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Updated by Jane Rubby on Jan 26, 2016
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Jane Rubby Jane Rubby
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Must Visit Cultural Places in Down South Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s Shangri-la

Sri Lanka is dubbed as a land like no other. Yes, that is a common phrase you see in the tourist brochures. And that has immense truth to it, especially when you travel down south Sri Lanka.

1

Mulkirigala

Passionate about ancient caves? Mulkirigala has cave temples connected to each other with 500 steps offering you a wonderful view from the summit. These temples are formed from the edges of rock outcrops. The atmosphere takes you to a Shangri-la world.

2

Kataragama

Revered by almost every devotee of Sri Lanka, Kataragama attracts a large number of visitors. The temple is surrounded by the Menik River which is also home to many other small-scale temples. Try to visit the temple during puja (religious performance) times. The atmosphere takes on a different hue. The sound of the conch shells, drums and the reverent salutations of the crowds will echo throughout your tour. Try to get along with the crowds and make it a pilgrimage. You are in for many cultural surprises. Why not join a long queue with a big tray of offerings meant for the Kataragama God? That will make you feel the rhythm of the pilgrimage.

3

Galle Fort

In sharp contrast to the sacred city of Kataragama, the Galle Fort welcomes you to a different kind of civilization. Galle Fort is home to foreigners as well as local residents. For the Dutch, the fort was shield against enemies. All the same, none of the colonial masters would have imagined that this fort would turn out to be a shield against the 2004 tsunami.

4

Seenigama Devalaya

If you are passionate about local religious beliefs, Seenigama Devalaya is one of the best places to visit. Devalaya is a Sinhalese term for a small abode dedicated to a particular deity. If you are taking the Matara-bound expressway, you need to exit from the Hikkaduwa point to reach this popular devalaya. The place is said to be at least 1300 years old. Whatever said and done, archaeological excavations anyway confirm the fact that the place is over 300 years old. There are many boutique hotels in and around Hikkaduwa. You can stay at any of the Boutique Hotels in Sri Lanka such as Saman Villas to enjoy the rest of the tour.

5

Richmond Castle

If there is a building that bridges west with east, it should be Richmond Castle more than anywhere else. The castle, built by a wealthy aristocrat, is a symbol of intricate architecture. Walk on the 42-acre land and get lost among the 99 doors and 38 windows of this castle.

6

Sithulpawwe Temple

This temple is well known for its cultural significance. But that is not all. The temple is also blessed with a magnificent scenery in the surrounding. Perched on a rock, which is about 400 feet tall, the temple is no easy climb.

But the climb is fully worth as you will be greeted by the picturesque scenery. The temple provides an ideal ambience to stay calm and quiet. In fact its name in Sinhalese suggests a calm and quiet mind.