In the 19th Century, during the British occupation of Sri Lanka, the British constructed the railway lines and started the Railway service in Sri Lanka to transport Tea from the Hill country estates to the Colombo Port and also imported goods to the interior of the Island. Sri Lanka’s hill country Railway line goes through Tea Estates, making the train journey a scenic ride. This itinerary is specially designed for Rail fans who would like to explore the Sri Lankan railway.
Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and sea-port is blend of old and new. This is a city, which has many reminders of its European colonial past. Bustling bazaars, Buddhist and Hindu Temples and Muslim Mosques contrast with, smart modern Shopping Malls and multi-national chain hotels. Sightseeing highlights include the old parliament houses, Buddhist Temple, Town Hall and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
The Avukana statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil.
The largest and oldest of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities, Anuradhapura is a fitting climax to any tour of the Cultural Triangle. Arguably, it takes a bit more effort to imagine it as it was 2000 years ago, with palaces and huge dagobas standing up to nine floors high, a main processional avenue 24km (16 miles) long and the richly decorated, ostentatious mansions of Sinhalese nobles and wealthy foreign merchants.
Located in the North Central province, was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century A.D. Along with Anuradhapura and Kandy, this ancient city forms one of the points of the “cultural triangle” of Sri Lanka, and contains a wealth of remarkable sites and monuments. Once the favorite country retreat of the royalty of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa was a key settlement even before the medieval period, largely due to its strategic location near the river crossings of the Mahaweli river.
This World Heritage Site is one of the foremost centers of Buddhist pilgrimage as well as one of the largest cave temple complexes in South Asia. It is a major attraction for tourists and locals, who flock to see the dazzling and numerous rocks and wall paintings of Lord Buddha.
Trincomalee is a port city on the east coast of Sri Lanka. The city is located on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours.Trincomalee is an anglicized version of the Tamil word Tirukonamalai (which means “lord of the sacred hill”); it is a hill situated in the end of a natural land formation that resembles an arc. It is one of the main where Tamil is spoken at large scale.
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location
The last capital of the Sri Lankan kings is a World Heritage Site. The name “Kandy” conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive.
This Botanical Garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Nuwara Eliya is a cool green mountain valley, the heart of Sri Lankan hill country boasts rolling hills interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. It is also acclaimed for its golf courses and amazing tea plantations.
Sri Lanka’s best known national park is popular for Elephants, Leopards, Bears, Crocodiles and Wild Boar. Three times larger than Udawalawe at 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open, undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but the park is also now famed for its Leopard population due to publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project.
Galle the capital of southern Sri Lanka in 1587, the Portuguese annexed Galle from its Singhalese kings and built its first fortress naming it “Santacrusz”. Its old world charm appeals as a tourist destination. To this day it looks back to 500 years of nurture under Singhalese, Portuguese, Dutch and British stewardship. The influence of the Dutch on the people of the city architecture and especially the dress code is evident today.