The tiny tear drop formed island within the Indian ocean has develop into the newest hotspot for vacationers. After the tip of the 30 years civil battle, and all of the journey advisories lifted, vacationers simply cannot wait to go out to the unique island of Sri Lanka. The pleasant and hospitable folks of Sri Lanka, of their flip, with palms folded and ‘Ayobowan’ on their lips are able to make your vacation probably the most memorable you’ve got ever had.
Tourism in Sri Lanka can, broadly, be divided into three classes. The seashores, the cities of cultural, historic and spiritual significance and final however positively not the least, the character reserves. Don’t be fooled by the scale of the nation. The tiny island is wealthy with locations to go to from all these three classes. Be part of me as I unravel the wonders of Sri Lanka.
The bustling metropolis of Colombo is the most important in Sri Lanka. It’s about an hour’s drive from the Bandarnaike worldwide airport. Identical to different metropolitan cities, Colombo is a hub of exercise. There are lots of locations value seeing. It being a coastal city, you may get pleasure from beautiful views of the ocean together with the throngs that head to Galle Face greens within the night. If abandoned seashores are what you might be after, then you may head to different locations, which shall determine later in my record. Aside from that, you may go to the Nationwide museum, the Nationwide zoological gardens, and the Independence sq. which was constructed to mark Sri Lanka’s freedom from the British. You’ll be able to store your coronary heart out at Majestic Metropolis, Liberty plaza or Odel. It’s simple to commute across the metropolis, with buses, radio taxis and auto rickshaws referred to as tuk-tuks domestically, available.
Sri Lanka is not nearly seashores. In the event you journey inland there are numerous treasures to be found. In case you are a fan of the cooler local weather, there aren’t many locations in Sri Lanka however Nuwara Eliya would positively be one in all them. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station situated within the centre of Sri Lanka, just a bit to the south. When Sri Lanka was beneath the rule of the British, that is the place a lot of the British got here for a perfect summer season getaway. The affect of the colonial period can nonetheless be seen within the metropolis, whether or not it might be within the nickname ‘Little England’ or within the structure or within the numerous actions you can immerse your self in whereas there, akin to boating, golf or horse driving.
One other essential facet of Nuwara Eliya is that it is among the most necessary cities so far as tea manufacturing is anxious. So be ready to see infinite stretches of tea plantation on each side while you’re approaching Nuwara Eliya. Remember to drop in on one of many many tea factories dotted alongside the way in which there, such because the Labukele Tea property. The folks there’ll gladly speak you thru the method of creating tea from selecting the leaf, to processing it, whereas they present you round their property. Put together to be baffled by the range and flavours of tea you should purchase there.
So far as vacationer locations are involved, Nuwara Eliya has many. For many who are accustomed to the Hindu mythological epic of Ramayana, the ‘Seetha Kovil’ or the Sita temple can be a spot of curiosity. In accordance with legend, king Ravana of Sri Lanka kidnapped queen Sita from her kingdom in North India and introduced her to Sri Lanka. It’s believed that it was right here, the place this temple is situated, that he saved her. There’s a big foot mark there as properly, believed to be of Lord Hanuman. Even the direst non-believers will expertise an odd and outlandish sensation overcome them as they stand there watching the plush inexperienced mist-covered hills, questioning what all this place should have been witness to for thus many centuries.
Just a bit forward of the Seetha Kovil is the Hakgala Botanical Backyard, which is one other attention-grabbing place to go to. Unfold over a big space, it is sufficient to maintain the character lovers on the market occupied for hours.
After Colombo, town of Kandy (referred to as Maha Nuvara domestically) is an important in Sri Lanka. There isn’t a scarcity of issues to do and locations to go to right here. Traditionally, Kandy is necessary because it was one of many final kingdoms to stay unbiased from colonization. On the way in which from Colombo, it is going to be the primary main city that you simply encounter whereas travelling in the direction of the Central Highlands.
The very first thing you’ll discover about Kandy will in all probability be the massive lake within the centre of the city. Bordering this lake on one aspect is among the most necessary pilgrimage locations for Buddhists, the temple of tooth or Sri Dalada Maligawa. It’s believed that, alongside the period of many centuries, the holy relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth after travelling many miles from India, after which inside the island itself for the sake of defending it from the individuals who needed to destroy it, discovered its closing resting place on this temple. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage web site. You’ll be able to see the varied rituals which might be carried out within the temple 3 times a day, roughly round 5.30 and 09.00 within the morning and 06.30 within the night.
The annual competition of the Esala Perahera, which falls on the complete moon round July or August, is in honour of this relic. This entire pageant is a sight to see with the normal Kandyan dancers, fantastically adorned elephants, hearth acts and what not. Additionally it is attention-grabbing to notice that at any time when the tooth relic has been taken out for public exposition, it has nearly at all times rained.
