Known For : Sigiriya Rock Royal Gardens Lion's Paws
Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, Sigiriya serves as a fine example of ancient urban planning. Sigiriya is a significant site of the Cultural Triangle and perhaps Sri Lanka’s most iconic historical destination. The site, also known as Lion Rock, is recognized all over the world for the remains of the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress and its numerous enchanting and well-preserved attractions. The complex hydraulics system at the fortress enhances the site’s reputation as a beautiful place in Sri Lanka for classical city planning.
Best Time: February to April
Known For : Galle Fort Galle Fort Lighthouse Old Dutch Market
The port city of Galle is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka and is situated along the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Primarily known for the famous Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has played a significant role in the country’s lengthy colonial history.
Best Time: February
Yala National Park was originally a hunters arena during British colonial rule but now has the highest population of leopards on earth. Not only animals but it also provide a quaint environment for birds as well. It is Sri Lanka’s largest national park with a total area of 900 Sq Km. Yala National Park attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year due to its high density of leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, and deers. This national park is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka.
Sri Dalada Maligawa is the Sinhalese name for this holy shrine. Famously called Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, it is touted to be the most sacred Buddhist temple in the whole world. It houses the tooth of Buddha nestled in a golden chamber and is within the premises of the royal palace complex (formerly a princely state). Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is said that whichever state holds the tooth relic, maintains an essential place in the governance of the country.
As one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the Indian subcontinent, Adam’s Peak is a 7,359 feet tall mountain in Sri Lanka, frequently visited by people of almost all major religions.
It is widely known for Sri Pada, a foot-shaped indentation at the summit of the pyramid-like mountain. Also called the sacred footprint, the Buddhists believe that it is the footprint of Lord Buddha, the Hindus as that of Shiva, the Muslims as Adam’s, and the Christians as that of St. Thomas the Apostle. It is thus considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka.
Known For : The Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu Minneriya National Park Rankoth Vehera
Polonnaruwa, a marvel of a place, is in Northern Sri Lanka. This beautiful place in Sri Lanka once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa under the Chola Empire in the 10th century. This makes it the second most historic kingdom in Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura.
The entire town has two sections - the development and infrastructure part called the Polonnaruwa new town and the Old Site with ancient remains and monarchical structures.
The old part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has numerous ruins dating back to 800 years comprising of tombs, temples, statues and stupas. Within the town, is the celebrated quadrangle, Gal Vihara – Buddhist 12th century rock temple, Archaeological museum, Polonnaruwa Vatadage – holds the relic of the tooth of Buddha, Rankot Vihara – a 12th century stupa, Hatadage - an ancient relic shrine and the Lankathilaka – a cathedral type Buddhist temple and many other statuettes dedicated to Lord Buddha.
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Known For : Cinnamon Island Moragalla Beach Ventura Beach
Bentota is a rural, beach and resort town located in the southern part of Sri Lanka, around 62 kms from the capital city, Colombo. Bentota is famously known for the Bentota Beach, which is loved by tourists and locals alike. This beautiful place in Sri Lanka is known for its pristine waters and lush green landscapes, with the dominance of tall palm trees. Interestingly, the name ‘Bentota’ is derived from Ben, a demon who once ruled the Tota or river bank.
Known For : Big Buddha - Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue Temple of the Tooth World Buddhist Museum
Kandy is a beautiful place in Sri Lanka found precisely in the middle of the country. A city of both historical as well as religious importance, Kandy is renowned for being the site of the Temple Of The Sacred Tooth Relic, unarguably the most famous among all the temples of Sri Lanka. Kandy is also home to numerous remarkable museums and scenic attractions. Kandy is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1988.
Best Time: December to April
Known For : Victoria Park Pedro Tea Estate Gregory Lake
Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka's hill station famed for its tea production. With a multitude of gorgeous attractions ranging from waterfalls and tea plantations to gardens and lakes, Nuwara Eliya is the epitome of scenic beauty. Add to that the colonial-style buildings dotting the area, a golf course and the cold climate— and you'll feel like you have entered a world unlike Sri Lanka's iconic landscape; no wonder it is also called Little England!
Best Time: February to April
Known For : Crocodile Rock, Arugam Bay Arugam Bay Beach Elephant Rock, Arugam Bay
The Sri Lankan coastal town of Arugam Bay lies on the Indian Ocean, 320 kilometres from the capital city Colombo. With several surfing spots scattered across the area, for both beginners as well as skilled surfers, Arugam Bay is often called a surfer’s paradise. The famous surfing points here are Main Point and Whiskey Point, with surfboard rentals in their proximity. If you’re a non-surfer, one can relax on the beaches at this beautiful place in Sri Lanka. At night, the beaches play host to many beach parties, offering a chance to soak in the lively atmosphere.
