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Historical Places in Sri Lanka
Written by Madhumitha on May 15, 2021 Share on

Historical Places in Sri Lanka: The Top 10 List For Your Next Trip

Sri Lanka has a history that goes back 2500 years and is rich in culture and history. Kandy, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Galle, Polonnaruwa, Cave Temple Dambulla, Sinharaja Forest, and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are all historical sites. Anuradhapura is one of the world’s oldest continuously populated settlements. The Sacred Bodhi Tree, which is at the heart of this city’s spiritual significance, grew from a cutting brought from India’s Bodh Gaya. Sigiriya is an ancient fortress whose ruins are regarded as the most evocative of ancient sites. The location serves as both a castle and a stronghold. Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth, which has profound sacred meaning for Sri Lankans and visitors from all over the world. Dambulla is well-known for the Golden Temple. It also has a number of ancient caves and temples. Here is our list of the top historical places in Sri Lanka.

Adam's peak. Sri Lanka
Source: Unsplash

Also read: Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka for a memorable Vacation

Top Historical Places in Sri Lanka

  1. Adam’s Peak
  2. Dambulla Cave Temple
  3. Tooth relic temple
  4. Anuradhapura
  5. Polonnaruwa Vatadage
  6. World’s End, Horton Plains
  7. Jaffna Fort
  8. Belilena
  9. Buduruvagala
  10. Sigiriya Rock Fortress
 

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1. Adam’s Peak

The towering summit of Adam’s Peak, standing at an incredible 2,243m, is hidden within the emerald forests of Sri Lanka’s hill country. This striking natural landmark is veiled in mystery, and folklore has it that the Buddha’s footprint can be found at the summit. As a result, it is one of the most well-known pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka. Adam’s Peak is usually better approached at night, as the stunning sights are less obscured by fog and mist. It is one of the recommended Historical Places in Sri Lanka that you must not miss.

Sri lanka
Source: Unsplash

2. Dambulla Cave Temple

Over the past 22 years, the Golden Dambulla Cave Temple has become a pilgrimage site. It is also the island’s oldest and best-preserved cave shrine (there are others). In order to conserve the impressive wall paintings and over 150 sculptures in and around the shrine, the Dambulla Cave Temple was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. It is one of the top Historical Places in Sri Lanka to visit.

3. Tooth relic temple

The temple of the tooth relic, which houses Buddha’s tooth relic, is also a significant world heritage site in Sri Lanka. The temple is located near the modern part of the Kandy region, next to Kandy Lake. Visitors are unable to see the legendary tooth because it is locked away in a gold casket that is part of a collection of six caskets that decrease in size. However, the complex is indeed beautiful to visit, with lovely temples and shrines overlooking the glistening Kandy Lake. Every day, thousands of international and domestic tourists visit the temple.

Also read: Temples in Sri Lanka: Your guide to the must-visit temples in Sri Lanka

4. Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is one of the most significant historical places in Sri Lanka, with many heritage monasteries, palaces, and monuments. It is famous for its massive dagobas (brick stupas), ancient ponds and lakes, and majestic temples. In 377 BC, the city was founded as Sri Lanka’s first capital. It was also during this time that Anuradhapura came to prominence as a political and economic powerhouse.

5. Polonnaruwa Vatadage

Polonnaruwa is a city in Sri Lanka. Vatadage is a well-preserved Vatadage in the famed Dalada Maluwa quadrangle of Polonnaruwa, an ancient city of ruins. Vatadages are common Buddhist institutions in Sri Lanka. These are square, made of stone and brick, and have elaborate stone carvings and a wooden roof. They were constructed to defend stupas. There are currently ten Vatadages in Sri Lanka that also represent the country’s heritage, with the most famous being the Polonnaruwa Vatadage.

Polonnaruwa, Sri lanka
Source: Unsplash

6. World’s End, Horton Plains

The World’s End cliff drops 880 meters from the base of the Horton Plains plateau. The vision is breathtaking, and tea plantation villages can be seen from the ridge’s side. The World’s End climb is 9.5 kilometers round trip (via a spectacular tumbling waterfall), but the perfect time to arrive at the escarpment is between 6 and 9 a.m., before the dense white fog sets in.

Worlds end, Sri Lanka
Source: Unsplash

7. Jaffna Fort

The famed Jaffna Fort, a remnant of Sri Lanka’s colonial history, overlooks the city’s gleaming lagoon, where you can discover its decaying walls, moats, and spectacular gateways. Built by the Portuguese in 1618, the fort was redesigned by Dutch colonists in 1680 into a pentagon shape, reflecting a symbol of classic Dutch architecture. After years of fighting, the fort is gradually being rebuilt to strengthen this valuable piece of the country’s heritage.

8. Belilena

Belilena is one of the well-known historical places in Sri Lanka among archaeology enthusiasts. Evidence of prehistoric humans identified as the Balangoda Man was discovered at the site and has been dated back to 32000 years. Belilena, located 8 kilometres from Kitugala, was designated an Archaeological Reserve by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. The site also revealed signs of fire use as early as 30000 years ago, as well as some old tools and bones from game animals such as deer, boars, and others.

9.  Buduruvagala

A historic place in Srilanka, a Buddhist temple from the 10th century with some of the most detailed statues of Buddha and his disciples. About the fact that much of its existence remains obscure, including its true name, the temple was called ‘Buduruvagala,’ which means ‘Rock of Buddhist Sculptures,’ due to the temple’s large number of sculptures. The temple, which is located in the Monaragala district, also houses one of Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statues, which stands 16 meters tall.

10. Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The UNESCO-listed ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s most recognizable and probably dramatic historical places. Sigiriya, which rises majestically from the emerald trees, was constructed in 495 AD and acted as a palace with colourful frescoes for King Kasyapa. Hiking to the peak of Sigiriya to visit the ancient ruins is recommended, as is climbing the opposite Pidurangala Rock for the most stunning views of Sigiriya Rock itself.

Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail

With the list of top historical places in Sri Lanka in hand, It is always recommended to take the help of a reputed travel agency when you start planning your journey.  With the aid of professional guides, or check out the preset Sri Lanka tour packages from the Global travel agency Pickyourtrail, you can plan a hassle-free vacation. Log on to www.pickyourtrail.com for more information. 

Also read: The Do’s and Don’ts guide for your Sri Lanka vacation

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