100 Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. It is a rugged land of rainforest, diverse wildlife and endless beaches know for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya. Here are 100 reasons to visit Sri Lanka.

  1. 1

    Diversity

    Sri Lanka is a small miracle partly due to the compact physical diversity of this pearl-shaped island - but, as we shall see, this diversity extends to virtually every aspect of life.

  2. 2

    Sigiriya

    Sigiriya is an ancient palace located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province.

  3. 3

    The People

    Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society, a reflection of the island’s encounter with successive foreign immigrants.

  4. 4

    Temple of the Tooth

    Source: wikimedia.org

    Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha.

  5. 5

    Ayurveda & Spas

    Sri Lanka has always been a place that refreshes not just the mind and body, but also the soul and spirit. And for thousands of years, the most popular method used to restore and rejuvenate tired bodies and weary souls has been Ayurveda – the oldest and most holistic medical system available in the world

  6. 6

    Adventure Sports

    With over 1,600km of coast, Sri Lanka is an ideal location for wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing, scuba-diving, snorkelling, speed-boating and banana-boating.

  7. 7

    Adam's Peak

    Source: ruchitours.com

    Adam's Peak, is a 2,243 m tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit.

  8. 8

    Food

    The cultivation of many types of rice, spices, vegetables and fruit, coupled with past foreign influences, ensures that Sri Lanka enjoys a varied and select cuisine. As a staple, rice is consumed with an assortment of colourful curries (eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, fish) that range in potency from delicately-spiced to near-dynamite.

  9. 9

    Amazing Scenery

  10. 10

    Dambulla cave temple

    Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 kilometres east of Colombo and 72 kilometres north of Kandy.

  11. 11

    Bicycle your way around a Tea Plantation

    Source: www.mahaweli.lk

    Bicycle riding as a mode of transport is big here, so if you love to pedal and feel the wind in your hair, Sri Lanka is for you. Take a day trip to a tea plantation area of Nuwara Eliya. Home to the country’s oldest tea estates, the region is known as ‘Little England’ due to its colonial past ignited by the Brits hankering for tea.

  12. 12

    Yala National Park

    Source: newsfirst.lk

    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.

  13. 13

    Peace and Harmony

  14. 14

    Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

    Source: boomsbeat.com

    Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. and attracts 2 million visitors annually.

  15. 15

    Beautiful beaches

    Source: 500px.com
  16. 16

    Udawalawe National Park

    Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces.

  17. 17

    The Festivals

  18. 18

    Play with those rare sea turtles

  19. 19

    Unique Shopping Experience

  20. 20

    Bundala National Park

    Source: www.ejiusa.com

    Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks.

  21. 21

    There is a lot more to Sri Lanka than visiting temples and shopping

    Source: iconosquare.com
  22. 22

    Knuckles Mountain Range

    The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif.

  23. 23

    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.

  24. 24

    Plenty of Vegetarian Food

  25. 25

    Horton Plains National Park

    Horton Plains National Park in Ohiya is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by grassland and cloud forest.

  26. 26

    Magnificent Remains from Ancient Times

    Sri Lanka’s documented history dates back over 2,500 years to 543 BC when King Vijaya became Sri Lanka’s first monarch. Remains of architectural wonders from ancient Sinhalese kingdoms are still present today.

  27. 27

    Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

    Source: www.lanka.com

    The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.

  28. 28

    Rich Colonial Heritage

    For over three centuries parts of Sri Lanka had remained under the rule of various colonial powers. Beginning with the Portuguese in the 16th century, followed by the Dutch in the 17th and the British in the 18th and early 19th centuries, they have each left behind their legacy.

  29. 29

    Sunny Beaches

    Source: www.whl.travel

    A trip to Sri Lanka is not complete without surfing, body boarding or just laying under the sun on its golden beaches.

  30. 30

    Sinharaja Forest Reserve

    Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

  31. 31

    National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka

    National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka is a zoological garden in Dehiwala, founded in 1936. Its sprawling areas are host to a variety of animals and birds.

