Sri Lanka, Asia's little wonder is abundant with culture, a heritage of its own and stunning attractions across the country. It's also home to eight UNESCO world heritage sites (A UNESCO World Heritage Site is an important landmark in the world chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a protected area).
You ought to find out about these remarkable sites and visit in your next holiday to the paradise island Sri Lanka. Here are some important facts about the eight UNESCO heritage sites which are of historical, cultural and of anthropological value.
Sigirya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the eighth wonder of the world is settled in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It's a magnificent 200 meters column of a rock monastery was erected on the plateau by which was once the Royal residance of King Kasyapa at the end of the 5th Century. The Palace is placed right on top of the rock decorated with colorful frescos, old landscaped gardens and a mirror wall that has verses dating from as early as the 8th century. It is of cultural and historical significance and on your way to the top of the rock, you will witness a gateway in the form of a gigantic lion and 365-degrees view of the surrounding jungle below.
Sacred City of Anuradhapura (1982)
This ancient city of Anuradhapura is rich with its iconic buildings, ancient palaces and remnants from a bygone era that once was ruled by kings and queens. The historic city is full of tourist attractions including The Sri Maha Bodhiya, a sampling of the "Bhodi Tree" stand at the heart of the ruins physically and spiritually, the ancient tree grew from a sapling brought from India, which long time ago a legend said it was the tree of the Buddha sat beneath to achieve enlightenment.
Ancient City of Polonnaruwa
Being the second most ancient kingdoms in the paradise island, the City of Polonnaruwa has unique characteristics, medieval architecture, amazing irrigation facilities and preserved natural environment. It is also popular as one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in Sri Lanka. If you're planning on visiting Sri Lanka you ought to visit from April to June as there will be best value for money accommodation options during this season.
Sacred City of Kandy
This magnificent city hosts a wealth of scared shrines, places to visit and of historic value. It is known as the hill capital of Sri Lanka surrounded by lush tea plantations and hills and more popular since the Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is settled so majestically amidst the city. This holy shrine is well-regarded worldwide and is perfect to visit during July-August as the Kandy Esela Perahera takes place with a colourful procession followed by traditional dancing, a masquerade with fire displays etc.
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
With the most movie-like old colonial buildings, historical ruins turned in to contemporary escapades and major landmarks, this southern wonder is full of adventures. With the British and Dutch influences in the 17th and 19th Century, Galle Fort is located in the southwest corner of the island and is covered with grey granite walls that embraces 500 houses within those giant walls. Within the Galle Fort, holds some of the major landmarks such as the National Maritime Museum, Dutch Reformed Church, Old Dutch hospital, modern guest houses and little boutiques along the way. You can also enjoy some sea, sand and sun in Galle during
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
As Sri Lanka's primary tropical rainforest, Sinharaja Forest is abundant with rare endemic trees, endemic species including butterflies, birds, fish, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. If you're a fan of the wild, you ought to visit Sinharaja National Park from August - September and January - April to spot some of the rare species.
Golden Temple of Dambulla
The Golden Temple of Dambulla, the spiritual and cultural heart of a kingdom that predates the might of the Roman Empire also a sacred pilgrimage site and is the largest and best preserved cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka. It is visited by thousands of both locals and tourists every year and you will find some of the most fascinating historical, archaeological and artistic insinuations dated back to the 1st century BC.
Central Highlands of Sri Lanka
This UNESCO world heritage site consist of three wet-zone parks, namely the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. Adam's Peak is the highest point which is a sacred sanctuary for the Buddhist pilgrims. The Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest is abundant with an astonishing range of flora and fauna, endangered species including Sri Lankan leopards, western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and more.