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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for List of Places to Visit in the Hill Country – Discovering Cultural & Natural Treasures
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Places to Visit in the Hill Country – Discovering Cultural & Natural Treasures

Steeped in history and an almost mystical aura, the Hill Country of Sri Lanka is an enchanting destination where one will find many adventures in store amidst mist-shrouded mountains.


Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Located in the heart of the hill capital, Kandy, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the country's most revered sites. Home to a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is amongst the premier places to visit and should definitely be on your itinerary when planning tours for Sri Lanka. Locally known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, this temple was constructed in what was the royal palace complex during the Kandyan Kingdom. Those visiting during July / August, also have the chance to witness the spectacular annual Kandy Esala Perahera, a colourful procession that pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic.


Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

One of the country's largest such gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens can be found in Kandy. This picturesque garden is popular amongst locals and foreigners alike and is an ideal place for a family outing or a romantic stroll with that special someone. Sri Lanka tour specialists such as Aitken Spence Travels offer captivating tours to the hill country where you can visit such sites of natural beauty. Once an area used exclusively by royalty, the Royal Botanical Gardens today features a rich treasure trove of flora from around the world. Highlights here include its amazing collection of orchids, towering giant bamboo from Burma, the fascinating cannonball tree, the intriguing double coconut palm and the massive Javan fig tree.


The Knuckles Mountain Range

Covered in mist that wraps itself around the landscape, the Knuckles Mountain Range offers unforgettable adventures amidst breathtaking natural beauty. The mountain range has been so named due to the fact that its shape is much like the knuckles of a clenched fist. Camping is a popular activity that can be enjoyed here along with trekking and mountain biking. Amidst the mountain landscapes, ancient forests and enchanting streams, you will also come across traditional villages where life goes unhurriedly along.


Horton Plains National Park

Within easy reach of Nuwara Eliya, the Horton Plains National Park takes visitors to a whole other "world" in the mountains of Sri Lanka. The geography here is truly unique with cloud forests mingling with montane grassland. It is the perfect spot for hiking and you do get the chance to spot wildlife too. The Sambar deer is one of the more easily sighted animal residents of Horton Plains, while bird watchers have much to look forward to as well, with over 400 avifauna species recorded within the park. One of the highlights here is what is called "World's End", a staggering drop of over 1,000 metres that also provides equally awe-inspiring vistas.


The Waterfalls of the Hill Country

The waterfalls that can be found throughout the Hill Country can be taken as one collective attraction, each offering gorgeous views of cascading water set amidst breathtaking mountain backdrops. Many of these natural treasures can be enjoyed while travelling around the Hill Country, so make sure to plan your tour in a way to see some of the famous ones. So what are some of the falls worth seeing? Devon Falls and St. Clair's Falls near Thalawakelle, Ravan Ella Falls close to Welimada and Bombure Ella Falls in Parawella are a few of the highlights worth seeing.