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Dambulla

Sigiriya

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.

Dambulla cave temple

Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometers (92 mi) east of Colombo and 72 kilometers (45 mi) north of Kandy.

Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square meters (23,000 sq ft). Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha’s first sermon.

Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes.

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. The park earned revenue of Rs. 10.7 millions in the six months ending in August 2009. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka. The park is situated 182 kilometres (113 mi) from Colombo

Ridi viharaya

Ridi Viharaya or Silver Temple is a 2nd-century BCE Theravada Buddhist temple in the village of Ridigama, Sri Lanka. Built during the reign of Dutthagamani of Anuradhapura, the temple is considered as the place where the silver ore, which provided silver to complete Ruwanwelisaya; one of the largest stupa in Sri Lanka, was discovered. According to the chronicles Mahavamsa and Thupavamsa, the Ridi Viharaya complex was built in gratitude for helping him cherish his dream of completing Ruwanwelisaya

Dutthagamani of Anuradhapura, a Sinhalese king of ancient Sri Lanka, known for his campaign that defeated and overthrowed the usurping Tamil prince Ellalan of Chola Kingdom, reigned from 161 BCE to 137 BCE in the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Upon his victory over Elara, he initiated construction of Ruwanwelisaya, also known as the “Great Stupa”, one of the tallest monuments built before the 20th century. Among other materials, silver was required for the basement of the stupa.

Habarana Elephant riding

Elephant Back Safari in Sri Lanka brings in many joys. The majestic beasts, the locations in close proximity to the cultural attractions and the terrain, rich with bird life. All of these add up to bring about memorable experiences to the tourists holidaying in Sri Lanka. Elephant Back Safaris are one of the newest and most thrilling safari experiences in Sri Lanka. These Elephant Back Safaris not only make it possible to view wildlife from the back of an elephant, but perhaps more importantly, provide the unique opportunity to share a day in the life of an elephant.