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Attractions – 8D Sri Lanka Guides
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8D Sri Lanka Guides / Attractions

Temple of the sacred tooth relic

This sacred Buddhist temple of the highest veneration in Sri Lanka, was a royal place of the Kandyan kings of the past. It houses Gautama Buddha’s left canine tooth which is enshrined in a stupa decked with gems and gold jewelries. Please note that you will not be able to see the tooth itself and the door to the stupa is usually closed. It is usually showcased only on rare special occasions.

Kandyan Cultural Show

The Kandyan Dance is iconic to Sri Lanka. “Ves” dance, the most popular form of the Kandyan dance, originated from an ancient purification ritual. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity, Kohomba. Only toward the end of the 19th century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Esala Perahera festival.

Gem Museum

Lookout for Sri Lanka’s world-famous blue sapphires, star sapphires, ruby sapphires, blue moonstones, and more but make sure to shop with only dealers who are licenced by the Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri lanka and if needed request for certifications to ensure guarantee and authenticity of the gems.

Ceylon Tea Factory

Sri Lanka was formerly known as Ceylon. The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall of the central highlands provide a climate that favours the production of high-quality tea. Tea production became one of the main contributors to the economy of Sri Lanka. What many do not know is that Sri Lanka is one of the few countries where each tea leaf is picked by hand rather than by mechanization of modern technology. In general, these tea plants require constant nurturing and attention and the two leaves and a bud, which have the flavour and aroma, are skilfully plucked by mostly women.

Sigiriya Lions Rock

Sigiriya or Lion Rock is an ancient rock fortress nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. It is a site of historical and archaeological. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, King Kasyapabuilt his new capital and royal palace on the top of this rock. He also built a gateway in the form of a massive lion on a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock. Sigiriya is a World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

Rawana Waterfalls

According to Ramayana, the famous Indian epic, the legendary King Ravana kidnapped Prince Sita and kept her captive in the caves behind this waterfall now known as the Ravana Ella Cave. During the rainy season, the beauty of this waterfall is enhances and resembles a kind of flower with withering petals.

Dambulla Golden Cave Temple

Dambulla cave also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site, situated in the central part of the country. This temple complex dates back to the first century BCE. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses.

Spice & Herbal Garden

Sri Lanka is famous for its spices and spices gardens. In order to promote and uplift spice growing and spice gardens of Sri Lanka a spice council was established with all key industry private and public sector stakeholders. During ancient times, Sri Lanka was also known as Taprobane, and was world-renowned for its valuable spices. The Greeks, Romans and the Arabs maintained their links with Sri Lanka through the spice trade. There are some 4,000 different species of plants. The wealth and variety of Sri Lankan spices provided ideal grounds for traditional Ayurveda. Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine, using natural remedies to achieve physical and mental well-being. Herbs, spices and their natural oils figure prominently in Ayurveda massage and alternative therapies. Sri Lankan spices are used in a range of perfume, soap and other cosmetics, aromatherapy essential oils and Ayurveda toothpaste based on 24 herbs and spices.

Galle Fortress

Galle Fort and lighthouse is built within the ancient Galle Fort and is another world heritage site. It is oldest light station in Sri Lanka dating back to 1848. At 6 metres (20 feet) above the road level on the embankments, it provides a clear view of all ships entering the Galle Harbour.

Pidurangala Rock

Climb the nearby Pidurangala Rock where you walk through nature – forested area and reach the top where you can enjoy the breath-taking view of the landscape and Sigiriya Lion Rock at the top. It is believed that the history of Pidurangala Vihara is goes back beyond to the first and second century BC. During that period, Pidurangala was used as a Buddhist monastery and but became a place of prominence during the reign of King Kashyapa. According to ancient chronicles, Prince Kashyapa had killed his father King Dhatusena and fled to Sigiriya to find out a more secure place to prevent retaliation attacks from his half-brother, Mugalan. With the arrival of King Kashyapa, the Bhikkus who were medidated there were requested move to the nearby Pidurangala.[4] In a sort of compensation, King Kashyapa refurbished the temple and made it a prominent place.[3]

Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawa National Park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawa Reservoir. It is also to protect the catchment of the reservoir. Udawalawa is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants.The area lies on the boundary of Sri Lanka’s wet and dry zones. The landscape of the park is dominantly beautiful plains and some mountainous areas.

Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya

The historic Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya is a popular tourist and lovers’ attraction, renowned for its rare tropical plants and collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, comprising of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. In 1821, Alexandar Moon formed the groundwork for the botanical garden. He used it for coffee and cinnamon plants.

Horton Plains

This protected area in the central highlands and is covered by montane grassland, cloud forest and is rich in biodiversity. Many species found here are endemic to the region. There are large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer and many species of birds located in this area. This plateau is at an altitude of 2,100 to 2,300 metres (6,900 to 7,500 ft).The headwaters of three major rivers of Sri Lanka, namely the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe are located at the Horton Plains National Park of Nuwara Eliya.

Seetha Amman Hindu Temple

Seetha Amman Temple is located approximately just a kilometre from Hakgala Botanical Garden and 5 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya. You will find the temple in the village of Seetha Eliya (also known as Seeta Eliya). This place is believed to be the site where Seeta was held captive by King Ravana, and where she prayed daily for Rama to come and rescue her as specified in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. On the rock face across the stream are circular depressions said to be the footprints of Ravana’s elephant.

Haggala Botanicla Garden

Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated at Nuwara Eliya and has a cool temperate climate because of its altitude which is 5,400 feet above the sea level. The garden was established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Thereafter, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden. Since then many sub-tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens. According to the legend, King Ravana abducted Seeta and kept her hidden in this area and offered her this place as her pleasure garden. This place was mentioned in the Ramayana as Ashok Vatika. The area was known as “Seeta Eliya” and this where the “Seeta Amman Temple” was built on the site.

Kandyan Cultural Show

The Kandyan Dance is iconic to Sri Lanka. “Ves” dance, the most popular form of the Kandyan dance, originated from an ancient purification ritual. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity, Kohomba. Only toward the end of the 19th century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Esala Perahera festival.