Sri Lanka is a country that, a priori, visitors doesn’t expect much, and yet it becomes an essential destination for nature lovers. Flora and fauna coexist with the cities that nourish the island with a special charm. Tranquillity is a constant in a nation without excesses where in every corner visitors will find unexpected surprises.
Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is also known as ‘the tear of India’ thanks to its curious form of gout that its territory acquires. Don’t you dare think for a second that Sri Lanka is a compact ‘summary’ of what you can see if you visit India, Sri Lanka has its own charms and a unique way of life that is enjoyed on trips like this through several of its most emblematic cities.
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, hosts a variety of contrasts on its map. From coasts with different climates to a high plain dotted with remnants of ancient civilisations. Furthermore, the country has elevated hills with tea plantations and natural parks populated with all kinds of animals. Are you ready for enjoy a unique adventure in the tear of India? If so, take a look at the following post and enjoy the top things to do in Sri Lanka.
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Things to do in Sri Lanka
Elephant Orphanage and Dambulla Temple
Pinnawala is home to an orphanage of elephants. The visit to the enclosure where they look after these young pachyderms that have lost their family will be the perfect opportunity to know in depth their way of life. Furthermore, you can see how they take care of them until their adulthood. For example, to wash them, the keepers uses a hard shell of coconut that for their thick layer of the skin produces no harm but funny tickles.
With the image of the elephant’s trunks still lingering in your memory, the next stop on your route through Sri Lanka should be Dambulla. Those who have been lucky enough to visit the Australian Ayers Rock will realise the similarity between Mount Uluru and this Sri Lankan rock. Excavated in its strong stone points the Temple of the Rock of the Lion, where two feline paws watch the entrance to the place to which they give a name.
Just 57 kilometres away and you will arrive in Polonnaruwa, an ancient medieval city that is a true urban gem. In fact, it’s a World Heritage Site and it can be seen walls, stupas, Buddha statues and Hindu sculptures. Do not be surprised at this mixture of religions, because in Sri Lanka coexist Sinhalese, the majority group, and Tamils, two ethnicities who profess Buddhism and Hinduism respectively.
Buddha’s tooth and Tea plantations
Kandy is another of the World Heritage cities that Sri Lanka can boast. Its street meets in the middle of a privileged natural enclave. Once you there, you just have to look up to realise that everything that surrounds the urban area is lush vegetation. The artificial lake of Kandy is the heart of the city, a place very near the point of pilgrimages and great veneration known as the Temple of the Tooth of the Buddha or Sri Dalada Maligawa. According to locals, among its walls lies the relic of one of the teeth of Buddha, reason why millions of faithful come every year to pay their respects.
Since Sri Lanka was the favourite holiday retreat of the British Empire during the 19th century, the vestiges of its influence are still visible on the island. It is not necessary to go further than Nuwara Eliya to check it. There, the immense tea plantations will welcome you in an environment full of misty steep roads that are most conducive to maintaining the moisture of the leaves you grow. These tea factories produce one of the best of the world. Also, the great and well-known tea-factories produce their tea with the leaves that they discard. Certainly, visiting a Tea Plantation must be on every list of things to do in Sri Lanka.
The ‘giant’ Buddha and the house of leopards
After discovering all these lovely areas, it’s time to visit the Buduruwagala Temple. This place, with a name difficult to remember, will remain forever in your memories, as soon as you glimpses the famous rock with a Buddha of 16 meters carved in stone from the 9th century.
If you like the contact with wildlife, Yala will be one of your favourite destinations. This National Park located on the south-east coast of the island is the very heart of wildlife in Sri Lanka, as it is the home to a large number of animals. In particular, leopards stand out over others. Yala is home to a large number of felines per square meter in the whole world. Aboard of a 4×4, you can watch elephants, jackals, deer, buffalo and countless colourful birds.
Furthermore, in Weligama, you will see a unique spectacle of ‘balancing’: The Sinhalese fishermen. The fishermen of this region fish sitting on a thin cane held in the sea to get better fishing pieces. In Galle, a former Dutch fort, there is still a mix of Asian and European traditions so typical of the colonial period. Also, don’t miss the chance to visit Hikkaduwa, one of the best beach spots in Sri Lanka, especially Suitable for scuba diving.
Sri Lanka is certainly a country that must be on your bucket list this 2017. The list of things to do in Sri Lanka is large! Don’t miss the opportunity to spend unforgettable holidays in this beautiful location. Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? Can you tell us more things to do in Sri Lanka? Comment!