Attractions

Sri Lanka’s attractions are diverse enough to intrigue and satisfy every visitor. The architectural range begins with ruins over 2,000 years old and encompasses ancient cave temples, an extraordinary rock citadel, medieval Kandyan building styles with high hipped roofs, colonial bungalows and Edwardian mansions, contemporary constructions by Sri Lankan architects and modern high rise hotels and apartment blocks, including Colombo’s own World Trade Centre twin towers.

But nature provides the most impressive attractions, from broad rivers and plunging waterfalls to the sacred mountain of Adam’s Peak and the rolling hills and deep dales of the hill country with phenomenal views stretching to the horizon. The wild life is a bonus as safaris, either by jeep through the wilderness or by boat through mangrove swamps, take only a few hours. For relaxation there are countless beaches with snorkelling and water sports. Accommodation to suit all budgets is also part of Sri Lanka’s appeal.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
UNESCO or The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization lists down places that hold cultural significance
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
POPULAR BEACH LOCATIONS
Being an island it is natural that Sri Lanka will have many beaches to offer. What make it interesting is the different types of beaches
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
Sigiriya
Called by many names including “The Lion Rock” for its initial name of “Sinhagiri”, Sigiriya is near the town of Dambulla and is a colossal column of rock nearly 200m high. It was a royal citadel for 18 years (477-495) when it was fortified by King Kasyapa. The architectural and irrigational technologies of Sigiriya, such as the Water Gardens, still baffle engineers. The climb up steep steps of metal with railings passes a wall decorated with frescoes of bare-breasted women. Art experts consider them unique. The summit of the rock is a hectare in area and the outer wall of the palace was constructed on the brink of the rock with gardens and ponds softening the harshness of the eerie. Since it was constructed over 1,500 years ago, it is claimed by enthusiast as the Eighth Wonder of the World and is anyway a World Heritage Site.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
Dambulla
The Dambulla temple has five caves and 157 statues of the Lord Buddha, many paintings on the ceilings and walls that emphasis the artistic talent of ancient days. The history of the caves, rock and temple dates from the first century B.C. The fascination of these caves is not only the statues but also the many intricate and delicate paintings that cover the ceiling and walls, created with indigenous traditional paints. Because of the history, archaeological and artistic implications, the premises were declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1991. The temple has been in use for over 22 centuries and still holds a sense of benevolence and spirituality. Visitors may climb up steps to the temple and the view from the top of the rock is as inspiring as the temple’s golden interior.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
Hiriwaduna
The Hiriwaduna village trek experience begins with a morning walk to the scrub forests bordering the village of Hiriwadunna. This location is famed for the spotting of some 130-bird species and a variety of rare butterflies. In addition to this abundance of unique wildlife found, you can also experience canoeing and a bullock cart ride during the nature trek.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in sri lanka
Minneriya National Park
Minneriya National Park Minneriya National Park. Sitting in the centre of the cultural triangle, Minneriya is a good alternative to the busier parks in the south and it's easy to weave in a day here between visiting the ancient cities. The dry season, preferably from June to September, is the best time to visit the 8,890 hectare park when the ancient tank, the lake that dominates the area, dries out and the grasses and shoots push through. During this time it is possible to see herds of up to 150 elephants feeding and washing, as well as toque macaques, sambar deer and leopards. The hungry bird flocks include cormorants and painted storks. Minneriya, closest by car to the ancient city Polonnaruwa, was upgraded from a nature reserve to a national park because of the increased number of tourists coming to see the elephants.