List Headline Image
Updated by Lavinia Woolf on Sep 12, 2016
Headline for Top 5 Cultural Sites in Sri Lanka – Highlights that Will Amaze and Enthral
 REPORT
5 items   1 followers   0 votes   1 views

Top 5 Cultural Sites in Sri Lanka – Highlights that Will Amaze and Enthral

The island nation of Sri Lanka is renowned for its splendid cultural sites. Culture lovers will be captivated by the remarkable historical heritage and allure of these sites, as described below.

1

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura has the distinction of being the earliest of the nation's ancient capitals and can be imagined to have been a splendid city in its heyday. Many of Anuradhapura's most remarkable structures were Buddhist religious buildings and this is reflected in the many intriguing ruins which may be seen by visitors today. Some of the city's most popular and esteemed cultural sites include the Sri Maha Bodhiya (the venerated sacred fig tree), the magnificent stupa known as Ruwanvelisaya, the stupa at Abhayagiri, Jetavanarama (another remarkable Buddhist monument), the mysterious Isurumuniya and the tranquil Thuparamaya. Many devotees as well as sightseers visit these engrossing monuments in Anuradhapura.

2

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa

The mysterious city of Polonnaruwa was the second of Sri Lanka's ancient kingdoms, coming to the fore after the destruction of Anuradhapura. The heyday of this magnificent ancient city was the reign of King Parakramabahu I who is well-known for his constructions which include a number of invaluable irrigation tanks which assisted the agriculture of the local people. Taking precedence amongst these is the vast Parakrama Samudraya which provides water for agricultural purposes to this day. Many other ruins which suggest at the city's former majesty can also be seen at Polonnaruwa, such as the Watadage, the rock temple known as Gal Viharaya, the Lotus Bath, council chamber of the King and many other monuments including temples and stupas.

3

Kandy

Kandy

Kandy is another outstanding cultural site in Sri Lanka that is sure to capture the interest of the avid sightseer. The city of Kandy is situated in the interior of Sri Lanka amongst the high elevations of the hill country. Kandy was in fact the last of the native kingdoms to evade the control of the colonial rulers until it finally fell to the British in the year 1815. Foremost amongst the cultural attractions of Kandy is the renowned Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, which houses the greatly venerated tooth relic of the Buddha. A highlight in Kandy is the grand Esala Perahera which is an elaborate procession featuring elephants, drummers and performers.

4

Dambulla

Dambulla

The town of Dambulla is an interesting place to visit and offers a number of attractions for the culture lover. One of the most famous features of Dambulla is its remarkable cave temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla due to its lavish interior which contains many gilded features. Within the cave temple you will find numerous paintings and statues of Buddha; there are in fact no less than 150 statues of Buddha, four of gods and goddesses as well as three figures of Sri Lankan monarchs. As you explore the cultural attractions of the country, consider enlisting the services of tour operators in Sri Lanka that offer visits to such sites. Aitken Spence Travels is one such option you can consider.

5

Sigiriya

Sigiriya

No tour of the cultural sites of Sri Lanka would be complete without visiting the amazing rock fortress of Sigiriya. Considered to be one of the most breathtaking cultural attractions of Sri Lanka, this spectacular creation never fails to capture the imagination of the visitor. In order to view the remnants of the Sigiriya palace you must make the somewhat challenging climb to the summit of the rock. However those who make the effort will be rewarded by the remarkable views over the surrounding countryside that you can enjoy from the summit of the rock. The mirror wall, Sigiriya frescoes and the Lion Gate are some of the other highlights of the Sigiriya complex.