Category Archives: Sri Lanka Holidays

3 Destinations to Explore during Sri Lanka tours

Officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, this country is regarded by many travellers as a paradise. Situated on a giant tectonic plate, called the Indian Plate, it shares its maritime borders with India in the north and northwest, and Maldives in the southwest. The best way to describe Sri Lanka is a land full of endless beaches, hospitable people, rolling surf, timeless ruins, herds of elephants, delicious food and tea. Travellers can pack their itinerary with all these myriad appeals of Sri Lanka tours, but listed below are three of the most incredible places to visit here.

Anuradhapuraanuradhapura-srilanka

Located approximately 205 km northwest of Colombo, this city lies on the banks of the Malvathu Oya river. It has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for being one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and for well-preserved architectural ruins. The ruins are clear reminders of its status as the centre of power for more than 1300 years. A poya or religious celebration is one of the best times to visit this place during Sri Lanka tour packages. Lit with lanterns and candles, the temples, streets and courtyards in the city offer a magical journey down the lanes of history. Stupas, monasteries, temples, gardens, rock shelters, sculptures of Hindu and Buddhist deities, and Sandakada Pahana – unique features of local architecture – are some things to see here.

Yala National Parkyala-national-park-srilankaSpread over 979 sq km, this park is located about 300 km from Colombo. Known to have one the highest numbers of leopards in the world, this protected area attracts a lot of photographers and biologists. Although travellers can book safari rides, cycling can be a better means to explore the territory. Visitors can start their journey right at dawn along the B35 road, going through the park, to see myriad sights of wildlife from water buffaloes and giant squirrels to mongooses and crocodiles. Here, travellers will be required to follow certain rules to respect the natural habitat of the animals. Carrying food and drugs, firearms, smoking, wearing a strong perfume or odour, and mobiles in vibration mode are strictly prohibited in the park.

Sigiriya Rock FortressSigiriya-Rock-Fortress-srilanka

Sri Lanka holiday packages may not be complete without a visit to the ancient ruins of the approximately 200-metres high cliff, housing Sigiriya rock fortress. Situated in the Matale district in the Central Province, this is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Most historical records credit its construction to King Kashyapa I, who ruled here in 5th century BC. The most striking part of the fortress is a pair of giant paws of a lion, which guards the staircase leading to the summit. A good way to see ancient graffiti, views of the idyllic countryside, colourful frescoes, water reservoirs and landscaped gardens, is climbing the rocky footsteps to the top. The mirror wall, which was extensively polished in the olden days for the monarchs to see their reflection, is an intriguing site within the fortress.

These are three marvellous sites to explore during Sri Lanka holidays to learn about the history and wildlife of this island country.

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4 Incredible Heritage Sites to be Explored on Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka HolidaysThe magical island country of Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination in South Asia. Endowed with scenic landscapes, pristine beaches and diverse nature parks, it is worth being explored on Sri Lanka holidays. Within this tiny landmass, enclosed within the expansive Indian Ocean, lies eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, 15 national parks, thousands of tea estates and countless waterfalls. Part of the Indian subcontinent, separated from it by the narrow Palk strait, this tropical nation is enriched with a unique history and culture. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Digamadulla are the three ancient cities of the nation that evoke the admiration and fascination of every visitor.

Anuradhapura

The Sacred City of Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the first Ceylonese political and religious capital. Founded in 380 BC, this sacred city was established around the southern branch of the revered Bodhi Tree, under which Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. This city is often considered a role model of planning. Tourist can pay a visit to Mihintale, a mountain peak near the city, associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to the country. The Ruwanwelisseya Dagoba is another popular attraction of the city providing a serene and calm atmosphere to visitors. An abundance of ancient stone architecture, stupas and monastic complexes lie here. Among the other highlights of the city are Jethawanaramaya Stupa, Isurumuniya Rock Temple and the Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna). Many Sri Lanka vacation packages are available for tourists to visit this historical city.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa, the capital of the island nation after the invasion of Anuradhapura, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site of the country. Within its boundaries, tourists can find the Brahmanic monuments of Cholas and ruins of the fabulous garden city. A shrine for Buddhists and Sinhalese, this city is also known for its rather astounding urban creations, which have unusual dimensions that are structured with respect to their natural settings. Besides the intriguing ruins, the Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa Vatadage and Lankathilaka Image House make it an interesting travel destination to be explored with Sri Lanka tour packages.

Digamadulla

Digamadulla, an important archaeological site of the island, is among the best places to visit in Sri Lanka. Located in the Eastern province of the country, it is inundated with ruins of palaces of erstwhile kingdoms, stone scriptures and monasteries, where hundreds of monks resided. All of these sites are now easily accessible to visitors. The region also boasts of four national parks, including the famous Kumana Bird Sanctuary and long stretches of beaches that offer many picturesque views as the sun rises or sets into the horizon.

These are the three heritage sites of the island nation to be explored on Sri Lanka holidays.

