YALA

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Yala National Park is world renowned as one of the best parks to observe and photograph leopards. Although it has one of the world’s densest leopard populations, it still requires good luck to see one of the elusive creatures in its natural habitat.
Covering an area in excess of 126,000 ha, the park is divided into 5 blocks, of which only Block One is open to the general public. The area consists of scrub jungle and brackish lagoons with stunning rock monoliths scattered throughout the park. The many different habitats provide a unique experience to anyone visiting the park and support a great variety of animals. The often low-density vegetation provides ideal conditions for safaris as it allows a clear and unobstructed view of the wildlife.

Yala National Park has a substantial elephant population along with many other species like spotted deer, sambur, wild buffalo, sloth bear, mongoose and crocodiles to name a few. Also more than one hundred and thirty different species of birds can be seen, ranging from the lesser flamingos to Paradise Flycatchers, Crested Hawk Eagles and the rare Black necked Stork.
It is possible to take full day jeep safaris or to split the day into morning and afternoon drives. The best times to see the wildlife is either in the early morning or in the late afternoon, when the animals are most active.

KANDY

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Kandy is one of the most beautiful cities of Sri Lanka that is known for its scenic beauty and rich cultural value. Spread over an area of around 1940 square kilometers, it is counted amongst the world heritage sites of UNESCO. The city promises a number of tourist attractions that include the Old Royal Palace and the famous Temple of Tooth. The latter consists of the sacred relic of Buddha’s tooth because of which Kandy is regarded as one of the most sacred places by Buddhists. Other holy spots include the Gadaladeniya Temple and the Lankathilake Temple.

Kandy offers an exciting shopping experience with souvenirs ranging from precious stones and handmade laces to stone and wooden carvings. If you visit the city in the month of August, you can get a taste of Kandy Esala Perehera, an annual ritual of the Sacred Tooth Temple. Thus, your vacation can be an enriching and cultural uplifting one if you choose this sacred and beautiful city.

Kandyan Dancers

Developed from the period of Kandyan kings, the iconic Kandyan-style dance forms are a dramatic depiction of the movements of birds and animals and are an explosion of colours and sounds - an absolute must-see in the itinerary of a tourist. The costumes of Kandyan dancers are colourful with white, red, yellow and black mixed. The male dancers with their bare chests decorated with exquisitely silver regalia and spectacular headgear; wear silver bangles on their arms and ankles. The performance is companied with hectic rhythms of drums called Geta Bera. To assist the dancer to keep rhythm a small pair of cymbals knows as the Thalampota is also used. The Vannams (acts) however have lyrics that are sung in tune with the movements of the dancer. These lyrics sing about the virtues of the animal that the Vannama is depicting. There are 18 main dances in Kandyan Style.

Kandyan Dancing shows and acts could be seen at a number of locations in Kandy town and on certain nights, arranged by the hotel as entertainment for in-house guests.

PINNAWALA

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Pinnawala orphanage is situated northwest of the town Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy in the hills of central Sri Lanka. It was established 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife department.

This 24 acres large elephant orphanage is also a breeding place for elephants, twenty elephants were born since 1984, and it has the greatest herd of elephants in captivity in the world.

SINHARAJA

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Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.

ARUGAMBAY SURFERS PARADISE

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Arugambay surfer’s paradise-Beach resort in the southern most part of the Eastern coast. Rated as the 11th best surfing destination in the world and 3rd in Asia. Lahugala national park famous for its elephants the Pottuvil lagoon and the Kumana Bird Sanctuary are in close proximity to Arugambay beach resort. A road leading to Panama and Okanda the gate way to Yala National park provides easy access for visitors to the delights of wildlife.

GALLE

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Galle or ‘Galla’ is the principal city of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It has a splendid bay, a natural harbour, and a beautiful rocky sea kissed by constantly pounding waves that a guest can see nowhere else in Sri Lanka. Galle is not just an old city; it is Sri Lanka’s oldest living city.

The famous Roman Mathematician, Geographer and astrologer Ptolemy who lived in 125 -150 AD did not forget to include this splendid gift of nature in his manuscript under the name ‘Taprobane’. The cartographers who reconstructed the Ptolemy’s World map around 1300 AD fixed it there indelibly. The historical manuscript ‘Topograpfia Christina’ written by an Alexandrian merchant, traveller, and geographer Cosmas Indicopleustes mentions Galle as a ‘port of call of the Levant’. Ibn Battuta, the Islamic scholar and explorer who experienced an unexpected forced landing in Sri Lanka around 1344 AD calls it ‘Qali’ in his account ‘Rihla’ or ‘The Journey’. Galle is definitely an outstanding example of an ancient legacy which shows significant stages in human history for which reason the UNESCO included it as a world heritage site.

Galle, a Popular Tourist Destination

Why do many tourists include Galle Fort in their travel package whenever they visit Sri Lanka?

