Location: Thalgasmankada, Sri Lanka
Highlights: Sri Lankan Leopard which is present in Block 1, in a density of one leopard per square kilometre.
Things to Know: Presence of person of wildlife department is mandatory within the park
Price: Approximate price starts from 4500-6000 LKR for foreigners
Highlights: Sigiriya Frescoes are truly beautiful which was hand painted by the king himself depicting celestial nymphs all around the circumference. And on top of these rocks, he built for himself a white palace which stands as an epitome of beauty.
Timing: Opens daily from 7 AM to 5:30 PM.
Price: Approximate price starts from $15 to $25
Highlights: Don’t forget to visit the Golden temple Buddhist museum which will leave you jaw dropped with its spectacular entrance from the golden mouth of lion like beast.
Location: You can come via Ambepussa and Kurunegala which is approximately 4 hours from Colombo.
Prices: There are no prices charged for the same, however you have to pay 200 LKR for keeping the luggage.
Location: Royal Palace, Kandy
Time: 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Price: Approximate price starts from 1000 LKR to 2134 LKR
Due to its natural landscape, Ella has many quaint and rustic hiking trails. Little Adam’s Peak is one such popular trail that should not be missed. It is a short 50-60 minutes trek that takes you through the world famous tea plantations of the region. The greenery is a respite to the eyes and the intoxicating fragrance of the tea leaves further adds to the experience.
Once you reach the top of the Little Adam’s Peak, you will see a Buddha statue backdropped against the mountains.
Location: Ella- Passara Road, Ella 90090
Timings: The best time for the hike is at sunrise or the sunset. The peak is approachable all year around.
Price: There is no entry fee.
Highlights: Elephant Transit Home which is the elephant orphanage which has housed 25 baby elephants who have lost their parents. Pinnewala, is the spot where you can spot elephants quite closely because usually elephants are bottle fed there.
Best time to visit: July and August
Prices: is Rs.2195 along with 12%vat.
Location: Approximately a 5 hour drive from Colombo
Highlights: You shouldn’t miss the chance to see the statue of Parakramabahu I who had his reign during the golden age. You can also witness a spectacular view of the Lotus Pond with its lotus shaped petals built on 4 tiers, the majestic view is not supposed to missed.
Highlights: The ceilings and walls contain pictures and miniature paintings that explain stories from Buddhism religion. In the main sanctorum, a huge Buddha statue exudes a brilliant sense of calmness in the devotees. Built in a mix of various architectural styles including India, Burmese, Thai and Chinese, this temple also houses a museum.
Location: The temple is located right on the Jinaratana Road in the heart of Colombo city.
Timings: The temple is open from 5.30AM to 10PM.
Price: Entry fee is LKR200 per adult.
The Galle Dutch Fort happens to be one of the treasured historical monuments of Srilanka located on the southern coast of the country. The fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the course of their reign in Srilanka and was later renovated by the Dutch. The fort is one of the most important UNESCO world heritage sites out of many in Srilanka. This is because of its wonderful illustration of European Architecture and South Asian Traditions of the 16th and 19th century.
The fort displays an amazing amalgamation of age-old architecture and antiquity in the middle of astounding natural beauty.You will come across a number of lively shops, cafes, exhibition halls, lifestyle stores, and villas, which adds to the beauty of the place. It would be just amazing to move by the walls witnessing the intricate artworks and sheer craftsmanship. At the present time, the fort is still home to multi-ethnic and multi-religious population, as some properties inside the fort are still owned by many Dutch people and local Srilankan people as well.
The two pools are believed to have been built by the ancient Sinhalese kings, with their inception dating back to 600AD or even earlier. One of the most striking historical places to visit in Srilanka, the Kuttam Ponds can be witnessed as preserved in their original state, even today.
Best time to visit: October- February
Historically, Abhayagiri served as the royal capital as well as the biggest monastic system in the nation. Remains of elaborately carved balustrades and bathing ponds can still be spotted here. Towards the north of the city, one can even see the Abhayagiri Dagaba, an ancient Stupa that served as the original holder of the Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka.
Best time to visit: November to February
Tourists from all over the world head for this national park, a highland-like structure with plains on one side and spectacular mountains and deep jungles on the other. All of it constitutes the Central Highlands of the island country Sri Lanka.
You need to wake up very early in the morning to take in the beauty of this park before the clouds roll in to obscure the view. Make sure you are prepared to head for the park by 9 am, else, you will miss the scenic view because a thick blanket of morning mist enfolds Horton Plains for the rest of the day.
Take a walk deep into this national park to discover World’s End, which is a towering cliff top offering a sweeping view of Sri Lanka towards the coast and also past the shoreline. You will discover numerous lakes, waterfalls, rocky hills, as well as the spectacular view of the ocean from this heritage site in Sri Lanka.
