Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of man-made as well as natural wonders and exploring its UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a great way to discover the best of the country. These sites are a window to some of the nation’s most fascinating places and customs. Sri Lanka has numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many of these are as notable for their majestic appearance as they are for their cultural significance. Take a look at six such sites.


Sacred City Of Anuradhapura

Probably the most famous of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Anuradhapura is best known for its well preserved ruins of the Great Buddha Civilization. This incredible site is like a grand collection of archaeological and architectural wonders, complete with monasteries, palaces and monuments. Anuradhapura is also one of the three striking locations in the Cultural Triangle.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

An excellent example of well planned archaeological sites, Polonnaruwa offers an exciting insight into the history and culture of Sri Lanka. The landscape of the region is dotted with several spectacular man-made reservoirs and well-preserved ruins. Other highlights of the city include the Royal Palace, Quadrangle, and Temples of Lord Shiva.

Sacred City of Kandy

The Hill Capital, Kandy triggers visions of richness and grandeur. This amazing site still retains an aura of old word opulence, which remains untouched by time. Kandy is also an important element of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, and thus plays host to numerous festivals round the year. The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, National Museum and Malwatta monasteries are some of the other attractions of the city.

Ancient City of Sigiriya

Built as a capital city on steep hilly slopes by King Kassapa, this place reminds one of Ceylon’s medieval past. The construction is pretty dramatic and to enter the city, you will have to scale steep stairs leading to the mouth of a gigantic lion made of rocks. This Lion’s Rock stands about 180m tall. A major highlight is the Mirror Wall, famous for graffiti dating back to the 8th century.

Golden Temple of Dambulla

Situated in the central part of Sri Lanka, the Golden Temple of Dambulla is said to be the largest and the most well preserved cave temple complex in the entire country. This extraordinary complex houses a cave-temple, five caves, and 157 statues of different sizes. The caves feature paintings of the Buddha and are especially popular amongst history buffs and art connoisseurs.

Old Town of Galle & Its Fortifications

The fortified harbour city of Galle is marked by magnificent Eastern architecture. Beautiful ancient churches dot the landscape, including Groote Kirk, the island’s oldest church. An 18-metre high lighthouse offers some spellbinding views of the coast. A not to be missed attraction is the Galle Fort.

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