Top 5 Things to Enjoy in Sri Lanka
Rolling mountains, pristine beaches, dense forest, rich cultural heritage, architectural marvel – Sri Lanka has it all. Nestled in the tropical belt, bordered by the Indian Ocean, this small island offers a wide variety of attractions. No wonder Marco Polo considered it to be the finest island of its size in the world.
Sri Lanka has many nicknames including Ceylon, Serendib, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Pearl of the Orient, and the Island of Dharma. With teeming birdlife, exotic wildlife, green paddy fields, ruined civilizations, and sun-bronzed beaches Sri Lanka is breathtaking beauty. Above all the people are friendly, the food is excellent and the costs are low. Once you visit this small island, you won’t be able to escape the intensity of affection Sri Land evokes in all its visitors.
It has ‘N’ numbers of things to enjoy. So what should be in your priority list while you enjoy a Sri Lanka trip? Here is a quick look.
Blessed with a beautiful coastline, Sri Lanka has some of the most unspoiled beaches in the world. For peaceful sunbathing come to the beaches in Nilaveli. If surfing is what you are interested in, the beaches in Arugam bay are waiting for you. While you are in Sri Lanka, staying in any of the beautiful beach resort of Colombo is a must.
2. Wild Life Safari:
You will find many nature reserves in Sri Lanka. Wildlife safaris are one of the most popular tourist activities in this island. The Yala National Park is famous for deer, peacocks, leopard, eagles, buffaloes, and wild boars. Take a guide with you while you set out for the safari. You can also enjoy elephant back safaris. It will be a rewarding experience. You can also feed baby elephants at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.
3. Visiting Historic Places:
Visiting the ruins of 2000 years old cities will be a thrilling experience. They are a must-visit place in Sri Lanka. The most popular of all is the Sigiriya rock fortress. Besides the frescoes and gardens, the irrigation system will amaze you. Don’t miss the famous cities like Anuradhapura, Kandy, and Polonnaruwa that are also world heritage sites.
4. Exploring Natural Beauty:
Sri Lanka is a place where the journey from the hot sunny weather of the beaches to the cool mountain weather takes only a few hours. Take a stroll in beautiful gardens like that of Peradeniya or check out Asia’s most popular waterfalls – all are equally promising. Waterfalls like Bambarakanda falls, Devon falls, Dunhinda falls, St’ Claire’s falls, Bopath falls, Diyaluma falls and Bakers falls will make quite a spectacle.
5. Checking the Museums:
As said before Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage. If you want to get an essence of the Sri Lankan culture, a visit to the museums is a must. There are many famous museums like the National Museum, The Dutch Period Museum, Kandy National Museum, Ratnapura Museum, Anuradhapura Folk Museum, Galle National Museum, Bandaranaike Museum, Maligawa Museum, and many more. Visiting any of these museums will unveil the rich cultural history of the country.
Sri Lanka, also known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is a diverse and vibrant country with a rich cultural heritage that spans over 2,500 years. The country’s culture is a blend of Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences, shaped by its historical interactions with various civilizations.
Religion plays a significant role in Sri Lankan culture, with Buddhism being the most widely practiced religion. Other religions practiced in the country include Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
The arts and crafts of Sri Lanka are also an integral part of its culture. Traditional dance forms like Kandyan and Low Country dance, and the ancient art of mask making are still practiced today. Sri Lanka is also famous for its handloom textiles, batik, and intricate woodcarvings.
Cuisine in Sri Lanka is diverse and flavorful, with influences from South Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Rice and curry, hoppers (a type of pancake), and string hoppers (a type of noodle) are some of the popular dishes in Sri Lanka.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka and is often regarded as a national obsession. Other popular sports include volleyball, basketball, and football.
Sri Lanka celebrates many festivals throughout the year, with the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year being the most significant. The country is also home to many historical and cultural sites, including the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the Sigiriya rock fortress, and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
Sri Lankan cuisine is rich and diverse, with a unique blend of flavors and spices that reflect the country’s history and culture. Some popular Sri Lankan dishes include:
- Rice and curry: This is the staple dish of Sri Lankan cuisine, and it consists of rice served with a variety of curries and accompaniments, including dhal, vegetable curries, and sambols.
- Hoppers: This is a type of pancake made from rice flour, coconut milk, and yeast, and is cooked in a special pan called an appa chatti. It can be served with sweet or savory toppings.
- Kottu: This is a popular street food made from chopped roti bread, vegetables, and meat or eggs, all cooked together with a blend of spices.
- String hoppers: This is a type of noodle made from rice flour, which is pressed into thin strands and steamed. It is often served with coconut sambol and dhal.
- Pol sambol: This is a spicy coconut relish made from grated coconut, chili, and lime juice, and is often served as an accompaniment to rice and curry.
- Lamprais: This is a Dutch-influenced dish that consists of rice cooked with meat, vegetables, and spices, all wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.
- Fish ambulthiyal: This is a sour and spicy fish curry that is a popular dish in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka.
- Watalappan: This is a sweet dessert made from coconut milk, jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar), and spices, and is often served at special occasions and festivals.
These are just a few examples of the many delicious dishes that are part of Sri Lankan cuisine.
Sri Lanka is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and it celebrates many festivals and holidays throughout the year. Some of the most important festivals in Sri Lanka are:
- Sinhalese and Tamil New Year: This is the biggest festival in Sri Lanka and usually falls in mid-April. It is a time for families to come together, and it marks the beginning of the new year in the Sinhalese and Tamil calendars. The festival includes traditional games, food, and rituals.
- Vesak: This festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha, and it usually falls in May. The streets are decorated with colorful lanterns, and temples are illuminated with lights. Devotees offer flowers and light oil lamps as part of their religious observances.
- Kandy Esala Perahera: This is a grand religious festival held in the city of Kandy in July or August. It includes a colorful parade of dancers, drummers, and elaborately decorated elephants, and it celebrates the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha.
- Deepavali: This is the Hindu festival of lights and is celebrated in October or November. It marks the victory of light over darkness, and it is celebrated with the lighting of lamps, fireworks, and traditional sweets.
- Christmas: Although Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, Christmas is still celebrated by the Christian community in the country. It is a time for families to come together, and many people decorate their homes and exchange gifts.
These are just a few examples of the many festivals celebrated in Sri Lanka, and they showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.