EXPLORE SRI LANKA

EXPLORE SRI LANKA

Ahungalle

Ahungalla is 93 km away from Colombo (Southern Expy) also it will take approximately 2 hours drive time. It is one of the specific beaches in Sri Lanka. One can engage in various activities. It is also well known for its multitude of turtles that swim on the coast. All along the street-side you will witness vendors who sell from anything to everything such as fruits, vegetables and intricate masks.

What to do/see in & around Ahungalla,

• “Brief” Garden- It was Bevis Bawa, brother of Geoffrey Bawa, who converted this former rubber plantation into a wonderful landscaped garden.

• Whale watching- Mirissa is one of best places to see whales in the world. You can see number of Blue whales, Sperm whales & dolphins in a few nautical miles off the Mirissa area.

• Madu Ganga river safari- while on tour you can see a variety of species of endemic. It is home to about 303 species of plants and 248 species of vertebrate animals.

• Ambalangoda masks- the traditional masks are carved from light Balsa like Kaduru wood. Masks are used for several purposes in Sri Lanka such as featuring in traditional dance, drama and comedies, and in large pageants and processions, they are also used in ceremonies to exorcise demons or cure illnesses.

• Hot air balloon trip- optional

Anuradhapura

Time required: If possible, reserve a full day for your  visit!

Anuradhapura, was the great ancient monastic city of Sri Lankan civilization and royal capital of 113 successive kings (and four queens) for over a millennium! At its height it was home to thousands of monks and a population of nearly two million. Its Buddhist culture and architectural achievements made it famous across Asia, while even today the sheer scale of its surviving ruins and stupas is breathtaking. Besides the amazing architecture, the freedom of worship, the world’s first hospitals, the most impressive achievement was in irrigation! The tanks ( wewa) and reservoirs built to catch the monsoon rains and to supply water to the paddy fields are still in use today. In 1073 AD Anuradhapura was abandoned and forgotten and Polonnarua became the new capital. Finally in the 19th century, British explorers have rediscovered the “lost city” with its magnificent dagobas, palaces, temples and shrines.

The Sri Maha Bodhi, possibly the oldest tree in the world is more than 2000 years old and is the spiritual and physical center of the city. It is said to be a  sapling of the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. On the monthly full moon day ( poya), thousands of Sri Lankas flock to the site. The tree today is supported by crutches and protected by a golden railing with hundreds of colorful flags flying in its branches. Near to the tree the 1,600 pillars  of the Brazen Palace are what is left of this once magnificent building.  The gigantic Jetavanarama Stupa  (122m), the Ruwanweliseya (55m), the Abhayagiri Monastery, the Samadhi Buddha, the twin ponds, the Isurumuniya Temple and the king’s palace are only some of the main attractions  not to be missed. The Anuradhapura Museum and the Folk Museum are showing some curious exhibits.

What to do/see around Anuradhapura:

  • Visit the Aukana Buddha
  • Yapahuwa- the magnificent citadel is built on a huge granite rock, 100m above the plains. located 60km south of Anuradhapura
  • Go for a ride on an elephant’s back through the jungle near Habarana
  • Safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Anuradhapura is part of the so-called “Cultural Triangle” , together with Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Mihintale.
  • Anuradhapura is also the gateway to north – the Jaffna peninsula and the east coast – Trincomalee.
Arugam Bay

At the southern end of the East Coast lies the little village of Arugam Bay, famously known as one of ten top surf spots in the world. A popular tourist destination and home to a mix of Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and some expat Europeans, a good place to chill out and completely relax, being a long way from anywhere else! The relatively isolated beaches here and a simple, laid-back lifestyle away from the main tourist spots attract surfing enthusiasts from all over the world. The best time for surfing in Arugam Bay is in July and August when the swells are high. Nowadays an increasing number of non –surfers are also visiting the place. The beach itself is pleasant, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Various guesthouses and a few basic hotels provide modest accommodation and rustic beach side restaurants and charming bars provide cool drinks, fresh sea-food and a relaxed atmosphere.

What to do/see around Arumgam Bay

  • Forest hermitage at Kudimbigala, once hundreds of Buddhist monks lived in the caves
  • Village of Okanda, home to the largest Hindu temple on the coast
  • Excursion to YalaEast national Park or Lahugala National park
  • Best Surfing conditions  in July and August
  • Enjoy the freshest sea food and local specialties
  • Watch the sun rise over the ocean
Aukana

The village of  Aukana is located off Kekirawa on the route between Dambulla and Anuradhapura. The Buddha statue is the most perfectly preserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka and stands near the Kala wewa tank, created by king Dhatusena in the 5th century. The Buddha itself is probably dating from three or four centuries later. The elegant statue of the “sun eating” Buddha is 12m high and is in the unusual “asisa mudra”, the blessing position.A copy of it can be seen in Colombo, opposite the BMICH conference hall, next to the Chinese Embassy.

What to do/see around Aukana

  • Yapahuwa- the magnificent citadel is built on a huge granite rock, 100m above the plains. located 60km south of Anuradhapura and 25km from Aukana
  • Go for a ride an elephant back through the jungle near Habarana
  • Safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Aukana is part of the so-called “Cultural Triangle” , together with Anuradhapura,  Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Mihintale, pls. refer separate info!
Batticaloa

The beautiful, yet quiet and undisturbed East Coast, that had suffered much during the many years of civil war in the island is now receiving the well deserved attention and development. The climate is opposite to that of the west coast. During May to October, when the monsoon hits the west, the sun mostly shines in the east. The population here is predominantly Tamil and Muslim, in the west it’s mostly Sinhalese. The climate and vegetation is also different

120km south of Trinco, Batticaloa is an appealing, but lesser known town, waiting to be explored. Historically it is known as the place where the Dutch first landed in Sri Lanka (in 1602). The solid fort has withstood the civil war and the tsunami.

What to do/see when at the Batticaloa

  • Pasikudah bay – new tourist resort with many up-market & luxury hotels
  • Excursion to Batticaloa- Kallady bridge, fort, Batticaloa gate & lagoon, boat tour

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