Sri Lanka Beaches
There are many beaches to choose from in Sri Lanka. There are long golden ones, there are dainty ones with soft white sand, there are wind- and, wave-battered ones and ones without a footstep for miles. Some have a slowly vibe and some have a lively party vibe, but whichever you choose, the beaches of Sri Lanka really are as gorgeous as you’ve heard. And one of the best things about Sri Lanka’s beaches is that no matter what time of year you go if it’s raining on one coast then chances are it’ll be sun hat and swimmers weather on the other.
The National Parks of Sri Lanka
Nature conservation has a long and illustrious history in Sri Lanka – the island’s first wildlife reserve is said to have been established by King Devanampiya Tissa in the third century BC, while many of the national parks and reserves that make up today’s well-developed network date back to colonial times and earlier.
Administered by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, these protected areas cover almost fifteen percent of the island’s land area and encompass a wide variety of terrains, from the high-altitude grasslands of Horton Plains National Park to the coastal wetlands of Bundala. Almost all harbour a rich selection of wildlife and birds, and several are also of outstanding scenic beauty.
Sri Lanka’s 22 national parks include two marine parks at Hikkaduwa and Pigeon Island. The most touristed are Yala, Uda Walawe, Horton Plains, Bundala, Minneriya and Kaudulla. A number of parks lie in areas affected by the civil war, and several were closed for long periods during the fighting, including Maduru Oya, Gal Oya, Wilpattu and Kumana (formerly Yala East), although all have now reopened, while a new park is being established at Mullaitivu in one of the expanses of jungle which once sheltered the LTTE.
There are numerous other protected areas dotted across the island that are run under government supervision. These are categorized variously as nature reserves, strict nature reserves (entry prohibited) and sanctuaries. In general these places possess important botanical significance but lack the wildlife found in the national parks, as at (to name just one example) the unique, World Heritage-listed Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka’s last undisturbed pocket of tropical rainforest.
Pigeon Island is just 2 km from Nilaveli beach, a boat ride to the Islands that offers some great diving and snorkeling experiences. It is safe for sea bathing. Beautiful blue waters , excellent food and fine hotels awaits you. A visit to the Marine Park one will enjoy the rare corals, marine animals and the migrant bird species.
Abhayagiri Vihāra was a major monastery site of Theravada Buddhism that was situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the nation. Abayagiri Stupas was built by the warrior King Valagam Bahu in the 1st c BC and known the Mountain of Valour. Historically it was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant color to the north of the city, encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds, carved balustrades and moonstones, stood “Abhayagiri” one of the seventeen such religious units in Anuradhapura and the largest of its five viharas.
The Jethavana stupa was built by Mahasen in the land belonging to Mahavihara. This is the highest stupa in Sri Lanka, and is among the tallest in the world. It is also the largest brick building ever built. Jethavana Stupa, the most architecturally stunning Buddhist dagoba made of bricks merits careful preservation for future generations. The Stupa is hailed to be the most perfect archaeological monument of this nature so far found in the island. Thus, Jethavana Stupa and its complex of ‘Aramas’ with a history of around two thousand five hundred years offer revelations of a developed phase in Sri Lankan Civilization.
The Stupa is roughly speculated to be the world’s biggest brick structure. According to historical records, the history of Jethavana Stupa stretches back to 3rd century AD. Jethavan Stupas was the wonders of the world at that time. It was much taller than the 3rd Pyramid of Giza.
The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa in Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu c. 140 B.C., who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated. The stupa is one of the world’s tallest monuments, standing at 338 feet and with a circumference of 950 ft.
Thuparamaya is a dagoba in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist sacred place of veneration. Mahinda Thera, an envoy sent by King Ashoka himself introduced Theravada Buddhism and also chetiya worship. At his request King Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha. It is considered to be the first dagaba built in Sri Lanka following the introduction of Buddhism. This is considered the earliest monument, the construction of which was chronicled Sri Lanka. The name Thuparamaya comes from “stupa” and “aramaya” which is a residential complex for monks.
Thuparamaya dagoba has been built in the shape of a heap of paddy. The dome is 11 feet 4 inches (3.45 m) in height from the ground, 164½ ft (50.1 m) in diameter. The compound is paved with granite and there are 2 rows of stone pillars round the dagaba.
The Samadhi Buddha
The Samadhi Statue is a statue situated at Mahamevnāwa Park in Anuradhapura.The Buddha is depicted in the position of the Dhyana Mudra, the posture of meditation associated with his first Enlightenment, also called Nirvana. In the Dhyana Mudra the Buddha sits cross – legged with his upturned palms placed one over the other on his lap. This position is universally known throughout the Buddhist world, and this statue is therefore one of the most typical pieces of Buddhist sculpture. This statue is 8 feet in height and carved from granite. The Samadhi Buddha is a Beautiful masterpiece of sculpture of the Buddha in a meditation pose that was built in the 4th c. AD.
