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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 31, 2020
Headline for Best things to do in Kandalama – Infuse your Sri Lankan trip with nature and history
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best things to do in Kandalama – Infuse your Sri Lankan trip with nature and history

Located in Central Province, Kandalama is a famed tourist destination in Sri Lanka. With UNESCO world heritage sites and five-star hotels, Kandalama is entitled to be on your Sri Lankan itinerary.


Visit Aligala ruins

If you are a guest at Heritance Kandalama, you can arrange yourself a visit to Aligala Caves. This is an archaeological site that sparks interest in historians and archaeologists. The caves are found in-between the Japanese Peace Pagoda and the Hardy College. Evidence of ancient Digamadulla Kingdom is found here: ruins and rock inscriptions have caused the site to be declared a protected archaeological site. On a visit to this site, you can see various inscriptions, ruins of buildings and a flight of stairs.


Brid watching

Sri Lanka is known for providing tourists with plenty of bird-watching opportunities. Among the spots famous for bird watching is Kandalama, or more accurately Kandalama Bird Sanctuary. Within the forested tracts is Kandalama Sanctuary where you can witness the rich birdlife in Sri Lanka. This is one of the best places for bird watching in the North Central Province. The sanctuary is home to over 145 species of exotic birds.


Go cycling

The rugged terrains and the grassy tracks in Kandalama make cycling a popular tourist activity. If you want to go cycling, you can ask your hotel to provide you with a bicycle. You needn't worry about finding your way about; you'll be provided with a map. The bank of Kandalama Lake is the best spot for you to go cycling; the water level of the lake never stays the same, at certain times of the year, you can see the bottom of the lake. A cycling excursion gives you a sense of the Sri Lankan village life: you'll be cycling through grassy fields where cattle and calves gaze all day, and you'll also be privy to some of the rare water birds in Sri Lanka.


Take a detour to Polonnaruwa

About 800 years ago, Polonnaruwa was the commercial and religious centre of Sri Lanka. The entire city is dotted with ancient temples and buildings. Now a famed tourist destination, Polonnaruwa was once the royal capital of the country. To understand the city's history better, visit the Archaeological Museum. You can walk through the museum, and it consists of several rooms; these rooms showcase models of buildings and temples of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Apart from the museum, there are several other places you can visit, Royal Palace, Audience Hall, the swimming pool packed with crocodiles, Sacred Quadrangle: Shiva Temple and Rankot Vihara are a few suggestions.



Get your hotel to arrange a trip to Sigiriya. Also known as Lion Rock, Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are awestruck by the ingenuity of the fortress found at the top. Up at the summit, you can see remnants of a swimming pool where the king's concubines bathed. The palace was naturally air-conditioned by the water arteries embedded in the rock; historians are still unable to find out how such a creation was possible. The fortress stands to be the perfect example of ancient engineering in Sri Lanka. The site also reserves a significant place in Sri Lankan culture and art. On your way back to your hotel, you can drop in at a Sigiriya restaurant and enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan meal.


Visit Kaudulla National Park

The main highlight of the park is the water reservoir built by King Mahasen; it was built 15 centuries ago. During the dry season, you see herds of elephants flock on the banks of the reservoir. Kaudulla National Park is known for this gathering of elephants, and as it happens, it is the largest gathering of elephants in the world.

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