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Highlights of Sri Lanka
Dambulla Rock Cave Temple
Dambulla cave temple is a splendor to the Sri Lankan tourism. The Cave monastery, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a UNESCO heritage site since 1991. The temple, home to Buddhist monks is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The entire surface of the cave is a mosaic of frescoes with so many themes and styles that it is easy to be overwhelmed. The cave temple of Dambulla is not only an oasis for seekers of serenity but also the perfect spot to take in the picturesque views of the plains below.
Minneriya National Park
Welcome to Elephant territory; get ready to witness hundreds of elephants as they come to feed at the famous Minneriya tank. May to October is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park in view of the famous gathering of the wild elephants. In August and September each year during the dry season, wild elephants from the surrounding wilderness in search of food and water, makes their way to the shores of the Minneriya Reservoir adjoining the Minneriya National Park. The park’s celebrity lies not only with elephants but also with the mammals and birds living in the park. It has recorded over 170 species of birds. Day jeep safari with a reliable guide will get you the opportunity to evident the natural beauty of the park and most of the wildlife.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Being a royal citadel for more than 18 years, the view of Sigiriya astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. It was the largest and most sophisticated single construction project ever undertaken in ancient Sri Lanka. The buildings made with stone and brick have survived the ravages of time and provide us a rare glimpse of the opulence and grandeur of an ancient era. Imagine a magical place; an earthly paradise of lush gardens, ponds, fountains, and brightly colored pavilions. Its centerpiece was a huge rock which appears as though it were a large cloud tethered to earth festooned with a spectacular work of art.
Ancient city of Polonnaruwa
The island’s medieval capital after the decline of the Anuradhapura kingdom is Polonnaruwa. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, which has a great history of invasions and struggle. The beauty of the city in its day was fortified with three concentric walls beautified with glorious parks and gardens. The city is sanctified by many shrines which show the interesting blend of the South Indian Hindu culture on the Sinhala Buddhist art and architecture. The main attractions are the conserved ruins of glorious royal palaces, massive Buddhist temples, and unbroken monuments in colossal statues carved from solid rock boulders. Polonnaruwa, the third element in the Cultural Triangle, is a “must visit” destination in Sri Lanka.
Temple of the Tooth
What brings sanctity to Kandy is the Dalada Maligawa which houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The local visitors as well as tourists visit this place bearing flowers and incense to observe poojas and the ancient traditions of drumming and sacred chanting in honor of the Tooth Relic, being performed several times a day. Kandy Esala Perahera, the most colorful pageant of Asia which is held in July and August each year for ten days in honor of the Tooth Relic is also considered to be one of the most important festivals for Buddhists. It is a stunning spectacle of piety and grandeur!
The hill country surrounds you with velvety green freshness year around. The approach through road or rail is full of narrow passes, deep ravines, gushing streams and waterfalls. It’s a land of peace and silence. The vegetation change from tropical profusion to gentle sprawling rubber plantations, fragrant spice gardens, to cool emerald hills carpeted with the world famous Ceylon Tea. Tea bushes cover rolling hills like soft moss. Tea pluckers work on the slopes like butterflies in colorful sarees. Wisps of milk white clouds soften the dark outline of the high rocky crags and roll down in gentle waves of mist at dawn. You can visit a Tea Factory and a tea plantation; find out how tea leaves end up in a steamy hot cup.
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