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Updated by Lavinia Woolf on May 30, 2014
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Top 10 Historical Sites in Sri Lanka – arouse the adventurer in you

Sri Lanka is truly a tropical paradise that calls out to discerning travellers to explore its every nook and cranny. From scenic hills to mesmeric beaches, these are but a few of the captivating backdrops that you will come across. However one must not forget the country's ancient culture and customs which can be traced back to a time where kings ruled and kingdoms flourished. As part of luxury holidays in Sri Lanka, consult Jetwing Travels who will happily escort you to these iconic destinations.

1

Gal Vihara at Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara at Polonnaruwa

Hewn out of granite and dating back to the 12th century A.D., the Gal Vihara is undoubtedly a 'must not miss.' The shrine depicts a magnificent statuette of Lord Buddha which continues to attract hordes of visitors throughout the year.

Kandy's Temple of the Tooth Relic

Considered one of the most revered sanctuaries amongst the Buddhist faith, the temple with its elaborate architecture houses the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha and come the months of July and August is at the centre of the city's most celebrated event – the Esala Perahera.

3

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Having served as the venue of King Kashyapa's royal court in the past, the Sigiriya rock fortress is complete with beautiful water gardens, remnants of a once thriving kingdom and exquisite paintings that have left many historians in awe of it splendour.

4

Galle Fort

Galle Fort

The city of Galle itself is scattered with a number of fascinating features that will transport you to a time where trading was at its peak. Often the subject of many discussions is the 400 year old Galle Fort which overlooks the Indian Ocean.

5

Kelaniya Temple

Kelaniya Temple

Greeting those en route to Sri Lanka's southern coast is the imposing Kelaniya Temple. Built in the form of a bell, the 'dagoba' provides devotees with plenty of space in which to make offerings and engage in some meditation.

6

Ruwanveli Seya in Anuradhapura

Ruwanveli Seya in Anuradhapura

Depicting a water bubble, this impressive construction was the work of King Dutugemunu and is given pride of place among similar stupas in the city.

7

Trincomalee Harbour

Trincomalee Harbour

The world's 5th largest natural harbour is found nowhere else than in the city of Trincomalee and for years served as an essential trading point. The harbour was also at the centre of many sea battles in the past.

8

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

Better known for its collection of caves that each hold an array of paintings and statues of the Buddha and his disciples, the cave temple complex is arguably one of the finest of its kind and is also listed as a World Heritage Site.

9

Isurumuniya Temple

Isurumuniya Temple

When in Anuradhapura do consider venturing to the Isurumuniya Temple. Constructed during the 3rd century B.C., visitors coming over will find the main attraction of the temple which is a rock carving titled 'Isuruminiya Lovers.'

10

Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa

Regarded as one of the country's ancient capitals, the scenic city of Yapahuwa is where a majestic rock fortress can be found. The premises would be a favourite of those who treasure ancient stone carvings and upon arriving at its summit, breathtaking vistas of the nearby forest can be enjoyed.