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We spent the day travelling along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, stopping to snap some photos of the stilt fisherman before visiting the UNESCO listed Galle Fort which was founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century and has since been added to by Dutch and British colonists.
For most people visiting Sri Lanka the country’s capital, Colombo is not high on their list of places to visit. That said it is worth a day to hit the few tourist attractions that the city has to offer and simply wander the streets of some of its more historic districts.
We had the chance to spend a day exploring the beach towns and attractions north of Galle along Sri Lanka’s south-west coast. This included taking a river safari, a sea turtle hatchery, a tsunami memorial and a gemstone mine.
We have had the opportunity to go on several whale tours over the years and have loved every minute. Sadly, the tour we took from Mirissa in Sri Lanka was put if frankly horrible due to the unpleasant way that the flotilla of tour boats stalked and hounded the poor whales.
Yala National Park is a large wildlife conservation area found in the south-east of Sri Lanka bordering the beautiful Indian Ocean. It is a fabulous place to see all sorts of wildlife, birds and reptiles. What it is best known for are leopards and is the best place to view these timid big cats in the wild.
Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka and is home to 700 elephants. We had come to Udawalawe not to go on another safari but to visit the Elephant Transit Home, a facility that takes care of orphaned elephant calves.
The train ride from the highlands of Sri Lanka to Ella is one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Once in Ella, we recommend climbing to the top Little Adams Peak to enjoy the sun setting over the famous Ella Gap.
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. It is one of the most popular outings when staying in the Highlands city of Nuwara Eliya. There is a pleasant 6-mile hike with some spectacular views at the World’s End viewpoint.
Ceylon Tea is known throughout the World and is grown extensively in the Highlands of Sri Lanka. We visited the Damro Labookellie Tea Factory to see how tea is processed and sampled some of the tea, before heading to the hill city of Nuwara Eliya.
Ambuluwawa is a biodiversity complex and Sri Lanka’s first multi-religious sanctuary situated in the central highlands of the country. From the top of the Ambuluwawa Mountain, there are spectacular views across the valleys and highland mountains. The complex has an interesting tower that can be climbed with caution and some small temples representing the religions of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka., set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, which are home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforests. It is a bustling city and was the last capital of the Sinhala kings until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. Today, it is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dambulla Cave Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site close to Sigiriya and about 50 miles north of Kandy. Its five chambers hold over 150 statues of Buddha and other prominent Sri Lankans from the time of kings. Amongst its greatest treasures are the stunning murals which cover its walls and ceiling. Well worth the effort to visit.
One of the joys of travelling is to see cultures very different from the ones we experience from day-to-day. The Traditional Village Tour we went on in Sri Lanka was a great way to experience the village way of life that continues in many rural areas to this day.
Some 800 years ago Polonnaruwa was a bustling commercial and religious centre for the Chola dynasty, as can be seen by the amazing density of ruins of temples, palaces and other buildings. In the early 13th century the city’s glory faded and it was abandoned. The capital moved to the western side of the island where Colombo is today. In 1982 Polonnaruwa as added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Pidurangala Rock, formerly a Buddhist Temple is located just a few kilometres from its more famous sidekick, Lion Rock with its UNESCO listed ruins. It is a less expensive option and offers equally spectacular views across the Sri Lankan jungle.
The Sigiriya palace and fortress complex in central Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the finest examples of ancient urban planning, which has resulted in it being recognised in 1982 as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
One of the reasons we were drawn to visit Sri Lanka was the opportunity to see some wildlife, especially elephants. The area near Habarana in Central Sri Lanka is one of the best places to go to see elephants. Here you will find two National Parks, Kaudulla and Minneriya and the Hurulu Eco Park which was granted biosphere status in 1977.
It was during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (250 – 210 BC) that the Arahat Mahinda, son of the great Buddhist Emperor Asoka, led a group of missionaries from North India to Sri Lanka. He, along with his group of followers, settled in caves on the hill of Mihintale. The new religion swept over the land
The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights, a sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders
Negombo is s small coastal town ideal for a brief visit on arriving or leaving Sri Lanka – explore it’s churches, temples, harbor and splendid fish market