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Galle Dutch fort:

Home to an International Cricket Stadium, and 115 km from Colombo, Galle is perhaps one of the most important cities on the South Coast. Now fast acquiring a reputation as the starting point of Sri Lanka's equivalent to the "Riviera", the city's origins are shrouded in legend and mystery. Some believe that it is the Tarshish of the Old Testament, which channelled a thriving trade in exotic luxuries including precious metals and stones, ivory, tropical beasts and of course spices. This whitewashed town has an extremely large fort, built by the Dutch over 400 years ago, as its oldest landmark. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. A number of important churches are located within the fort, including the Groote Kerk, the oldest Protestant church in Sri Lanka and St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests. Guests can spend hours exploring the famous Dutch fort, go shopping at one of the oldest markets of Sri Lanka and the modern shopping complexes or you can enjoy the one of the colonial-style hotels and restaurants.


206 km north of Colombo, and located on the dry plains of the North Central Province, the ruins at Anuradhapura tell tales of a royal capital of 113 successive kings who made it the greatest monastic city of the ancient world. Situated within the Cultural Triangle, this ancient city was established in 500BC and served as an administrative centre of Sri Lanka and as the island's capital for 1400 years. The oldest historically documented tree on earth - the Sacred Bo Tree - is also located in this city. The perfection and scale of the dagobas or relic chambers like the Ruwanveliseya, Abhayagiri and the Jetavanarama, which are the largest in the world, are staggering, the latter vying with the largest pyramids at a height of 122m. The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anuradhapura is rich in history and culture. This is a charming place for people interested in historical monuments.


Situated 72 km north of Kandy, Dambulla marks the geographical centre of the island and the Cultural Triangle. It also holds its own treasure - a magnificent temple, which is a series of five caves established as a monastery in the 3rd Century BC. These caves, built at the base of a 150m high rock during the Anuradhapura (1st Century BC to 993 AD) and Polonnaruwa times (1073 to 1250), are by far the most impressive of the many cave temples found in Sri Lanka. Access is along the gentle slope of the Dambulla Rock, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding flat lands, which includes the rock fortress Sigiriya, 19kms away. Families of friendly monkeys make the climb even more interesting. Dusk brings hundreds of swooping swallows to the cave entrance. The city includes the Rangiri Dambulla International stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The city also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia.


Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka where art, architecture and engineering were revived into a cultural epoch, is a monument to Sri Lanka's great renaissance. Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo, 140kms northeast of Kandy and 104kms southeast of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka's medieval capital (11th - 12th Century AD) is a well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King's Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa's great kings, Parakramabahu, are a few of this capital's memorable sights. The Sea of Parakrama - a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city. Although it is nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura, and in much better repair. Moreover, the monuments here are located in a more compact area, and their development is easier to follow. The place is extremely beautiful and used as a backdrop to film scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982.


Sigiriya rock rises 200 meters above lush green jungles, and is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Asia's oldest landscaped gardens and ponds encircle this rock fortress, and at its summit is the renegade King Kasyapa's "palace in the sky". Fifth century ingenuity and skill produced a luxurious royal citadel with ramparts, moats, gateways, and a well laid out city, complete with bathing pools and gardens. On the climb up you could view the Mirror Wall, which still produces a glass-like reflection 1500 years after it was first created. Also on the way up you would see the famous Sigiriya frescoes - exquisite images of bare-breasted maidens painted on the rock face thousands of years ago. Located in the Cultural Triangle, Sigiriya is situated in the district of Matale.

Adam's Peak

This Holy Mountain has been venerated by all faiths and countless pilgrims have climbed up 7,600 feet to its summit, since the 11th century. Buddhists believe the holy footprint at its summit to be that of the Buddha himself. It is now declared as Sri Lanka's latest Heritage sites under the World Heritage conference in July 2010. For Hindus it is the footprint of Lord Shiva. Muslims believe it to be the place where Adam first set foot on earth and many Roman Catholics say the footprint impressed in the boulder is that of St. Thomas, the early Christian apostle, who preached in South India. What might be the longest stairway in the world climbs through tropical montane vegetation. Pilgrims reaching the summit at dawn witness an almost supernatural spectacle: the magnified triangular shadow of the peak itself superimposed on the awakening countryside.

Horton Plains

Shrouded in cold mists on top of Sri Lanka's mountains, at a height of more than 2,000m, lie the Horton Plains now declared as Sri Lanka's latest Heritage sites under the World Heritage conference in July 2010. A part of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and dramatically different from the coastal plains thousands of feet below, it is a plateau of 3,150 hectares in area. It is a wild and windswept plain of grasslands or patanas and patches of eerie forests. Residents include elk, monkeys, eagles, horned lizards and the occasional leopard. The Plains were uninhabited by the local population but were prized hunting and fishing grounds for the Europeans who "discovered" them in the early 19th century. Many landmarks are named after British governors, planters and hunters. Trout was introduced to the pristine rivers and lakes and still attract serious anglers, although a permit is now required. All other creatures on the plains are protected

Knuckles Mountain range

The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of Kandy and Matale districts and is separated from the Central Hills by the Mahaveli Valley to the South and East and the Matale Valley to the West. The importance of the Knuckles Mountain Range is obtained from several factors. It has a parasitical quality to it because of the mountain peaks, the crystal clear and perennial waterways, cloud forests and exquisite fauna and flora. Pregnant with history running into several millennia and a veritable treasure house of cultural heritage, the Knuckles Mountain Range can be considered a as a mirror to the past.

Knuckles mountain range and forest reserve is a world famous destination for hiking, trekking, bird watching, camping and many other adventure activities. It is now declared as Sri Lanka's latest Heritage sites under the World Heritage conference in July 2010.