Things to Do & Things to See

  • Anuradhapura :Although people may have lived in this area since as early as the 10th century BC, Anuradhapura became a great city after the arrival of a cutting from the Bodhi Tree ('tree of enlightenment'), the Buddha's fig tree, in the 3rd century BC. The sacred branch was brought to Sri Lanka by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura went on to become a Ceylonese political and religious capital (4th century BC) that flourished for 1,300 years. In its prime, Anuradhapura ranked alongside Nineveh and Babylon in its colossal proportions—its four walls, each 16 miles (26 km) long, enclosing an area of 256 square miles (663 km²)—in the number of its inhabitants, and the splendour of its shrines and public buildings. The city also had some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. Most of the great reservoir tanks still survive today, and some many be the oldest surviving reservoirs in the world. After an invasion in 993 AD, Anuradhapura was permanently abandoned. For centuries, the site lay hidden in the jungle. Rediscovered by the British in the 19th century, Anuradhapura became a Buddhist pilgrimage site once again. The revival of the city of Anuradhapura began in earnest in the 1870s. The modern city (population 40,000) is a major road junction of northern Sri Lanka and lies along a railway line. The headquarters of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon is in Anuradhapura. Today, the splendid sacred city of Anuradhapura, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, draws many Buddhist pilgrims and visitors.
  • HATADAGE : Hatadage is an old relic sanctuary in the city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. It was worked by King Nissanka Malla, and had been utilized to keep the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The Hatadage had been fabricated utilizing stone, block and wood, albeit just parts of the block and stone dividers presently remain. It seems to have been a two-story structure, yet the upper story has now been decimated. Three Buddha statues cut out of stone shake are situated inside an assembly of the holy place. The holy place is encompassed by a stone divider, 120 feet (37 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide. On its southern side is an entryway enriched with stone carvings, prompting a stone cleared patio. The fundamental access to the holy place, or, in other words with stone carvings and a sandakada pahana, is specifically before it. Another littler entryway is set on the eastern side of the place of worship. The place of worship has had a wooden superstructure with a tiled rooftop. Nonetheless, just the dividers presently remain. The dividers of the sanctum are made of block, and the external dividers are secured with stone plates. The fundamental passage prompts a little chamber, 27 feet (8.2 m) long and 21 feet (6.4 m) in width. The bases of its dividers are embellished with outlines of lotus blossoms and lions. This chamber contains six stone sections and a staircase that had prompted the upper floor. The square molded primary chamber is situated to the back of this external chamber. Every one of its sides is 35 feet (11 m) long and contains four windows.
  • Buddhist pilgrims climbs the 2245m (7242ft) high mountain to honor the legendary footprint of Buddha. A large number of pilgrims visit Adam's Peak every year. The word Sri Pada means "holy footprint". It is a holy place for 4 major religions For Buddhist it is foot print of Lord Buddha, For Christians and Muslims it is the foot prints of Adam when he was sent on earth, for Hindus the mountain is called "Shivas Peak". All of the religions pay their respect or atleast make the adventure to climb the mountain for the sake of achieving the spirit of a holy mountain. Portuguese Christians believed St Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, queen of Ethiopia. The footstep is covered by a handsome roof, and is guarded by the priests of a rich monastery half-way up the mountain, who maintain a shrine on the summit of the peak. The mountain is most often scaled from December to May. During other months it is hard to climb the mountain due to very heavy rain, extreme wind, and thick mist. Buddhists say that the footprint mark is the left foot of the Buddha, left behind as he strode away, the right footprint being (depending on legend) in Amphoe Phra Phutthabat, Saraburi Province, located about 150 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, Thailand. This place is called in Thai Phra Bat or Phra Phutthabat. A shrine to Saman, a Buddhist "deity" (People who have spent spiritual life during their life on earth and done pacificism service to regions are deified by Sri Lankan Buddhists) charged with protecting the mountain top, can be found near the footprint. It is believed that King Valagambahu (104-76 BC) discovered Sri Pada while he was in exile in the mountain wilderness, (called as "Sri Pada Adaviya") to escape the marauding Cholians. It is believed King Valagambahu was led to the summit of the mountain by a deity in the guise of a stag. Since the dicovery both ordinary people and the royality started paying homage to the Foot Print of the Buddha. Later the Sinhalese kings made the Peak accessible to devotees who annually trekked the mountain.
