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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Most Sacred Places in Sri Lanka – Highlights for the Culture Lover
Joanna James Joanna James
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Most Sacred Places in Sri Lanka – Highlights for the Culture Lover

The island nation of Sri Lanka offers a myriad of cultural attractions for the visitor. Amongst these are a number of sacred places that will capture the interest of the discerning sightseer.



The renowned city of Kandy has a host of attractions such as picturesque scenery, cultural highlights and a number of religious sites. The most sacred of these religious sites would be the famed Temple of the Tooth. This greatly revered temple houses the venerated tooth relic of the Buddha which is regarded as a national treasure. Innumerable Buddhist devotees from all parts of Sri Lanka as well as those from other Buddhist nations visit this sacred site. The Temple of the Tooth also attracts many sightseers with its distinctive architecture, lavishly decorated interior and tranquil atmosphere. The city of Kandy also boasts a number of other attractions that will appeal to the visitor. A choice of accommodation that you could consider from where you can conveniently experience things to do in Kandy would be the well-located Hotel Hilltop.


Adam's Peak

The famous sacred mountain known as Adam's Peak is undoubtedly one of Sri Lanka's most venerated sites. The mysterious footprint found at the summit of this mountain is associated with a number of religions, with the majority of the devotees who ascend the mountain belonging to the Buddhist faith. According to Buddhist tradition, the footprint at the peak is that of Buddha, making it a holy site for the followers of this religion who make up a majority of the population of the island. A remarkable phenomenon associated with Adam's Peak is the splendid sight of its sunrise, when the rising sun casts the shadow of the mountain onto the clouds below.



The ancient city of Anuradhapura served as the capital of the land in times gone by, when the country was ruled by the Sinhala monarchs. As you might expect you will find a host of fascinating religious and cultural attractions in the city of Anuradhapura. One of this city's most revered features is the Sri Maha Bodhiya which is a sacred bo tree that is believed to have grown from a sapling of the very tree under which the Buddha achieved Enlightenment. Additionally, you will find an array of renowned temples, stupas and monasteries in this city such as the famous Ruwanwelisaya. Culture lovers will be enthralled by this entrancing city.



Polonnaruwa was another royal city of Sri Lanka, having functioned as the capital of the local kingdom after the demise of Anuradhapura. Accordingly, Polonnaruwa is regarded as being a revered city, featuring a myriad of interesting sightseeing attractions. In fact, many tourists prefer this city to Anuradhapura as the ruins are located within a smaller area and are in better shape. One of the best known cultural sites at Polonnaruwa is the famous Quadrangle, which at one time housed the sacred Tooth Relic and contains a number of interesting shrines. Other well-known attractions in this city are the image house known as the Lankatilaka and the Gal Viharaya.



Another well-known religious site in Sri Lanka is the Cave Temple of Dambulla. This remarkable cultural site has the distinction of being the best preserved as well as the largest complex of cave temples in the island. You will see that the local rock rises to a height of 160 m above the adjacent plains. In the nearby area, there are in fact as many as 80 caves, of which five contain the majority of the attractions such as paintings and statues. Most of these paintings and images relate to the Buddha and episodes from his life. In addition to a host of Buddha statues, you will find a handful of figures depicting Sri Lankan kings and various deities here.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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