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Last updated : Nov 2009
Sri Lanka Travel Guide
Sri Lanka Travel Guide and Sri Lanka Travel Information -
"The Emerald Island”

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An introduction to Sri Lanka

Many ancient sites are worth a visit including Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Panduwasnuwara, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Yapahuwa. They have the remains of a great civilization, which grew through the centuries under the control of Buddhism, a gentle faith still present in the country in its purest form.

Large park, vast man-made lakes, shrines, temples and monasteries speak eloquently of the glorious past and bear testimony to a cultured and imaginative people.


Colombo is a enchanting capital city, combining its older culture with modern influences. A palm-fringed drive of 34 kilometres or 21 miles leads from the Katunayake (Colombo) International Airport to Colombo.

Fort was a military occupation during the Portuguese and Dutch influence from the 16th to the 18th century. Today it is the commercial capital of the country. Pettah, 2 kilometres or 1 mile from Fort, is the busy shopping area.

The Vihara Maha Devi Park was named after the mother of one of Sri Lanka’s greatest kings. It is renowned for its selection of beautiful flowering gardens, a blossoming spectacle in March, April and early May. The park is open until 9.00 pm every day.

The Parliament Building is located at Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte.

Some other places of interest are the Planetarium, the National Zoological Gardens and museums and art galleries.

Buddhist Temples

 Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya, 10 kilometres or 6 miles from Fort.

 Vajiraramaya at Bambalapitiya, 6 kilometres or 4 miles from Fort.

 Dipaduttaramaya at Kotahena, 5 kilometres or 3 miles from Fort.

 Gotami Vihare at Borella, 7 kilometres or 4.5 miles from Fort.

Some other places of interest are:

 Gangaramaya Bhikkhu Training Centre and Sima Malaka located at 61 Sri Jinaratana Road, Colombo, 3 kilometres or 2 miles from Fort.

 Purana Viharaya at Metharamaya, Lauries Road, Colombo 4.

 Purana Viharaya at Hendala, 0.8 kilometres or 0.5 miles on the Colombo–Negombo road, en route to the Pegasus Reef Hotel.

Hindu Temples

Kochikade Kotahena, the Pettah and Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4.

 Sri Siva Subramania Swami Kovil, Gintupitiya is within a short walk from Sea Street, Colombo 11 (Pettah).


 Davatagaha mosque at Union Place, Colombo 2; Afar.

 Jumma mosque in the Pettah.

Kandy and The Hill Country

Kandy is a picturesque built up town, 115 kilometres or 72 miles from Colombo and was the last stronghold of the Kandyan Kings. It evaded foreign defeat until 1815 when it was ceded by treaty to the British. It is now a cultural sanctuary where age old customs, rituals, arts, crafts and ways of life are well conserved.

Good sightseeing trips should take in:

  The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa)

  Embekke Deval



  Degaldoruwa temples

  Royal Botanic Gardens


  Elephants’ Bath at Katugastota

  Kandyan Arts Association

  Kalapura (Craftsmen’s Village) at Nattarampotha 6.5 kilometres or 4 miles from Kandy.

 Henawela Village famous for its ‘Dumbara Mats’ 16 kilometres or 10 miles from Kandy.
Useful travel links
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