Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Travel Guide: A Trip to Sri Lanka, the Pearl Island of Indian Ocean

beach of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka itinerary @ Pixels

The tropical island of the Indian ocean fascinates the tourist with its man-made architectural marvels which have more than 2000 years of history. The many historic ruins narrate the tales from the Great Indian Epics and the Sinhalese civilization. A common perception about Sri Lanka itinerary is an island with beautiful beaches with pleasant and relaxing resorts. Apart from these, Sri Lanka is famous for its wildlife, Jungles, tea estates, amazing cuisine, and Buddhist monuments. Besides this, it is a place where one can just chill and explore the dense tropical jungles. If you’re a wildlife lover, you can opt for hiking and tracking leopards in the thick tropical jungles. For nature lovers get lost themselves beach’s and hiking in the tea plantations. On the other hand traverse through the Buddhist monuments in Sri Lanka which are renowned around the world.

Sri Lanka is famous for delicious food. When you visit Sri Lanka, try the Lankan food. They offer some of the best cuisines, the main dish being rice and fish curry. If you are a foodie, try the local street food to experience the real Sri Lanka.

Climate and transportation in Sri Lanka itinerary

Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, the normal temperature here is hot. However, some of the hilly (high range) areas in Lanka are cooler when compared to coastal region. The average coastal region temperature will be around 28 degrees whereas the high land temperature around 16 to 20 degrees.

The best means of transportation for local and near by area tour is hiring a local Tuk Tuk or Taxi. To travel from one state to another, Train or bus is the best option where one can witness the real Sri Lanka by traveling with locals .

A brief history of Sri Lanka

Alike other countries, Sri Lanka has one of the world’s oldest history. When it comes to Sri Lankan history it describes the struggle for freedom from the colonization’s of Portuguese, Dutch and British and the battles fought by the  Sinhalese rulers against Cholas and Pandya rulers. The Sri Lanka history has three time periods, first among these is Anuradhapura period which starts around 1st Century BCE. During this period Buddhism entered Lanka , the emperor Devanampiya Tissa was a friend of the Mauryan emperor . His friendship with the Ashoka the great, the powerful emperor of Mauryan dynasty led to the induction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. 

Second time period is Polonnaruwa period which dates between 1056 to 1232 is another important period in the Sinhalese history. This period started after the invasion of the Chola Kings on the Anuradhapura Kingdom led to formation of new kingdom Polonnaruwa Kingdom which was ruled by Sinhalese kings.

The third time period is popularly know as Transition period which dates backs to 1232 to 1505. During this period numerous kingdoms came into existence, some lasted long where as few others for short span of time. In 15th and 16th century Portuguese and Dutch invasion took place. In the 18th and 19th century British colonization happened. Sri Lanka got independence on 1948 from the British.

Top places to visit in Sri Lanka itinerary

Nuwara Eliya 

Nuwara Eliya

                                                                          @inspringvacation.com

Sri Lanka is famous for its tea export, Are you an nature and tea lover? Then make Nuwara Eliya top priority in your travel dairies during Sri Lanka itinerary .Here you can embrace the nature’s beautiful lush green mountains and tea plantations making this place worth visiting. This place is tea lovers heaven. Some of the popular plantation here are Pedro, Mackwoods and Labookellie plantations. The best part about the plantation in Nuwara Elliya is they offer free tea. Moreover, in Labookellie  they offer unlimited free cup of tea, besides tea Labookellie  provide delicious chocolate cake, one of the must try snack here.

After visiting tea plantation if you are looking for some adventures, opt for Horton Plains  trekking, best time to visit this place is early morning. Many tourist visit this place to catch the amazing sunrise view from the mountain. Lake Gregory is another place to visit when you are in Nuwara Eliya. One of the most happening place where you can stroll around the lake by enjoying the view or just hop in the boat and ride around the lake. Another best place to visit in Nuwara Eliya is Ramboda waterfalls.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa architecture

Sri Lanka is famous for its ancient cultural heritage and monuments. Another best place to visit during Sri Lanka itinerary is Polonnaruwa. The place provides the glimpse of ancient Polonnaruwa architecture and life of the people from ancient times. The place is an open archaeology museum with ruins of tombs, temples and stupas. However, this place is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the months of July, August and January. Also, it is advisable to avoid visiting this place during summer season that is May and June months. As this place doesn’t have any direct train connections you have to reach Habarana and from there  either hire a taxi or take a bus.

Colombo

View of the Sri Lankan Capital City Colombo
@andbeyond

The Capital city, one of the best places to visit as it has many tourist sight and local markets. Top 5 Places to visit in Colombo are

Gangaramya Buddhist temple – Famous for it architecture and museum that has collection of ancient coins, stamps, swards and ivory statues many more.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara – A famous Lord Buddha temple which is located 11km from Colombo, easily reached through Tuk Tuk services. The sacred place display the life of Lord Buddha with amazing wall and roof paintings, many locals come here for worship and meditation. Here the main deity is Lord Buddha, he will be seen in reclining pose.

Mount Lavinia Beach – Best place to hangout in the evening. One can relax themselves by enjoying the scenic view of sea and cool breeze. The place is bit crowded most of the time.

Colombo National Museum – One of the must visit places in Colombo itinerary. This place gives a good insight about Sri Lankan history and their establishment.

Galle Face Green – Fun place to hangout  around in the evening, strolling in the lane and enjoying local Lanka street food with amazing view of Ocean is wonderful experience.

