Ancient Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a destination with so much to offer from thrilling jeep rides, lush jungles, ancient temples, and tropical beaches to a vibrant culture that prides itself on a tradition of warm hospitality. Stunning landscapes are complimented by a rich history all waiting to be explored.
Our small group tour to Sri Lanka visits 6 of the country’s impressive and fascinating UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. Gain insight into the history of Sri Lanka as you explore the sites throughout the tour.
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka and the capital of the North Province. The city was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden behind lush jungle for years, the city is now accessible again and is known for many ruins of temples, ancient pools and dagobas.
2. Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa became Sri Lanka’s second capital city in the 11th century. It is home to well-preserved ruins of palaces, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of Buddha at the Gal Vihara.
3. Ancient City of Sigiriya
Regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive sites, a visit to the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya is a must. The remains of a fifth-century fortress lie perched atop a rock plateau with views upon a vast plain and dense jungles below. Built by King Kasyapa, an impressive 5-acre fort sat astride the rock and a city nestled as its base, but now the city is gone and the fortress is in ruins.
4. Golden Temple of Dambulla
Dambulla is home to the best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The cave temples were built in the 1st century BCE and the gigantic granite outcrop towers more than 160 meters above its surrounds. The caves are covered by ancient frescoes and inside hundreds of statues of Buddha (157 in fact) are housed, some carved from the rock itself.
5. Sacred City of Kandy
Kandy is a truly charming town, set around an artificial lake and amidst rolling hills covered by fortresses and tea plantations. Now known as Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy has a distinctive style due to the impressive colonial architecture that still survives today.
6. Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
The narrow streets of Old Town of Galle are filled with shuttered mansions and churches protected by the stone walls, bastions and ramparts of the Galle Fort.Fantastically preserved, the Galle Fort is a colonial sea fortress built by the Portuguese in the late 16th century. It is a brilliant example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia.
Each of these sites have their own unique story that make up Sri Lanka’s incredible history. Discover the sites, connect with the locals and experience a small group tour of a lifetime.
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