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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka – A Pride of the Nation
Joanna James Joanna James
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Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka – A Pride of the Nation

A number of areas in the charming island nation of Sri Lanka have been identified as World Heritage Sites. Visitors will be enthralled by these captivating sites including the ones below.

1. Kandy – The highland city of Kandy which has been accorded the status of a World Heritage Site offers a host of interesting sightseeing attractions for the visitor. Taking pride of place in Kandy is the greatly revered Temple of the Tooth which is a well-known destination for both Buddhist devotees and sightseers. As its name indicates this distinctive temple houses a tooth relic of the Buddha which is considered to be a national treasure. Kandy was once a kingdom ruled by the local monarchy and was the last part of the island nation to remain independent from colonial rule, before finally succumbing to the British. Many other interesting sights can also be seen at Kandy.

2. Sigiriya – No tour of the World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka would be complete without visiting the remarkable royal site at Sigiriya. Here you will immediately notice the imposing Sigiriya rock which presents a formidable sight for the visitor. However, the focus for the numerous sightseers who visit this attraction are the palaces, gardens and other features that have been created here. Although little actually remains of these attractions constructed by the renegade King Kasyapa who lived in the 5th century, the ruins that remain provide a suggestion of their glory in times gone by. Well-known attractions at Sigiriya include the Sigiriya frescoes, mirror wall, graffiti and the Lion Gate.

3. Anuradhapura – The mysterious city of Anuradhapura is sure to capture the imagination of the culture lover with its array of diverse cultural attractions. For the local Buddhists, the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree is a focus of devotion, as it is believed to be a descendant of the very tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment. You will also find a host of Buddhist stupas and other religious sites in Anuradhapura, such as the Lovamahapaya, Thuparamaya, Jetavanarama, Abhayagiri, Lankarama, Mirisawetiya and others. Two other well-known highlights at Anuradhapura are the Twin Ponds and the Samadhi Statue. In ancient times Anuradhapura was a resplendent city with a noteworthy civilization and culture.

4. Polonnaruwa – The engrossing city of Polonnaruwa was the second of Sri Lanka's ancient capitals and today is considered to be one of the nation's greatly esteemed cultural highlights and a World Heritage Site. When the local monarchs ruled Polonnaruwa many centuries ago it was a flourishing city with many impressive constructions. Today you will find a number of ancient remnants that will capture the eye of the culture lover, such as the various temples, tombs, stupas and statues. If you visit Polonnaruwa you will have the opportunity to hire a bicycle and explore the city at your leisure. When it comes to Sri Lanka holiday packages that will take you to Polonnaruwa and other cultural attractions a choice that you could consider would be Travel Design by CDC.

5. Dambulla – The cave temple complex at Dambulla is another World Heritage Site that will strike the interest of the culture enthusiast. This site which is located in the central region of Sri Lanka is regarded as being the most extensive and most well-preserved complex of cave temples in the nation. You will see that the Dambulla rock is a prominent feature of the landscape, towering over the plains below. Within these cave temples, you will have the opportunity to observe a diverse selection of paintings and statues. These include statues of Buddha, Sri Lankan monarchs and Hindu deities. Meanwhile, the murals to be found within the temples cover a sizable extent, and mainly feature religious scenes.

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