Jaffna

Temples in Jaffna

Like to explore religious places? Jaffna is the one for you. Famous temples in Jaffna are Nagadeepa Vihara Purana temple and Nallur Kovil. These  famous temples are crowded almost all the days in the year. Apart from temples, this place is famous for the Jaffna fort that gives the glimpse of ancient Jaffna kingdom culture and architecture. Nagadeepa Vihara Purana temple provide surreal experience to visitor  and it is a best place for meditation . You can reach this place through boat.

When it comes to transportation, Jaffna doesn’t have direct transport facility from major cities except Kandy. So if you are planning to visit the sacred religious place make sure you reach Kandy, from there catch a local bus or hire a Taxi.

Adams Peak

The overrated tourist destination in Sri Lanka itinerary Adams Peak, which dazzle tourist with its mountains covered in lush greenery. An UNESCO World Heritage Site with unequal scenic view from the top which make you feel worth the tedious hike to the top. Here tourist generally hike during evening so that they can reach by night and they wait for the amazing view of sunrise. This place holds spiritual importance as well it is called Sri Pada (Footprints of Buddha) the unique formation of rocks on the mountain. The dazzling view from the mountain top surrounded by greenery  made this place famous tourist attraction spot in Sri Lanka.

If you’re planning to go to this place make sure you avoid going on religious importance days like full Moon and Sri Lanka national holidays. Because the queue line will be really long which make you frustrated.

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

An ancient capital exhibits the civilization of Sri Lanka which dates back 300 BCE through its ruins. Once powerful Sinhala kings ruled the Island country by making this amazing city Anuradhapura their capital for more than 1400 years. Besides this, it is famous for Buddhism and is one of the World heritage site. Here yearly many tourists come to seek Buddhism where as others to explore the ruins and admire the history of Sri Lanka. The time period when the Anuradhapura kingdom were ruling is said be one of the golden period in Sri Lanka. So, visit the ancient city along with this pay visit the Buddhist temple and relax yourself by meditating for few minutes and grace yourself with the blessing of Lord Buddha.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

                                                                     @blogspot.com

One of the best place to visit during Sri Lanka itinerary Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Here Lions are most celebrated animals among the Sinhala people. One can clearly see the importance of Lions in Lanka through flag emblem of Sri Lanka.  However, this place offers surreal experience to the visitor with its greenery, flora and fauna, along with these you can witness the wildlife in close lions and other mammals. This place is World heritage site for its rich Biodiversity. Another interesting fact about this forest reserve is surrounded by two rivers. If you are a bird watcher, then definitely keep this place in your itinerary list to visit.  Best time to visit this place is between the month of January to March, since it is a rain forest reserve this place receives rain fall almost all the year.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

                                                                               @blogspot.com

A tranquil place to start a day by experiencing peace and spirituality. This cave temple has 150 Buddha statues and mural painting. An unique architecture brought wide attention to this cave temple in Sri Lanka itinerary. Also, you must follow temple rules by maintaining silence. It takes around 1 to 2 hours to see Dambulla Cave temple. Dambulla is a preserved cave temple which was originally built by King Valagamba in the 1st century. When you visit Dambulla always plan to visit early morning to enjoy serene atmosphere.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Another must visit place in Sri Lanka itinerary Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This place amaze  even unhistorical person with its amazing architectural ruins. The main entrance to the Rock Fortress has a huge lions claws on the both the sides. From there you need to hike the staircase to reach the top of the rock hill which is about 200 meters from ground level. From here one can have a splendid view of the entire Sigiriya place along with beautiful gardens. Unfortunately we can see only lions claws, rest of the Gigantic lion architectural marvel is ruined. Beside this the mirror wall made out of the rock  is believed to be used by kings. The female painting on the walls which describes famine beauty of the Sigiriya ladies.

When you visit Sigiriya, make sure you visit the water garden and the terrace garden on the western side. The Sigiriya garden is consider as oldest garden landscape. The surface and underground pumps, locks, lakes and fountains in this place clearly shows the advance architectural and engineering skills in the ancient Sigiriya civilization. Generally people who all visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress also visit Sigiriya Museum. Here they take you into the Sigiriya civilization which dates backs to 5th century through video tour. Besides this it has many artifacts used by Sigiriyas.

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay
Credit: @islandlife.com

                                                                                            

Looking for some adventure in blue waters surrendered by coconut tress? Then this Bay is for you as it offers many water sport for its visitors, the famous water sports is surfing. Since Sri Lanka is an Island nation it has numerous beaches. Arugam Bay is popular among them for its activities and offers pristine experience to the visitors. Let’s have a look at the activities one can do at Arugam Bay. Climbing up Elephant rock, Visiting Muhudu Maha Viharaya temple which is visible from the beach. The Beach is popular for it high waves, if you are a surfer, visit this place during high wave season. Another activity is lagoon safari which is a popular activity in the beach.

Things to avoid in Sri Lanka itinerary

  • Wearing T shirt or dress which has Buddha print on it.
  • Never turn your back towards Buddha statue when you visit the Buddhist temples.
  • Avoid using left hand while eating.
  • Take permission before taking the photos.
  • Public PDA is strictly No.
  • Don’t mock their religion.

A small jewel in southeastern Indian ocean, best hangout destination for vacation. You get to know different cultural heritage of South Asian Island. Sri Lanka Itinerary offers spiritual, cultural and adventure experiences. Many villages in Lanka provide tranquil experience to the tourist with its lush greenery mountains and hospitality.

Leave a Reply