Located in a beautiful area of the southern Hill Country, this lofty peak has sparked the imagination for centuries and been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1000 years.
It's variously known as Adam’s Peak (the place where Adam first set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven), Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint, left by the Buddha as he headed towards paradise), or perhaps most poetically as Samanalakande (Butterfly Mountain; where butterflies migrate & die at the peak).
The pilgrimage season begins on poya day in December and runs until the Vesak festival in May. In season, pilgrims and tourists alike make the climb up the countless steps to the top. Devotees make their prayers and puja as life event and the tourist enjoy the holy place with sunrise, spectacular view on top of the peak.
Bundala National Park
One who wish to see many bids, Bundala National Park is an excellent choice for birders,
and you've a good chance of spotting crocs, wild boar, mongooses, monitor lizards, monkeys
and elephants. Most people visit on jeep tours from Tissamaharama. Bundala is open year-round,
allowing wildlife junkies to get a wet-season fix.
Dambulla Cave Temple
The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the
southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues
and paintings, some of Sri Lanka's most important and evocative religious art. Buddha images were
first created here over 2000 years ago, and over the centuries subsequent kings added to and
embellished the cave art.From the caves there are superb views over the surrounding countryside;
Sigiriya is clearly visible some 20km distant.
Dambulla is thought to have been a place of worship since the 1st century BC, when King
Valagamba (also known as Vattagamani Abhaya), driven out of Anuradhapura, took refuge here.
When he regained his throne, he had the interior of the caves carved into magnificent rock
temples. Further paintings were made by later kings, including King Nissanka Malla, who had
the caves’ interiors gilded, earning the place the name Ran Giri (Golden Rock).This process of
retouching original and creating new artwork continued into the 20th century. Remarkably, the overall
impact is breathtakingly coherent.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya.
The garden has a cool temperate climate because of altitude is 5,400 feet above the sea level.
The mean annual temperature ranges between 16 °C to 30 °C during course of a year. From December
to February it has a cold climate, while the warm climate persists from April to August.
The garden was established in 1861, under George Henry Kendrick Thwaites as an experimental cultivation
of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Once after the Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was
turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden. Since then many sub
tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains is a beautiful, stark world with excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second- and
third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2357m). The ‘plains’ form an undulating plateau
over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops,
filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety
of wildlife, although many of the larger animals are very elusive. Birdwatchers will be well rewarded.
The plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m.Entrance fees
for foreigners are now extremely steep. Get here for a 6am start when the paths are not too crowded with
Minneriya National Park
Minneriya national park is in the middle of three agricultural towns Habarana, Polonnaruwa and Minneriya. This is a heavenly area for elephants coming from the neighboring jungles to enjoy the lush grass fields on the banks of the Minneriya reservoir, especially during the dry season. Reports of elephant sightings range from 100 to a surprising 700. Endemic monkeys and well as many resident and migratory bird species can also be spotted. There are endemic reptiles such as the painted lip lizard and the other repts of elephant sightings range from 100 to a surprising 700. Endemic monkeys and well as many resident and migratory bird species can also be spotted. There are endemic reptiles such as the painted lip lizard and the other reptiles that dwell here are the saltwater crocodile, the Indian python and the water monitor.
Minneriya national park is in the north central province of Sri Lanka. This become a national park in August 1997, having been declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. This was done to protect the catchments of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area and receives an average rainfall of 1500 – 2000 millimeters. The national parks faunal species including 25 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish and 75 species of butterflies.
Royal Botanical Garden Peradeniya
Lying beside the Kandy Colombo road sis kilometers west of the historic city of Kandy. The royal botanical gardens at Peradeniya occupies a horse shoe shaped peninsula and the scenic splendor of the garden has been raised to greater heights by the longest river if the Sri Lanka “Mahaweli” which flows through its fringes. This is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, spreading over an area of 147 acres (about 60 hectares) containing about 4500 plant species.
The royal botanical gardens Peradeniya is home to a large variety of ornamental plants and other creepers that are used to produce special spices in Sri Lanka. There is a flourishing growth of huge tropical trees along the lawns and the orchid house is a prime attraction if this garden. This contain more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids blooming in profusion. The medicinal plant garden sustains trees and plants used for the traditional Ayurveda medicine.
