Sri Lanka, an island to paradise, where each place and each smile tells a story. Not just this, but, Sri Lanka is home to not one but eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your next adventure can include exploring rainforests, stunning beaches, wonderful cities and much more. Sri Lanka's incredible locations make for an amazing getaway all round the year.
1. Ancient city of Sigiraya
Also known as the Lion's Rock, the ancient city of Sigiraya was given UNESCO status in 1982. It is located right in the centre of this magnificent island and is undoubtedly the mist visited site by tourists. This spectacular archaeological fortress rises out of land and dominates the entire scenery. One can witness the remains of a 5th century palace which is also accessible by a staircase. Most tourists take the stairs to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the the entire city at the end.
2. Sacred city of Anuradhapura
The city of Anuradhapura was founded in the 4th century BC. It has a very rich and distinguished history attached to it as it's one of the oldest and largest ancient city of Sri Lanka. Back in the day, it used to be the city of Buddhist kings and as s consequence still is a location for Buddhists. They live to visit the city's ancient palaces, temples, and monasteries. It is situated 200kms north of the capital and was also awarded UNESCO status in 1982.
3. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa
The city of Polonnaruwa historically became the island's second capital once the ancient city of Anuradhapura was destroyed. The second most ancient city of Sri Lanka has one of the best archaeological sites in the island, the 12th century Garden City. Sri Lanka forms a cultural triangle with the cities of Anuradhapura, Sigiraya and Polonnaruwa. This city was also awarded UNESCO status in 1982.
4. Sinharaja forest reserve
The forest reserve is located in the south-west region of Sri Lanka. It is 75kms from Galle and was declared as the last viable area of rainforest by UNESCO. It was also given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Tourists can spend days here admiring the huge variety of rare and endemic trees, which make for 60 percent of the tree species present. There is also a wide range of endemic wildlife including mammals, reptiles and butterflies present in the forest reserve. One can also enjoy bird watching in the area.
5. Old Town of Galle and its fortifications
It will be love at first sight for tourists when they visit this old town built by the Dutch in the 16th century. It is located on the south of Sri Lanka on the Indian Ocean. Famous for its forts, the city still retains its colonial charm and is a must-visit attraction. Additionally, it is extremely well accessible from Colombo and was granted the UNESCO World Heritage status in 1988.
6. Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple
Popularly known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, it has welcomed pilgrims for over 2000 years. It is also the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The temple has an impressive array of more than 150 statues and cave paintings devoted to Buddha. It was granted UNESCO status in 1991.