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The island nation of Sri Lanka is marked by beauty and charm. The country was for many centuries an important waypoint for explorers who were sailing to China and Southeast Asia to trade for spices and other goods. With majestic nature reserves, elegant festivals and wonderfully friendly people, the country has become a tourist hotspot in recent years. Sri Lanka's unexploited beaches and jungles are home to flora and fauna that are found nowhere else in the world. Steeped in the traditions of Buddhism, the nation offers a number of cultural sites that are closely connected to spirituality and enlightenment. Whether tourists are searching for scenic wonders or charming beach houses on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers plenty to do and see.
Lovers of religious history will surely be intrigued by the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The facility is thought to house one of the Buddha's teeth. Though the temple was damaged in 1998, the blemishes have since been repaired. Amateur cultural historians can make their way to the temple to learn why spirituality is so incredibly important to the nation's residents. Alut Maligawa, which is a beautiful three-story shrine, is located near the temple.
The Sinharaja Nature Reserve is one of the last undisturbed areas of primeval rainforest in the country. If tourists are interested in unique wildlife species, this is the place to go. Eagle-eyed observers can spot leopards, squirrels, porcupines, pangolins and civets. A number of rivers also make their way through Sinharaja. Though both the Koskulana Ganga and the Gin Ganga are navigable by small vessels, visitors should hire a local guide before they head out into the wilderness. The entire nature reserve has long been considered an homage to biodiversity and was rightfully declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.
The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is a government-run rehabilitation facility that seeks to help abandoned elephants. Visitors to the facility can interact with the furry beasts and learn about ongoing conservation efforts. The elephants are gently overseen by staff members and are allowed to roam around the sanctuary on their own. Bathing and eating activities occur several times each day, and the animals are kept on a strict schedule. The Millennium Elephant Foundation, which is separate from the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, is just a short distance away on the Karandupona–Kandy Road.
The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, which were originally built for royalty, are now open to all visitors. The gardens extend over 60 acres and offer an invigorating variety of plant life. Tourists might also take in the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress, which is a natural granite formation that offers stunning views of the surrounding plains. The fortress was used in prior centuries as a defensive bulwark against invading armies from southern India. Uda Walawe National Park, on the other hand, is home to elephants, sambar deer and other animals unique to the island. Many of the villages in Sri Lanka also feature lovely monasteries and temples, which can be well worth visiting. Because some facilities require tickets, individuals should check with the local authorities before they arrive.
Best Time To Visit:
Most people choose to visit Sri Lanka between December and April. During these months, tourists can enjoy whale watching and other water activities in the southern half of the country. If individuals are planning to spend most of their time in the northern and eastern coastal areas, then they may instead want to visit between May and September. While the nation sees two distinct monsoon seasons, most rain events are sporadic. Sri Lanka can thus be considered an excellent year-round holiday destination.