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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Top 7 Places to Visit Inside the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka – Meet the Silent Beholders of a Proud History
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 7 Places to Visit Inside the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka – Meet the Silent Beholders of a Proud History

The North Central Plains of Sri Lanka along with the Kandyan city, which is the last kingdom of Sri Lankan reign, make the Cultural Triangle. This area is the living proof of the cultural heritage of the country.

1

Anuradhapura

The first and the oldest kingdom of Sri Lanka, the city of Anuradhapura is a great example of the ancient glory of this proud country. The city, being a very important Buddhist destination with the famous 'Atamasthanaya' meaning the eight religious places including the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanweliseya, is a revered pilgrimage site for Buddhists in the country. One of the greatest kings of this kingdom was King Dutugemunu. The cultural importance of the city has also earned its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is the second kingdom of the history line ruled by the most powerful King Parakramabahu. During his reign, the irrigation systems were improved and used for paddy cultivation. The city infrastructure has also been in a well-developed state, gifting some religious, historical, and architectural icons like the Polonnaru Gal Viharaya, Rankoth Wehera, and Polonnaru Watadage. The development of literature had also been encouraged during this period with some outputs like the famous stone inscription 'Polonnaru Kathikawatha'.

3

Mihintale

Mihintale is an isolated mountain peak close to Anuradhapura visited as a pilgrimage site by Buddhists due to the reason that religion of Buddhism had been introduced to Sri Lanka at this place by Mihindu Maha Rahath thero. This had been a result of the friendship between King Dharmashoka of India and King Dewanampiyathissa, then ruler of Sri Lanka. Mihinthale Kantaka Chethiya, Ambasthala Seya, Kaludiya Pokuna, and Mihindu Maha Seya are some of the famous attractions in the area.

4

Sigiriya

The UNESCO World Heritage Site once considered as the eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriya rock fortress is another unique example of the excellent technology of ancient Sri Lanka. Famous as the Lion Rock, this had been the kingdom of King Kashyapa who ruled during 447 – 495 CE. The lion head and the pair of lion paws at the start of the staircase had given it the name 'Sinhagiriya'. The Sigiriya frescoes, mirror wall, water garden, boulder garden, and the terrace garden are mesmerizing pieces of art in the kingdom. Among a range of the best hotels in Sigiriya, visitors will be spoilt for choice with options such as Sigiriya Jungles.

5

Dambulla

The Dambulla rock in the Matale District is well known for its cave temple known as 'Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya'. The rock has a network of over 80 caves, of which 05 main caves are used as the temple. There are a large number of Buddha statues located inside the caves, along with some beautiful wall art relating stories about Lord Buddha and the Buddhist religion.

6

Ritigala

Ritigala is the highest mountain in the Northern part of Sri Lanka with a thick green forest reserve and some ruins of a Buddhist monastery belonging to the 1st century BC. The Ritigala Mountain is related to the legendary story, which tells that the Indian God Hanuman dropped a small part of the Himalayas in the area. Due to the height of the mountain, this area gets the highest rainfall of the dry zone during the North East Monsoon season.

7

Kandy

Kandy was the last Sinhalese kingdom before the country had been taken under the ruling of British Government. Being the second largest city, this is currently the administrative and religious capital of the Central Province. The city is famous for the Temple of Tooth Relic, which is the most revered icon of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Kandy Lake in the midst of the city adds a cooling effect to its setting attracting locals and tourists alike.