While enthralling with the scenic natural wonders in Sri Lanka, travelers tend to visit and observe the splendid grandeur of Sri Lankan rich culture and heritage. Element cities of cultural triangle Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy are featured with Buddhist Temples, Sculptures, Ancient Monasteries, and Stupas. Some of these ancient places are named as UNESCO World Heritage sites to preserve their value to the next generations. Let’s have an overview of the cultural tours in Sri Lanka and the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is the hill-country capital of Sri Lanka. It is the religious and administrative capital of the Central Province. And it is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. The city is famous for the Dalada Maligawa which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha, an object of respect for World Buddhists. National Museum of Kandy, the Lankatilaka Temple, the Gadaladeniya Temple, Bahirawa Kanda, the Royal Palace Park, and the Bogambara Lake are some of the major cultural attractions around the city.
Dalada Perahera / Kandy Esala Perahera, is the most charming cultural highlight of the year. The festival falls in August. It is a combination of Sri Lankan aesthetic, cultural varieties and a religious offering to the most sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Giant tuskers, colorful dancers, fire workers, and many other diverse cultural items display at the festival.
Read – Kandy Travel Guide
Anuradhapura ancient city holds a significant spot in Sri Lankan culture. The heritage city of Anuradhapura founded in the year 380 BC and was the island’s first ancient capital. The city depicts the grand and glorious civilization and architecture of ancient Sri Lanka. Most of the kings who ruled Sri Lanka resided in this massive city and developed several irrigational and architectural wonders in related to Buddhism and Sri Lankan prehistoric lifestyles and cultures.
The Eight Places; “Atamasthana” include the Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Jetawanarama, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Mirisaveti Stupa, and Lankarama. There are other structures such as the Isurumuniya, Kuttam Pokuna, which portray the magnitude of the realm and its honour for Buddhism.
Local devotees worship Anuradhapura historical places throughout the year. Travelers around the globe appear in numbers to the sacred city of Anuradhapura to witness the Sri Lankan culture and heritage.
Polonnaruwa is the second most prestigious cultural highlight after Anuradhapura. Invading armies from South India captured and conquered the city for a long time. King Parakramabahu defeated the invaders and brought a golden era to the city and the country by upgrading the lifestyle and culture of the community. Efficient irrigation systems, temples, giant palaces, and city planning are some of the significant factors that improved the value and the beauty of the city.
Some of the reputed and most visited attractions of this royal city include the Statue of King Parakramabahu, the Polonnaruwa Medirigiriya Vatadage, the Rankoth Vehera, and the Gal Viharaya. The giant lake, Parakrama Samudraya, is an irrigational wonder in Sri Lankan history. It is the lifeline of paddy cultivation in the entire Polonnaruwa district. Sightseeing enthusiasts, backpackers, explorers around the world arrive here to observe this magnificent historical masterpiece. International and local travel agents pick this destination as a critical itinerary in their cultural tours in Sri Lanka.
Dambulla resides among the top 5 in the list of heritage places in Sri Lanka. It is famous for the most extensive cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Ancient Dambulla cave temple located 72 Kilometers away from the Kandy city. Due to its prestigious and historical value, the destination is considered as one of the world heritage sites in Sri Lanka by UNESCO.
According to the archaeological stats, there 80 documented caves have found out which was belonging to the range of temples. At the moment, significant attractions of the cave temple spread only over five caves. Some paintings and statues that relate to the life of Lord Buddha and his teachings find Inside the caves. Buddhist devotees and tourists arrive here at the world heritage Dambulla in Sri Lanka to discover this fascinating historical monument. One night stay at Hotel Amaya Dambulla will make your cultural tour escape remarkable.
Sigiriya, The most famous and bucket-list traveling destination of worldwide travel lovers. It is among the top of most visited historical places in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya (the Lion Rock) was the fortress of Emperor King Kashyapa. Some historical records state that it built in King Rawana’s age, and King Kashyapa modified it after some time.
Sigiriya got two significant passages to observe. At the entrance after the ticket counter, you will find a Well planned and structured garden with ponds and water fountains. However, some of those natural fountains still operate during rainy seasons. In ancient times, King had put crocodiles on those ponds to prevent enemy attacks.
After passing the garden, you will find the giant rock. You have to climb the staircase around the rock to move to the summit. Folk stories tell that there was an escalator inside the chamber to head towards the summit. Summit is where the King’s palace was built.
Further, it is famous for preserved frescoes on the mirror wall — ruins of the palace complex found on top of the rock. Most importantly the buildings and gardens of Sigiriya showcase the amazing architecture, creativity, and technology that ancient Sri Lankans possessed. Considering this uniqueness of Sigiriya, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site.
Unlike other cultural places, Sigiriya is free from any costume or photography constrains. Therefore, you can visit and explore this place as you wish. But taking photographs inside the frescoes chamber is prohibited.
Pidurangala is another giant peak which locates close to the Sigiriya. Summit of Pidurangala rock is the perfect place to witness the incredible and spectacular view of the Sigiriya rock. Aliya resort is one of the best hotels to stay around Sigiriya.
Yapahuwa Rock Fortress is located 112 km away from Colombo in the North-Western province of Sri Lanka, midway between Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. History stated that after the collapse of Polonnaruwa, ancient kings moved Yapahuwa with the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha and then King Buwanekabahu built the Royal residence and the Temple of Tooth Relic in Yapahuwa. This Royal Residence was able to preserve some exciting remains with a giant steep staircase and few statues of lions. Residing inside the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa temple creates a good halting point between Kandy and Anuradhapura to embrace with a magnitude aesthetic feeling and everlasting 360 views of nature. Hotel Yapahuwa Paradise is one of the best places to stay on your visit to Yapahuwa.