There are lots of good accommodations dotted across the lake on all sides. In shut proximity to the temple of tooth is the fashionable Kandy metropolis centre, and the buying complicated, which is an efficient instance of the gorgeous mix of recent and historic that this excellent city is.
A suburb of Kandy is the city of Peradeniya. It’s dwelling to the illustrious College of Peradeniya and the Royal Botanical Gardens, the most important within the island.
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are two cities which, along with Kandy, full the so referred to as cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. In case you are a historical past buff, and have an interest within the historic heritage of Sri Lanka, these locations are to not be missed. Each of those cities are UNESCO world heritage websites and had been as soon as flourishing capitals of historic kingdoms of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura was the primary historic capital of Sri Lanka, and the ruins that may be seen right here at the moment inform the story of a wealthy and steady kingdom which prospered from 4th century BC until the 11th century AD when it was sacked by the South Indian Chola kingdom after which the capital moved to Polonnaruwa. The reign of King Parakramabahu I in Polonnaruwa was thought of the golden period of Polonnaruwa.
Each cities have many temples, water tanks and ponds, stupas, statues of Kings and Lord Buddha and ruins of palaces scattered round and are positively value visiting to get an thought of the wealthy historic and archeological significance of those two cities. To not be missed in Anuradhapura, is the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, which is alleged to have grown from a sapling introduced in third century BC from the sacred Bodhi tree in Gaya, India beneath which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. In Polonnaruwa, the Parakrama Samudra is a spot value visiting. It’s truly a reservoir which was constructed within the 4th century AD to maintain the city independent however appears to be like as huge as an ocean, therefore the identify ‘Samudra.’
One other positively not-to-be-missed place in Sri Lanka and in addition a UNESCO world heritage web site is Sigiriya or the Lion Rock. As you strategy, you can be surprised at this fifth century palace w
hich sits on high of a 600ft rock and is seen for miles round because it rears its head out within the midst of miles of lush inexperienced flat land. It’s mentioned to have been constructed by King Kasyapa, who feared invasion by his half-brother and constructed this palace for his personal safety. You’ll be able to marvel on the quite a few rock shelters or water gardens on the base or as you climb up the 1200 odd steps to the highest, gaze on the frescoes mid-way to the highest and the mirror wall which as soon as upon a time acted as a mirror for the king however now has develop into a spot for graffiti exhibiting historic Singhalese script. The lion gate, referred to as so due to the massive lion paws on the entrance, leads you to the summit which is a big flat space scattered over that are the ruins of historic palace, together with an historic throne and a pool. The view from the highest is breathtaking. You’ll be able to even see Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa within the distance. Typically, it’s so windy that you simply really feel you may be blow away. Don’t forget to take water together with you as there are not any outlets on the way in which. Apply loads of solar block, and put on full-sleeved clothes and a cap. These precautions are obligatory not solely to guard you from the blazing solar, but additionally from occasional wasp assaults.
There’s far more to the city of Dambulla than cricket! Sure, there may be a world customary cricket stadium right here however do you know that this historic city additionally homes a world heritage web site? Dambulla, situated close to Sigiriya, can be well-known for its cave temples. These cave temples are located round 160m above the city. The 5 most necessary caves listed here are clustered collectively and will be seen after paying a small payment for the ticket. Many guides can be found who will familiarize you with the historical past of the place and the symbolism of the varied statues of Lord Buddha and different gods and goddesses. It’s attention-grabbing to ponder over the truth that a few of these caves date again to the second century B.C. and had been utilized by King Valagamba as shelter throughout his time in exile.
If we speak in regards to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, then Sigiriya and Dambulla type the centre of this triangle. It will be sensible to base your self in Sigiriya and journey and uncover Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa on day journeys.
One other place value visiting in Sri Lanka is Adam’s peak, a 2,243m excessive mountain situated close to the southern finish of the Central highlands. What’s the most wonderful factor about this mountain is that it teaches us the unity of religions. It’s commemorated by folks of all religions alike. The mountain can be referred to as ‘Sri Pada’ or ‘holy footprint’ which refers back to the imprint on the summit of the mountain. Buddhists imagine that that is the footprint of Lord Buddha, Hindus imagine it to be the footprint of Lord Shiva, it’s the footprint of St. Thomas for the Christians and for the Muslims it’s the footprint of Adam, the primary man. The perfect time to climb the mountain is round December to March when camps and higher amenities are offered. A lot of the pilgrims begin climbing round midnight and attain the summit in time to see the spectacular dawn. Be certain to take loads of heat garments. Pilgrims then descend instantly as as soon as the solar comes out, the warmth typically will get insufferable.
