Cultural and Religious Sites

Also located in Tissamaharama’s monastic complex, the Yatala Shrine is an ancient stupa built 2300 years ago by King Yatalatissa. Surrounded by sculpted elephant heads ...

Yatala Shrine and Menik Temple
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Saseruwa
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Located in the Tissamaharama District in Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the Sandagiri Vehera Temple is a monastic complex whose history dates back to 200 BCE. ...

Sandagiri Vehera Temple
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Point Pedro
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Sithulpawwa Temple
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Jaffna Library
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The legend of Robin Hood, the vigilante who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, has a Sri Lankan variant; Utuwankande Sura Saradiel’s ...

Saradiel Village
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Red Mosque
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Sri Lanka’s proto-history stretches back to around 40,000 BCE before the island’s pre and recorded history began around 400 BCE. During this point an array ...

Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs
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Gangaramaya Temple - Seema Malaka
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Towering over the World Heritage city Kandy, this huge statue of Lord Buddha seems to grace Kandy with a beatific quality. Built in 1972, the ...

Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue
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Batticaloa Dutch Fort
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Sri Lanka’s appeal to visitors stretches back to the first written records as well penetrating the mists of pre-history and even mythology. It is in ...

Seetha Amman Temple
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Galle Dutch Fort & Galle Harbour
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This stone temple, located close to the hill country town of Matale (which is in itself located an hour away from Kandy, dates back possibly ...

Nalanda Gedige
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Mihintale
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Even though Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, part of its timeless charm is its religious diversity. Catholicism and Christianity also play a major role in ...

St. Anne’s Church
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Adam’s Peak
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Kalpitiya has always had a magnetic appeal to visitors. During colonial times, the Portuguese first and then the Dutch saw the area as a key ...

Kalpitiya Dutch Reformed Church
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This 30 m tall statue of Lord Buddha facing the ocean is a memorial in the name of the more than 2000 victims who died ...

Tsunami Honganji Vihara
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When in Hikkaduwa or visiting the southern coast of Sri Lanka, it is hard to imagine that it was the sight of unprecedented damage in ...

Community Tsunami Museum
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Located inside the southern town of Matara, the Matara Star Fort was constructed by Dutch in 1765 and was originally called Redoute Van Eck. Built ...

Matara Star Fort
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Located in Tangalle, an important coastal outpost for the Dutch keen to protect their strategic interests from other European colonial powers, this fort is unique ...

Tangalle Dutch Fort
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Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara
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A prime example of early Sri Lankan architecture, the Maduwanwela Walawwa is located to Ratnapura, the city of gems. This family home can be traced ...

Maduwanwela Walawwa
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Katuwana Fort
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Ratnapura Gems
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Built in 1667, the Kalpitiya Dutch Fort was a strategically placed fort by the Dutch to take control of the spice trade in Sri Lanka. ...

Kalpitiya Dutch Fort
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Dating back to the 3rd century B.C.E., Dighavapi is an ancient Buddhist shrine and an archaeological site. Located 20km east of Ampara, ...

Dighavapi
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Lankapatuna is an important site for Sri Lankan Buddhists. This area, 52km south of Trincomalee, is where the Prince Dantha and Princess Hemamala brought the ...

Lankapatuna
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A burst of colour in Trincomalee town, the Pathirakali Amman Temple was originally part of the Koneswaram temple-city. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu ...

Pathirakali Amman Temple
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Fort Fredrick is originally a Portuguese built fort, taken over by the Dutch and then the British in Trincomalee. The fort sits atop Swami Rock, ...

Fort Fredrick
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Located 47km north of Trincomalee lies the first Buddhist temple and stupa in Sri Lanka, and some even claim the world. Locally named Girihandu Seya, ...

Thiriyaya Temple
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Trincomalee War Cemetery
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Just a short walk out of Galle Fort, the gorgeous St. Mary’s Cathedral sits atop a small hill in Galle town. Built in 1874, this ...

St. Mary’s Cathedral
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A small, unassuming town in the Jaffna District, Nilavarai’s Bottomless Well is a hidden gem. Quite literally the colour of topaz, the Bottomless Well is ...