  32. 32

    Land of Buddha

    Although a largely diverse population, nearly 70% of the country is Buddhist. Since the introduction of Buddhism to the country by King Devanampiya Tissa of the 3rd century BC, it has been an integral part of the country’s culture.

  33. 33

    Ruwanwelisaya

    The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the world.

  34. 34

    Beira Lake

    Beira Lake is a lake in the heart of the city of Colombo. The lake is surrounded by many large businesses in the city.

  35. 35

    Devon Falls

    Devon Falls is a waterfall situated 6 km west of Talawakele, Nuwara Eliya District on A7 highway. The falls is named after a pioneer English coffee planter called Devon, whose plantation is situated nearby the falls.

  36. 36

    The Home of Tea

    Source: www.lymarah.com

    Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest tea exporters with over 20% market share by volume. “Ceylon Tea” is also one of the few commodities that command a premium, fetching about 50% more than competitors at auction markets.

  37. 37

    A Photographer’s Paradise

    A combination of sunny, yet cloudy skies and lush green landscapes, truly makes Sri Lanka a photographer’s paradise!

  38. 38

    Nallur Kandaswamy temple

    Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil or Nallur Murugan Kovil is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the Jaffna District of Northern Province, It stands in the town of Nallur. The presiding deity is Lord Murugan in the form of the holy Vel.

  39. 39

    Architectural Heritage

    Sri Lanka is home to some wonderful architectural, archaeological and historical marvels. There are six such spots that are recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

  40. 40

    Visa can be obtained online

    With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travelers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lkfor more information.

  41. 41

    Parakrama Samudra

    Parakrama Samudra is a shallow reservoir, consisting of three separate reservoirs connected by narrow channels in Polonnaruwa. The northernmost reservoir is the oldest and referred to as Topa wewa built around 386.

  42. 42

    Hospitality in Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankans have long been well known for the level of hospitality they display to tourists and travelers. Being a prime tourist destination, the locals tend to see foreigners rather often, but this does not mean that they’ve grown tired of them.

  43. 43

    Negombo Lagoon

    Negombo Lagoon is a large estuarine lagoon in Negombo, south-west Sri Lanka. The lagoon is fed by a number of small rivers and a canal. It is linked to the sea by a narrow channel to the north, near Negombo city.

  44. 44

    The Surf

  45. 45

    Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

    Source: kissfm.lk

    Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, often spelled as Udawattakele, is a historic forest reserve on a hill-ridge in the city of Kandy. It is 104 hectares large.

  46. 46

    Getting around is cheap

    Tuk tuk is a great way to go around.

  47. 47

    Asgiriya Stadium

    Asgiriya International Stadium, is a cricket stadium situated in Kandy. Asgiriya Stadium is the private property of Trinity College, Kandy. It is around a 10-minute walk from the centre of the city.

  48. 48

    Namunukula

    Source: ning.com

    Namunukula is the name of a mountain range in Sri Lanka's province of Uva. Its main peak is 6,600 feet high. The name means "Nine Peaks". It also the name of a town near it which is sometimes called Namunukula Town.

  49. 49

    Climb Bible Rock at Sunrise

    Source: www.flickr.com

    Bible Rock is a mountain near Aranayake in Kegalle District in central Sri Lanka. It is known as the "Bible rock" as its surface seems like a book/bible. As you can see, the sunset from this mountain is beyond beautiful.

  50. 50

    Town Hall, Colombo

    The Town Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. Built in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo, it is the meeting place for the elected municipal council.

  51. 51

    Watch Stilt Fishermen Secure the Day's Catch

    Source: www.flickr.com

    Sri Lanka's Stilt Fishermen are often assumed to be a charming relic of ancient times, but the practice actually originated during World War II when overcrowding in prime fishing spots saw some men decide to take their rods into the water.

  52. 52

    Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

    Source: srilankese.com

    Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province.

  53. 53

    Spot the Giants of the Ocean

    Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to spot whales. The ocean off the south and north-east coasts are a roaming place for a large number of sperm and blue whales and your chances of seeing several are high, especially during peak season.

  54. 54

    Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

    Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence.

