Popular Destination

Kandy

Sri DaladaMaligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple 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 UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.

Sigiriya

Sigiriya is located in the central Matale District near town of Dambulla of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archeaological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa the site was selected by King Kasyapafor 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.

Yala

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 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) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds.

Arugambay

The place located in south east of the country 317 km from Colombo 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 areYala East National Park are also located within 10–30 km radious from Arugambay centre. MagulMahaViharaya (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.

Galle Fort

Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka

Udawalawe

Udawalawe 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 thecatchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972.[1] Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation. The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. 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.

Polannaruwa

Polonnaruwa is a town. It’s the main town of Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Town and the other part of Polonnaruwa, remains as the royal ancient city of polonnarukingdom.The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Cholainvaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader.

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. The city lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, on the banks of the historic MalvathuOya. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Pinnawala

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawalla is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.

Nuwara eliya

NuwaraEliya is a city, in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of NuwaraEliya 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.

Tangalle Beach

Tangalle is a big town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. It is one of the largest towns in southern province. It has a mild climate, in comparison to the rest of the district, and sandy beaches.The name of the town in Sinhala means “projected rock”, a reference to the rocks which form the coastline in the town area, which contrasts with the sandy beach of the surrounding areas.

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa 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

Negombo

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, located on the west coast of the island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, Sri Lanka. Negombo is the fifth largest city in the country after the capitalColombo, Kandy, Jaffna and Galle, and it is the second largest city in Western province after Colombo. Negombo is also the administrative capital of Negombo Division. 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.

Kithulgala

Kitulgala is a small town in the west of Sri Lanka. It is in the wet zone rain forest, which gets two monsoons each year, and is one of the wettest places in the country. Nevertheless, it comes alive in the first three months of the year, especially in February, the driest month. The Academy Award-winning The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge (and, supposedly, the submerged train cars that plunged into the river in the climactic scene). Kitulgala is also a base for white-water rafting, which starts a few kilometres upstream.

Dambulla

Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include two statues of Hindugods, the god Vishnu and the god Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha’s first sermon.

Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of “Willus” (Natural lakes) – Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam. 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. The Leopard population in Wilpattu is still not yet known.

Nilawali

The place located in east of the country 276 km from Colombo and 14 km from Trincomalee. The natural habour and beach is one of finest in world. Nelaveli is ideal place for water sports like scuba diving.

Medirigiriya Vatadage

Medirigiriya Vatadage is situated in middle of a dry zone forest area adding to its mystic view and has a history going back to the pre-Christian times. The brami characters found on the bricks and the some of the stone carvings is an indication of the long history of this site. The first reference to this site in the chronicles is during the king Kanittha Tissa (192-194) of the Anuradhapura Era. Later many kings have contributed to this complex and finally after the invasion of Maga this site too was abandoned when the Sinhalese migrated to the southern parts unable to withstand the torture.

Mihintale

Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures.

Jaffna

Jaffna is a city on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. Nallur Kandaswamy is a huge Hindu temple with golden arches and an ornate gopuram tower. By the coast, star-shaped Jaffna Fort was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and later occupied by the Dutch and British. Jaffna Public Library is a symbol of the city’s post-war regeneration. Jaffna Archaeological Museum has Dutch cannons and pre-colonial artifacts.

Yapahawa

In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidian invasions from South India, bringing the Sacred Tooth Relic with him. Following the death of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Sri Lanka once again, and succeeded in capturing Sacred Tooth Relic. Following its capture, Yapahuwa was largely abandoned and inhabited by Buddhist monks and religious ascetics.

Devinuwara temple

The little town of Devinuwara or the “City of Gods” is located at the most southern edge of the country, about 6.5kms south-east of Matara. Devinuwara is also known as Dondra in English.
At the height of its splendour, in the 13th-15th centuries, Devinuwara has been a busy seaport and a most renowned place of pilgrimage and worship. It had been a landmark with its magnificent temple with a roof of gilded copper flashing far into the sea, and undoubtedly must have been an aid to those who sailed the vast Indian Ocean. The many stone pillars variously sculptured in designs and shapes are evidence of the magnificent shrines and temples in this town that overlooked the ocean up to the latter half of the 16th century.

