Anuradhapura

205 Km from Colombo is the ancient capital town of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's first capital founded about the 4th century BC. During this period it reminded one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. Anuradhapura was to continue for over thousand years as the national capital. Today this ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is sacred to the Buddhist world, which its surrounding monasteries covers an area of over sixteen square miles (40 sq km) and is one of the world's major archaeological sites. It is a pleasant and a planned city. more about Anuradhapura...

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Batticaloa

Batticaloa is situated 314 Km (195 Miles) from Colombo on the east coast. It occupies the central Part of Eastern Sri Lanka and covers a land area of approximately 2633.1 Square Km. The charms of Batticaloa such as the heavenly beaches of Pasikudah and Kalkudah have rarely been molested. Batticaloa is famous for its singing fish - The musical sounds are heard in the lagoon near the Kallady Lady Manning bridge when the night is lit by a near full moon and minimal wind. Batticaloa Lagoon presents unique opportunities for boating, fishing and bird-watching.


Colombo

Colombo is the commercial capital and financial center of Sri Lanka also known as Ceylon. Colombo offers many interesting places to visit. Sri Lanka's capital, biggest city and major port has its supporters and detractors. Some people appreciate its cononial heritage, fine dining and shopping opportunities, and dash of urban buzz in an oveerwhelmingly rural country. Others quickly tire of the diesel fumes and different modern of building styles seen on Galle Rd, the city's main styles seen on Galler rd, the city's main artery.

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Dambulla

Twelve miles from Sigiriya is Dambulla, a vast isolated rock mass 500 ft. high and a mile round the base. Here is found the famous rock-temple dating to the first century BC. The view from the top of this rock is breathtaking 350 ft. above are a series of five caves turned into shrines. In the first cave is recumbent image of the Buddha 47 ft. long, cut out of the rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism. Dambulla is a unique and important historical site because of the amalgamation of the material from many eras.


Galle

The port of Galle (pronounced 'gawl' in English, and 'gaae-le' in Sinhala), Sri Lanka's fourth biggest town, is 116 km south of Colombo. Galle is Sri Lanka's most historically interesting living city. Although Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are mouch older, they are effectively abandoned cities - the modern towns are quite divorced from the ancient ruins. Until the construction of breakwaters at Colombo habour in the late 19th century, Galle was the major port in Sri Lanka and still handles shipping - and cruising yachts. The southern coastal belt is the most popular among the tourists and comes to life mainly from October through April when the monsoon moves northeast and the sea becomes calm with blue skies.

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Hambantota

Hambantota is located at a distance of 240km (150 miles) from Colombo. Hambantota, situated on the southeast corner of Sri Lanka's coastline, is a well-sheltered fishing port with much history attached to it. Hambantota is also renowned for its rich, creamy curd, which is made from the buffalo milk.


Hikkaduwa

The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. The beach and sea offer equal opportunities for having a lot of fun. There's excellent snorkelling just offshore and a number of dive sites for more serious scuba divers further out to sea, while good surf to the south of town attracts surfers. Turning away from beach and sea, a trip inland will bring you to the Gangarama Maha Vihara, a Buddhist temple with lots of paintings.


Jaffna

Jaffna District, the northernmost region of the Island of Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest habitation sites in Lower South Asia, populated by Tamil speaking people. Jaffna is low lying; much of it covered by shallow lagoons, and has a number of interesting islands dotted offshore. In all it covers 2560 square km (999 square miles).

Kalutara

Kalutara is a coastal town some 35 km south of Colombo. It was the spice trade that made Kalutara famous a few centuries ago. The town is most famous for its mangosteens, which are in season from May to July, and sold at the roadside in inviting purple-black heaps. In addition, some of Sri Lanka's finest basket ware can be found at Kalutara's Basket Hall. Intricate and beautiful geometrical patterns are used, and the colours are bold.

