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Sigiriya (Lion Rock)
Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is an ancient palace located in the central 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.
Yala National Park
Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province.
Adma's Peak (Sri Pada)
Adam's Peak (also Sri Pada, Butterfly Mountain, and also Al-Rohun), is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.
This temple complex dates back to the first century BCE. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 the architecture was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock.
Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 17 km (11 mi) north-west of Galle and 98 km (61 mi) south of Colombo. The name Hikkaduwa is thought to have been derived from the two words Ship Kaduwa, with Ship being the shorter version of Shilpaya which refers to knowledge in Sinhalese and Kaduwa which means sword. It is believed therefore that the name Hikkaduwa means sword of knowledge.
Kandy is a large city in central Sri Lanka. It's set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, which are home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. The city's heart is scenic Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake), popular for strolling. It's famed for its sacred Buddhist sites, including the Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) shrine, and for its Esala Perahera annual procession.
Diving and Snorkeling
Diving and Snorkeling
Often referred to as the ‘pearl in the Indian Ocean', Sri Lanka offers world-class Scuba-Diving and Snorkelling tours. A multitude of tropical fish, magnificently colourful coral reefs and fascinating ship wrecks can be explored at several locations off the south coast of Sri Lanka.
HIKKADUWA , WELIGAMA and KIRINDA provide breathtaking snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. In the west of Sri Lanka , head to ‘Bar Reef' (Sri Lanka's largest reef, easily accessible from the Puttalam district town of KALPITIYA , spanning an impressive 3 nautical miles in length and 1 nautical mile in breadth). But for the country's ‘pièce de resistance', Pigeon Island , off Nilaveli (just north of TRINCOMALEE ) is a paradise of turquoise-coloured waters and abundant fish and coral life make it the ultimate underwater experience.
Sri Lanka’s variety of mini climates, not only gives it a wealth of fauna and flora but also rugged terrain, high peaks, deep chasms, mountain gaps, high water falls and snaking rivers all ideal for eco, nature-adventures trekking trails for the enthusiast. If its hiking/trekking trails or adventure you are interested in, Sri Lanka’s mist covered central mountains in Ella offers marvellous opportunities. Trek through the nature of Horton plains, an environment characterized by forest patches, grasslands along with steep mountain passes, Trekking trails to Adams peak (Sri Pada) ascent the holy mountain to witness the mystic shadow of the peak across the lowland plains, or if you are in Kandy the knuckles range wilderness area which will take your breath away literally speaks of adventure and nature.
Sri Lanka is a tropical country with diverse ecological conditions that provoke an equally diverse range of wildlife. With many flora and fauna being endemic or indigenous to the island, Sri Lanka boasts a biota that is as unique and varied as it is abundant.
Sri Lanka’s two main national parks – Yala and Wilpattu - offer a total protected area of more than 2300 sq km (230000 hectares) and boast a stunning array of wildlife. Yala has become recognised for having one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. Wilpattu is one of the best places on the island to spot the much illusive sloth bear. In both parks it is also common to see deer, wild boar, monkeys, and water buffaloes.
Bustling markets, designer boutiques, modern shopping malls and gloriously kitsch souvenir stalls - whatever your holiday shopping style, Sri Lanka has it covered. Colombo boasts the most westernised shopping environment, with several elite arcades housed in five-star hotels as well as large stores around Galle Road, Paradise Road and Alexandra Place. Ambalangoda and Galle Fort are particularly famous for antiques, while the narrow streets of Pettah Bazaar make for colourful exploring. Most towns outside Colombo have daily markets, which sell everything from succulent fresh fruit to hand-woven fabrics and traditional dress.
The experience of sleeping under the stars surrounded by nature in one of the island.s national parks is second to none. Campsites are sited in the most beautiful locations off the tourist trail. Camping is available in most national parks and nature reserves – from participatory camping where guests work with the staff to run the campsite, to standard and super-luxury (camping under canvas) where the experience is similar to that of a five-star hotel.
Stay in an adventure park in the low country hills to relish the thrill of experiencing not just one but a variety of activities from, abseiling and zip-wiring over lush and fertile valleys to and canoeing on a tranquil lake. Accommodation ranges from tents to tree-houses.
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