Blowhole Sri Lanka

Hummanaya is a natural blowhole, and caused when sea water rushes through a submerged cavern and is pushed upwards. The sea water flows underneath the shore, and then comes out of this hole due to pressure. The water fountain created by the geological feature shoots up every couple of minutes, depending on the nature of the sea, with the spray often reaching as high as 25 m (82 ft) to 30 m (98 ft).

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. The island's name derives from the rock pigeon which has colonized it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963. In 2003 it was redesignated as a national park. This national park is the 17th in Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era.

Mirissa

Mirissa's beach and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. It is also a fishing port and one of the island's main whale and dolphin watching locations.

Bentota

Bentota is a resort town on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast. Its long Bentota Beach stretches north, where it becomes a sandy strip known as Paradise Island, parallel to Bentota Lagoon. Coral-rich dive sites include Canoe Rock. On Bentota River, centuries-old Galapota Temple has a large Buddha statue. Southeast is Lunuganga, the estate and gardens of architect Geoffrey Bawa. Northeast is his brother Bevis's Brief Garden.

Buduruwagala

Buduruwagala is an ancient buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The complex consists of seven statues and belongs to the Mahayana school of thought. The statues date back to the 10th century. The gigantic Buddha statue still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. The central of the three figures to the Buddha's right is thought to be the Buddhist mythological figure-the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. To the left of this white painted figure is a female figure in the thrice-bent posture, which is thought to be his consort-Tara.

Ravana waterfall

The Ravana Falls is a popular sightseeing attraction in Sri Lanka. It currently ranks as one of the widest falls in the country.

Avukana

The Avukana statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), was carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil. The Avukana statue is one of the best examples of a standing statue constructed in ancient Sri Lanka.

Dondra Lighthouse

Dondra Head Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on Dondra Head, Dondra, the southernmost point in Sri Lanka and is Sri Lanka's tallest lighthouse, and also one of the tallest in South East Asia.

Ritigala

Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and mountain in Sri Lanka. The ruins and rock inscriptions of the monastery date back to 1st century BCE. It is located 43 km away from the ancient monastic city of Anuradhapura.

Pidurangala

Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. It has an interesting history closely related to that of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climbing to the top of Pidurangala Rock is more strenuous than climbing Sigiriya. If you are fit and adventurous it is a climb worth making. It will take you about two hours.

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.

Pasikudah beach

Pasikuda, meaning “green-algae-bay” is situated in Eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka between Kalkuda and the Indian Ocean, approximately 35 kilometers from Batticaloa Town. The turquoise blue waters of the bay attracts local and foreign tourist to this wide sandy place under the hot tropical sun to surf, swim or just frolic in the water. Many other activities are available from kite surfing, boogie boarding to surfing and sailing across in a canoe.
Long out of reach due to the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, is now re-emerging as a tourist hot spot in the East of Sri Lanka. Coconut palms and palmyra tree adorn the shores of this area, due to the semi-arid state, Sun screen and a large brimmed hat is recommended along with lots of liquid, to keep the heat under control.

Rekawa beach

The beach at Rekawa village, 10km east of Tangalla Bay Beach, is home to one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in Sri Lanka, visited by five different species which lay their eggs in the sand here every night throughout the year.
The best time to see turtles is between January & April; periods when there's a full moon. Fullish moon too are good throughout the year, because there are both more turtles & more light to see them by. Rekawa has recorded 23 turtles in one night. We will definitely see at least a couple of turtles every night.

Nalanda Gedige

Nalanda Gedige is an ancient complete stone temple near Matale, Sri Lankaand its original site was considered as the center of Sri Lanka. The building was constructed in between 8th and 10th centuries with dravidian architecture inand is believed to have been used by Buddhists.

Matale Aluvihara Cave Temple

The history of Aluvihare Rock Temple is traced back to the 3rd Century B.C to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. It is believed that the King built the dagoba, planted the Bo sapling and founded the temple after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign.

Royal botanical garden

It attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is near the Mahaweli River (the longest in Sri Lanka). It is renowned for its collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

Horton Plains

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montage grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 meters (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.

Adam's Peak

The amazing Adam's Peak is Sri Lanka's fourth highest mountain at 2244m and is located 40km northeast of Ratnapura. Adam's Peak or the Sri Pada is an important pilgrim site. Buddhist believe the impression on the summit is the footprint of lord Buddha himself.