About Sri Lanka

Kudawella blow hole – Hummanaya-Begin Tour with Bike

 
 
The Kudawella Blow Hole, a site that is breathtakingly mysterious. Volumes of sea water whistle through a natural fine hole from beneath a massive rock in the sea. Located on a rock about 40 ft above sea level, this magnificent site was first discovered after a close scrutiny of photographs taken from the sea
 

Rakawa Lagoon & Turtle Conservation Project-Begin Tour with Bike

 
Millions of years before man colonized Sri Lanka, sea turtles were coming to the undisturbed beaches of this Island to lay their eggs. The beach near Rakawa is one of Sri Lanka’s most important marine turtle nesting sites where five of the world's seven species of marine turtle come ashore to nest throughout the year. All five species of turtles that nest in Sri Lanka are either endangered or critically endangered. Amongst them is the Leatherback turtle, the largest of all the sea turtles, which can grow up to 3 meters in length and weighs up to 600 kg. It is at Rakawa beach that the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) has established an “in situ” nest protection and research programme, allowing the protection of nests where they are laid by the female turtle and for the hatchlings to scramble down to the ocean immediately after emergence from the nest. The project at Rakawa is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. It incorporates the local community in its efforts to conserve turtles in their natural habitat, employing as nest protectors those who were formerly dependent on the illegal collection of turtle eggs. Turtles are most likely to come ashore under the cover of darkness, and you are invited to join the people at the Turtle Conservation Project during their night watch. They can explain to you the importance and practices of turtle conservation after which you can join the night watch in anticipation of that magical moment when a turtle comes ashore and lays her eggs.
 

Mulgirigala-Begin Tour with Bike

 
The most imposing rock temple in the south of the island is situated on an isolated rock 210m high, rising almost vertically from the surrounding forest. Terraces are found across the sloped southern side of this rock, where cave temples nestle beneath ledges of overhanging rock. The ancient origins of this temple are unclear, but it is learned from Brahmi scriptures carved into the rock that this has been the site of a Buddhist monastery for millennia. The general belief is that Mulgirigalla Vihara was founded around 130 BC and has been a place of tranquillity and sanctity ever since.
 
However, Mulgirigalla is most famous for the discovery made here by the English colonial administrator George Turnour. In the year 1826, he found some olas (palm-leave manuscripts) in the library of one of its temples. After translating these from Pali to English he found that he had discovered the key to translating one of the ancient Chronicles of Sri Lanka, the “Mahawamsa”. The “Mahawamsa” is one of three ancient Chronicles which together form the uninterrupted historical record of the Buddhist and Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka from 543 BC until the British takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815 AD. The translation enabled scholars to piece together the eventful history of the island.
 

Ussangoda-Begin Tour with Bike

 
Ussangoda is a legendary landing place of Ravana, the evil king of Hindu mythology who piloted his special peacock chariot across the skies. The area’s landscape is unusual, and its red earth is barren – possibly the result of a meteor that struck in ancient times.

Ussangoda provides a panoramic view of the beach and the sea. The extent of this place is approximately 20 acres and very little grows on the barren red earth. Scrub jungle surrounds Ussangoda from the land side and on the sea side the plateau drops a sheer 60 feet over a rocky escarpment out to the open sea below. In ancient times this area was struck by a meteorite and the barren and unusual landscape stills bares witness to this catastrophic event.
 

Yala - Ruhunu National Park-Begin Tour with Car

 
Yala National Park is world renowned as one of the best parks to observe and photograph leopards. Although it has one of the world’s densest leopard populations, it still requires good luck to see one of the elusive creatures in its natural habitat.
 
Yala National Park has a substantial elephant population along with many other species like spotted deer, sambur, wild buffalo, sloth bear, mongoose and crocodiles to name a few. Also more than one hundred and thirty different species of birds can be seen, ranging from the lesser flamingos to Paradise Flycatchers, Crested Hawk Eagles and the rare Black necked Stork
 

Kirinda-Begin Tour with Car

 
The small fishing village of Kirinda is blessed with a pretty beach, spectacular views and a charming history, yet it is bypassed by most visitors. There is a rocky outcrop from which can be obtained some magnificent views of the desolate coast with its long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond. On a clear day the lighthouse on the Great Basses Reef appears like a needle in the far distance. That's not all, for if you reverse your gaze you can see Tissamaharama in detail, especially the glistening dome of the Tissamaharama Dagoba.

