Dambulla is an ancient rock temple from the time of the kings. Today, Sigiriya and Dambulla are UNESCO-recognized cultural heritage sites and major tourist attractions.
Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most dramatic sight. Nearly vertical walls rise to a flat peak, atop which are the ruins of an ancient civilization believed to have been the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and early morning views are enchanting over mist-shrouded forests. Sigiriya refuses to reveal his secrets easily, and you must climb a series of dizzying stairs attached to sheer walls to reach the top. Along the way, you’ll pass a number of remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion’s paws carved into the rock. The surrounding landscape – lily pad-covered moats, water gardens, and cave shrines – only add to Sigiriya’s rock-solid appeal.
In Dambulla, you will see 40 seated Buddha statues, cave paintings on the ceiling, and much more. The ceiling and wall paintings found in the Great New Monastery date back to the 1700s and give you a unique insight into the Buddhist Revival period. See a statue of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha and 50 statues of Buddha.
Kandy is located in the middle of Sri Lanka. Considered the cultural capital of the country, it is perfect for a nice stroll. Kandy is famous for its sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), which is honored with the annual Esala Perahera procession.
Kitulgala is on the heights of Colombo and is the starting point for whitewater rafting on the Kelani River. It is the main attraction in this humid area surrounded by jungle and rainforest. Many rare and endemic birds live in this region.
Yala National Park
Yala National Park, located in the south of the island, is home to a wide variety of wildlife such as leopards, bears, elephants, wild boar, deer, peacocks, jungle birds (the national animal of Sri Lanka), crocodiles, water buffalo, lizards and around 200 different species of birds. A trip there is definitely worth it.
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