Sri Maha Bodhi Tree
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi tree Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world.In the 3rd century BC, it was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta Thera, the daughter of Emperor Asoka and founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. In 288 BC it was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa on a high terrace about 6.5 m (21.3 ft) above the ground in the Mahamevnwa Park in Anuradhapura and surrounded by railings.
Approximately 51 km from Anuradhapura is a stunning 13m erect statue of the Budhha.
The colossal statues of the Buddha has been cut from solid rock. The craftsmanship is of class, the statue of the Buddha expresses peace and strength. These are the glory of Polannaruwa. There are many other places of interest the Thivanka Image House, Demala MahaSeva Shrine, The Lankathillke Viharaya and the Alahana Pirivena.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya is 169 km from Colombo. Sigiriya is considered as the 8th wonder of the world. Sigiriya known as the Lion Rock, built in 5th c. AD by King Kasyapa. It was a Royal Citadel for nearly 2 decades. It is a unique architectural building with a fortified town, water gardens, stairways leading to the top where the Royal palace was built. Sigiriya is also famous frescoes, the Mirror Wall and paintings of the Cloud Damsels.
Kandy Lake has a perimeter of 2.1 miles and a maximum depth of 60 feet. A decorative wall, called Walakulu wall, runs for 2060 feet along the banks of the Kandy Lake. In the middle of the lake is an island housing the Royal Summer House. Sri Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth Relic, is located beside the lake across the road. On the opposite side of the road from the Temple of the Tooth Relic is the Royal Bathhouse, which is used by the king’s wives and concubines as a bathhouse.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres at 460 m above sea level. Peradeniya Botanical Gardens was a pleasure garden for an ancient queen. It has an amazing varieties of plants, flowers and tress. It is considered one of the best Botanical Gardens in the world.
Getambe Temple is situated near to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. The Mahaweli River flows through one boarder. Getambe Temple is a temple that is worshiped around Peradeniya. The Elephant Bath at Gatambe is the place to see Elephants come for their daily baths.
The Fort In Colombo
Fort is the central business district of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is the financial district of Colombo and the location of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the World Trade Centre of Colombo from which the CSE operates. It is also the location of the Bank of Ceylon headquarters. Along the foreshore of the Fort area is the Galle Face Green Promenade built in 1859 under the governance of Sir Henry Ward, the Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during British colonial administration. Fort is also home to the General Post Office, hotels, government departments and offices.y garrison of the Dutch and British. The present location of the President’s House. The former Parliament of Sri Lanka built almost to the replica of the Whitehall in London.
Clock Tower & Light House
Old Colombo Lighthouse is a Lighthouse and Clock Tower in Colombo . It is no longer operational, but instead functions as a clock tower and is designated as a monument. It is located at the junction of Chatham Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha (formally Queens road) in Colombo fort. The location had been used as big, memorialatic a lighthouse stations since far back as 1829. The tower was first constructed as a clock tower in 1860, the navigational light being moved to the tower in 1865. The original clock (made by the same manufacture as BigBen was replaced in 1913. The lighthouse was deactivated after its light became obscured by nearby buildings and was decommissioned in 1952 with a new lighthouse being built in Galbokka Point, Colombo.
Pettah is a neighborhood in Colombo, located midst of the City centre, Fort. The Pettah neighborhood is famous for its open air bazaars and markets. It’s Sri Lanka’s most busiest commercial area, where most of the shops, textiles, main railway station, buildings and many other business organizations are centered.
The Old Colombo Dutch Hospital (known as The Dutch Hospital ) is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo Fort area dating back to the Dutch colonial era in Sri Lanka. It is now a heritage building and a shopping and dining precinct. Built as a hospital by the Dutch, it has been used for several different purposes, over the years. It is believed to have existed since 1681, as recorded by German Christoper Schweitzer. The Dutch established the Colombo hospital to look after the health of the officers and other staff serving under the Dutch East India Company. The hospital’s close proximity to the harbor allowed it to serve Dutch seafarers.
The Gangaramaya Buddhist temple is a beautiful and vibrant temple with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. Today Gangaramaya serves not only as a place of Buddhist worship; it is also a center of learning. The temple is involved in Buddhist welfare work including old peoples’ homes, a vocational school and an orphanage. The temple is uniquely attractive and tolerant to congregation members of many different religions
Aukana Buddha – Colombo
Aukana Buddha is best viewed when the Sun rises. The Aukana Buddha 5th c statue was ascribed to King Dhatusena- southeast of Anuradhapura.