Kandy

Kandy, the Hill Capital was the last bastion of the Sinhala kings and is a charming city offering a living record of a magnificent past. Some say Kandy is the only other real 'coty' in Sri Lanka, other than Colombo. The easygoing capital capital of the hill contry has alot to offer - history, culture, forested hills and a touch of urban buzz. Only 115 km inland from the capital, climatically it is a world away due to its 500m altitude. Kandy was also the capital of th last Sinhalese kingdom, which fell to the British in 1815 after defying the Portuguese and Dutch for three centuries. Town, and the countryside around it, is lush and green and there are many pleasant walks both from the town or further afield. The town centre, close of kandy's picturesue lake set in a bowl if hills, is a delightful jumble of old shops, antique and gemstones specialists, a bustling market and a good selection of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.

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Kurunegala

Kurunegala was Sri Lankas capital for half a century during the regain of King Buwanekabahu II (1293-1302) housed the Tooth relic in Dambadeniya Temple. The Ethugala Climb, Dambadeniya, Arankale Forest, Ridi Vihara, Old Railway Station are attractions. The beautiful royal citadels in Kurunagala you can visit are Panduwasnuwara, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa that has remains fortresses, temples, shrines, monasteries and hermitages.


Mannar

Mannar Island is about 130 sq km in area. The main feature of the town of Mannar is its Portuguese fort, which was erected in 1560. The Mannar district features some exotic fauna and flora. The dugong, a marine mammal and distant relative of the elephant, lives in the shallow waters off the coast feeding on sea grasses. Several kilometres south of Mannar Island in the Gulf of Mannar lie the celebrated Pearl Banks, the location of one of the most famous pearl-fisheries in history. Matara


Matara

Matara, situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka, is an old fort town built on the banks of the Nilwala Ganga, literally the Blue River. This district is well known to mineralogists as a prime location of zircon, a comparatively soft stone that has a brilliance and fire approximating that of a diamond. The star shaped fort here is an unusual and a unique structure. There are several beautiful and less crowded beaches along the coast between Galle and Matara and the closest to the town is at Polhena. Another attraction is a 25m high colourful Buddha statue built at Veherahena Temple. The temple is about 2 km from the town centre and about 1 Km inland from Pallimulla on the main road.


Negombo

The major beach resort in the West Coast is Negombo. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major attractions of Negombo, a traditional fishing town. Besides the beach, the fish market is worth visiting where busy trading of a variety of fish including prawns, crabs and seer takes place in the mornings when the fishing crafts return to the shore with their catch. The most popular fishing craft is the outrigger canoe called oruwa dug out from a huge log and is seen in large numbers in the Negombo lagoon.

Nuwara Eliya

In 1819, during the British colonial era, a few Britishers on a hunting expedition in the hill country spotted the site where the present day Nuwara Eliya town stands 1890 metres above sea level and decided to set up a health resort for their use. It was Sir Samuel Baker who later converted it to a holiday resort with a touch of an English village which earned it the name 'Little England' where the temperature sometimes drops down to 9°C.. The 18 hole golf course is very popular with the locals and the foreign tourists. Hakgala Botanical Gardens a few kilometres away is an added attraction.

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Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo. It is well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The Sea of Parakrama - a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city.

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Ratnapura

Roughly 100km (64 miles) southeast of Colombo on the outskirts of the hill country, Ratnapura is known as Sri Lanka's gemstone capital. It is the centre of a number of richly watered valleys between adam's peak and Sinharaja forest Reserve. The climate here is wet and humid. ratnapura was the traditional start of the toughest pilgrimages up to Adam's Peak, and this is reputed to be the best place for views of the sacred mountain.

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Sigiriya

The spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya, 22 km northeast of Dambulla, is among the Srilanka's major attractions. A leafy village lies on the southern side of the rock. Sri Lankan architectural tradition is well displayed at Sigiriya, the best preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium, with its combination of buildings and gardens with their trees, pathways, water gardens etc. more about Sigiriya...

more about Sigiriya ...

Trincomalee

Trincomalee is a tropical city on the east coast of Sri Lanka. With one of the finest harbors in the world, It enjoys warm weather all year round and beautiful beaches. Tea is the chief export, hides and dried fish are also shipped. It is a railroad terminus and an important road junction and is noted for its rice and coconut plantations. There is some pearl fishing. It also hosts a famous Hindu temple, as well as great hotels.