  • Sri Dalada Maligawa : In the Central Highlands, almost dead centre in the little island of Sri Lanka lays Kandy City. The crown jewel of the city is the famed Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth. ‘Maligawa’ literally translates to palace, and the temple is part of the palace complex. The entire complex is over three centuries old at least, and has seen many a king’s rise and fall. It has seen bloody wars and peaceful reigns and is one of the most historical places still standing in the island. History The Sacred Tooth of Lord Gautama Buddha is preserved in Kalinga, India. The Kalinga king Guhasiva in the 4th century AD sends the tooth relic to Sri Lanka with Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala in order to prevent its possession by his enemies who made war. The tooth relic is received by the then King Meghavanna in Anuradhapura and enshrined in a 3rd century holy edifice. The tooth relic became a symbol of status denoting the right to ascend the throne, and later kings in the kingdoms of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya built temples for the relic close to the royal residences. In the era of the Kotte Kingdom, the temple of the tooth was situated in the toyal city – Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. With the rise of the Kingdom of Kandy the Tooth of Lord Buddha was brought to the city, where it was housed in a two story building by the King Vimaladharmasuriya I. The building did not survive the ravages of time. The tooth relic was taken into hiding during the Portugese Invasion in 1603. It was brought back to Kandy by King Rajasingha II almost half a century later, and rehoused in a building identical to the former building. The current temple of the tooth was built by King Vira Parakrama Narendra Singha in the early 1700s. There was further construction on the moat and octagonal structure by the later King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha. The Temple of the Tooth suffered damage and had to be repaired due to various civil wars in the late 20th century.
  • YALA : one of Sri Lanka 's premier Wildlife destinations, home to many Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bears.
  • UDAWALAWE : The best place in Sri Lanka for watching elephants, reports say there are about 500 elephants in the park and they often roam in herds of up to 100.
  • MINNERIYA : Most Elephant gathering place in Sri Lanka, reports say there are about 600 elephants in the park and they often roam in herds of up to 200.
  • WILPATTU : The best place in Sri Lanka for watching elephants and Leopards.
  • BEACH : Beach destinations are the idyllic getaway from the daily grind for much of the world. A trip to the beach is the classic idea of a vacation for families, couples, and even singles. Something about lounging on the beach, soaking in the sun, and listening to the sound of the surf a worldwide appeal. The beach is the place to kick off your heels, dance all night, drink and eat a little too much. This is where you come to forget about it all and simply enjoy life.
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Lakes & Rivers
  • Waterfalls
  • ANURADHAPURA :Although people may have lived in this area since as early as the 10th century BC, Anuradhapura became a great city after the arrival of a cutting from the Bodhi Tree ('tree of enlightenment'), the Buddha's fig tree, in the 3rd century BC. The sacred branch was brought to Sri Lanka by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns.
  • KANDY : Kandy is the capital of the last kingdom of Sinhala Kings & undoubtedly the most scenic city in Sri Lanka. The UNESCO World Heritage listed “Sacred City of Kandy” was established in the 14th century and is the second largest city in Sri Lanka. Kandy is venerated by Buddhists around the world and is visited by pilgrims throughout the year.
  • JAFFNA : the main city of Jaffna district (until the year 1824, the district was called Waligama) of the Northern Province is located in the northernmost peninsula of Sri Lanka. The Jaffna district is one of the 25 districts organized into the nine provinces, an artificial creation of the Colonial British (1815-1948) for the purposes of administration of the Island of Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon.
  • Dambulla : Located at an elevation of 1118 feet from the sea level rises a massive rock from the surrounding plains of Dambulla of 600 feet high and over 2000 feet in length. It is home to the Worlds most acclaimed Cave complex of magnificent Buddha Images and Rock Paintings of vivid colours and shapes constructed and painted from around 2nd Century BC (Anuradhapura era ) and continued up to the Kandyan era of the 18th Century. Sinhalese people call it as ' Dambulu Gala' ( Dambulla Rock) and the Temple is called as the ' Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya' (Golden Rock Dambulla Temple).