TOP MUST VISIT PLACES IN SRI LANKA

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TOP MUST VISIT PLACES IN SRI LANKA

A glimpse of Sri Lanka

If you are wondering what to do in this small island nation – you will be surprised of variety of places and everything this small country can offer! This is a bit wider list of MUST-SEE in SRI LANKA. Enjoy!

Exploring the Coast

Sri Lanka`s coast has laid-back beaches and exhilarating atmosphere. Stroll along the vibrant streets of Galle Fort and enjoy panoramic views of  the ocean and the fresh breeze from its ramparts.

Arugam Bay is the surfing hot stop with popular points being Arugam Bay Main Point, Pottuvil, Whisky and Okanda.

Batticaloa is the coastal heaven with a lagoon, beaches and history.

Bentota is a starch of sandy beaches and cultural landmarks.

Beruwala has a golden shore, a fishing harbor, the Kande Vihare as well as Kechimalai Mosque.

Casuarina is a white sandy beach in the North.

Chilaw is famous for the Munneswaram Temple, St. Mary`s Cathedral and the best prawns and crabs.

Dondra is Sri Lanka`s southernmost tip with historic lighthouse and the Tondeswaram Temple.

Galle is the UNESCO World Heritage Dutch Fort with shops, restaurants and a scenic sunset.

Hambantota is known for crisp, white salt flats spread out over lagoons, unspoiled beaches and wildlife sanctuaries.

Hikkaduwa is popular for its coral riffs, scuba-diving and surfing. The nights are full of energy and good vibes.

Kalpitiya in the North–West is famous for whale and dolphin watching as well as kite-surfing.

Kirinda holds the Kirinda Raja Maha Viharaya and the secrets of an old legend.

Kucchchaveli is a deal for tranquil dip in the sea and walks on the beach.

Mirissa is famous for its cinnamon farms, surfing and whale watching.

Mount Lavinia is the island`s “city beach”, close to Colombo with many beach restaurants.

Negombo is a lively beach town with a restaurant district that sizzles with delicious cuisine at night.

Passekudah and Kalkudah are white sandy beaches with shallow blue water.

Puttalam is known for its lagoons, salterns and sea fishing expeditions.

Tangalle is a scenic costal town with a fishing harbor.

Trincomalee has the beautiful Uppuveli, Nilaveli and Pigeon Island beaches. The natural harbor, fort Frederick and Koneswaram Kovil offer splendid experiences.

Unawatuna is a beach stretch with stunning seascapes that transform into a pulsating nightlife hub with delicious cuisine.

Weligama Bay is a picturesque shore alive with water sports.

Nature & Wildlife

Sri Lanka`s national parks are home to elephants, leopards, sloth bears, monkeys, deer and many vibrant birds. Be on the lookout for the colourful birds of Kumana National Park, famous for its avifauna.

Bundala between Kirinda and Hambantota features lagoons, wetlands, jungles and wildlife.

Gal Oya is the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka and is surrounded by national park where elephants are seen year-round.

Horton Plains is a picturesque landscape, rich in biodiversity, a place for hiking.

Kaldulla is a national park home to leopards, sloth bears, elephants and flocks of birds.

Kumana is an important bird nesting and breeding ground, especially for migratory birds.

Lahugala Kitulana is home to elephants and endemic birds. The Lahugala, Kitulana and Sengamuwa reservoirs support wildlife and abundant greenery.

Minneriya National Park is a sanctuary around an ancient tank where the majestic gathering of elephants occur.

Pinnawala Orphanage is home to almost 100 elephants. Visitors can see baby elephants being fed and spectacle of elephants bathing.

Randenigala is a sanctuary for elephants, deer, sambar, wild boar and rare birds.

Sinharaja is one of the few surviving rainforests in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thambapanni is an ancient port town in the North-West, believed to be the landing point of Prince Vijaya, who named Sri Lanka “Thambapanni”.

Wilpattu is a ferly dense, dry-zone jungle area with leopards, spotted deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and crocodiles.

Yala is the most popular national park in the country. It has the world`s highest density of leopards and it is home to sloth bears and elephants.

Rich in culture

The island brims with history and the “cultural triangle” connecting Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kady that is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The forth tallest mountain in the island, Adam`s Peak, is revered by Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus and offers stunning scenery.

Anuradhapura is Sri Lanka`s first kingdom. The Sri Maha Bodhi – the world`s oldest planted tree, Aukana Buddha statue and Thuparamaya Stupa are sacred sites here.

Colombo. Gangaramaya Temple is one of the oldest temples in Colombo in is “a must”.

Dambulla has a cave temple from the 12th century. King Valagamba hid here during invasion.

Gampaha. Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is sacred as the Buddha visited the site. Attanagalla Raja Maha Viharaya is another ancient site in Gampaha.

Jafna is a colourful mix of culture with the historical sites. Valikamam, Thenmaradchi and Vadamarachchi as well as the sacred Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil are located here.

Kandy cradles the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The iconic Esala Perahera is also held here in grand celebration every year.

Kataragama has the abode of God Skanda. It is a pilgrimage site 283 km South of Colombo. The annual procession is held here in the month of July.

Mannar holds the shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, where pilgrims flock in July and August, and the Thiruketheeswaram Temple.

Polonnaruwa is a bygone citadel with ruins of palaces, parks and tanks representing the islands historic splendor.

Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress on which a citadel was built by the King Kashyapa. It is also considered the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World.

Hill country

Explore the hill country of Sri Lanka in Hatton, where waterfalls plunge into deep pool of water. Nestled among the foliage, these appear as glimmering ribbons.

Bandarawela is known for its breathtaking scenery, cold climate and serene flower gardens.

Ella is surrounded by rich biodiversity, picturesque views and many peaks that are popular among hikers.

Haputale is a small town renowned for its verdant vegetation and the Tudor-style Adisham Bungalow.

Knuckles Range is a striking mountain forest with a variety of flora and fauna, as well as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nuwara Eliya is a home to beautiful tea plantations, the Hakgala Botanical Gardens and Hakgala Natural Reserve.

Ratnapura is known for jams and the agro–industry. Sri Pada or Adam`s Peak with a sacred footprint is located here.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya has a collection of over 300 varieties of flora, bird species, herbs and palms.

/The text is taken from the Air Asia travel magazine in the flight from Sri Lanka to Kuala Lumpur/

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