To many the beauty of Sri Lanka lies not so much in its blue seas and golden beaches, its jungle and its mountain peaks as its ancient atmosphere. Such tourists will find great solace in visiting Sri Lanka's world heritage sites while on Sri Lanka vacations or holiday.
Sacred city of Anuradhapura
The Shri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura is the oldest historically documented tree in the world with a history spanning over 2000 years. This much honored Bodhi tree was brought to the island by Sangamitra, the daughter of Emperor Asoka. This tree is grown from a cutting from the Bodhi tree at Bodhi-Gaya in India under which Siddhartha Gauthama attained Buddhahood in 528 B.C.
Ancient city of Polonnaruva
The Gal Vihara complex is a unique showcase of ancient sculptors, where a standing, seated and a reclining Buddha statues are carved to perfection on granite. Lankatilleke, Thivanka image house, vatadage complex, Nissanaka Latha Mandapaya give evidence of intricate and elaborate art forms in practice during the Polonnaruwa era.
Ancient city of Sigiriya
Sigiriya - The Lion Mountain; the Sigiri Gardens
Built by King Kasyapa who killed his own father to gain wealth is considered the eight wonder of the world. The frescoes on the rock wall known as Sigiriya maidens are preserved as part of the world's artistic heritage.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja is a tropical lowland rain forest in Sri Lanka. Its name means "lion king" in the Sinhala language. The rain forest reserve spans over 11,000 hectares is an oasis for nature lovers to explore and appreciate the earth's gift to mankind. Sri Lanka vacations is incomplete without this.
Sacred City of Kandy
To make your Sri Lanka vacations tour memorable enter Kandy. In the middle of the city you will find the most impressive and distinct Dalada Maligawa, the temple where the Sacred Tooth Relics of the Buddha is housed. Kandy is the last seat of Sinhala kings and the city is now world renowned for the magnificent torch-lit annual spectacle 'Esala Perahera". The colorful cultural pageant parades the city streets in July/August with caparisoned elephants, hundreds of drummers and dancers.
Old town of Galle and its fortifications
Galle, the historic port town in the Southern Coast is also known as the old world's romantic city. Sir James Emerson Tennant pays tribute to this magical city introducing the port city as the "Tarshish" in the Bible where ships trading with King Soloman were loaded with elephants, peacocks and gemstones. The Galle fort built by the Dutch during the reign of rule from 1656 to 1796 is the largest and the most secured fortress in the island.
Golden temple of Dambulla
Dating back to the 1st century BC Dambulla cave temple is the most impressive cave temple in Sri Lanka. The temple is composed of five caves. They are at the base of a 150m high vast hanging rock. The rock ceiling is a colorful gallery packed with tales from the Buddha's previous births thro' Sansara. The temple has the largest collection of Buddha statues. A must visit during the Sri Lanka vacations tour.
Tips and comments
Include the following destinations in your Sri Lanka vacations itinerary, as these heritage sites are packed with attractions and will keep you enthralled in this enchanted isle.
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