There are numerous other attractions within the gardens frequented by visitors such as the great lawn, spice garden, palm avenues, plant house and cacti, fernery, the lake, flower garden, flowering trees and the arboretum.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Here is a tale worthy of Shakespearean tragedy – a page from Sri Lanka’s history books: 1600 years ago King Dhatusena had a son, Kashyapa – by a woman of low caste – before his marriage to a royal bride. While the King had a younger son by his wife in line to be king, Kashyapa staged a coup and ordered the murder of his father to claim his rightful place as heir to the throne. The younger heir apparent Moggallana, fled to India in fear of his life. Realizing his younger brother could return with an army, Kashyapa moved his base of operations to Sigirya, loosely translated at the Lion’s Rock. The strangely inspired Kashyapa built a citadel in the skies with complex engineering, spectacular frescos that beguile most artists today, tropical gardens and waterways. A giant lion-headed gatehouse and stairway guarded to the entrance to this palace in the clouds.
14 years later and the winds turned on Kashyapa’s new found glory. His allies became him enemies in support of his brother’s return from India. Refusing to heed the warnings of his soothsayer’s Kashyapa came down from Sigirya and rode his elephant mount into battle.
Shortly after, Kashyapa took his own life.
Many other events occurred between Kashyapa’s birth and death – events that enrich this story and blur the lines between good and evil. Tales that bring in visitors from far and wide to visit the magnificence in engineering, architecture, landscaping, culture and art combined.
This is why Sigiriya is sometimes referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World as in one of UNESCO’s high priority World Heritage Sites. Come join in the story of this irreverent, yet spiritual and ingenious ruler of Sri Lanka. This is how we preserve our immortality.
Temple of Tooth Relic – Kandy
Kandy (Ancient Senkadagala) is the last capital of the Sinhala Monarchy the History of which goes back to
at least five centuries before the beginning of the Common Era. The city is surrounded by a ring of mountain
ranges and Sri Lanka’s largest river Mahaweli Ganga. Kandy enjoys a salubrious climate and still breathes the
ancient lifestyle of the people. Today, Kandy is a city of many attractions. Its natural beauty with misty mountains,
verdant slopes, landscapes with urban rain forests consorted by a congenial climate with temperatures ranging from 20-25C
around the year. The heritage of Kandy, Architecture, Sculpture, painting, Dance and Music, all such cultural traditions
are endemic to Sri Lanka.
Kandy remains the home for all denominations of major world religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity,
Islam and there subdivisions. Buddhism plays a significant role in Kandy with the two main Monastic orders,
Malwatte and Asgiriya fraternities together with numerous temples of the Country attached to them. The Temple
of the Scared Tooth Relic constitutes the premier Buddhist Institution of Sri Lanka and remains the cynosure of
the world Buddhist and is a great tourist attraction.It is the highest venerated religious center with a very
long cultural heritage. And recognition of the sacred temple it has been declared Kandy as a World Heritage City
by UNESCO. The annual pageant (Esala Perahera) constitutes the greatest religious festival of Sri Lanka which
attract thousands of pilgrims as well as tourists from all over the world. The web site on the Sri Dalada maligawa
attempts to introduce all its aspects of history, rituals, cultural and other social activities
The Elephant Orphanage
Established in 1975 with five orphaned elephant in an area of 25 acres of land at Pinnawela, a village in the Kegalle District, the Pinnawela elephant orphanage is the only orphanage of elephant which cares for the world’s largest herd of captive elephants that accounts for nearly 90 orphans. The orphanage which serves as a conservation and breeding centre as well as a place of informal education on elephants and their conservation is a world famous attraction due to its unique way of maintaining such a large free herd of jumbos. The orphanage is a worth-seeing place for anyone into these pachyderms, their conservation and ecotourism. Visitors have opportunity not only to observe the entire herd bathing in the nearby river but also to feed them with fruits and milk.
Time Table of activities
- 09.15 am - Bottle feeding baby elephants and fruit feeding
- 10.00 am - Parade to river
- 12.00 noon - Herd return from the river
- 01.15 pm - Bottle feeding baby elephants and fruit feeding
- 02.00 pm - Parade to river
- 04.00 pm - Herd return from the river and fruit feeding
- 05.00 pm - Bottle feeding baby elephants
Yala National Park
Yala Ruhunu National park is one of the best and most popular park in the country due to its diversity and density of mammals. Actually it consists of 5 blocks, two of which are now open to public and also adjoining parks. It is situated in the southeast region of the country and lies in the southern and Uva province. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44 and it has one of the highest Leopard densities in the world.
Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lankan Leopard, Elephants and wild water Buffalos are threatened species that Yala is harbouring. Toque Macaque, Golden Palm Civet, Red Slender Loris and fishing cat are among the other mammals that can be seen in Yala National Park.