  55. 55

    Explore the Gangaramaya Temple

    Source: www.flickr.com

    The Gangaramaya Temple is situated in Sri Lanka's modern, busy capital Colombo and its unique mix of Sri Lankan, Chinese, Indian and Thai architecture make it a must-see stop on any visit to Sri Lanka.

  56. 56

    National Museum of Colombo

    National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. It is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government.

  57. 57

    Join a Light Procession in Katagarama

    Source: www.flickr.com

    Events are hosted by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike, and are a fantastic spectacle of light, color and worship.

  58. 58

    Royal Palace of Kandy

    The Royal Palace of Kandy in Kandy, was the royal residence of the Sinhalese monarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy.

  59. 59

    Wild East Coast

    Source: www.flickr.com

    Sri Lanka's charming east coast is still a little rough and ready but offers visitors the chance to get away from the tourist crowds and visit authentic coastal communities where fishing still dominates the local way of life.

  60. 60

    Galle Face Green

    Source: tour.lk

    The Galle Face is a five hectare ocean-side urban park, which stretches for a half kilometre along the coast, in the heart of the financial and business district of Colombo.

  61. 61

    Ride a Train Through the Countryside

    Source: templeberg.com

    The train journey between Ella and Kandy is often considered to be one of the best in the world, passing plunging waterfalls, misty hills and sweeping tea fields.

  62. 62

    Kandy Lake

    Kandy Lake, also known as Kiri Muhuda or the Sea of Milk, is an artificial lake in the heart of the hill city of Kandy, built in 1807 by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe next to the Temple of the Tooth. Over the years, it was reduced in size.

  63. 63

    Hike in the Horton Plains National Park

    he charming town of Ella around 150 miles from the south coast is worth a visit and is a great place to pick up a scenic train ride further north.

  64. 64

    Jetavanaramaya

    Source: wikimedia.org

    The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located in the ruins of Jetavana in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura. Mahasena of Anuradhapura initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of the mahavihara.

  65. 65

    Unawatuna

    It has been voted as one of the best beaches in the world. Enjoy relaxing beside the golden beaches with its clear, calm waters and an offshore reef.

  66. 66

    Wasgamuwa National Park

    It is situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts.

  67. 67

    Galle

    The Dutch fort at Galle on the southern tip is a wonderful example of the colonial legacy that still remains today. The fort is packed full of old Dutch and English style houses in the narrow streets, visitors will forget they are next to the sea as they wander the alleys admiring the architecture.

  68. 68

    Abhayagiri vihāra

    Abhayagiri Vihāra was a major monastery site of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism that was situated in Anuradhapura. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the nation.

  69. 69

    Polonnaruwa

    Source: ruinsvilla.com

    This ancient capital close to Sigiriya and Dambulla is full of Buddhist remains such as temples, monasteries and statues that a single day trip will just not cover.

  70. 70

    Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

    Source: history.lk

    Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura,. It is said to be the right-wing branch from the historical Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi at BuddhaGaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.

  71. 71

    Fabulous Countryside

    There are also many great diving sites scattered across the island, especially in the south and west, such as Kalpitiya, Hikkaduwa and Weligama.

  72. 72

    Kuttam Pokuna

    One of the best specimen of bathing tanks or pools in ancient Sri Lanka is the pair of pools known as Kuttam Pokuna. The said pair of pools were built by the Sinhalese in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura.

  73. 73

    Dive amongst Vibrant Marine Life

  74. 74

    St. Clairs Falls

    St. Clair's Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and is commonly known as the "Little Niagara of Sri Lanka". It is one of six waterfalls affected by the Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project.

  75. 75

    Sunshine all year round


  76. 76

    Colombo Dutch Museum

    Source: www.mq.edu.au

    The Colombo Dutch Museum is a museum that covers the history of the Dutch colonial rule.

  77. 77

    The Art of Smiling

    If you have not seen enough smiles lately, go to Sri Lanka. The frequency with which locals will beam their brightness at you is mind-boggling. In a few days of venturing out of the capital city of Colombo, you will probably receive more smiles than you did in the previous two months back home.

  78. 78

    Lankarama

    Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated.