A replica of the Aukana statue stands opposite the BMICH in Colombo on Bauddhaloka Mawatha.
Buaddhaloka Buddha is a 36 ft beautiful statue of the Buddha and a replica of the Avukana Buddha.
Saint Lucia’s Cathedral
Named after the virgin and martyr saint St. Lucy, the cathedral is considered the oldest and largest parish cathedral in Sri Lanka. The facade rests on massive ionic columns and is adorned with seven statues. Silhouetted against the sky is the cross on the concrete lantern crowning the dome, the pinnacle of the Cathedral.
A replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, St. Lucia’s Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka. The Cathedral is located at Kotahena, in the north east of Colombo, on 18,240 sq. ft. of land, and is dedicated to St. Lucy. It traces its origins to a small structure for worship built during Dutch occupation.
The National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. Its is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government. The museum holds contains a collections of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka. The Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1 January 1877. It founder was Sir William Henry Gregory the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time. The National Museum was built in 1877 and holds the cultural past and present.
Town Hall Of Colombo
The Town Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. Built in front of the Viharamadevi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka, it is the meeting place for the elected municipal council. The foundation stone was laid on May 24, 1924, by Mayor of Colombo T. Reid, CCS, and the work was completed in 1927. Designed by S. J. Edwards, it was originally meant to house the office of the mayor and the council chamber, and as a venue for functions requiring a large Ballroom. Today it houses the administrative staff of the municipal council. Its garden is the venue for many events. Town Hall built in similarity to some of the state capitals building in America.
Independence Memorial Hall (also Independence Commemoration Hall) is a National Monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the Independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of Dominion of Ceylon on February 4, 1948. It is located at the Independence Square (formally Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo.
Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake ”The Father of the Nation”. Most of the annual National Independence Day celebrations have been held here. Independence Memorial Hall built in the architectural style of the medieval Kandyan audience halls.
The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is a public park located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo. Situated in front of the colonial-style Town Hall building, the park is named after Queen Viharamadevi, the mother of King Dutugemunu. The park was built during the British rule of Sri Lanka, and was originally named “Victoria Park” after Queen Victoria. The park features include a huge Buddha stature and a series of water fountains.
The Viharamahadevi Park is the only large-scale public park in Colombo, and is maintained by the Colombo Municipal Council. Located at its western end is the Cenotaph War Memorial, Colombo and the Colombo Public Library. The Viharamahadevi Park Open Air Stadium is a venue for concerts and public events.
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, seven miles from Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE.
Kelaniya Temple is a most important temple and the one of the three places where the Lord Buddha visited. It has very important wall and ceiling paintings depicting the early days of Buddhist civilization.The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and paintings which depicting important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Sri Pada – Adams Peak
Adam’s Peak also known as Sri Pada is a tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas. SRI PADA or ADAMS PEAK is a holy mountain to all four major faiths in Sri Lanka. A climb of over 2243 meters into the misty hill top gives one, the unbelievable and unforgettable sight of the low lying valleys and the wonderful sunrise. The clime to Sri Pada or Adams Peak is an experience.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka. The garden is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve. Garden established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time.Once after the Tea replace the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.
Bundal Bird Sanctuary
Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of Birds, the highlight being the Greater Flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wild life sanctuary in 1969 and re-designated to a National Park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 245 km southeast of Colombo.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Elephants located at Pinnawela village, 13 km northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province. Pinnawela 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 Pinnawela. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned wild elephants found wandering in the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of wildlife.
The Dutch Fort
Jaffna Fort is a fort built by the Portuguese at Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1618 under Philip De Olivera following the Portuguese invasion of Jaffna. It was captured by the Dutch under Raiclop Van Goins in 1658 who expanded it. In 1795, it was taken over by the British, and remained under the control of a British garrison till 1948.
The Jaffna Fort and the buildings that had come up during the occupation of the island by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British shows the architectural features relevant to those periods of construction.
The Lovers Leap – Ella
Lovers’ Leap (sometimes spelled as Lovers Leap), is a toponymy given to a number of locations of varying height, usually isolated, with the risk of a fatal fall and the possibility of a deliberate jump. Legends of romantic tragedy are often associated with a Lovers’ Leap.
Ramboda Falls is 109m high, 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world.It is situated in Pussellawa area, on the A5 highway at Ramboda Pass. It formed by Panna Oya which is a tributary of Kotmale Oya. Altitude of the falls is 945m above sea level.