With such an atmosphere, Kirinda is the appropriate setting of one of those popular legends that constitute early Sri Lankan history, the legend of Queen Viharamaha Devi A well known story handed down from the 2nd century BC tells of a tsunami that flooded Kelaniya, on what is now the outskirts of modern day Colombo near Wattala. In the legend, King Kelanitissa boiled a Buddhist monk alive in oil because he suspected him of trying to pass a love letter from his brother to the Queen. Both his ministers and subjects were horrified. Furthermore, so the legend goes, the gods were annoyed and caused the ocean to flood the land. Overcome with remorse, the King decided to atone for his sacrilegious act by making a sacrifice that would impress on his people the sincerity of his repentance as well as appease the gods
 

Kataragama-Begin Tour with Car

 
Kataragamais a place of great religious and cultural interest, where three major religions meet – Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. People from different religions come here to worship in their own way, either in the ancient shrines themselves or in their own places of worship, without a trace of rivalry or animosity. It is truly a unique place in the world today. Apart from the festival time, Kataragama is busiest with pilgrims at weekends and on poya days (full moon holidays).
 

Buduruwagala-Begin Tour with Car

 
Buduruwagala is a place of historical and archeological interest for its tall Buddha statue sculptured out of the rock. No mention of this site has been found in any ancient records and even its original name is not known. The modern name of this site, Buduruwagala, means ‘rock of Buddhist sculptures’. Nothing is known about the history of Buduruwagala or why someone chose to carve these huge images into the rocks in such a remote place. However, it is believed that the statues date back to the latter period of the Anuradhapura Kingdom and were created during the reign of King Valagamba in the 10th century AD.
The entire rock resembles a massive elephant kneeling with head bowed and the trunk folded in its mouth. On the eastern side of the rock a total of 7 sculptures have been carved into the rock. The highest is the 51 feet high image of a standing Buddha, with groupings of three figures on each side. It stands the tallest of all rock carvings in Sri Lanka and perhaps the world since the destruction of the Bamiyan figures in Afghanistan. The site is very scenic, attractive and tranquil and is situated in a very peaceful environment. The area around is rich with herbal, fruit and other valuable trees. To the right of the image of Lord Buddha is that of Avalokitesvara, surrounded by images of Bhrkuti and his sister Tara. Remarkably, the original plaster and even a few fragments of paint still cover this image. The central figure in the group of three to the left of Lord Buddha is Maithri Bodhisathva, the fifth Buddha of this aeon.
 

Adam’s Peak, the most popular pilgrime mountain  -Begin Tour with Car

 
Adam’s Peak, Samantha Kuta or Sri Pada, Sri Lanka’s holy mountain as it is popularity known bears the foot print of the Gautama Budda placed on the summit during His third visit to the island. This is also adored and venerated by followers of other religions according to their own beliefs. Thousands of pilgrims of all faiths ascend this 2243 metre mountain during the pilgrim season starting from the Induwap full moon day in December to the Day of wesak in May. Thus symbolizing religious harmony among Sri Lankan.This is traditionally climbed annually by pilgrims of all faiths. The steep climb takes about 3 hours with the finest sunrise in Asia by the climbers could behold. The shadow of the mountain is cast over the land before you as the sun rises. Steep steps are cut into the mountainside studded with refreshment spots in between. From a far lights leading into the night sky resemble a path to the celestial world.
 

Worlds End, most famous view-Begin Tour with Car

 
Most famous view in Sri Lanka is the world’s end, which drops down precipitously to about a mile to the farmland below. Baber falls could easily be seen from a trip to the Horton Plains, which is a rolling highland terrain of grassland interspersed with forest and unusual high-altitude vegetation. The plains reach over 2000 meters high with the mountains of Kirigalpotta and Totapola looming up from the edges of the plateau. The most tremendous feature of the strange silent world of the plains however is Worlds End, where the plains abruptly stop leaving you hovering over a straight drop of 880 meters.
 