  79. 79

    Fruits

    Source: www.cnn.com

    Kings coconuts are widely sold in road-side shacks. Costing roughly 30 cents, they are hacked open by a vendor, who will stick a straw inside and presto – you have a refreshing all-natural drink said to help with digestion.

  80. 80

    Koneswaram temple

    Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee.

  81. 81

    English Spoken Here

    Due to the British colonization lasting over 150 years, a good percentage of the population speaks English – especially in the cities. When a traveler is lost or curious, the locals’ fluency in English comes in handy.

  82. 82

    Polonnaruwa Vatadage

    The Polonnaruwa Vatadage is an ancient structure dating back to the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

  83. 83

    Mirissa Beach

    Mirissa and its breathtaking sandy beach pretty much transforms your dreams and visions of a tropical paradise into an everyday reality.

  84. 84

    Kataragama temple

    Kataragamam temple in Kataragama, is a temple complex dedicated to Kataragama deviyo. It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the Sinhala Buddhists, Hindu Sri Lankan Tamils, Sri Lankan Moors and the Vedda people.

  85. 85

    Euphoria Spice and Herbal (Matale)

    Offers very detailed tours of its spice garden and has a shop selling all kinds of creams, potions and lotions that are said to help everything from sleeplessness to low sex drive. Staff are welcoming, there's a cafe, and cooking demonstrations are also performed. Located 15km north of Matale on the road to Dambulla.

  86. 86

    Thuparamaya

    Source: tour.lk

    Thuparamaya is a dagoba in Anuradhapura. It is a Buddhist sacred place of veneration. Mahinda Thera, an envoy sent by King Ashoka himself introduced Theravada Buddhism and also chetiya worship to Sri Lanka.

  87. 87

    Hikkaduwa Beach

    Hikkaduwa has been a firm fixture on the Sri Lankan tourist map since the 1970s.

  88. 88

    Viharamahadevi Park

    The Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo.

  89. 89

    World's End (Nuwara Eliya)

    The walk to World’s End is 4km, but the trail loops back to Baker’s Falls (2km) and continues back to the entrance (another 3.5km). The 9.5km round trip takes a leisurely three hours.

  90. 90

    Diyaluma Falls

    Diyaluma Falls is 220 m high and the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 361st highest waterfall in the world. It is situated 6 km away from Koslanda in Badulla District on Colombo-Badulla highway.

  91. 91

    Relish the Sights and Smells of a Spice Market

    Source: www.flickr.com

    You will find ancient Ayuveda herbal medicines, stacks of fruits and vegetables and an incredible array of brightly displayed spices - the unique mixture of smells is something to behold.

  92. 92

    Kumana National Park

    Kumana National Park is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is 391 kilometres southeast of Colombo on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast.

  93. 93

    Beautiful Sunsets

    Source: 500px.com
  94. 94

    Hanthana Mountain Range

    Source: tripadvisor.com

    The Hanthana Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, south-west of the city of Kandy. It was declared as an environmental protection area in February 2010 under the National Environment Act. The maximum height of the range is 3800 ft.

  95. 95

    Honeymoon destination

  96. 96

    Nuwara Eliya Golf Club

    The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in Sri Lanka. Established in the late 19th century, it is located in the hill station of Nuwara Eliya. It is an 18-hole golf course.

  97. 97

    Dunhinda Falls

    Source: sripalace.com

    Dunhinda Falls is a waterfall located about 5 kilometres from Badulla town.The Dunhinda Falls is one of Sri Lanka's most beautiful waterfalls.

  98. 98

    Pidurutalagala

    Pidurutalagala, or Mount Pedro in English, is an ultra prominent peak, and the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka, at 2,524 m. Mount Pedro is located close to the city of Nuwara Eliya, and is easily visible from most areas of the Central Province.

  99. 99

    Wide range of Accommodation Options for every budget

  100. 100

    St. Lucia's Cathedral

    Source: www.nation.lk

    St. Lucia's Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka. The Cathedral is located at Kotahena, in the north east of Colombo, on 18,240 sq. ft. of land, and is dedicated to Saint Lucy.

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