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Top Spots in Sri Lanka that Explore the Country's Heritage

By Flora Cox
September 22, 2014

Sri Lanka article
Buddhism

Travelling to Sri Lanka can be your unique way to get acquainted with the rich Sri Lankan heritage and culture apparent everywhere on the island. The island's impressive 3000-year-old history leaves behind numerous traces of this past thriving in beautiful spots. Here are the top spots in Sri Lanka that are your best bets for exploring the dynamic heritage of the island.

Anuradhapura

One of the oldest cities of the Golden Triangle of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura was originally the country's capital. The city can be traced back to 5 BC and you can still find glimpses of the Royal Palaces, temples and elaborate monasteries in the area.

You can steep yourself in the rich culture by just taking a stroll down the parks, experiencing the dagobas (temple in Sri Lankan) and the Thuparama, which still holds certain priceless relics of Buddha.

Polonnaruwa

Sri Lanka article
Polonnaruwa

This city was next in line as the capital of the country after Anuradhapura. King Parakramabahu transformed the city into a walled magnificence at the turn of 11th century. The existing features in the city still hint towards the rich culture of the golden era of Sri Lanka. Today, you can get a glimpse of the splendour and engineering prowess of the era in the Parakrama Samudra, which was a huge reservoir built during King Parakramabahu's reign. You can also find the ruins of ornate monasteries, temples, and castles within the city.

Sri Dalada Maligawa

Sri Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy is a vital historical site if you want to experience Sri Lankan heritage up close and personal. The temple contains one of the most sacred relics in Buddhist culture: Lord Buddha's tooth. In fact, this is one of the most sacred places for devotees of Buddhist culture from all around the globe. You can also explore the intricate Royal Complex, Kandy Lake, and the Royal Summerhouse located in the area.

Wewurukannala Vihara

Progressing in the line of Buddhist culture and impressive sites paying homage to the amazing culture of Sri Lanka, you can visit the famous Wewurukannala Vihara Temple. This temple is situated in the town of Dikwella and holds a statue of Seated Buddha. This statue is 160 ft high and can be traced back to 1782-1798; it was constructed during the reign of King Rajadhi.

A part of the temple is dedicated to elaborate murals and graphic paintings, which depict the destiny laid out for those who do not find the Buddhist path of enlightenment. These have an impressive array of artworks including life-sized models of demons and sinners.

Ganagarama Viharaya

Situated smack in the middle of Colombo, the Ganagarama Vihara is a stunning beauty with intricate brass work and stone carvings depicting Buddhist culture. You can find a residential hall and a museum that can further take you through the chapters of Sri Lankan heritage and the country's rich cultural base.

Each of the incredible above-mentioned culture spots are in or can be easily reached from the bustling city of Colombo. You need a Srilankan Visa to enter the country, but a travel itinerary covering all these top spots can be arranged on quite an affordable budget.

About the Author:

Flora Cox is a passionate traveler and blogger who shares her thoughts one various topics she comes across. As a solo traveler, she shares her stories on many blogs and is presently working for Srilankan Visa which is a visa service provider.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, travel, Buddhism, architecture, religion, history