Sri Lanka is not just shaped like a jewel, it is a real jewel on the face of the earth. It is a very beautiful and vibrant country. The pristine beaches hidden in plain sight, the wonderful landscape of the country and the delicious Srilankan cuisine make this island a sought-after tourist spot.
The endless expanse of tea estates, elephants roaming in the wild, strong historic significance, tropical climate, majestic ruins and marvelous mountains sum up Sri Lanka. And not to miss the world famous Ceylon tea!
Here is a list of places that you should not miss in Sri Lanka:
Ella is a small village located on a hill. It is a dreamy village that we get to read about in fairytales. It is full of tastefully designed guesthouses. The viewpoints in Ella offer stunning panoramic views. On clear nights, you can even catch a glimpse of the tiny glow of the lighthouse that stands on the Southern coast of Srilanka. Situated amidst tea plantations, and paddy fields, Ella is a perfect place to relax.
You can hike to the Ravana Ella falls. It is one of the widest falls in the country. According to the legend, the king of Lanka, Ravana hid Sita in a cave behind this waterfall, and hence it is called Ravana Ella waterfall. This place looks beautiful, but it is very slippery. The historically significant Ravana Ella cave is a small cave, is connected to the falls by a tunnel.
You can see the production of green tea, in the Newburg Green Tea Factory. You can taste and buy different kinds of tea here. The Ella Spice Garden is a lovely place where a wide variety of spices such as pandan, chilly, pepper, cinnamon, etc are grown. You can take a walk through this garden, and also learn to whip up a Srilankan meal.
Kandy is a cool and misty city located on a hill. It is nestled in between thick forests, and mountains. There is a beautiful lake in the city. The city is satiated with guesthouses, boutique hotels, street shops, markets, and busy bus stands.
The Kandy Lake looks very European. There are parts of the city that undeniably look and feel European. To the north of the lake, lies the famous Temple of the Tooth. A tooth of Buddha is being preserved in this temple. The tooth relic is heavily guarded. There are a number of temples inside the temple complex. The World Buddhism Museum that lies in the complex explains Buddhism practiced in different countries. Saint Paul’s Church stands close to the Temple of the Tooth. It is a traditional Anglican Church built in 1848. It looks magnificent and stands as a proof of the country’s colonial past.Udawattakelle Sanctuary is a sanctuary in a forest that is popular among bird watchers. It is a good place to visit. You will find plenty of monkeys here.
People visiting Srilanka should definitely travel from Kandy to Ella by train. The ride is scenic. The scene outside is made up of waterfalls, mist, mountains, tea fields and lush greens. It is one of the most wonderful train journeys in the world.
Tangalle is a small beach town located on the southern coast of Srilanka. The warm turquoise waters, white sand, and palm fringes make Tangalle very appealing. Tangalle is a small city, located far from all the touristy places in Srilanka. It is calm and peaceful, and not many know about this hidden gem. You can swim, snorkel, sunbathe or take a sea bath in one of the beaches in Tangalle.
You can sit by the Rakawa beach and watch turtles. The Goyambokka beach is picture-perfect. Mulkirigala is a popular monastery located atop a hill. There are a number of interesting murals and statues here. Dondra lies a few kilometers away from Tangalle. It is the southernmost point of the country. There is a famous Vishnu temple in Dondra.
Yala National Park
Yala national park is home to 44 varieties of animals and 215 varieties of birds. It is the most visited park in Sri Lanka. You will find monkeys, bears, peacocks, elephants and plenty of other animals here. The park is huge. A safari at the expansive Yala park will be a lifetime memory. This park is the best park in the world for spotting leopards. You could opt for a half-day or a full day safari.
Anuradhapura is a hot tourist spot. The ruins of this town stand tall. The sprawling city is home to a number of architectural marvels. You will find brick towers, huge dagobas, pools, and temples built during the ancient times. Abhayagiri Dagoba dates back to the 1st century. The brick structure looks amazing. It is said that the relics of Buddha were buried in this Stupa. The Archeological Palace, Sri Maha Bodhi, and RatnaPrasada are a few other tourist spots you can visit in Anuradhapura.
Polonnaruwa is not far from Anuradhapura. It is also an ancient town full of archaeological treasures. It has several temples, tombs, and stupas. It is a pleasant town. The Gal Vihara is a place where you will find ancient rock carvings of Buddha. It is a very famous spot in Polonnaruwa. You can also check out Lankatilaka, Gal Pota, and Thuparama Gadige.
Singriya is known for its royal ruins perched on a rock, surrounded by the remains of ancient dams, gardens, and royal structures. The rock is made of solidified volcanic lava. Not to worry, the volcano that spit the lava is extinct. It is famous for its painted caves. This place will interest you if you are a history buff.
Lion Paws, Frescoes, Mirror wall and Singriya museum are some of the interesting places in Singriya.
Galle, Colombo, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Mirissa, Kalpitiya and Negombo are the other places in Sri Lanka that you should not miss. All these places are popular, significant, tourist-friendly, and budget-friendly.
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