  • It's the largest fort in Sri Lanka and the only best preserved living one in the whole of Asia.
  • The place is very romantic, beautiful and safe.
  • People are friendly and welcoming.
  • Food's delicious and ideal for your budget.
  • Popular tourist destinations such as Hikkaduwa, Rumassala, Bentota, Matara Fort, Kaluwella beach, etc are close at hand

HIKKADUWA BEACH AND CORAL BED

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Known only as a fishing village in the past, Hikkaduwa has now become a major tourist attraction due to its beautiful location and natural resources such as clean beaches, corals, clear waters, and sun that tourist value the most.

Situated in the Southern province of Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa is located 100Km from the Bandaranaike International Airport which can be reached either by bus, train, or by a private vehicle. The town is located on route from Colombo to Galle and can be reached when travelling down a road named as the Galle Road. The main attractions in Hikkaduwa are the Hikkaduwa’s Coral Sanctuary and the sandy beaches that travellers regard as ideal for wind surfing and snorkelling. Hikkaduwa’s Coral Sanctuary, guarantees that underwater world can be seen by anybody whether they can dive or not.

The city is also famous for its vibrant nightlife and reaches its peak season in the period from October to April where surfers from Australia, UK, Japan, Italy, Israel, and U.S.A. are high in numbers. Luxury hotels, fine restaurants, cafes, and tour guides are located in numbers in the beach area of Hikkaduwa to cater to the demand from the tourists.

Hikkaduwa invites travellers and water sport lovers to indulge in holidays filled with the sun, sand and sea. If you want to shop in Hikkaduwa, plenty is offered such as clothes, jewellery, souvenirs, batiks and paintings, etc.

Hikkaduwa is the ultimate place to visit if you want to have a relaxed holiday filled with fun, swim, shopping and excitement.

SURFING IN MIRISSA

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A surfing hotspot in Sri Lanka, Mirissa beach offers waves for nice turns. Morning period is the best. The beach is clean and clear and a great start off point for a run into the waters. The blue waters offer a good ride for beginners and experienced surfers. Mirissa beach is an unpopulated beach.

Mirissa is a pointbreak location with intermediate level waves. Local surfers can be considered to be average to good. Best waves can be experienced early morning and late afternoon. Directions are right hand, and short length.

NUWARA ELIYA

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Nuwara Eliya meaning "city on the plain (table land)" or "city of light", is a town in Sri Lanka. It is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) in the central highlands and is considered one of the most important locations for Tea production in Sri Lanka. The town is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka.

UNAWATUNA

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Unawatuna beach, a crescent shaped shallow beach situated further south to the famous town of Galle and its famous harbour and towering Rumassala mountain. It is protected by a natural reef from the open sea and due to the semicircle shape of it forms a perfect natural swimming pool with aquamarine colour gentle waves crashing on the golden sandy beach.

With almost every kind and type of hotel, motel and guest houses to cater to the gourmet food a sea bather crave for, it is the perfect holiday spot for all your sea bathing and water based activities such as surfing in search of miriads of coral fish,angel fish & puffer fish diving for beautiful and out of this world coral reefs, scuba diving and underwater photography, sailing, yachting and the latest attraction of setting out in search of the blue whales which linger very close to the Unawatuna beach a few kilometers to south of this bay.

The uniqueness of this beautiful beach cove is that given any time of the day one can get in to the shallow waters without fear of opening out to the open sea and also the level of water which keeps a natural gradient forming a shallow and a deep end on this natural swimming pool. The coconut palms fringing the beach brings out the shade one require after a few hours under the bright and shinning sun which gives you the perfect sun tan that you craved for without burnning your skin. After a perfect bath the ayurveda masseurs await your arrival for the perfect bliss and mind boggling spa treatments using local herbal ointments and medical creams. The mouth watering local curries done with creamy coconut milk and spices to arouse your pallete along with seafood such as crab, prawn, lobster, muscssells tuna and cuttlefish make one feel that this paradise beach was meant to be the kingdom of “tritan” the god of sea. The guest houses cater to every need a holiday maker want with friendly and smilling staff to please your requirements without being asked.

RUMASSALA

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Rumassala is a massive hill oddly out of place in the landscape just outside the Galle harbour. Legend details that during the Rama – Rawana war Rama's brother Luxhmana, was injured and Hanuman was sent to Himalayas to fetch medicinal herbs. Hanuman forgot the name of the herb but he brought a chunk of the peak containing many herbs. However the mountain fragment slipped and broke into five pieces of which one fell to Rumassala. It should be noted that the renowned scientist Sir Arthur C. Clerk has a bungalow in the precincts of Rumassala, as it is said to be the place that has the highest specific gravity globally.

 SIGIRIYA

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One of the major tourist attractions of Sigiriya is the ancient castle built by King Kasyapa in 5th century AD. The Sigiriya site has remains of upper palace located at the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes a Lion gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes.

Archaeologically, the best feature of the Sigiriya rock is the Lion staircase, a gigantic figure towering majestically against the granite figure, leading to the palace garden on the summit. The Sigiriya site is both a palace and fortress that despite now being in ruins give an amazing picture to travellers of the creativity of its builders in Sri Lanka.

 

Make a fantastic round tour with Rasika Round tours to see the highlights of Sri Lanka from ancient cities to charming hill stations and awesome beaches. Visit some of the beautiful places of the country.