Besides, the scenic vista, Horton Plains National Park is covered with thick verdant forests boasting a variety of wild animals and numerous species of birds. The national park is an inimitable ecosystem with plentiful flora and fauna, which is why it’s hailed as a super biodiversity site of Sri Lanka.
Today, one can wander the moats and halls of this towering fort, breathing in the turbulent history that it now holds within its walls. A walk along the Fort walls and ramparts offers brilliant views of the lagoon. The Fort also hosts a permanent exhibition of weapons and other artifacts.
Best time to visit: January to September
Kandy Lake is an artificial lake built by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1807. The lake, also called Kiri Muhuda or Sea of the Milk, is situated in the heart of the Kandy city. It covers an area of 6,544 sq. m. with a circumference of 3.21 km. The lake boasts of a small island at its center. A building, together with some earliest ruins is also located at the center of the lake.
The iconic serene lake is one of the greatest attractions for visitors for its lush green settings and pristine blue waters. It has several rest zones, where tourists can sit, breathe fresh air, and catch the glimpse of scenic beauty around them. Nature lovers and tourists can enjoy the picturesque surroundings and soothe their jittery nerves by taking a stroll around the 2.1 km pathway.
People generally stroll or jog the pathway in the evening, when the mercury drops considerably. It presents a beautiful sight at night. The palm trees in the middle of the lake add charm to the entire surroundings. Tourists can opt for boat rides and relish the experience.
One can hire the boat either for their party or join other passengers for a ride. The boat ride costs approximately Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 for a 20-minute boating experience around the Lake. Visitors can look forward to gratifying their senses, by buying products ranging from balloons to cashew nuts from vendors roaming around the lake.
Owing to the pollution and other factors, which led to shrinkage of the lake, the management has declared it as a protected area and banned fishing at this spot. However, animal lovers and ornithologists can revel in watching birds, fishes, and huge monitor lizards.
The Royal court, another architectural capture has confronted many meetings formed by the king and it is here that the end of Kandyan Kingdom convention was signed.
The temple of Tooth contributes maximum attraction to the tourists. Even though, the original palace walls have been burnt and rebuilt, the interiors remain the same.
Highlights: Dalada Maligawa - Temple of Tooth (relic of Buddha’s Tooth), Royal Court (Magul Maduwa), Queen’s Bathing pavilion – Ulpange and the Royal gardens inside the Palace gates
Location: Sri Dalads Veediya
Kandy Price: Rs 100 per head Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Once serving as the capital city of the country, Yapahuwa is one of the most sought-after historical places to visit in Sri Lanka. Initially built to defend the country, the rock fortress complex has witnessed great wars between the medieval Dravidian tribes and the Sri Lankan rulers. Right at the center, the Citadel of Yapahuwa rises to about a hundred meters above the surrounding areas.
Following the capture of the Fort in the 13th century, the complex was abandoned and eventually inhabited by Buddhist monks. Today, visitors get to witness a series of elaborate staircases and statues at the fort ruins, some of the most spectacular in the country. With its elevation, the Yapahuwa ruins are also known for their excellent views of the surrounding areas.
Best time to visit: November to January
A number of prehistoric tools were found here as well, making it one of the best historical places in Sri Lanka. The caves can be reached with a short hike with excellent views.
Best time to visit: December to February
Buduruwagala Raja Maha Viharaya
One of the oldest Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, Buduruwagala is known for its rock carvings. In fact, the name Buduruwagala literally means the “Rock of Buddhist Sculptures.” One of the most striking monuments in Sri Lanka, the temple is home to seven Buddhist sculptures that belong to the Mahayana school of thought.
Upon entrance, one comes face to face with the image of a Buddha in his stuccoed robe. Rising to a height of 16 meters, it is the tallest Buddha statue on the island. The figure of Buddha is surrounded by smaller statues, including that of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Tara, his female consort.
Best time to visit: November to March
The Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba
One of the most significant Buddhist pilgrimages in the world, The Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba is home to the largest collection of Buddha’s relics. Two quarts, or one ‘Dona’ of the Buddha’s relics are enshrined here. Built in 140 BC, it is also the oldest Buddhist stupa in Sri Lanka.
An architectural wonder, the domed stupa is known for its elaborate carvings and statues. It is also believed to be one of the 8 places that were blessed by Lord Buddha during his visit to Sri Lanka, and is revered by Buddhist devotees across the world.
Best time to visit: December to February
Also known as the Lovamahapaya, the Brazen Palace is a 2,000 year old Palace built by Sri Lankan King Dutugemunu. Now regarded as one of the best historical places in Sri Lanka, the Palace was initially built as a shelter for Buddhist monks, and had 1000 rooms to house a thousand residents. Today, one can witness the columned building preserved in its original glory. A 45-feet rice cut boat can be found here as well, which is said to have prepared alms for all 1000 resident monks.
Best time to visit: November to February