Must have heard about Ramayana for sure and how the ‘vanar sena’, made a bridge of stones to reach the island from the southern tip of India? Sri Lanka, a small island located on the Indian Ocean, welcomes a number of tourists every year, thanks to the various water activities and historical beauty it is known for. “Places to visit in Sri Lanka” makes for an ideal vacation if one is looking for a fun retreat or a day off to enjoy the rich history we are gifted with.
Best Time to Visit
The weather is warm throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 31 degrees to 22 degrees.
December – March: If visiting southwest Sri Lanka then it is considered the best time as the days are sunny and dry and the sea is calm.
March: It is the peak tourist season to explore the central hills due to comfortable weather. The Kandy Perahera, an elaborate and fun festival is celebrated during this time.
April- September: The best time to visit the northern or eastern coast of the country. Due to rain, the southern coast remains humid. The central hills experience monsoons during May and June but it is comparatively cooler.
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October- November: It is the inter monsoonal season and severe flooding and thunderstorms could occur at any location at any time.
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination and planning a trip during favorable climate depends on which part of the island one is traveling to.
How to Reach
By Air: Connectivity to Sri Lanka by air is very nice and is the easiest way to travel. There are a number of flights, international and domestic, flying in and out of the airports daily.
Bandaranaike International Airport, located in Colombo, is the busiest international airport of Sri Lanka.
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, in the Mattala town of Sri Lanka, is another prominent airport connected to major other airports.
By Road: Being a separate island away from India, reaching Sri Lanka by road is not an option.
By Train: Located on the Indian Ocean with water on all sides, traveling to Sri Lanka by train is not possible.
By Sea: There are a few ships, luxurious cruise, that operate from Mumbai to Colombo. The prices vary and the package even comes with features such as water activities and live performances.
Top 7 Historical Places In Sri Lanka
Considered as one of the most important and popular places to visit in Sri Lanka related to the great epic poem Ramayana, Chilaw attracts a large number of tourists. It is home to two main temples- Munneswara Temple and Manavari Temple.
The Munneswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered to be the oldest Hindu temple of the country. After visiting this temple, one has to complete a walk of 6km to reach the Manavari Temple which is the first place where Lord Rama installed a Shivalinga.
It is both mysterious and beautiful. One visit to this ancient architecture will leave the person enchanted. It is believed that what started as a Hindu temple constructed in the Pallava style, was later used by the Buddhists.
If deciding on places to visit in Kandy, Sri Lanka then Nalanda Gedige can be a good option and is even considered one of the best historical places to visit in Sri Lanka.
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Sigiriya, also known as the Lion Rock was once the ancient capital of the country. It is considered as one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Site. For its beauty and importance, Sigiriya is also referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World by the locals.
Apart from all this, this place also finds its name in the Ramayana. It is believed that the Naguliya Cave in Sigiriya was the place where Ravana kept Sita as a captive.
Moonstone (Sandakada Pahana), in simple words, is a permanent feature of the Buddhist buildings of the historical period. It is a semi-circle piece of stone at the foot of a flight of steps in most of these buildings.
The design of these moonstones have changed and evolved a lot of overtime but the most creative moonstones one can come across is towards the end of the Anuradhapura Era. Due to the significance it holds, it is considered a historical landmark of Sri Lanka.
A popular hill station which is a spiritual delight for the travelers, Nuwara Eliya, is home to Divurumpola, Gayathri Peetham and Seetha Amman Temple and is among the royal places in Sri Lanka related to the Ramayana.
Gayathri Peetham is situated inside Nuwara Eliya while Seetha Amman Temple is located at a distance of about 5km from here. Divurumpola is at a distance of 20km.
Temple of the sacred tooth relic:
The most spiritually significant place for the Buddhists, this temple has the most important relic to be preserved, the tooth of the Buddha. Located in Kandy, Sri Lanka, the architecture of the place also speaks for itself.
Apart from the tooth relic, one can even find several shrines, museums, and temples to visit. It is believed that the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple which houses the tooth relic is the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the world.
Historical places to visit in Colombo:
The commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka also houses two main landmarks related to the Ramayana, the Anjaneyar Temple, and the Kelaniya Temple. The former is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is the first temple in Sri Lanka in his Panchamuga form. It is also believed to be the only temple in the world to have a chariot for Anjaneyar.
The chariot festival held annually in December or January is a famous festival of Colombo. The Kelaniya Temple is dedicated to King Vibhishana who was coroneted the king, in Kelaniya after the death of Ravana. It is a sacred place of worship for the Buddhists as it is believed to be one of the three places in Sri Lanka where Lord Buddha visited.