ancient land is blessed with a slew of sites which have immense
historical and archaeological significance. Some of these sites have
made way into the UNESCOs map of World Heritage Sites. These
places have emerged as the hub of tourists from all across the globe
fascinating the beholders at the very first glimpse.
206 kms from Colombo, it was the original capital of Sri Lanka
established around a cutting from Buddha's fig tree, brought there in
the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitra. This sacred city flourished for
1,300 years, until when it was reduced into rubbles in an invasion in
993. The city, with its fascinating palaces, monasteries and monuments,
lay hidden in the thick jungles until it was rediscovered and made
accessible for visitors.
This was second capital of Sri Lanka established after the destruction
of Anuradhapura in 993. The crowning glory of Polonnaruwa is upheld by
the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the
fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. It
is 216 kms from Colombo.
This ancient city which dates back to about 7000 years is the best
preserved city centre in Asia from the first millenium. The Lion
Mountain, the gardens and the pockets of paintings surviving on
the rock face are the centres of attraction in this site which stands at
the threshold of being declared as the 8th wonder of the world. An array
of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a prodigious lion
constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site. It lies
169 kms away from Colombo.
This last capital of the Sinhala Kings is a very sacred Buddhist site
and known popularly as the city of Senkadagalapura. It is also home to
the famous site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of
Buddha). It is183 kms from Colombo.
Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, the glory of Galle
reached its apotheosis in the 18th century, on the eve of the of the
British era. It is the quintessence of a fortified city built by
Europeans in South and South-East Asia, and an intricate blend of
European architecture and South Asian traditions. Galle is 114 kms away
The Golden Temple of Dambulla
148 kms from Colombo, this cave monastery has been held as sacred by
the Sri Lankans for 22 centuries. It contains five sanctuaries and is
the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in the entire island.
The Buddhist mural paintings, covering an area of 2,100 square metres,
and 157 statues hold immense value.
Trains are the best modes for the tourists to commute within Sri Lanka.
Access to these sites have been facilitated by regular train services.
You can also hire a tourist cab, but be sure to fix the fare beforehand.
A reasonably good standard of accomodation is available in the hotels
and guest houses in and around these sites.