HERITAGE

Kandy

Kandy town is situated in the Central Province. It is the cultural heart of Sri Lanka and is surrounded with beautiful mountains, tea plantations and rain forests. It is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic. This relic is believed to be a preserved tooth of the Lord Buddha. It is worshiped and kept in the temple “Sri Dalada Maligawa”, which used to be a former palace during the ancient Kings’ era, when Kandy became the 2nd capital.

Annually in the months July or August the tooth relic is taken from the temple during the biggest Buddhist festival called the “Esala Perahera”. Thousands of people gather on the Kandyan streets to honour the relic, which is carried on one of the many elephants wearing beautiful, colourful garments and lights. They are accompanied by jugglers, fire-eaters, dancers and musicians playing traditional musical instruments.

Kandy is one of the most sacred places for Buddhists, but also culturally rich for tourists and offers a beautiful scenery. We advise you to take a look at the city from one of its viewpoints, the Buddha Statue or from the terrace of one of the high rise hotels. Also do not forget to walk around the man-made Kandy Lake in the city’s heart when you have visited the Temple of Tooth.it’s declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

 

Dambulla

This place is located in the Mathale district of Sri Lanka. It’s 148 kilometres east from Colombo. It’s famous for the Dambulla Cave Temple with the Golden Buddha Statue. It has the largest Rose Quarts mountain range in South Asia.

The area is thought to be inhabited from as early as the 7th to 3rd century BC. Statues and paintings in these caves date back to the 1st century BC. But the paintings and statues were repaired and repainted in the 11th, 12th, and 18th century AD. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba in his 14-year-long exile from the Anuradhapura kingdom. Buddhist Monks meditating in the caves of Dambulla at that time provided the exiled king protection from his enemies. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradapura kingdom in the 1st century BC, he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla in gratitude to the monks in Dambulla.

At the Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla, prehistoric (2700 years old) human skeletons were found on scientific analysis to give evidence of civilisations in this area long before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Evidence of ancient people living on agriculture have been detected in this area for over 2700 years according to archaeological findings. (750 BC)

  

Sigiriya

Sigiriya (The Lion Rock) is an ancient Rock Fortress located in Mathale district near Dambulla town. It has major historical and archaeological significance. Sigiriya is dominated by a massive column of rock, which is nearly 200 meters high. According to Sri Lankan chronicle, this site was selected by King Kashyapa (477-495 CE). This rock contains colourful frescos, mirrowall, Lion claw gates and water gardens. After the King’s death, it was used as a Buddhist Monastery. UNESCO named this as a World Heritage site.

 

Frescoes :

John Still in 1907 suggested, “The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery… the largest picture in the world perhaps”. The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, an area 140 metres long and 40 metres high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, most have been lost forever. More frescoes, different from those on the rock face, can be seen elsewhere, for example on the ceiling of the location called the “Cobra Hood Cave”.

Mirror Wall

Originally this wall was so highly polished that the king could see himself whilst he walked alongside it. Made of brick masonry and covered in highly polished white plaster,the wall is now partially covered with verses scribbled by visitors, some of them dating from as early as the 8th century. People of all types wrote on the wall, on varying subjects such as love, irony, and experiences of all sorts. Further writing on the mirror wall now has been banned for the protection of the old writings.

Water Garden

The water gardens can be seen in the central section of the western precinct. Three principal gardens are found here. The first garden consists of a plot surrounded by water. It is connected to the main precinct using four causeways, with gateways placed at the head of each causeway. This garden is built according to an ancient garden form known as char bagh and is one of the oldest surviving models of this form.

The second contains two long, deep pools set on either side of the path. Two shallow, serpentine streams lead to these pools. Fountains made of circular limestone plates are placed here. Underground water conduits supply water to these fountains which are still functional, especially during the rainy season. Two large islands are located on either side of the second water garden. Summer palaces are built on the flattened surfaces of these islands. Two more islands are located farther to the north and the south. These islands are built in a manner similar to the island in the first water garden.

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is the capital city of the Northern Central Province. It was first ancient capital of Sri Lanka. It’s located 205 kilometres from Colombo. UNESCO named it as a World Heritage Site. The town is rich of architectural remains, Buddha statues, Buddhist stupas and lakes, such as Ruwanweli maha seya,Mirisawetiya,Jethawanaramaya,Lowamahapaya,Samadhi Buddha Statue,Sri Maha Bodhi,Thuparamaya,Aukana Buddha Statue,Kuttam Pokuna,Abayagiriya.

