Sri Lanka is a unique mix of British colonial heritage, ancient Buddhist ruins, and beautiful landscapes, which make it a must-see destination. The small island nation, just south of India, is home to diverse settings, ranging from rainforests and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches.

Koggala beach and Hikkaduwa beach are popular tourist sites, while Mirissa beach, Arugam bay, and Weligama bay boast beautiful coastlines. Unawatuna beach near the town of Galle, is known for its stunning corals. Unawatuna is also home to the Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery. Udawatta Kele Sanctuary near Kandy is famous for its varied wildlife, hermitages, and treks. Sinharaja forest also has spectacular waterfalls and hiking paths.

An idyllic beach in Sri Lanka.

Adam’s Peak, or Sri Pada, is a mountain famous for its footprint in the rock. According to various religions it is the footprint print of Buddha, Shiva, Ada, and of St. Thomas. The Dambulla Buddha Caves, near Kandy, are the best preserved cave temple complex in the country. Statues, temples, paintings, and murals dedicated to the life of Buddha a spread over caves. More Buddhist ruins can be seen at the 5th century citadel of Sigiriya, with its stunning rock fortress and murals. The ancient capital city of Anuradhapura is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The sprawling complex contains a collection of dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools, temples, and other building.

The Dambulla cave temple, located near Sigiriya rock fortress

Sri Lanka may be known for these beaches and stupas, but it is also full of thrilling activities. You can go surfing in Arugam bay, hiking in the Rumasalla and Pidurutalagala mountains, and white-water rafting in the Kelaniya Ganga, to name a few.

Sri Lankan City And Culture

The capital Colombo is much more than the gateway city it was once said to be. With wide, tree lined avenues, numerous restaurants, bars, clubs, and boutique stores, that is much to see and do. Set on a plateau amidst tea plantations, the misty city of Kandy is a perfect base for most of the Buddhist ruins. It also houses the famed Temple of the Tooth, a shrine with a sacred tooth relic said to belong to the Buddha, and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture.

The seaside road in downtown Colombo .

The seaside town of Galle is a short distance from Colombo. The walled city has stood through Portugese, Dutch, and British colonizers. Its varied architecture, jewelry shops, and ice cream parlors make it a wonderful retreat.

A view of The Temple of the Tooth in the city of Kandy

At its closest, Sri Lanka is separated from India by only 30 kilometers, but the pace of life is infinitely slower and much less frantic. Even the cars and buses move slowly! It is a place where you can go and relax. Sri Lanka is still a largely inexpensive destination when compared to other popular Asian getaways such as Thailand or Malaysia. However the prices are slowly rising, so hurry and explore the beautiful and pristine country!

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