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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
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List of Attractions in Tissamaharama – Gateway to Yala

Tissamaharama is a town in sunny Sri Lanka. A historical city home to a number of archaeological sites, the place is a verdant sanctuary that sits along the southeastern borders of the island.

1

Explore Tissa Lake

Nature lovers are in for a treat when they explore the surroundings of rustic Tissa Lake. The surrounding wetlands are sanctuaries for a number of exotic birds and other wildlife while winding roads take you across charming little villages and farms that are great for understanding rural lifestyles in Sri Lanka. Once you get settled into Kithala Resort or the Tissamaharama hotel of your choice, get refreshed and head out towards the lake, if the time is right there will be locals fishing with canoe poles while next to them another, cleans and fries the tasty lake fish that any passer-by is welcome to buy. Mind you stay away from the water which is home to a number of wild crocodiles.

2

Explore Yala on a Safari

Tissamaharama is the gateway to the Yala National Park, the largest and most popular wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka. About an hour's drive from Tissamaharama hotels, Yala is not just for the wildlife buff, the place is for all who appreciate the beauty of nature in its wildest form. Made up of rocky boulder strewn plains, verdant fields, glistening lagoons and savannah like wilds, Yala sitting on the south-east coast has many boulder strewn jungle beaches, often frequented by herds of wild elephants. Jeep safaris can be easily booked from either your Tissa hotel or at the entrance to the park. These safaris accompanied by an experienced guide, know just where to go for the best views of the many amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles of Yala. The park is also home to one of Asia's largest leopard populations and spotting one is definitely the highlight of any tour.

3

Check Out Tissamaharama Raja Maha Viharaya

This temple was one, of four Buddhist shrines, erected in ancient Sri Lanka; set up after the arrival of Buddhism to the island. The site is believed to have been consecrated by the Buddha himself, who stayed and meditated there together with 500 other monks or arahats as those who have attained enlightenment are better known. The Tissa Dagoba located within the same compound is the largest on the island.

4

Visit Yatala Vehera

A marvellous treat for the culture buff, this ancient stupa is built on a mound of granite slabs and is surrounded by a rustic wall of sculpted elephants. Legend states this ancient Buddhist shrine was built almost 2300 years ago by King Yatala Tissa of the Ruhuna region while others believe the stupa was built by his father King Mahanaga, commemorating the birth of his son. Either way the place is steeped in history and legend, making the place an interesting and relaxing environ to explore.

5

Set Off on Eco Walks

Surrounding your Tissamaharama hotel are beautiful paddy fields, hence, setting off on a relaxing nature walk is a favourite past-time of guests. Trek through the grassy fields, wave to the friendly locals, visit a village and enjoy chatting to the elders. Do take along the cameras for capturing sights of elusive jungle wildlife and beautiful vistas of the countryside and its simple inhabitants.

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