Nilavarai Bottomless Well
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Keerimalai Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and brings devotees and visitors from all over the world to this northern area of the ...

Keerimalai Temple & Springs
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This ancient Buddhist temple is one of the few Buddhist sites in the northern Jaffna peninsula. While the temple no longer exists, the 20 stupas ...

Kadurugoda Temple
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Sitting on the Jaffna coastline, Dambakola Patuna is one of the key Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka. This is the site where King Ashoka’s daughter, ...

Dambakola Patuna
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The Jaffna Dutch Fort was at one point one of the largest forts in Sri Lanka. Built by the Portuguese in 1619, it was then ...

Jaffna Dutch Fort
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Nelum Pokuna means lotus pond, and the Colombo-based theatre is built to resemble the famous eight petaled lotus pond in Polonnaruwa. The Nelum Pokuna theatre ...

Nelum Pokuna Theatre & Art Street
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Sitting high about the Colombo Harbour, looking precarious on two interlocking arches, is the Sambodhi Chaitya. This Buddhist shrine is in the shape of a ...

Sambodhi Chaithya
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Across from Galle Face Green sits the Old Parliament Building. Built in 1930 by the British, and opened by the Governor at the time, Sri ...

Old Parliament Building
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Named by the Dutch, who mistakenly thought the roaming jackals in the area were wolves, this church sits in what is now the heart of ...

Wolvendaal Church
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Martin Wickramasinghe is one of Sir Lanka’s most well-known authors and considered the father of modern Sinhala literature. His books delved into the lives of ...

Martin Wickramasinghe Museum
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Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is one of the preeminent temples for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and across the region. It is one the four major ...

Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara
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Kataragama Temple is one of the only religious sites in Sri Lanka that draws Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Vedda pilgrims. The temple is dedicated to ...

Kataragama Temple
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Buduruvagala is located just 6.5km southwest of Wellawaya and is home to the largest statues of Lord Buddha in Sri Lanka. Including 6 more ...

Buduruvagala
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Lankathilake Gadaladeniya and Embekke Temples
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The Aluvihare Rock Temple is located 3.5km from Matale, in the ancient town of Aluvihare. Founded in the 3rd century B.C.E. by ...

Aluvihare
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Spice Gardens
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Yapahuwa
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Just 16km from Sigiriya Rock, visitors can immerse themselves in a truly Sri Lankan experience by visiting Hiriwadunna Village. The village allows visitors a peek ...

Hiriwadunna Village
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Located near the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka, on the Palk Strait, the Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati. This site ...

Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple
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Nagadeepa Temple
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Ketheeswaram Temple
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Located just 1.2km northeast of Mannar Town, in Pallimunai, this Baobab Tree is thought to have been planted by Arabic traders around 700 years ...

700 Year Old Baobab Tree
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Hamilton Canal has been one of the major waterways in Sri Lanka, connecting Puttalam to Colombo through Negombo. Early uses of the canal were to ...

Hamilton Canal
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Negombo Fish Market
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A hallowed religious site, the Kelaniya Temple sits just 11km from Colombo, in the town of Kelaniya. According the Buddhist belief, this temple sits where ...

Ancient Kelaniya Temple
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Sitting in the middle of a sprawling green lawn, the Colombo National Museum is housed in a huge 19th century Italian-style building. Founded by the ...

Colombo National Museum
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This 17th century Dutch colonial-style building is believed to be the oldest building in Colombo’s Fort neighbourhood. Built in 1681, the Dutch Hospital served Dutch ...

Old Dutch Hospital Complex
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Just 5 km from beautiful Nuwara Eliya, is Sita Eliya, a place shrouded in and mythology. According to the Hindu epic, Ramayana, Sita was a ...

Sita Eliya
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Independence Square
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The Nallur Kovil (temple), dedicated to the Hindu Lord Murugan, is one of the most famous Hindu sites in Sri Lanka, and a short 3 ...

Nallur Kovil
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Ritigala
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Ceylon Tea Museum
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