Sri Lanka has a written history of 2500 years and it’s a cultural and historical hotspot. Most of these are now declared as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. This itinerary concentrates on the most important historical temples, Palaces and ruined cities of Sri Lanka. Our cultural tours are conducted by guides knowledgeable in all aspects of the island’s history, enabling you to realize our unique heritage.
Pidurangala Rock – Youlanka Travels
OUR CULTURAL TOURS ARE CONDUCTED BY GUIDES KNOWLEDGEABLE IN ALL ASPECTS OF THE ISLAND’S HISTORY, ENABLING YOU TO REALIZE OUR UNIQUE HERITAGE
The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas (brick stupas), ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. Today, several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples; frequent ceremonies give Anuradhapura a vibrancy that’s a sharp contrast to the museum-like ambiance at Polonnaruwa.
Thuparama Temple – Youlanka Travels
Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from Polonnaruwa 800 years ago, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre. The glories of that age can be found in the archaeological treasures that still give a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday. You’ll find the archaeological park a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact core. The Quadrangle alone is worth the trip.
Vatadage – Youlanka Travels
SIGIRIYA Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you’ll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way, you’ll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion’s paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and cave shrines – only add to Sigiriya’s rock-star appeal.
Sigiriya Rock – Youlanka Travels
Dambulla’s famed rock cave temple is an iconic Sri Lankan image – you’ll be familiar with its spectacular Buddha-filled interior long before you arrive in town. Despite its slightly commercial air, this remains an important holy place and should not be missed. The town of Dambulla is of no interest, cursed by heavy traffic heading for one of Sri Lanka’s biggest wholesale markets. A night here is tolerable, but consider visiting the site as a day trip from the more relaxing environs of Kandy or Sigiriya
Dambulla Temple – Youlanka Travels
This sleepy village and temple complex, 13km east of Anuradhapura, holds a special place in the annals of Sri Lankan lore. In 247 BC King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura was hunting a stag on Mihintale Hill when he was approached by Mahinda, son of the great Indian Buddhist emperor, Ashoka. Mahinda tested the king’s wisdom and, considering him to be a worthy disciple, promptly converted the king on the spot. Mihintale has since been associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Each year a great festival, the Poson Poya, is held at Mihintale on the Poson full-moon night (usually in June) to commemorate the conversion of Devanampiya Tissa.