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Written by Sathya J on June 15, 2023 Share on

5 Amazing Experiences in Sri Lanka

Appearances are deceptive. Sri Lanka is one perfect example of this phrase. One might rub off Sri Lanka as a small war-torn country. But only when you visit the country do you get an idea of the astounding landscape it beholds. Let us dive in deeper and see what the amazing experiences in Sri Lanka are. If you are planning for a Sri Lanka trip, then book a Sri lanka tour packages here!

1. Picturesque train ride from Kandy to Ella

This railway line has been existent for about 150 years now. However, passenger traffic in this route surged only after the late 1950s. Until then, tea and coffee movers were its frequent users. The railway line offers an economic way to absorb the country’s natural beauty. Imagine a train ride which takes you through enormous tea plantations, waterfalls and mountains… The reality will be nothing short of your imagination. At the end of this 7 hour escape from the city-side, you will be feeling fresh, energetic, and thankful for the environment and its serene beauty !

Get on board this train from Kandy and get dropped off at Ella. Before the train puffs off and starts the journey, you can go forward and set your expectations high for the amazing views that are just waiting to be seen by the world. Try avoiding this train during weekends solely due to the crowd that comes along.

On the way, the train will halt at a couple of stations where you can get down and roam around for a few minutes. Apart from that, sit back and enjoy !

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

2. The Sigiriya Rock

Also known as the Sinhagiri Rock, this huge piece of rock stands tall in the Northern Matale District. As per ancient Sri Lankan chronicles, this place was selected as a capital city and a palace was built on top of this rock. At the halfway point, be ready to find an enormous gateway in the form of a lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure (Sigiriya a.k.a Sinhagiri a.k.a Lion Rock).

Needless to say, this site was well ahead of its time in terms of urban planning. Deservedly, this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its futuristic vision and execution. This is one reason the Sigiriya Rock is a spectacular experience for people from all over the world.

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Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

On the way up the rock, there are a number of interesting things to gaze upon. Intricate artwork, poetry on varied subjects, a highly polished white plaster wall – all of these makes you wonder…..How does every generation of human beings have so much of creative superiority over other beings. This will make up for a good conversation at the summit of the rock where you can feel like you are on top of the world and wonder about the amazing structure you just climbed.

Also read: Sri Lanka in May 2023

3. Blue Whale watching in Sri Lanka

It is a known fact that the blue Whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on planet Earth. They are roughly 30 meters long. Only for comparisons sake, let me enlighten you on this fact: the tallest human being was around 2.8 meters tall. Now imagine how huge a blue whale will be. To quote David Attenborough, “its heart is the size of a car”. The sheer size of the animal makes it a spectacular being to witness.

And in Sri Lanka, it is easier to encounter these whales close to the shore and your chances of seeing them are high if you visit the country in February and March and the Southern cities of Galle and Mirissa are great places to take off on a boat to experience whale watching in Sri Lanka.

Also read: Things to do in Sri Lanka

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

4. Temples in Sri Lanka

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

The country comprises of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Buddhists form around three-fourths of the population and hence you will get to see a lot of temples dedicated to deities belonging to their culture and history. Although there is a mixture of religions in Sri Lanka, one commonality you can see in temples of all religions is the size. A majority of temples will either have massive statues or other structures of significance to each faith.

A few must-visit temples are the Dambulla Cave Temple, Gangaramaya Temple, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple and St.Sebastian’s Church.

Most of these temples will have a beautiful setting surrounding them. In Sri Lanka, you will realize that a temple in the midst of trees and mountains is a lot more appealing than temples in urban cities. You might even feel an indescribable vibration when you enter these sacred places. Take some alone time to find inner peace while you are at such places of holy importance.

5. The Yala National Park

Yala sits on the South East coast of Sri Lanka. Established in 1900 as a wildlife sanctuary, the Yala National Park boasts a myriad of wildlife, offers Safaris and camping areas which are second to only the ones you can experience in Africa. The National park is divided into five blocks, each having its own name. Block 1 and block 5 are the main areas for public visits. This division was undertaken to facilitate maintenance.

An interesting fact: During the devastating Tsunami in 2004, around 250 people lost their lives to unforgiving waves. However, not one animal or bird had a fatal impact at that time – this tells us how these beings sensed the impending catastrophe and avoided getting harmed.

Yala National Park houses the Sri Lankan Leopard, a large herd of elephants and the Sri Lankan sloth bear, to name a few. As in most wildlife sanctuaries, the threats faced by the officials and animals are poaching, encroachments, and gem mining. There have been instances where wardens were killed by the tress-passing poachers.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

From a tourism point of view, after the devastating effects of the Tsunami at the turn of this century, it took almost five years for tourist inflow to steadily increase and even foreigners had a liking for the park, especially Europeans. The best time to visit Yala is from February to July. The rapid increase in tourists also brought pollution into the Park, so if and when you visit Yala, please be conscious of the carbon footprint you leave behind.

A young travel junkie like me will definitely put Sri Lanka on top of my bucket-list of places to visit. This is solely due to the breathtaking value the country has to offer at a shoe-string budget. Not always does travel involve intricate planning and tight schedules. Go to Sri Lanka and roam free, it is a country to be cherished forever.

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