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  • The most unforgettable travel destinations in Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka with its friendly elephants and rich flora

    Sri Lanka with its friendly elephants and rich flora

    Since the Since the time of explorations, Sri Lanka has been a link between East and West – a point of strategic importance as well, which explains why it has been coveted by many, and finally ended up under British rule.

    And while Sri Lanka doesn’t enjoy quite as much attention as in the past, it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed, at least not by tourists. The island is a melting pot of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim identities which combine into something unique.

    The backdrop of lush nature fits the ancient temples like a glove, there are pretty colonial villages as well as vibrant cities spiced up with local culture, and activities that would tempt even a couch potato. Here are some of the most unforgettable travel destinations in Sri Lanka.

    The Temple of the Tooth, Kandy

    The most famous temple in Kandy is known throughout the Buddhist world as the place where one of Buddha’s teeth is housed, hence the name. Thanks to the relic, the temple is one of the most sacred places in Sri Lanka, and it is quite resplendent. Although you can’t see the tooth, which is locked up tight in a box, the casket is paraded for the benefit of visitors and the faithful twice a day.

    Ruwanwelisaya, Anuradhapura

    Ruwanwelisaya, photo by StretchyBill on Flickr

    Ruwanwelisaya is another place that is particularly important in Buddhism, but also interesting to see because of its architecture. The stupa is a sprawling structure that is also one of the tallest buildings in the world.

    Ruwanwelisaya is one of the sixteen places of veneration in Sri Lanka that were suposedly visited by the Gautama Buddha. The stupa is a bustling places of worship, filled with worshipers and travelers.

    Ancient Polonnaruwa, Polonnaruwa

    The ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, which used to be the country’s capital for a while in the past, date back to the 10th century. The ruins of the city are quite compact, with many temples, palaces and statues in one place. The best way to see the ruins to take a leisurely bike ride around them, although guided tours are available as well.

    Haputale

    Haputale, photo by Indi Samarajiva on Flickr

    The scenic hill station of Haputale is the perfect place to retreat to when you need some peace and quiet. The small town is surrounded by tea estates crisscrossed by countless walking paths.

    Dambatenne Tea Factory is a must-see for anyone interested in the manufacture of tea, and the nearby Lipton’s Seat lookout. Another nice sight is Adisham Monastery, a western-style granite monastery built in the 30’s.

    Kitulgala

    Visiting Kitulgala in the wet season might be unforgettable for all the wrong reason, but travel to this small town in the dry months (especially February) and you’ll be able to enjoy the most breath-taking scenery in Sri Lanka. People travel to Kitulgala to swim in the Kelani River, explore the surroundings and do some white-water rafting.

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