- Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. It is located in 1km off the coast of Nilaveli in Trincomalee District in Eastern Province and the total area is 47,429 hectares. You can reach the island by 15 minutes boat ride from the Nilaveli beach. The coastal length of the island is 8.34km. In 1963 it was designated as a sanctuary and redesignated as a National Park in 2003. The name of the Island “Pigeon” was derived from the Rock Pigeons which colonized it. This national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. There are over 100 species of corals and more than 300 species of reef fish have been identified from the Trincomalee area, and many of these species are found within the Pigeon Islands National Park. The Pigeon Island National Park is about 300km away from Colombo and it will take 6 hours to reach by the road. Read the post “Getting Around Sri Lanka – Transportation System” for the transportation guide. Provide your location of departure in the text box below the map to get the best route for you. Click here to find a list of accommodations around Nilaveli Beach, Sri Lanka on Booking.com External Links Island Biodiversity Tourism Eastern Province Discover a snorkeling haven with Cinnamon Nature Trails in Pigeon Island, Trincomalee – DailyFT
- Diyasuru Park is an urban wetland park which is located in Sri Jayawardanapura, the administrative capital of Sri Lanka, at the vicinity of the Parliament. It is an ideal place to relax in busy and crowded and noisy Colombo. The park is spread over an area of 60 acres. The park showcases a range of wetland habitats such as marshes, flooded woodlands, lakes, and ponds including wonders of urban wildlife in Colombo. More than 230 animal species have been recorded from the park including many rare and migrant birds, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, many types of fishes including endemics, amphibians, and reptiles. Park offers many features and activities for visitors to have unique wetland experience in the middle of the city. These features include bird watching tower, bird hide, butterfly garden, organic agriculture area, open study area, buildings which are adaptive to nature, boardwalks to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness while walking through the wetland, plant nursery, ecology laboratory, ample parking and restroom facilities. External Links Wetlands losing ground – The Island
- Dry Zone Botanic Gardens, Mirijjawila is one of the five botanical gardens in Sri Lanka and It is the first Dry Zone botanic gardens in the country. This was the first time a botanic garden was set up in Sri Lanka after 130 years. The garden is located in Mirijjawila in Hambanthota District. The construction work of the garden was commenced in 2006 and the first stage was opened for visitors in 2013. The gardens consist of plants, trees and herbal plants that are grown in the dry zone, a butterfly garden, a plant nursery, a student park, a plant conservation unit, a flower garden, and ornamental bushes. Pinpoint External Links Department of National Botanic Gardens web.archive.org
- Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in the Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka. The monastery was built by the King Kashyapa (473-495 CE) to relocate monks who were residing in Sigiriya rock before the construction of the fortress. Also, it is believed that this monastery has been served as the royal monastery during the reign of King Kashyapa. Pidurangala is a massive rock similar to Sigiriya, said to be just four feet short of the height of Sigiriya. From certain places at a distance, one can see the view of both Sigiriya and Pidurangala. Surrounding the Pidurangala temple, lie many ruined dagobas and monuments. The entry point to the top of Pidurangala is along the stone steps through the temple. It is a one-km drive from the Sigiriya entrance, through the Pidurangala Sanctuary. The Pidurangala is also popular among both local and foreign tourists due to the stunning view of the Sigiriya rock. Many tourists climb the Pidurangala rock summit to experience this amazing view and take photographs. View of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress from Pidurangala Rock Summit View of Pidurangala Rock from Sigiriya Rock Fortress Click here to find a list of accommodations around Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. External Links අධ්යාත්මයේ කැඩපත පිදුරංගල රජ මහා විහාරයයි – බුදුසරණ ‘Discover Sri Lanka’ – Ritgala and Pidurangala – The Island Pidurangala: In the midst of serenity
- Menik Vehera is an ancient monastery located in Polonnaruwa District of North Central Province, Sri Lanka. The history of this place is not known. However, according to the architectural features, it is assumed to belong to the 8-9 centuries A.D. This monastery consists of a Stupa, image houses, a Bodhi – tree shrine, refectory, monk’s dispensary and cells. The stupa here is of a rare type, which is built on a high terrace surrounded by a high wall. There is a carved stone door-frame at the entrance to the Stupa. This monastery is unnoticed by many of the visitors who visit the Polonnaruwa archaeological site. It is located closer to the Northern Gate. You can identify the Northern Gate (see the image below) by the ruins of small chambers considered to be the guard rooms located either side of the road. The Stupa Northern Gate
- Avukana Buddha Statue is a great masterpiece of sculpture which explain the competence of artist in ancient Sri Lanka. It is an over 40 feet high Buddha statue carved out of a great granite rock face built during the reign of King Dhatusena (455 – 473 AD). It is located in the vicinity of Kala Wewa in Anuradhapura district of North Central Province, Sri Lanka. In this is statue the Lord Buddha is depicted in Asisa Mudra which is a pose of blessing. Originally this statue had been placed inside an Image house and now you can see only the crumbling brick walls of it. Click here to find a list of accommodations around Kekirawa, Sri Lanka on Booking.com
- Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the greatest ancient Buddhist monastery located in Hambanthota District in Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The history of the monastery is date back to 2nd century BC. It is believed that this place was built by King Kawanthissa ( 205–161 BC). According to Buddhist literary, this place was center for Buddhist education for Buddhist monks and once there had been 12,000 arhat monks around this location. A number of caves temples, images houses, stupas, and ponds located around this large area are bear witness for this story.
