This 5th Century Capital of Sri Lanka has been a well known city even before the advent of Buddhism. Anuradhapura served as the Capital of the country for nearly 1400 years. Here is found the largest number of ancient monuments of the Sinhala civilization. Taking pride of place is the Sri Maha Bodhi, tree over 2000 years old (the oldest historically documented tree in the world) and a branch of the very tree under which Buddha attained Buddha hood and the world famous ‘Samadhi’ Buddha statue. Marvels of ancient architecture, sculpture, art and craft and irrigation are also evidenced everywhere.


After the decline of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa became the Capital of Sri Lanka during the period 10th to 12th Century A.D. The greatness of the ancient people is amply demonstrated by the huge man-made reservoirs, veritable island seas like Parakrama Samudra. The monuments of this city mainly date from the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great. The Gal Vihara complex and the Tivanka Image House best known for its Buddhist frescoes are the most visited places.


The retreat chosen by king Vatta Gamini Abhaya when he was driven away from Anuradhapura by the Tamil in the 1st Century. This mass of rock and the caves therein were turned into a temple later by the same King. Some of the frescoes in these caves are over 2000 years old. There is also a 47ft. long recumbent figure of Buddha carved out of rock.



The so called ‘Fortress in the Sky’ built by King Kassapa in the 5th Century A.D. was an impregnable retreat of steps and stairways with a palace at the summit. Halfway up this rock are the world famous frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens of Sigiriya’ remnants of a gallery of frescoes.


115Kms (72miles) from Colombo. Elevation 1,600 Ft. (488metres) above mean sea level. Kandy the beautiful hill Capital of Sri Lanka is a repository of Sinhala culture having traditions dating back to the origins of Sinhala civilization. It conjures visions of storied past and ancient splendor, legend, folklore and traditions lovingly kept alive for centuries. This seat of Kandyan kings from 14th Century was also the last stronghold of Sinhala Kings which was finally ceded to the British in 1885.

Kandy’s focal point is the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha). This is also the venue of the Esala Perahera (pageant) when the replica of the relic casket is paraded along the streets accompanied by caparisoned elephants, colorfully costumed dancers and drummers. Rare paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings are the rewards of the visitors to the Dalada Maligawa, temple of Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters, the four devales (shrines)and the Museum. Embekka Devale, Lankathilake, Gadaladeniya, around Kandy are the other places of interest.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya was a pleasure garden for the queen of King Wickramabahu the 3rd (14th Century). It covers an area of approximately 60 hectares (147 acres) circled by the river Mahaweli. The garden is well known for its variety of plants (over 4000 species), the Orchid House, Palm and Pine avenues and the spice garden.


Elevation 6,300 above mean sea level. It is home of finest tea. The drive through the vast ‘teascapes’, the sight of the tea plucking women and the tea factories in sharp contrast to the neatly trimmed acres of green would be most fascinating. A whole English countryside has almost been transplanted here. Most of the houses, in styles are similar to that of Georgian and Queen Anne. The 18th hole Golf Course is one of the most picturesque and challenge to many a champion. The ‘Worlds End’ a 90-degree vertical drop, Hakkgala Botanical Gardens overlooking the conch shell shaped mountain range, Sita Eliya are places worth visiting.


Galle (116 Km 72 Mls from Colombo) was the main seaport of the island before Colombo port was developed. Its main attraction is the Fort built by the Portuguese in 1619 and subsequently expanded and developed by the Dutch and British, which has now been declared a ‘World Heritage Site’. This 90 acre Fort shows no signs of the original Portuguese Fortress. Most of the buildings are of the Dutch period. The oldest building in the Fort built around 1656 is the National Museum building. The Dutch Reform Church built in 1752 is in excellent state of prevention. Present District Secretariat is housed in the old Dutch Hospital building. An ingenious drainage cum waste water disposal system had been is use with underground sewers that were flushed twice a day  with rising tide of the sea. There are many places of tourist interest in and around Galle. Famous Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna a beautiful stretch of beach, Rumassala are some of those places.