Witnessing 3 Colourful Events on Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka, located in the Indian subcontinent, is an island nation and a popular tourist destination in Asia. Ever year, hordes of travellers opt for Sri Lanka holidays to witness its grand temples, rich flora and fauna, famous monasteries and serene beaches. Though it is a year-round destination, the best time to come to this place is from January to April, when the weather remains favourable for sightseeing and indulging in other activities. This nation has a rich history and is known for its religious celebrations, which are attended by many domestic and international tourists. These events are marked by colourful processions involving men and women, and sometimes even elephants that are decorated beautifully with ornaments. A number of festivals are celebrated with much fanfare in this isle nation, and travellers who have plans to go there in the month of April, May and July can attend the following ones.

Easter

Christianity came to this island with the arrival of foreign invaders and since then, it has become a part of the culture of the locals. As a result, Easter – a sacred festival of the Christians – is also carried out here. Though the event is celebrated across the country, but places like Negombo and Kandana is where it is marked by remembering Jesus Christ. During the event, in April, the crucification of Christ is enacted by locals at the mountain of Golgotha.

Tamil and Sinhala New Year

April also sees the grand occasion of Tamil and Sinhala New Year, which marks traditional fanfare and is much-awaited by both Tamils and Sinhalese people. It falls between 12th and 14th April and is a thanksgiving affair by farmers to god. Done in traditional style, the whole event is extravagant and colourful, with participation for all members of the family. On this pious occasion, people wear new outfits, and boiled milk and rice milk with sweets are prepared for the whole family to relish. During this period, young boys pillow fight, climb greased polls and break pots with a blindfold while girls indulge in swinging. Women too take part and wearing new costumes play a traditional instrument called Raban Padha. To be a part of these celebrations in the month of April, tourists can look for Sri Lanka tour packages.

Wesak

This Buddhist festival is held to commemorate the three stages of the life of Lord Buddha – birth, enlightenment and death. Held in the month of May, it starts at dawn with Buddhists dressed in white head towards the temple to observe, what is called, Sila. During this, they meditate, read religious books and spend time listening to sermons. In the evening, these temples are thronged by devotees who come with offerings and flowers. It is a joyous occasion for people, and to make it more delightful paper lanterns of different shapes and sizes are lit across the island.

The celebrations of Wesak is most defining in the capital city of Colombo, where huge pandals made of bamboo are set up and are decorated with pictures of the life of Lord Buddha. Along the pandals, organisers sit and offer refreshments to devotees. The event also sees performances like puppet shows and other similar ones that tell different tales related to the Buddhist preachers and followers. With Sri Lanka tour packages, attending this occasion can be a great idea for international tourists.

Besides exploring the country for its varied aspects, travellers can attend these 3 colourful festivals of different religions and enjoy to the fullest during their Sri Lanka holidays. Holidaying in this region offers an opportunity to know about one of the oldest cultures of the world.

Learn Ancient Tales at the Sigiriya Rock Fortress

With the end of the decades old civil war, Sri Lanka has undergone many changes and has emerged as one of the most popular tourists destinations of Asia. Sri Lanka tour packages include a visit to different historical sites, significant temples and adventurous spots. Varied geography of Sri Lanka is one of the most appealing things about the country apart from ancient cities, national parks and a number of man-made wonders. From sparkling beaches to challenging mountain ranges, the country has everything for all types of tourists. Visitors coming from all across the world get a plethora of options to choose from including an array of activities and sightseeing, from trekking in lush green forests to visiting beautiful Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress- Top View
Sigiriya Rock Fortress- Top View
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The fort located in the Ceylon city has witnessed civilisations of the region for thousands of years. Standing on the peak of 180 metre high peak, this fortress has art galleries, giant paintings and constructions. People first visited the site of the Lion Mountain back in AD 6th century, which initiated the process of creation of this wonderful site. Inscription on the rocks of this place popularly known as Sigiri graffiti is perhaps the record of the oldest Sinhalese language, which has considerably influenced the art and literature.

A part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, mesmeric beauty of the reddish gneiss in the city centre is at its peak when sighted from the neighbouring plateau. King Kassapa, who assassinated his father and brother to take up the throne in the 5th century, built this fort in order to save himself from any such attempt. It is believed that Sigiriya Fort was impregnable, but the king lost to Moggallana in AD 495, who gave the site back to the monks. Kassapa transformed the site of Sigiriya by adding splendour, beautiful terrace gardens and fountains during eleven years of his residence in the Sigiriya Fort, and its remnants can be seen even today. Rock paintings of unidentified females the Maidens of the Clouds are often compared with the creation of Ajanta.

Attractions for Adventure Seekers

Apart from sightseeing and enjoying delicious tea of Sri Lanka, tourists can get involved in a number of adrenaline-pumping activities. The vast coastline of the country gives an opportunity to see amazing coral reefs, marine vegetation and rare species on a snorkelling or a diving trip. Surfing in the turquoise blue water of the ocean is another unforgettable experience that the country provides. Trekking and hiking on the gorgeous mountains can prove to be perfect spot for those travellers, who are not fond of water. The ancient ayurvedic massage given by many vendors is popular all over the world and can be enjoyed by visitors for relaxation. Cricket is the most popular game of the country that can be enjoyed at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.

