The history of Sri Lanka is steeped in its ancient roots – the kingdom of Anuradhapura was a flourish-ing cosmopolitan hub between the 4th and 10th centu-ries AD, a time when the Byzantine-Arab wars began.The ruined splendour of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Sigiriya reveal the degree of sophisti-cation in the country’s ancient architectural and sculptural prowess. Be sure not to miss the marvel-lous rock fortress of Sigiriya .
The northern and eastern provinces in Sri Lanka have rich histories and continue to practice their time-honoured cul-tural traditions. Visiting the Koneswaram Temple and Fort in Trincomalee and the Nallur Festival in Jaffna will give you a truly memo-rable insight into our unique and ancient culture.The turquoise waters, and golden sands, of beaches lin-ing the east coast should not be missed. Between the renowned waters of Trincomalee and the world-class surfing and diving possibilities at Arugam Bay, for those who love the sun and the sand, these oceans are the ideal holiday location.
In addition to the many culturally and historically interesting sites in Sri Lanka, the breath-taking landscapes of the hill country are worth spending time to appreciate. Misty mountains, gurgling waterfalls, and terraced tea es-tates compose postcard-worthy, pictures. The colonial heri-tage of Nuwara Eliya grant an added dimension to the al-lure of these beautiful hill-country locations.
The EsalaPerahera that takes place annually in July/August is of tremendous religious and cultural significance.A dazzling pageant that showcases a range of cultural rites & rituals, from across the country, this procession of ele-phants takes place in the holy city of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious epicentre.
The beaches along the western and southern coasts of the island offer a wholly different experience to that of the east coast. Luxurious resorts will pamper you with spa treatments, while exciting water sports await the more adventurous. At night enjoy racy parties on the beach. These coastal towns offer fabulous opportunities to sample fresh seafood. The layers of influences on the country’s history are evident in the architecture along the western and southern coasts of the island. Dotted with forts and churches from the colonial peri-ods, particularly the Dutch and British, these sites serve as fascinating glimpses into the country’s past. The most important stop is no doubt the Dutch Fort in Galle.
Colombo showcases the fusion of cultures and historical influences in Sri Lanka. The composition of temples, churches, parks and colonial buildings, render this city a truly unique place, character-ized by the charming juxtaposition of ever unfolding urban hustle & bustle, with the grand immortality of Sri-Lanka’s glorious history. Colombo is a bustling city at the very heart of this island nation’s life and livelihood. You can sample a range of good cuisine, whether your preference is street food or fine dining. Shop for local handicrafts, and some of the world’s finest porcelain. The world renowned friendliness of our people can be ex-perienced first- hand as you take in our relaxing parks and amiable cafes.
Sri Lanka is a nature lover’s heaven, with an abun-dance of natural parks, with different ecosystems and many indigenous species. Minneriya is especially known for its large groups of elephants, and Yala boasts the highest density of leop-ards in the world.
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