Kandy

Located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, Kandy is famous for its spicy food, exotic fruits and a clump of sweetmeats that is still rare to the world. Life here continues among a series of festivities throughout the year, an ideal recipe for fun and leisure.

The name was derived from the Portugese, who had initially named the place Candea. The city was the last of the remaining kingdoms that survived the Portugese and British conquest until the time it was finally taken by the Dutch.

The place speaks for itself, of the rich culture it tags along.

Kandy is also considered to be one of the most religious places in the country being home to one of the most prominent temples- the “Temple of Tooth” which holds the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Hence, the place holds great significance for Buddhists all around the world. The temple lies close to the royal palace and the musuem.

If you are a nature lover and love taking those long hikes, the serene countryside provides you with ample opportunities to familiarise yourself with the greenery all around. Moreover, there is also an elephant sanctuary- the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, that houses approximately 70 elephants that roam freely around the place. It is certainly one place that draws in children and provides a great experience for families. You can also watch the elephants bathe at the Mahaweli river at Gatambe.

Abounded with lush green forests and a number of hills, Kandy is certainly one of the most scenic places in Sri Lanka. Places like the Botanical Garden at Peradeniya and the spice plantation at New Ranweli provide for an interesting excursion. The spice plantations provide for a great learning about the uses of herbs and spices and you can always try your hand at guessing them right. What is more, the spices being sold in the plantations are way cheaper than the ones in the market.

So if you are visiting Kandy, the hill city has a lot to offer in terms of culture, history and charm. All that comes with a perfect balance with a touch of an effervescent urban buzz.

Yala

This National Park is located in the South-East, and offers one the chance of seeing animals such as wild boar, deer, leopards, elephants, monkeys and crocodiles in their natural environment. The best times to spot these animals are in the early morning hours, or at dusk, when they come out of the seclusion of the jungle, to drink water at the edge of the tank.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa was the capital from the 11th to the 13th century. Its centerpiece is the Terrace of the Tooth Relic. Best examples of sculpture at Polonnaruwa are seen at Gal Vihara, a monument with four beautifully carved images of the Buddha. A sampling of Medieval Buddhist art is preserved at the Tivanka Image House. One of the island’s largest known irrigation reservoirs (5940 acre) is the Parakrama Samudraya, (Sea of Parakrama), an island sea constructed in the 11th century.

Negombo

This town is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest fishing villages, having a quiet charm reflected in its churches and forts dating back to the 17th century. The beaches are beautiful, and you will enjoy watching the fishermen bring in their daily haul of fish.

Mihintale

It was here that in the year 247 BC, King Devanampiyatissa became converted to Buddhism in his encounter with Mahindra. Mihintale, called the “Mountain of Mahindra” soon became a great monastic city composed of 4 rocky, forested hills. Today, an aura of seclusion still lingers here, despite a thriving bazaar at the foot of the hills, and the thousands of pilgrims who flock there. Every person who wishes to reach the dagoba at the summit of this sacred mountain must climb 1840 steps, to do so.

Colombo

Colombo, the seaport capital of Sri Lanka, is a fascinating town. Old Dutch churches, ornate Hindu and Buddhist temples with murals and statues abound the place. The Gangarama Buddhist temple, the Town Hall, Cinnamon Gardens, the Fort and Pettah – the busy bazaar and market place are important places of visit.

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    • “Galle Face Hotel gave us a window into another world. We saw dozens of the locals’ weddings, saw the green that shows up in so much of the literatire we read ahead of the trip as being the gathering spot for the plantations society of Sri Lanka”

      – Jan & Doug McGeorge, USA

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Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s first capital city founded in the 4th century BC. It was a model of systematic planning, set in rolling park-land. Here are dagobas, pleasure gardens and reservoirs, indicating what a high level of civilization existed. Places of interest include the Brazen Palace and the Sacred Bo Tree, considered to be the oldest historically documented tree on earth, grown from a sapling of the original tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.