Located in the island’s center, the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka is a must-see attraction. It encompasses the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and the Sacred City of Kandy, all of which are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
These places have a lot of value because of how they were built and what happened there, some of which happened long ago. Many pilgrims, both non-specialists and clergy (mostly Buddhist), and tourists from all over the world visit them. Itineraries for cultural tours in Sri Lanka may readily include the Cultural Triangle Sri Lanka.
When to Visit the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka?
Most of the geographical area comprising the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka is nestled inside the country’s inland dry zone. Even though temperatures may get to 35 degrees at specific times, the weather is very consistent most of the year. Furthermore, while traveling through the Triangle, you’ll be able to take advantage of excellent lodging choices at some of the top hotels in Sri Lanka.
Why visit the Cultural Triangle Sri Lanka?
These archaeological wonders bring together four renowned destinations—the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, the wide-ranging ruins of Polonnaruwa, the marvelous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and the incredibly interesting Dambulla Cave Temple—that make up this fascinating continent. They are the highlights of the numerous sites, exquisite wildlife havens, and fascinating historical sites that make up this remarkable area.
Here, Buddhism in Sri Lanka got its start, laying the groundwork for centuries of spirituality, mythology, and religious practice. Overa Tours has in-depth knowledge of these enormous landscapes and intriguing terrain, which we can share with you. It will take you to a plethora of unusual and off-the-beaten-path locations that are both historically significant and culturally valuable. Explore the spectacular Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks and wildlife-rich parks and forest reserves, such as the Hurulu Forest Reserve, located inside the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka.
The ancient cities that make up the cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura was the first city in the Cultural Triangle Sri Lanka and is widely regarded as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements. It was built in 380 BC and served as the island’s first ancient capital. The irrigation system and architectural skill of the ancient Sinhala civilization were the driving forces behind the rich history of this kingdom, which was also one of the most significant sacred cities of Buddhism, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
This is a high summit near the city of Anuradhapura, which is also the place where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka and where the first Buddhist temple was built. Mihintale is a popular pilgrimage destination, with many religious monuments and abandoned constructions accessible for the general public to visit and revere. Known as one of the most important attractions in the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka, Mihintale is distinguished by the presence of certain traits that are typical of a monastery from that time period.
This city is the second-oldest of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, and it was designated as the country’s capital in 1070 after the country’s armies defeated the “Chola Invaders.” The reign of King Parakramabahu heralded the commencement of a new era on the island, and paddy production was made possible by the use of irrigation methods that were significantly better than those employed in Anuradhapura.
The old city Polonnaruwa is home to several archaeological remains and monuments. And it is considered to be one of the most well-planned sites in the whole country. The city is also home to a kind of monkey known as “toque macaques,” which was included in the nature documentary “Monkey Kingdom” as the city’s background. Consider spending 1-2 days in this region if you plan to visit Sri Lanka for the Cultural Triangle.
With a population of 1.3 million people, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second-largest city after Colombo. It is known as “Maha Nuwara.” Kandy, surrounded by the central highlands, is located on a plateau and serves as the religious and administrative center of Sri Lanka’s Central Province. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kandy is well known for its Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, located inside the city’s boundaries. Because of its physical position, the city has developed into an important transportation center in central Sri Lanka. And it is also regarded as the entrance to the Central Highlands. The city is serviced by two modes of transportation: road and rail.
Sigiriya, also known as the Lion Rock, is situated in the Matale District of Sri Lanka. Despite its natural appearance, this structure is a gigantic column of granite that rises to about 200 meters in height. At the summit of the rock, at the location selected by King Kasyapa (447–495 CE), are the ruins of his palace. And halfway up the rock is a building portraying an enormous lion, which serves as a doorway to higher land and provides access to the site.
With Sigiriya being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban layouts in the world. For its paintings, mirror walls, gardens (such as the water garden, boulder garden, and tiered garden), and majesty, the Lion Rock is well-known across the surrounding territories, which can be seen for kilometers in every direction.
The city is known for having some of the best-preserved and largest cave temple complexes on the island, so people often visit. The rock, known as the Dambulla Cave Temple, rises 160 meters above the surrounding plains of the Matale District and is a popular tourist attraction.
The cavern temple network has been recorded to include 80 caverns, with the main features of the cave temple being split among five caves that devotees are permitted to explore. So far, the cave network has been confirmed to include 80 caves. It is in these caves that you will find murals and sculptures depicting the Lord Buddha and his teachings. The murals are projected to occupy a total area of 2100 m2. The Cave Temple is also considered one of the best elements of the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka.
The remnants of an old Buddhist monastery may be seen on top of this mountain. In addition to the ruins themselves, rock inscriptions were uncovered inside the monastery that dates back to the first century BC. Ritigala is the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka’s northern region, rising to 766 meters above sea level and around 600 meters above the surrounding flat plain. Many strongholds, such as Sigiriya, Mihintale, and Dambulla, can be seen from a distance due to the height of their fortifications.
Points of Interest in the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka
- In Anuradhapura, pay a visit to the sacred Bodhi tree and sit under its swaying branches to meditate.
- Explore the splendor of Ratna Prasada, an old monastery, and its surrounding area.
- Exploring old castles, ruins, and enormous complexes will allow you to uncover an ancient past.
- Explore the tranquil city of Polonnaruwa, which is home to several stunning temples.
- Explore the Royal Palace, which dates back to King Parakramabahu I, and see the four Buddha sculptures in Gal Vihara, all carved from a single piece of granite.
- Discover the interesting Sigiriya Rock Fortress and take a stroll through the beautifully planted Royal Gardens, which lead to the foot of the fortress.
- Wander through the Sigiriya Museum, which boasts a rich history and a collection of impressive sculptures.
- Float over the breathtaking scenery of Sri Lanka in a hot air balloon and take in the breathtaking views of the vast plains.
- Consider the remains of a cluster of ruins in the Sacred Quadrangle that originally served as the site of a sanctuary that previously contained the Buddha’s tooth.
- In Dambulla, you may explore caverns that are steeped in history and gaze at imposing Buddha sculptures.
- Explore the Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks to experience the fascinating social dynamics of Asian elephants in their natural habitat.
- Travel through the Hurulu Forest Reserve in search of elephants and other classic animals, as well as a kaleidoscope of bird species.
Visit the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka with Overa Tours
Our cultural tours in Sri Lanka may be combined with various vacation packages, such as those that include the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka. Please get in touch with us asap and book your cultural tour package.