Kumana National Park – A Paradise for Birdwatchers

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country, which is located in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. This region shares its maritime borders with Maldives and India, and comprises few breathtaking sites owing to which it has been given the sobriquet – Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It is also acknowledged for its variety of vegetation and is a significant producer of tea, coffee and coconuts. This place has a scenic landscape, which attracts numerous travellers from around the globe. The country is flocked by family vacationers, honeymooners, adventurers, solitude seekers and ardent photographers throughout the year. Frequent travellers to this destination suggest that Sri Lanka holidays are incomplete without exploring its tropical forests, which houses a rich biodiversity. The country includes around 24 wildlife reserves that provide shelter to a wide range of native and exotic fauna and flora. Few of these species are highly endangered and are also mentioned in the Red List of IUCN. Furthermore, this nation is also considered an ideal spot for avid birdwatchers as its wildlife parks are home to a myriad of endemic and migratory birds.

Kumana National Park

Kumana National Park
Kumana National Park Location on Sri Lanka Map

Kumana National Park is located near the Panama region, in the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. It was earlier known as Yala East National Park but was designated the current name in the year 2006. This reserve sprawls over an area of approximately 18200 hectares of land, and is known as a prominent avifauna attraction of the country. A major highlight of this place is the swamp lake – Kumana Villu, which spreads over a land of 200 hectares. This lake is surrounded by mangrove trees and is largely inhabited by exotic birds during the migratory season. People arriving here between the months of April and June can witness unique species of pelican, spoonbills, herons, painted storks, ibis, cormorants and egrets.

Apart from the avianfauna, this place is also popular for its reptiles and mammals. Travellers can easily spot species of turtles, crocodiles, elephants, jackals, leopards, otters, cats and wild boars lazing under the dense bushes or in the open marshy areas. Notably, the Kumana region has a rich history, which dates back to almost 2nd and 3rd century BC. Researchers from around the world consider this place an archaeologically significant land, which comprises ancient cave inscriptions. Furthermore, the route to this protected reserve also leads to an important temple at Kataragama, which is annually thronged by ardent Buddhist and Hindu devotees.

Kumana National Park is easily accessible through all the modes of transportation and the gateway leading to it is the old village of Panama. The nearest airport to this location is situated at Ampara, nearly 100 km away. Travellers can opt for local means of transport to reach this destination  and delve into its untamed beauty. This island country is a year-round destination and the best time to explore it are considered between October and April. The weather is pleasant during this season with less rainfall and is ideal for sightseeing. Vacationers on Sri Lanka tours can plan their excursion to this protected reserve and enjoy wildlife-watching. It is advised to keep a camera and binoculars in the backpack to make the safari experience more memorable.

Exploring the Wilderness of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, one of the several island nations in Southeast Asia, has become one of the prime places to visit for holidaymakers from around the world. This country, though small in size, has a lot of variety and diversity when it comes to offering hotspots for vacationers. However, the most beautiful part of this nation is along its coastline, which offers a plethora of pristine beaches. Apart from this, several other attractions can be visited by enthusiasts during Sri Lanka tours. People can consult travel agencies, which provide travel packages across the several destinations in this country.

Home to Several Species of Mammals

Though this country is quite small in terms of land area, it has high concentration of forest cover and natural reserve for several endemic species. Its forests serves as home to several varieties of wild animals and birds, which have become a major source of attraction for outsiders to this country.

Purple-faced langur, Sri Lanka
Purple-faced langur, Sri Lanka

As a result of this factor, this region has earned a place among the top five biodiversity hotspots across the globe. Over 90 species of mammals are found in its forests, the most popular ones being Asian elephants, leopards, sambar deer, wild buffaloes and sloth bear. Some of the rare species, which are conserved in this part of the world, are purple-faced langur, toque macaque and red slender loris.

Best Dolphin Watching Experience

This nation is the home to several varieties of cetaceans including dolphins and whales. Over 25 different varieties live the waters of the ocean surrounding this land, thus making it an ideal place to get a glimpse of these creatures of the sea. In fact, local planners organise scheduled trips from the coastal regions into the sea to take adventure-enthusiasts on dolphin viewing tours. These types of trips have encouraged vacationers from around the world to come to this place and observe wilderness in the ocean waters.

Ideal for Bird-enthusiasts

Birdwatchers can have the time of their lives at the several forest reserves in this country. It houses approximately 430 different bird species, among which, nearly 230 are residents of Sri Lanka, apart from these, over 200 different migratory species come to this place during the winter season adding to the rich biodiversity of the place. These can be easily spotted at the several locations and can be a visual treat for all those who are interested.

Travelers who are planning to visit this beautiful destination can contact travel portals for arrangement of trips. World tour packages from India are organised by these online planners and Sri Lanka has emerged as a popular destination in these scheduled trips. All arrangements regarding food, accommodation and transport are attended by the organisers to make sure vacationers can spend a hassle-free holiday. Those travellers who are looking for a sojourn to the forests can opt for a trip to this nation, which is also poplar as the site of Buddhism. Spend the forthcoming holidays among the wilderness of Sri Lanka and make the visit a memorable one.