Sri Lanka is a small island state located in South Asia. The central city of the country is Colombo. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, the extraction of precious stones and the production of textiles. Recently, the country has become popular with tourists, which also becomes an income item. The most popular are Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Beruvela and Kalutara. However, there are many more beautiful and interesting places in Sri Lanka, presented below.
Sigiriya, a solitary rock of Sri Lanka
One of the most visited places in Sri Lanka is Sigiriya, where the remains of an ancient city are located. The location is almost in the center of the island and close to other tourist attractions such as Dambulla. Archaeological excavations hide, among other things, the ruins of a palace complex built in the 5th century. Because of its significant historical value, Sigiriya and its surroundings were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.
Many consider Sigiriya to be the most beautiful monument in all of Sri Lanka. Posters or postcards with this city can be found almost everywhere. Thus, this area has become a frequent destination for tourists from all over the world. Sigiriya is a lonely, almost sheer rock, projecting to a height of 200 meters above the surrounding landscape. You can climb right up the cliff using a spiral staircase. The reward for your efforts will be a beautiful view of the surrounding area. It is on the rock that the ruins of the city are located.
According to legend, the rock originally served as a fortress, which was built by King Kassapa, who ruled from 477 to 495 AD, fearing for his life. He overthrew his stepfather, King Dhatusen, and killed him. He did this by tying him naked to a rock and leaving him to die of thirst. Kassap’s half-brother named Moggallan, who was the rightful heir to the throne, chose to flee to India. Since then, Kassapa lived in constant fear that his brother would one day return and avenge his father’s death. Therefore, he built a fortress in such a remote place as Sigiriya Rock. He fortified his palace and lived in it with his servants, retinue and concubines. In the end, his nightmare became a reality when Moggallana returned from India with a powerful army in 495 AD.
This version is told to tourists, but, according to scientists, Sigiriya was a Buddhist monastery built several centuries before King Kassapa came to power. Anyway, the rock was inhabited by people who built ingenious structures on it, but eventually left it, and Sigiriya sank into Oblivion. It was rediscovered by the British in the 19th century. After that, numerous rock carvings that are located here were restored, excavations were carried out and stairs to the top of the cliff were built. In total, the visitor will have to conquer the respectable 1860s. The peak is really huge and Kassap’s Palace was located on its entire area in ancient times.
The rock paintings that Sigiriya is famous for depict women in the nude. Their thin waists contrast quite sharply with the lush bust. One theory is that they are concubines of King Kassapa, while others claim that they are images of Hindu goddesses. The rock is surrounded by numerous gardens. After passing the Water Gardens with four lakes, there is an exit to the Water Garden, through which a small river flows. There are two more spacious gardens, Stone and Terraced.
Unawatuna, a coastal village
Unawatuna is located in a magical bay full of winding golden sand beaches. This very pleasant place offers not only crystal clear water. Lovers of diving and snorkeling will certainly appreciate the beautiful coral reef, and lovers of relaxation, the tranquility that this place offers. Turtles lay their eggs in the sand on a local beach at night during the full moon from October to March. A turtle hatchery is also available at one of the beach hotels. From Unawatuna, a 23 km long road leads along the sea coast to another tourist resort of Veligama.
The famous Unawatuna Beach is located on the south coast in a semicircular bay, somewhat off the main road, about 5 kilometers east of Galle. Unawatuna was almost completely destroyed by the tsunami, but the traces of the disaster are no longer very noticeable. Guest houses have been renovated or rebuilt, right on the beach, or not far from it, although it was previously discussed whether there should be a buffer zone between the coast and hotels in case of a second tsunami strike.
There are quite beautiful rocks and rows of palm trees in this area. The resort is small, but offers excellent conditions for swimming. There aren’t many tourists either, and hotels are literally fighting for them. Unawatuna is not only a place full of legends, but also an area where Dutch generals and merchants lived or had their residences. Even today, these buildings do not deny their origin in Dutch architecture, despite numerous reconstructions.
The smaller Wadduwa resort is located north of Kalutara. Here begins the belt of the most famous resorts of the southwest of the island. Originally a fishing village with a tourist area, it is located 72 km south of Colombo International Airport. The transfer from it takes 1.5 hours. Wadduwa was once an important spice trading center, and is now known for growing coconut palms. He breathes the wonderful atmosphere of the land of “indigenous doctors”, from which the name of this place, “Veda doova”, originated.
Vadduva offers its visitors beautiful beaches where you can actively engage in sports or indulge in a pleasant rest. There are beautiful beaches on the coast, and hotels offer quality service, including Ayurvedic massage. For example, BlueWater, one of the most beautiful hotels in Sri Lanka, surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden with swimming pools. The hotel is part of Wadduwa.
Sri Lanka, an island nation located to the southeast of India. This is a country with a rich history. Inside the country there are beautiful monasteries and nature. Precious stones are mined here in river alluvium, the most beautiful rubies in the world are located here. The best teas in the world are grown in Sri Lanka.
Yala National Park
Yala National Park on the southeastern coast is one of the most famous and visited parks in Sri Lanka. It is divided into several parts and visitors are assigned a part of Yala West, located on the coast of the Indian Ocean. It was originally intended for hunting and since 1938 it has been part of a protected area with a total area of more than 126 thousand hectares. However, on four-fifths there is a well-known nature reserve, inaccessible to visitors. Next to Yala West is the Yala East National Park.
Probably the oldest reservation in the world was created in the 3rd century BC on the island of Sri Lanka. The wisdom of the local kings, combined with the Buddhist faith, led to the creation of territories designed to protect not only wildlife, but also tropical forests. Yala National Park has the most elephants. Water buffaloes, bears, crocodiles, deer, antelopes, wild pigs and jackals also live here. There are many other types of game in the park, which are very rarely seen because of their timidity. These, of course, include the grizzly bear, the jackal, the nutcracker and, finally, the leopard. Yala National Park is located in the south-east of Sri Lanka, open daily from 6:30 to 18:30, entrance is paid for persons renting and owning a car. There are several campsites and hotels right in the park and in the immediate vicinity.
Safari in Yala National Park
Entry is allowed only by jeeps. The entrance gate to the park is located near Palatupana, and there are many very helpful car owners who offer the “guaranteed best” safari. The defenders of the park, who are in every vehicle, take care of each other and tell each other where any animals have been seen. Choosing the right and best jeep is very important. It is better to choose a car with a crew: a driver and a tracker.
The predominant plantings are thorny trees and shrubs, which form relatively dense plantings. Meanwhile, there are looser areas around small lakes. During the safari, you can see many species of animals, including peacocks, wild roosters, marabou and many other birds, crocodiles, deer and land turtles.
The vast rocky plain is covered with relatively dense shrubbery with minimal visibility. After about 2 km, wide plains with semi-saline lagoons open up. Here you can see water buffaloes, wild pigs, monkeys, deer and many birds. The most famous, of course, are ibises, pelicans and peacocks. In addition, the guides add a couple of mud crocodiles. Animals up to 4 m long lazily lie by the water and lie in wait for prey.
Indian elephants are strictly protected, and Buddhists also recognize them as a symbol of wisdom. A herd of elephants can graze 200 m from the cars. It offers the opportunity to travel to the historic coastal town of Kirinda and the Kataragama pilgrimage site with numerous Buddhist and Hindu monuments.