Known For : Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium Popham's Arboretum Jathika Namal Uyana
Dambulla is the city of the ancient. Along with being a major tourist destination, it is also a major commercial joint in the country of Sri Lanka due to its location. This beautiful place in Sri Lanka is also the centre of the vegetable distribution in the city.
Other than that, the town is widely known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Golden Temple and the Buddhist Cave temple. Due to its religious and spiritual monuments, the town has a very peaceful environment. The city has become a representation of the countries rich and elegant history and culture.
One of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka on the southern coast, Tissamahara is a buzzing town that has its streets lined with cute little cafes, kiosks, and shops. Bounded by paddy fields and blessed with Dagobas and human-made reservoirs, Tissamahara is a town that is worth the visit for its abundance of rich culture and history.
The Royal Botanical Gardens are situated 5 km west of Kandy. The most prominent gardens in Sri Lanka, Royal Botanical Gardens have colourful orchids, pleasant winds and tall trees. The proximity with the Mahaweli river is a beautiful “flora and aqua” treat for the eyes. This beautiful place in Sri Lanka is home to more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. It is a 147 acre - natural elegance holding landscaped gardens and scenic beauty, making it a photographers dream.
The Minneriya National Park is in the Northern province of Sri Lanka, four hours away from Colombo, and 30 minutes away from Sigiriya. The national park is famous for its herds of elephants migrating for food, water and shelter, and forming a 'gathering' that can be witnessed by the visitors. The dry season is the best time to visit this beautiful place in Sri Lanka, as the majestic elephants migrate to the Minneriya Tank for water. Apart from elephants, the national park is also home to several mammals, birds, reptiles, and different kinds of plant species. Minneriya National Park comes under the dry zone, meaning, it receives less rainfall compared to the other areas in the country.
The tea plantations in the ever-buzzing town of Hatton are one of the highlights of Sri Lanka. The estates are at 4000 feet above sea level where the climate and scenery combined with colonial-era architecture that is evident in the old tea plantations are sure to instil a sense of awe and wholesomeness. The tea plantations are known for their tranquillity and beauty as they are cultivated on mountains sloping downhill.
Knuckles Mountain range is an unusual terrestrial landform located in Matale and Kandy, in Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name was given by the British, and the locals call this range 'Dumbara Kanduvetiya', which means mist-laden mountains. Knuckles Mountain Range is called so because of its uncanny resemblance to the fingers of a clenched fist. The range is a World Heritage Conservation Area and is relatively untouched. The range features 34 peaks, ranging between 900 metres to 2000 metres. Five of these mountain peaks make the formation of a clenched fist.
Known For : Surfing in Weligama, Mirissa Whale Watching in Mirissa Secret Beach, Mirissa
Mirissa, what was a faint old beach town on the Southern of Sri Lanka has risen to be one of the most popular surfing and whale watching destination. This beautiful place in Sri Lanka is a beach town situated 150 kms south of Colombo and is dotted with palm trees, blue waters and colourful boats adorning the shores.
Mirissa has a beautiful view along by the million things to do over here – Whale watching, Snorkelling, Surfing, Bodyboarding. The city offers the right balance between the calm days and lively nights by the beach.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was launched to provide shelter and nourishment to abandoned, injured and maimed elephants. The ideology behind this project revolves around the care of abandoned baby elephants, who cannot survive without their mothers.
Known For : Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Jaffna Fort Jaffna Library
Jaffna is probably Sri Lanka's most historical city located at the northern tip on the country and the city from time to time had been passed under the rule of various kingdoms, governments and the armies.
Unlike the country’s southern parts which are more influenced and in a way controlled by the Buddhist and the Sinhalese, the northern realms including Jaffna have a strong influence of the Tamil and the Hindu cultures. Historically, it was the centre of the LTTE power struggle to capture the city in 1995 which resulted in the devastating Battle of Jaffna.
Known For : Fort Frederick, Trincomalee Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple (Koneswaram Temple), Trincomalee Pathirakali Amman Temple
The quaint city of Trincomalee also famously known as ‘Gokarna’ is an essential fragment of the country, contributing towards the betterment and development of the district and in a nutshell, Sri Lanka. Trincomalee is a port city famous for its white sand beaches and most beautiful harbours. The locals here predominantly speak Tamil.
Owing to its long history of civilian settlements, this beautiful place in Sri Lanka is quite prominent for its culture, tradition, and its well known historical sites. The city is situated on the east coast of the island and is almost 237 kms north-east of Colombo, the capital of the country. The Trincomalee or Gokarna Bay and the ‘Then Kailayam’ (also known as Kailash of the South/Koneswaram) temple are some of the most famous spots in the city.
A small village in the Central Province, Kandalama is a beautiful place in Sri Lanka as it is house to one of the first five star hotels that opened in Sr Lanka, called Heritance Kandalama which faces the Kandalama lake. It also harbours Kaludiya Pokuna Archaeological Forest in its lands.
So what are you waiting for? Check in to the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka that will fill your life and memories with an everlasting after taste.