Badulla, popular for the largest waterfalls-Begin Tour with Car

 
Chief city of the Uva province is famous for its tea estates and also for the largest waterfalls – Dunhinda of Sri Lanka.
High inaccessible places were held in high esteem awe and veneration from time immemorial as a main feature of worship of nature.
 

Nuwara Eliya, garden city of Asia-Begin Tour with Car

 
Nuwara Eliya, the highest town in Sri Lanka attract a larger number of visitors who enjoys golf, horse riding, pony rides, flower shos, trout fishing introduced by the British. The British explore Samuel babes had introduced Herefordshire cattle, strawberries, leeks etc. & transported them to this hill station. Victoria Park in the town is a calm scene-testing place for the tired visitor.Accommodation in Nuwara Eliya especially in April, hottest month in the low country is scarce and expensive but the money folk go there annually for golfing, horse racing and motor sport etc.
 

The majestic Hill country capital Kandy-Begin Tour with Car

 
‘Kande-Uda-Rata’ which became Kandy for the easy pronousation by the British was really the ‘Royal city’ of the Sinhalese and the last stronghold of the Sinhala kings. This was captured by the British in 1815 and the whole island went under colonial rule. Kandy is famous for its lake near the town which was re-vitalized by a kandyan gentleman of the modern era, making it once more beautiful and eye catching place free from pollution. This adds beauty to the town surrounded by hills such as Hantana, Hunnasgiriya, Bahiravakanda etc. You can have a view of the entire city of Kandy from the Hantana range above the lake.
You can take the train and make journey upland from Colombo to witness the finest Hill country and regarded as one of the exceptional train journeys of the world. Kandy is well renowned for its cultural pageant taking place in July with a large number of elephants richly caparisoned, nilames in their traditional costumes Diyawadana Nilame docked in all regalia accompanying the casket of the Sacred Tooth relic of the Budda and riding on the majestic elephants, crackers of whips, all forms of dancers with respective drummers really fascinating to observe.
 

Sigiriya-Begin Tour with Car

 
Sigiriya, considered by some as the eighth wonder of the world, consists of an ancient castle used by King Kasyapa of the 4th century AD. The Sigiriya site has the remains of an upper palace sited on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and gardens that extend for some hundreds of metres out from the base of the rock.

The site is both a palace and fortress. Sufficient remains to provide the visitor with a stunning insight into the ingenuity and creativity of its builders.

The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock that still retain water. The moats and walls that surround the lower palace are still exquisitely beautiful.

 

Anuradhapura-Begin Tour with Car

 
Anuradhapura, is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, world famous for its well preserved ruins of the Great Sri Lankan Civilization. The Civilization which was built upon this city was one of the greatest civilizations of Asia and in the world. The city now a UNESCO heritage site, lies 205 km (127 mi) north of the current capital Colombo in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya. Founded in the 4th century BC it was the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom till the beginning of the 11th century AC. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. It was also a wealthy city which created a unique culture and a great civilization. Today this ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is sacred to the Buddhist world, which its surrounding monasteries covers an area of over sixteen square miles ( 40 km²) and is one of the world's major archaeological sites.  
 

Polonnaruwa-Begin Tour with Car

 
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. The city Polonnaruwa was also called as Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.
However, with the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa, were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court. They also went on to form more intimiate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian Kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by King Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then shifted to Dambadeniya.
 

Cave Temple Dambulla-Begin Tour with Car

 
Dambulla Cave Temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is a world heritage site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km (92 mi) east of Colombo and 72 km (45 mi) north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m (525 ft) over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The later 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, god Vishnu and god Ganesh. The murals, covers an area of 2,100 square meters. Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha's temptation by Mara (demon) and Buddha's first sermon.
 