The city of Anuradhapura reigned from the 4th century to the 10th century. This successful kingdom was belongs to King Pandukabhaya who had to endure wars with his own uncles and finally becoming the king of Anuradhapura. The city had its own culture with many international and national traders at the time. The king had built a quarter for the traders and it improved the international business relationships to a great extent. It was also during this kingdom that Buddhism was developed in Sri Lanka.

  

Polonnaruwa

Polonnnaruwa is a major city of Polonnaruwa district in the Northern Central Province. It’s the 2nd ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka.

The city has many places of historical importance and value for you to see. Some of the interesting places include, the Parakrama Samudra, ruins of the seven storied Sathmahal Prasada, the Buddha statues in Gal Vihara and the Moonstone of Polonnaruwa. The main trade followed by villagers of Polonnaruwa is paddy cultivations and the serenity and beauty of this area is beyond explanation.

  

Galle 

Galle is one of the major cities in Sri Lanka. It’s located 120 kilometres south of Colombo. The Portuguese arrived to Galle in the 16th century. Then the Dutch took over in the 18th century. There are some Portuguese architectural styles and traditions that can be found in this area. Other touristic spots are the Dutch Fort and the Dutch church. Galle Fort was a very famous place during the Colonial Period.

Galle city surrounding with lots of attractions as the Galle Fort, shopping experiences, Galle Light House, National Maritime Museum and various churches and temples would make you extend your stay. The exuberance of the city is unlike any other. Not to mention about the aristocratic dwelling and fine dining, best spas with Ayurvedic facilities and other comforting services come in handy during your stay at Galle. The Southern city of Galle is one place where you can wander the atmosphere meandering down the streets and explore the nature at its best.

Galle is surrounded with beautiful beaches (Unawatuna, Koggala and Weligama).

  

Yapahuwa 

Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of Sri Lanka. It’s situated in the North West Province.

The palace and fortress were built by King Buvanekabahu I (1272–1284) in the year 1273. Many traces of ancient battle defences can still be seen, while an ornamental stairway, is its biggest showpiece. On top of the rock are the remains of a stupa, a Bodhi tree enclosure, and a rock shelter/cave used by Buddhist monks, indicating that earlier this site was used as a Buddhist monastery, like many boulders and hills in the area. There are several caves at the base of the rock. In one of them there is a shrine with Buddha images. One cave has a Brahmi script inscription. At the southern base of the rock there is a fortification with two moats and ramparts. In this enclosure there are the remains of a number of buildings including a Buddhist shrine. There is also a Buddhist temple called Yapahuwa Rajamaha Vihara built during the Kandyan period.

The Tooth Relic was brought from Dambadeniya and kept in the Tooth Temple built for the purpose at the top of the third staircase. The relics were carried away from the temple here to South India by the Pandyas, and then recovered in 1288 by Parakkramabahu III (1287–1293), who temporarily placed them in safety at Polonnaruwa.

 

Trincomalee

This is the major city of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It’s located 303 kilometers away from Colombo. It’s a very famous tourist destination. Trincomalee is surrounded with beautiful beaches, Buddhist and Hindu temples. It also has a very famous harbour, H0t Water Springs and you can enjoy the most delicious sea foods in the local restaurants.

The Fort :- The entrance to the roadway leading to Koneswaram is actually the entrance to what used to be Fort Fedrick. The fort was built in 1623 by the Portuguese and captured in 1639 by the Dutch. It then went through a phase of dismantling and reconstruction and was attacked and captured by the French in 1672.

The Koneshvaram Hindu Temple :- The Koneswaram temple, with a recorded history from the 3rd century BCE and legends attesting to classical antiquity attracted pilgrims from all parts of India. The shrine itself was demolished in 1622 by the Portuguese (who called it the Temple of a Thousand Columns), and who fortified the heights with the materials derived from its destruction. Some of the artefacts from the demolished temple were kept in the Lisbon Museum including the stone inscription by Kulakottan (Kunakottan). The site’s ruins include an emblem including two fish and is engraved with a prophecy stating that, after the 16th century, westerners with different eye colours will rule the country for 500 years and, at the end of it, rule will revert to the northerners (Vadukkus. The Hindu temple was also documented in several medieval texts such as the Konesar Kalvettu and the Dakshina Kailasa Puranam.

Trincomalee is surrounding with Uppuveli,Nilaveli and Mable Beach Beaches.

   

 

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