Facing the Indian Ocean, a tropical lagoon and a major river Bentota offers water sports possibilities nowhere else to be found. Apart from swimming, body-surfing or diving in the sea, you can jet-ski, windsurf, parasail or enjoy a romantic river safari on the river and lagoon. Especially for families Bentota is a well sought after destination. Safe swimming conditions combined with fun water sport and exciting excursions are providing for the ideal background for a relaxed holiday in Sri Lanka.


The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town 14 kms from Galle was the first (1960’s) of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkeling and diving in the clear waters are the major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colorful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found on the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi colored corals, witch is home to countless number of colorful fish. Off the beach there is a collection of tine islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here.There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore along with dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment. Plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka by the international board-riding set, and the reason so many visit Hikkaduwa is blatantly clear.


Negombo is a modest beach town located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable (though polluted) beach, Negombo is a much easier place to get your Sri Lankan feet than Colombo.Culture vultures will find bustling Negombo town a historically interesting place that’s strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. For the more natural-minded the narrow strip of land to the south of the lagoon, as well as the many different canals, make for good birdwatching.The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days.The busy centre of Negombo town lies to the west of the bus and train stations. Most places to stay, however, line the main road that heads north from the town centre, running almost parallel to the beach.


Unawatuna beach is a picturesque semi circular bay beach that stretches no more than kilometer. As the numerous other fine beaches in the south western and southern beaches of Sri Lanka,Unawatuna too his fringed by lush groves of coconut palm trees. However it has a rare geographical occurrence: on either end of the bay are headlands. And on the headland to the northwest makes an exceptionally scenic and rare spectacle; a gleaming white great globe of a dagabo sits prettily.


Jaffna, land of the palm trees, the administrative head quarters of the Jaffna District and the main city in the North has been an integral part of Sri Lankan political history. The city has a rich cultural heritage and a history of colonial influence of Portuguese, Dutch and the British. During the Dutch period Jaffna was a prominent trading town for locally grown agricultural products. Delft island is 35km from Jaffna named after the famous Dutch city. Jaffna Fort originally built by Portuguese and later rebuilt and expanded by the Dutch occupies an area of about 49 acres.

Nagadeepa Temple on Nainativu island reached by ferry, is a Buddihist temple hallowed by a visit of Lord Buddha. Nallur Kandasamy Kovil is the premier place of Hindu worship. Jaffna Library is one of the best in the island.



Tangalle is a big town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. It is one of the largest towns in southern province. It has a mild climate, in comparison to the rest of the district, and sandy beaches. Here one can enjoy an excursion by bike to the Kalametiya bird sanctuary or drive to the magnificent ancient monastery of Mulkirigala. Visit the Archaeological site of Ussangoda with its stunning beauty and mythological charm or appreciate the significant efforts of the Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project


Passikudah is a small coastal village situated in the east of Sri Lanka about 35km from Batticaloa. It is famous for its golden bay and clear, shallow waters in which you can wade 50m out to sea. It is a virgin beach and renowned throughout the country for its beauty.From here you can visit Batticaloa, which is home to a historic Dutch Fort and a lagoon that reportedly has singing fish in it. If you are a keen diver, then there are some excellent diving spots, including the wreck of the HMS Hermes, a WW2 British naval ship. You can also enjoy exploring the Maduru Oya National Park where you have a good chance of seeing elephants as well as Hindu temples and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.



Placed 150 km north of the capital, Colombo, the Kalpitiya region is one of the most beautiful coastal areas located in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya is a peninsular that separates the Puttalam lagoon from the Indian Ocean and is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches.



Known as Trinco to locals it has one of the world’s best natural harbour’s. Following settlement by the Portuguese and the Dutch, the British colonized Ceylon. British forces took residency in 1940s at Orr’s Hill a high ground with a spectacular view of the harbour. Present day Welcome Hotel was their Head office. Trinco has a historical Fort. The Swami Rock with a straight drop of 130 metres is known locally as the ‘Lovers Leap’ due to a historic legend that a Dutch official’s daughter threw herself down after watching her fiancé’ desert her by sea. At the peak of this rock stands the holy site of Kaneswaran Temple.