About Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka is a country filled with adventure and beauty.

Located south of India, Sri Lanka is a country filled with adventure and beauty. From the ancient cities with Buddhist temples, to the vast hill country famous for its tea, to the adventurous National Parks teaming with wildlife, and the picturesque coast, there is so much to do and see. Nuwan Tours hopes to help make your vacation a pleasant experience by showing you different parts of Sri Lanka's beauty.

About Sri Lanka

Bentota
Bentota is a famous beach resort at a distance of 62 km to the south of Colombo. Located at the junction of Bentota River and the sea the place offers plenty of water sport opportunities such as windsurfing, water-skiing and catamaran rides. The best time to visit Bentota is between October and April, when the sea is safest for swimming.

Negombo
A fishing town located 35km from Colombo and 6 km from island's main International Airport. The beauty of the beach and surrounding star class hotels gave more attraction of tourists.

Mount Lavinia
The place located 12 km from Colombo is a historical city from British colonial period. The Governors House of Sir Thomas Maitland, built in 1805, has become a star class hotel today. The fantastic beach is crowded on holidays with local people who enjoy the beach sports activities such as swimming and surfing.

   

Kalutara
The place located 42km from Colombo is important spice trading centre from Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial times. The city also named as one of the sacred city of Buddhist people in the country has large hollow dagoba (Buddhist shrine) near the River Kalu.

Beruwela
The place located 55km from Colombo is the starting point of 130km long southern coast also a main fishing centre.

Unawatuna
The place located in south of the country, 62km from Colombo has romantic scenery hotels and popular for wind surfing and water skiing.

Unawatuna
The place located in south of the country, 62km from Colombo has romantic scenery hotels and popular for wind surfing and water skiing.

Hikkaduwa
The place located in south of the country, 56km from Colombo is the first area to be developed for tourism. The famous coral reef and scuba diving gets tourist's more pleasure there.

Koggala
The place located in south of the country, from 130km from Colombo, has finest beach and historical Madol Duwa (island surrounded by lake) as mentioned in Sri Lankan literature.

Nelaveli
The place located in east of the country 120km from Colombo and 14km from Trincomalee. The natural habour and beach is one of finest in world.

   

Arugam Bay
Arugam Point at the Arugam Bay beach
The place located in south east of the country 116 km from Colombo is a fine beach near associated with fishing villages. It has been identified as the best surfing beach in Sri Lanka and 4th best in south east Asia. It also comes with the ten best surfing beaches in the world. Wide sandy beaches and lagoons associated with neighbouring Kumana bird sactuary are added values for visitores going to Arugam bay. Lahugal National Park are Yala East National Park are also located within 10-30 km radious from Arugambay cetere. Magul Maha Viharaya (buddhist temple), Kudumbigala Temple (Buddhist temple),Shastrwela Buddhist Temple, Okanda Hindu Temple are some of places with heritage values. In addition to beaches, wildlife, culture heritage and nature places of interest make Arugambay a unique tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. There is no LTTE threat in and around Arugam bay.

Galle
The place located 116km from Colombo is the capital city of Southern province (Southern Sri Lanka) also a World Heritage Site. The large Galle fortress built by the Dutch makes more attraction to the city.

Kandy
Sacred city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located 116 km from Colombo , Kandy is famous for Temple of Tooth which holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which is a world Heritage site. The Esala Perahera , a 10 day parade comprising dancers, drummers and decorated elephants is the main tourist attraction.

Sigiriya
The ancient city of Sigiriya the rock fortress with a castle, most popular for the ancient paintings (frescos) which is very similar to the paintings of India's Ajanta Caves, was built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD). Sigiriya is one of the seven World Heritage Sites (Ref:202) in Sri Lanka and is also a popular tourist destination.

Precious stone mining
Ratnapura where the city of famous Sri pada mountain located is the center of precious stone mining
The precious stones such as rubies and sapphires frequently found in Ratnapura and its surrounding areas also a major tourist attraction in the country[20]. The tourists are interested in precious stones also can visit Sri pada mountain, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Uda Walawe National Park and Kitulgala (place of "The Bridge on the River Kwai" was filmed).

   

Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura, is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization.

The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in Sri Lanka's North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya.

Founded in the 4th century BC, it was the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom until the beginning of the 11th century AD. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²). Anuradhapura is also significant in Hindu legend as the fabled capital of the Asura King Ravana in the Ramayana.

Polonnaruwa
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. The city Polonnaruwa was also called as Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.

It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the King, who was adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu's reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, of course is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama, a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for the ocean. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a defensive border against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu's reign.

However, with the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa, were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court. They also went on to form more intimiate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian Kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by King Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then shifted to Dambadeniya.

Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982.

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Dambulla
Cave Temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is a world heritage site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The later 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, god Vishnu and god Ganesh. The murals, covers an area of 2,100 square meters. Depictions on the walls of the caves include Buddha's temptation by Mara (demon) and Buddha's first sermon.

Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old ( 700 BC) which have been unearthed in this area at Ibbankatuwa near Dambulla cave complexes.


National parks and reserves


• Wasgamuwa National Park
• Minneriya
• Bundala National Park
• Peak Wilderness sanctuary

   

Yala National Park
Yala National Park is a national park in Sri Lanka. The reserve covers 979 km², although only the original 141 km² are open to the public.

Much of the reserve is parkland, but it also contains jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes and rivers and scrubland. The latter zone is punctuated with enormous rocky outcrops. The range of habitats give rise to a good range of wildlife.
Yala has the world's highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck. There are good numbers of Asian Elephants, Crocodile, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and Grey langurs amongst other large animals. The open parkland attracts birds of prey such as White-bellied Sea Eagle and the wetlands have Waders, Painted Storks, and the rare Black-necked Stork.
Landbirds of course are in abundance, and include Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Peafowl and Sri Lanka Junglefowl.
The park was badly damaged by the tsunami of 26th December 2004, with the destruction of the wildlife center and tourist lodge. Many tourists, including a party of 22 Japanese, died in the disaster, as did several of the national park and lodge employees. It is claimed that no evidence of large-scale animal deaths from the tsunami was found indicating that animals may have sensed the wave coming and fled to higher ground. Now it is again open to the public visitors.

The following image gallery illustrates some of the animals and bird species found in the Yala national park.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and can been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion.

The reserve is only 21 km from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are no elephants, and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The commonest larger mammal is the endemic Purple-faced Langur.
An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds (suranganet), the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.

Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed Vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Birdwing butterfly and the inevitable leeches.

Horton Plains National Park
("Maha-Eliya" in Sinhala, is a national park in the highlands of Sri Lanka. It lies at a height of more than 2000 m in the central highlands, and its altitude means that it has a much cooler and more windy climate than the lowlands of Sri Lanka, with a mean annual temperature of 16 °C rather than the 26 °C of the coasts.

In the winter months it is cold at night, and there can even be frosts, although it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher in the sky.

Access ways It can be accessed by travelling from Nuwara Eliya through "Ohya", a small town with a Railway station. The road starting up from Ohiya Railway Station leads to the park and it goes across the park and climbs down to "Pattipola". There is a railway at "Pattipola". To hikers who like to get some adventure experience can tavel by the trail starting from "Belihuloya". this trail climbs all the way to the "Worlds-end". [1] The park covers 31.60 km², and is a mixture of highland forest and wet grassland.

This is a key wildlife area. Species found here include Leopard, Sambar (Sri lankan Sambar Deer) and the endemic Purple-faced Langur. All six highland endemic birds are found here, including Dull-blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, and Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. Yellow-eared Bulbul and Black-throated Munia are widespread throughout the highlands.

The park also has a well-visited tourist attraction at World's End, a sheer precipice with a 1050 m drop. The return walk passes the scenic Baker Falls. Early morning visits are essential, both to see the wildlife, and to view World's End before mists close in during the later part of the morning. Late Quaternary Environmental history of the Horton Plains

A 6 m long core was retrieved from a mire at ca 2200 m a.s.l. in the Horton Plains National Park, central Sri Lanka. The material collected consists of a mixture of organic matter and clastic particles, which have been subject to bio-, litho- and chronostratigraphic analyses. The pollen spectra suggest semi-arid conditions and a relatively species-poor plant community from >24,000 until 18,500 cal yr BP associated with a weaker South West Monsoon (SWM). During the late Pleistocene, the climate was fluctuating between relatively dry and humid conditions as the result of changes in the monsoonal regime. The onset of the moonson caused a semi-humid climate resulting in an expansion of the Upper Montane Rain Forest (UMRF). The strengthening of the SWM was interrupted by two relatively dry climatic events, each lasting ca 2000 years. The early Holocene was characterised by a per-humid event followed by a hyper-humid event, both influenced by a further strengthening of the SWM due to the orbitally induced maximum increment of summer insolation. The middle Holocene was marked by a trend towards semi-arid climatic conditions. During the late Holocene, the SWM rains strengthened again (Premathilakea and Risberg, 2002).[2] In October 2007 conservationists named 25 primates set to become extinct in the near future. One of them was the Slender Loris, native to the National Park, which has been seen just four times since 1937.[3]

Uda Walawe National Park
is an important national park in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The reserve covers 306 km² and was established in 1972 to protect the catchment of the Uda Walawe reservoir. The habitat is open parkland, with some mature teak trees along the river.

This popular reserve has more than 400 wild Asian Elephants, which are relatively easy to see in this open habitat. Udawalawe also has a dozen or so Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore requires considerable luck.

There are good numbers of Crocodiles, Golden Jackals, Water Buffalo and Grey langurs amongst other large animals.
The open parkland attracts birds of prey such as White-bellied Sea Eagle,Crested Serpent Eagle, Fish Eagle,Booted eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle and the wetlands have waders and Painted Storks.

Landbirds are in abundance, and include Indian Roller, Indian Peafowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Pied Cuckoo ,