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CITIES IN SRI LANKA

Colombo 

Cities-to-visit-in-Sri-Lanka-Colombo

Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka. Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million. It is the financial centre of the island and a popular tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, It is also the administrative capital of the Western Province and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. It was the legislative capital of Sri Lanka until 1982. Largest Harbour situated in Colombo and  its strategic position along the East-West sea.

The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka’s corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo Racecourse, Planetarium, University of Colombo, Mount Lavinia beach, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo Lotus Tower as well as the National Museum.

Galle

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Galle is a city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, the seaside town of Galle is 116 Km away from Colombo by road or rail.  Both routes are picturesque, following the coastline closely for much of the way. The fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, encircle car-free streets with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. Notable buildings include the 18th-century Dutch Reformed Church. Galle Lighthouse stands on the fort’s southeast tip. Today’s town has grown greatly and spreads into the surroundings but the Fort is the slow beating heart of Galle‘s history.

Anuradhapura

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Anuradhapura is a major city in North Central Province Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara. The city, now a World Heritage site, was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. The banks of the historic Malvathu River. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Poḷonnaruwa

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Polonnaruwa is the main town of Polonnaruwa District in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Town and the other part of Polonnaruwa remains as the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.

The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader. The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Nuwara Eliya

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Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, It is at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) the city is surrounded by tea and is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka. The naturally landscaped Hakgala Botanical Gardens displays roses and tree ferns, and shelters monkeys and blue magpies. Nearby Seetha Amman Temple, a colorful Hindu shrine, is decorated with religious figures. Densely forested Galway’s Land National Park is a sanctuary for endemic and migratory bird species, including bulbuls and flycatchers The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its temperate, cool climate – the coolest area in Sri Lanka. We called it “little London

Trincomalee

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Trincomalee is also known as Gokanna of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour. Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia. People from Trincomalee are known as Trincomalians and the local authority is Trincomalee Urban Council. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai and is home to other historical monuments such as the Bhadrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee, the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall and, opened in 1897, the Trincomalee Hindu College. Trincomalee is also the site of the Trincomalee railway station and an ancient ferry service to Jaffna and the south side of the harbour at Muttur.

Negombo

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Negombo is located approximately 37 km north of the commercial capital of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is located at the mouth of the Negombo lagoon. The major beach resort in the West Coast is Negombo. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the main attractions of Negombo and it is perfectly located within 7 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. Negombo has a small port, it is a traditional fishing town in Sri Lanka, Negombo also produces spices, ceramics and brassware. Negombo has been given the name “Little Rome” due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches found within the township. The town has several buildings that date back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era. Attractions in the city include the old Dutch fort gate built in 1672 now a part of the prison, The 100km long canal running through the town is still being used and is an attraction for those who want to see the country from a different perspective. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major tourist attractions of Negombo, while many tourists use the town for the first or the last night of their stay in Sri Lanka. Negombo offers some of the better beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka and draws tourists who stop over for a day on their way to or from the airport.

Ratnapura 

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Ratnapura we call it “City of Gems” is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, as well as the Ratnapura District, and is a traditional center for the Sri Lankan gem trade. It is located on the Kalu Ganga (Black River) in south-central Sri Lanka. Over 2000 years ago, when the first Buddhist monks arrived here from the northeastern provinces of India namely Bodh-Gaya, Varanasi and Pataliputra, they not only brought with them the Buddhist religion, but since their teachings were mainly in Sanskrit and Pali they also influenced the local language. It is the center of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems. Apart from gem mining, the city is known for the production of rice and fruit. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the city. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea. There is a well-established tourism industry in Ratnapura. Nearby Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala, and Adam’s Peak are especially popular among tourists.

THINGS TO DO IN SRI LANKA

Beach Holidays

Sri Lanka is surrounded by golden sandy beaches, which includes some of the best locations s to for a Beach Holiday.The two monsoon winds which provides rain to the two corners of the country during different periods,

makes some location ideal for Beach Holidays at any given period of the year.

The north east winds make the south western coast sunny and the sea calm from November to March. The South West winds make the East Coast waters quiet with the constant sun shine. The best of the Southern beaches include Beruwala,Bentota, Unawatuna and Mirissa, while the best Eastern beaches, include, Trincomalee, Nilaweli, Passikudah & Arugam Bay

 

World Heritage & Historical Sites

Sri Lanka has a history of nearly 3000 years which is a source of great pride of this nation.
At present the island boasts of historically important ancient cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy and Galle

Remnants of these once glorious cities, their palaces, temples, monasteries, hospitals and theaters intricately carved and modeled out of stone lay abandoned amidst the soaring mountains.
Where one can explore a large number of man made and natural marvels, ranging from colonial strongholds ancient cities and cave monasteries. Out of the 08 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka 06 sites UNESCO has named 06 sites with historical significance namely, Kandy , Sigiriya, Anuradhapura

Wildlife Safaris

Sri Lanka boasts of 14 National Parks that covers 8% of total land area of the island, which is home to
about 86 different species of mammals as well as birds and reptiles. Large herds of wild elephants form the center of attraction. Among the predatory animals, the leopard steals the limelight. Among the other predatory animals are sloth bear, jackal and mongooses. Primates such as common Languors, endemic macaque, purple faced leaf monkey and shaggy bear monkey.
Among these wild life parks, the best and most ideal parks for wildlife safaris include; Yala National Park, Minneriya National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Udawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park

Adventure Activities

Sri Lanka is a land full of opportunities for adventure activities. There are destinations which are popular among tourists as well as locals for adventurous activities such as Hiking & Trekking, Rock Climbing, Parasailing & Paragliding, Rock Climbing, Biking, Elephant Back Safari,

Boat Rides, Deep-Sea Fishing, Village Tours, Rain Forest Exploration, Caving, Fishing, Hiking & Trekking, White Water Rafting & etc

Yoga & Ayurveda Treats

 

Ayurveda is a sister science to Yoga. They both originate from the same “Veda”, the same knowledge or science. It is the science of life or longevity, which teaches about the power and the cycles of nature, as well as the elements and how our life will be happy, healthy and peaceful if we live according to these rules of nature. Ayurveda takes care of your physical and mental well-being, Yoga about the mental and spiritual one.  In Sri Lanka, there are plenty of locations where one can experience and enjoy the good results of Yoga & Ayurvedha

Nature Trails

Sri Lanka has a rich and diverse natural environment including wildlife and plant life. With a nature trail you have the opportunity to explore and learn and enjoy the scenery & biodiversity. Some of the best sites for nature trails are; Horton Plains, Singharaja Rainforest and Kitulgala

 

Rail Tours

Sri Lanka has a well spread Railway Network connecting almost all the key destinations. It is the most economical way of travelling in Sri Lanka and thus, mostly used by the locals. Out of all the rail routes, the up county rail route is the most scenic and therefore has become very popular among tourists.

Nothing compares to this scenic upcountry train ride as you can enjoy cool breeze and scenery of endless hills of tea plantations and lush forests. You can choose the ride time by deciding the boarding and alighting points, as most of the railway stations along the upcountry rail route covers tourist maps.

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