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The Cultural Triangle

“Rajarata” The Land of Kings as it is known locally. The North Central province is the heart of ancient Sri Lanka dating back to the 4th century BC; from here over 20 centuries, the Kings of Sri Lanka fought invaders, built majestic cities and citadels, and fostered Buddhism. There are 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites within this beautiful part of Sri Lanka. Its fertile plains are dotted by huge manmade lakes (known locally as tanks) built by the ancient Kings of Sri Lanka and still remain in use today. This area also boasts excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife; and is renowned for encounters with large herds of Elephants in the many national parks in the area. 

Our Highlights

  • Anuradhapura

An ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site that served as the capital of Sri Lanka for over a thousand years. Explore the sprawling archaeological complex dotted with majestic dagobas (stupas), sacred temples, and ancient monasteries. Highlights include the Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world, and the Ruwanwelisaya, a magnificent stupa. 

  • Polonnaruwa

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka. The ruins here showcase the grandeur of the ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Visit the well-preserved Royal Palace, marvel at the intricately carved Gal Vihara statues, and explore the colossal structures like the Lankatilaka and Rankoth Vehera. 

  • Sigiriya 

One of Sri Lanka's most iconic and dramatic landmarks, Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress. Climb the rock to witness the remnants of an ancient civilization, including stunning frescoes, the impressive Lion Gate, and breathtaking views from the top. Don't miss the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the rock. 

  • Dambulla Cave Temple 

Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, this complex of cave temples is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore five magnificently adorned caves housing a vast collection of Buddha statues and intricate murals. The temple's cultural and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction. 

  • Minneriya National Park

Embark on a thrilling wildlife safari in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park, both renowned for their annual "Gathering" of wild elephants. Witness herds of elephants gathering near the ancient man-made reservoirs, creating unforgettable sightings and photographic opportunities. 

  • Ritigala

Nestled amidst the lush forests of the Cultural Triangle, Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and nature reserve. Trek through the dense foliage to discover the ruins of the monastery, meditation platforms, and ancient inscriptions. The tranquil ambience and natural beauty make it a peaceful retreat.

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