If you were to write about what makes Sri Lanka so amazing, you would know that it’s a combination of these five elements: history, culture, religion, wildlife and the country’s nature. If you visit Sri Lanka, you must try and squeeze all of these elements in to experience Sri Lanka to its fullest. Here’s a rough guide on how to do just that.
1. History: Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa is the second kingdom that was established in the country after Anuradhapura. It was the capital of the country 1056 AD; it was of great political and economical importance till it fell in the 14th century due to constant invasion from the Chola kings. Today, the ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some impressive ruins from a seven-storey palace to numerous temples.
2. Culture: Harvesting Tea in Ella
Tea is a big part of Sri Lankan life; tea is not only one of the most Sri Lankan household goods, but it plays a massive role in the country’s economy. While you’re in Ella you should visit a tea factory and plantation. Char to the tea-pickers and learn about the production of Ceylon’s finest.
3. Religion: Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy
Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, is perhaps the holiest Buddhist site in Sri Lanka. The tooth relic belongs to the Buddha, for most of the year the relic is enshrine in a special room, but during perahera in May, the relics is taken around the Kandy lake in an extravagant procession. The temple itself is beautiful and it was built within the palace complex of the Kandyan Kingdom.
4. Wildlife: Yala National Park
Yala National Park is undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s most famous national park. It attracts many locals and tourists because of its inhabitants which include elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, deer, and over 200 species of birds. However, the main attraction is the elusive leopard; Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards in a geographical area, almost guaranteeing you see one while on safari.
5. Nature: Weligama
Weligama is a seaside town on the south coast of the island. Its name translates to “sandy village”, a testament to its gorgeous golden beaches. Weligama is perhaps the quintessential Sri Lankan beach; yellow sandy beaches which are fringed with green palm tree and lapping blue waves, it’s absolute bliss! You can either laze by the beach and bask in the warm Sri Lankan sun, or you can go surfing here as it’s the best surfing location on the south coast. Either way you’ll love Weligama.
As you can see the small island has so much to offer, and to ensure you don’t miss out on anything you should maybe plan your trip via a travel agent. Many travel agencies have itineraries similar to Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka’s ‘Magical Sri Lanka’ tour, takes you around the island in 12 days and guarantees you won’t miss out on the highlights!