- This is a very beautiful waterfall located in the Nuwara Eliya District of Central Province, Sri Lanka. The waterfall is a part of the Kothmale Oya, a tributary of the Mahaweli River. The St. Clairs Falls can be easily seen from the Avissawella – Hatton – Nuwara Eliya road (see the map for the most suitable viewpoint).
- From the Lipton’s Seat, you can have a Spectacular view over five provinces, namely Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. This marvelous viewpoint is located above 6000 ft MSL and it is in Haputale area in Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka.
- The Horton Plains National Park is popular tourist destination located in Nuwara Eliya district of Central Province, Sri Lanka. The plateau which Horton Plains is located in is the highest plateau in the country. It is well known for its beautiful landscape of rolling hills, rare plants and animal lives. The average temperature of the area is about 160C. The elevation of the park range from 1200 – 2300 meters. The Horton Plains is spread over bout 3160 hectares. This region was designated a national park in 1988. The combinations of Horton plains, its surroundings forests and the adjoining Peak Wilderness is the most important catchment area of most of the major rivers in Sri Lanka. The plains are also habitats for many endemic plants and animals. Therefore, the Horton Plains are well recognized as a rich biodiversity and high endemism area. World’s End The Horton Plains plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, with a sheer cliff of about 1200m. This is the most popular place in the Horton Plains National Park and also a key tourist attraction place in Sri Lanka. You can access this place by the circular road and its 4km away from the entrance. If you walk another 2km ahead, you will meet the Baker’s Falls. You can come back to the entrance walking another 3.5km ahead. You can complete the round trip within 3-4 hours leisurely. It is pointless to visit this place when it is covered with mist. So, it is recommended to visit this place early in the morning (6.00am-10am) as the location is clearest. External Links Department of Widlife Conservation – Horton Plains Pollen morphology of endemic species of the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka
- The Udawalawa National Park is very popular among visitors for Sri Lankan elephants. Visitors can see elephants at any time of the day. The park was declared as a national park in 1972 and it covers about 30,821 hectares of land. It lies in the Monaragala District of Uva Province and Ratnapura District of Sabaragamuwa Province. Animal Life Grizzled Giant Squirrel Elephants Buffalos Birds Udawalawa Reservoir Udawalawa Reservoir External Links Department of Wildlife Conservation > National Parks Map of Protected Areas in Sri Lanka
- Yala National Park lies within Monaragala District of Uva Province and Hambanthota District of Southern Province. The park covers about 979 km2 and one side is bounded by South East coast of Sri Lanka. The park was first declared as as a protected area in 1900 and it was gazetted as National Park in 25th February 1938. The entrance to the Yala National Park is located in Tissamaharama. There are many tour companies who operate jeep safari at Yala and visitors can select suitable one. Vegetation This area is characterized by semi-arid thorn scrub habitat. However it has been modified by human activities making it a secondary forest of few hundred years old. Fauna The main species of the park are mammals such as elephant, wild buffalo, spotted deer etc… There are variety of bird species are also present. However, depending on the environment the species are vary in different regions of the park. External Links Department of Wildlife Conservation National Parks declared in Sri Lanka
- Koneswaram Temple is a Hindu temple in Trincomalee District of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in the top of the Swami Rock promontory that overlooks the Indian Ocean, Trincomalee Harbour, and the Trincomalee District. The exact date of construction of the temple remains vague. However, according to the historical evidence, the temple was likely to found before 400 B.C. External Links Koneswaram temple – Wikipedia.org Swami Rock and Koneswaram temple
- Gadaladeniya temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Pilimathalawa area in Kandy District of Central Province, Sri Lanka. The temple was done by king Bhuvanekabahu IV ( reigned from 1341 to 1351) in 1344. According to the historical evidence, the temple was done by a South Indian architect named Ganesvarachari. Therefore the temple has built according to the South Indian tradition. Gadaladeniya Gadaladeniya Gadaladeniya Gadaladeniya External Links Department of Archaeology
- The Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya is located in the Ratnapura District of Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka. According to rock inscription found here, the history of this temple goes back to the reign of King Dutugemunu (161-137 BC). As said by the legends, there had been Ten Giants in king Dutugemunu’s troops. The giant Pussadeva is one of them who had a special skill of blowing conch shells (“Sankha” in Sinhala) so loudly. The symbol of the giant was also the conch shell itself. After winning the Vijithapura war, the king Dutugemunu has offered this area to the Pussadeva giant. Later, he has built this Viharaya and become a Buddhist monk here. The name “Pussadeva” found engraved on inscriptions confirms this story. The conch shells (Sankha) used in the Vijithapura war said to be entombed in a rock called Hakgedi Gala (Conch shell rock) located on the top of the mountain.