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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
Headline for 6 Cultural Sites to Visit in Sri Lanka - A Peek into Sri Lanka's Distinctive Culture and its Humble Beginnings
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Cultural Sites to Visit in Sri Lanka - A Peek into Sri Lanka's Distinctive Culture and its Humble Beginnings

Up for a cultural tour of Sri Lanka? Dive into the heart of the island, to the cradle of Sri Lanka's culture and watch its evolution since its inception.

1

Anuradhapura

The initiator of Sri Lanka monarchical era, one cannot pinpoint to a particular cultural site in Anuradhapura and classify it as the most important cultural attraction of the region. A land filled with milky white temples that takes the form of a water bubble, grand palaces that echoes great tales of heroic rulers, revered monuments and vast man-made lakes that bespeaks of noble feats, Anuradhapura not only marks the inception of monarchical rule in Sri Lanka but also the inaugurates the establishment of Buddhism in the country. Here one will find themselves admiring the sheer magnitude of the Ruwanweliseya Temple, the pronounced beauty of the Isurumuniya Temple premises, the venerated Mihintale Mountain and the hallowed Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree that is known to be the oldest recorded tree in existence.

2

Polonnaruwa

When the monarchical period in Anuradhapura met its demise, Polonnaruwa took up the reigns to continue its legacy. Similar to Anuradhapura, this ancient city too is filled with archeological wonders that one might consider staying a few days to explore. While the artistry and architecture here vary from those of the Anuradhapura era, they still exude the same aura of grandeur of that of its predecessor. Here visitors will be able to witness the illustrious Gal Vihara Complex where large sculptures of Buddha are engraved from stone, Lankathilake Image House, the Royal Courts of King Parakaramabahu and esteemed Polonnaruwa Vatadage; a complex and palatial shrine built to house the esteemed tooth relic of Buddha, in addition to other ancient ruins that testify to a glorious and resplendent rule.

3

Sigiriya Lion Rock

An attraction whose glory never grows dim, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress not only offers sights that will fill one with awe but narrates tales that will leave its hearers pondering about them for quite some time. The magnificent gardens of this premises along with lush palace housed within a mammoth rock outcrop that soars to an elevation of six hundred feet was once a glorious kingdom to a king known as Kashyapa. From the impressive stairway guarded by sculpted giant lion paws that greet those who venture into the threshold of the citadel, to the bare breasted ladies that mused many a poet etched into the walls of the palace, Sigiriya boasts of numerous interesting sights to beholdthat makes it a place worth visiting when in Sri Lanka.

4

Temple of the Tooth Relic

Stepping away from midland plains to the central highlands of Sri Lanka where gushing waterfalls are carved into the mountains kissed by the wayward clouds, lies the famed city of Kandy and within it, the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Built upon the grounds where the home of the crowned kings of Sri Lanka once stood, the shrine is the final resting place of the sacred tooth relic that belongs to the pioneer of Buddhism, Lord Buddha. In addition to hosting the revered relic, the Temple of the Tooth Relic is a testament to Kandy's rich heritage and proud culture. The entire makeup of the temple boasts of intricate and gallant artistry that has snuck its way into hearts of many an art lover.

5

Kalutara Bodhiya

With interesting attractions such as the Pahiangala Prehistoric Cave also known as Fa Hien Cave and the Richmond Castle, Kalutara is best known for the Kalutara Bodhiya. Another venerated religious site to accommodate a bo tree the Kalutara Temple bespeaks of a fascinating tales such as how it once served as a fortress during the colonial period of Sri Lanka. If looking for a Kalutara resort to reside in while exploring the locale, accommodation options such as the AVANI Kalutara Resort are available in the area. Not as bustling as the Metropolitan of Colombo, this location is ideal for some unwinding recreational exploration.