Top highlights to see in Sri Lanka

photo by CC user Bernard Gagnon on wikimedia

Heading to the former British colony of Ceylon (best known as Sri Lanka) in the near future? Don’t miss the top highlights to see in Sri Lanka, as they hold the key to appreciating the diverse culture and nature that this island nation has to offer. Let’s explore them together below…

1) Sigiriya Palace

Built by a king that was paranoid about threats on his life after usurping power in an underhanded manner back in the fifth century, Sigiriya Palace sits atop a massive rock formation, soaring over 660 feet above the surrounding lowlands.

Ironically, his fortress and the city built around it was conquered eighteen years after the start of King Kashyapa’s reign, which then served as a Buddhist monastery for about 1,000 years afterward. Today, the soaring views possible from this formidable historical site and presence of one of the world’s best planned settlements of the period have made this UNESCO World Heritage Site a must see while in Sri Lanka.

2) Temple of the Tooth

True to its title, this Buddhist temple within the ancient royal palace complex in Kandy is home of one of this religion’s most auspicious relic – one of the alleged tooth of the Buddha. For time immemorial, it has been considered that whoever has had possession of this artifact had the right to rule the nation, making it a hotly contested commodity over the centuries. Apart from the bicuspid itself, the ornate and exotic nature of the building’s design makes this place a highlight of one’s visit to Kandy.

3) Yala National Park

Those looking to check out Sri Lanka’s wildlife will have the best chance of sighting it at Yala National Park. Home to elephants and leopards that are unique to this island habitat, as well as numerous species of birds that thrive in Yala’s coastal environment, the lens on your DSLR camera will get a workout in this paradise.

4) Adam’s Peak

Aside from its natural beauty, Adam’s Peak is a mountain with significant religious importance to the entire population of Sri Lanka, as it is considered to be the place where either Buddha’s, Shiva’s, St. Thoma’s, or Adam’s (yes, that Adam, who was the first human on Earth as per the book of Genesis in the Bible) footprint was left encased in stone many eons ago. Even if you don’t believe in these legends, the view from 7,100 feet is a breathtaking one.

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