BEHOLD THE WAY OF THE VEDDAHSD-Begin Tour with Car

 
ambana is the home for these people whose predicament is aptly described by Ms. Christine Wilson. Their present situation is even more demanding and arduous. On one hand they are fighting to keep their members from getting commercialized and on the other hand, the authorities blame them for getting commercialized and keep away from looking into their grievances. They are fighting a lone loosing battle. In one recent interview the Chief 'Uruwarige Wanniyaleththo' said that his greatest fear is that he will not be able to stop the death of the Veddah way of life. Since their livelihood is now changed completely, they are depending more and more on earning money to sustain them.
 

Trincomalee-Begin Tour with Car

 
Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 (2007).[citation needed] The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outerharbours . Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay, Trincomalee is one of the main centers of Tamilspeaking culture on the island. The city is home to the famous ancient Koneswaram templealluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai from which its anglicized name is derived, and has been a sea port that has played a major role in the maritime and international trading history of Sri Lanka. It is referred to as Gokanna in Pali or Gokarnain Sanskrit. 
 

Habarana-Begin Tour with Car

 
Habarana is a small city in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka. The city is famed for its chain of high class tourist resorts.
Habarana is a popular tourist destination for safari lovers as it is the starting point for safaris in the nearby Habarana jungle and the Minneriyasanctuary which is heavily populated by elephants. Elephant back riding is also an attraction in this small city. Habarana is situated nearby to the ancient rock fortress and castle/palace ruin of Sigiriya and is situated on the main road from Colombo to Trincomalee andPolonnaruwa
. The population of the city is expected to be in the area of 5000-10,000. The area has some of the best hotels in the country and the greenary and wild life has added value, making the location attractive for tourists
 

Sinharaja Forest Reserve-Begin Tour with Car

 
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve andWorld Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.
The reserve is only 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4.3 mi) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
 

Pinnawala elephant orphanage-Begin Tour with Car

 
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 by the Department of Wildlife on a twenty five acre coconut property on the Maha Oya river at Rambukkana. The orphanage was primarily designed to afford care and protection to the many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed. In some instances the baby had fallen into a pit and in others the mother had fallen in and died. Initially this orphanage was at the Wilpattu National Park, then shifted to the tourist complex at Bentota and then to the Dehiwala Zoo.
 

Ratnapura-Begin Tour with Car

 
The gem-mining centre of Sri Lanka is also a major crossroad between southern plains and the hill country to the east. A bustling market city servicing most of the surrounding towns. Many of the prominentgem dealers in Sri Lanka operate from this town. Scenery around the town is excellent and charming.
There is a route to Sri Pada from Ratnapura direction. Excursions include Sinharaja Forest and Uda Walawe Wild Life Park. The route towards hill country is beautiful. The surrounding area is a popular trekking destination and a good place for bird watching. Visit traditional gem mining and cutting operations
Madunagala Hot springs
Laying in a wide expanse of open country, Madunagala Hot Springs is a wonderful creation of nature in all its natural beauty. Historically, these hot springs flowed into a natural water hole. Recently they have been renovated and attractive stone tanks and basins have been created. Here, the hot water bubbles into the ponds and mixes with cooler water there. Warm water flows smoothly into the surrounding basins where visitors can enjoy the soothing mineral water. Changing rooms, western toilets and small shops with snacks and beverages are close by. Special indigenous ayurvedic drinks such as “Belimal” and “Ranawara” are local treats worth trying.
 

Madunagala Hot springs-Begin Tour with Car

 
Laying in a wide expanse of open country, Madunagala Hot Springs is a wonderful creation of nature in all its natural beauty. Historically, these hot springs flowed into a natural water hole. Recently they have been renovated and attractive stone tanks and basins have been created. Here, the hot water bubbles into the ponds and mixes with cooler water there. Warm water flows smoothly into the surrounding basins where visitors can enjoy the soothing mineral water. Changing rooms, western toilets and small shops with snacks and beverages are close by. Special indigenous ayurvedic drinks such as “Belimal” and “Ranawara” are local treats worth trying.