Sri Lanka is wealthy in wildlife and residential to many wildlife sanctuaries and pure reserves, a few of that are the Gal Oya Nationwide Park the place massive herds of elephants will be seen, Yala Nationwide Park with one of many highest leopard densities on this planet, and Ravana Ella wildlife sanctuary which incorporates the well-known Ravana falls and caves, vital to the Hindu epic of Ramayana. All these locations have beautiful landscapes and are wealthy in pure wealth. It’s arduous, due to this fact, to pick one to jot down about. Nonetheless, Sinharaja Biosphere reserve is among the most vital amongst these, not solely as a result of it’s a UNESCO world heritage web site, but additionally as a result of it is among the previous few rainforests left on this planet. As a result of density of the vegetation there are fewer animals to be seen however it’s a botanist’s dream come true for many who want to examine the crops of rainforests, a lot of them native to Sri Lanka.
One other place value mentioning right here is the Pinnawela elephant orphanage which will be visited on the way in which to Kandy. It’s dwelling to greater than 100 elephants. You’ll be able to benefit from the sight of the elephants fortunately marching their technique to the financial institution of the river Ma Oya for his or her bathtub, which occurs twice a day. You may also feed them milk from a bottle with the help of the mahouts or helpers. Do your bit to assist out and make a donation of bananas or milk for the elephants! The entire expertise of seeing these mild giants frolic within the river will actually be unforgettable.
The nation newly free of the clutches of ethnic battle now has many locations open for vacationers which, earlier, had been even out of the attain of the locals. One such place is the northern district of Jaffna, domestically referred to as Yaalpaanam. It may be thought of an island related with the mainland of Sri Lanka by a slender strip of land referred to as the elephant cross. Jaffna has many shallow lagoons and offshore islands. One of the vital necessary islands can be Nagadipa on which is situated a holy Viharya or Buddhist shrine. You’ll be able to absorb the tradition and traditions of the Sri Lankan Tamils right here in Jaffna. Different locations value seeing are the Jaffna fort, and the Nallur Kandaswamy temple, a Hindu temple situated within the outskirts of Jaffna. Prayers are carried out right here punctually six occasions a day, ranging from 5 within the morning and the final prayer being at six within the night. The perfect interval to go to this temple can be in July/August when the annual competition is held.
It being an island, the ocean isn’t far off in Sri Lanka. And should you love seashores then you can be spoilt for selections right here. The easiest way to go about it might be to land at the moment worldwide airport in Sri Lanka, close to Katunayke and head for town of Negombo, after which you’ll journey south alongside the coast and uncover the various coastal cities and benefit from the seashores. You can be passing via the industrial capital of Colombo, which will not be top-of-the-line locations if seashores are what you might be after, however additional down are the cities of Mount Lavinia, Bentota, Balapitiya, all of which have loads of funds accommodations and lots of actions to maintain you occupied with. Additional down is Hikkaduwa the place you may see corals in glass-bottom boats, and Galle, not solely well-known for its seashores but additionally for an historic fort. Near Galle is the Unawatuna seashore which is taken into account top-of-the-line on this planet not solely due to its splendidly musical identify however due to its sheer unspoiled magnificence, coral reefs and alternatives for scuba diving. Additional down, the seashores of Mirissa, which can be well-known for cinnamon cultivations, and Dondra, the southernmost level of Sri Lanka and residential to a towering lighthouse, are scorching spots for dolphin and whale watching. The Arungam Bay is legendary for internet hosting many worldwide stage browsing competitions.
Trincomalee, a port metropolis situated on the japanese coast of Sri Lanka, boasts of the gorgeous Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Crimson rock seashores with pink boulders. Throughout June to September the shores of Trincomalee additionally turns into a scorching spot for whale and dolphin watchers. There are lots of accommodations throughout Sri Lanka that are related to this sport and may give you help to make your expertise unforgettable. Not solely is Trincomalee dwelling to Fort Fredrick, the m
ost important Dutch fort in Sri Lanka, it additionally has many locations necessary for Hindus and Buddhists such because the Koneswaram Hindu Kovil and the Seruwila temple. Undoubtedly to not be missed is the Naval museum and the Hood’s tower which was a lookout level for the British navy, therefore offers an exquisite 360-degree view of Trincomalee. Trincomalee is necessary as a result of it’s a pure harbor, in actual fact the fifth largest on this planet. Be able to face a number of routine checkpoints as it’s situated inside the areas that had been a part of the ethnic battle.
If buying is what you might be after, then you should purchase tea, out there in lots of flavours. The native handicrafts are an alternative choice. The Batik work produced domestically is beautiful. Batik is a material artwork which makes use of wax and dye. You should purchase wall hangings, sarees, and different gadgets that are made utilizing this artwork. The valuable stones and jewelry out there listed here are one other factor value contemplating. In truth, the city of Ratnapura (actually, town of gems) is well-known for its rubies, saphires and emeralds. You may also take dwelling a wide range of good high quality spices. There are lots of spice gardens dotted across the nation the place you may you study extra in regards to the cultivation and makes use of of a wide range of spices.
One small island however many causes to go to. So head to this stunning nation in your subsequent trip.