Natural landmarks in Sri Lanca we visited during the dry season. 800 kilometers from the equator, in the Indian Ocean, not far from the southern coast of India is the amazing island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon. The name translated from ancient Indian means “blessed land”. Sandy beaches covered with golden and white sand, with palm trees overhanging them, refreshed by the light breeze of the Indian Ocean, unusual flora and fauna, bright green vegetation in the jungle, an abundance of tropical fruits – this is what I expected and saw on this amazing island. The island is rich in cultural and artistic monuments, eight of which are under UNESCO protection.
Which sights in Sri Lanka we saw
- The rock complex in Sigiriya
- the holy city of Kandy
- Buddha’s Tooth Temple
- The Buddhist cave
- temple in Dambulla
- Yala National Park
- safari on the river Madu
- Tea plantations
The rock complex in Sigiriya – palace buildings erected on a 200-meter rock; The Tooth Relic Temple in the holy city of Kandy; Dambulla Buddhist Cave Temple, consisting of five caves that include the largest collection of Buddha statues.
We are in the land of Buddhism. It was Buddhism that had a great influence on the attitude of the locals towards nature, which is expressed in the careful protection of all members of the flora and fauna. We saw confirmation of this in the elephant shelter, the sea turtle conservation center, the royal botanical garden, the spice plantations, a factory for the production of the most popular drink in the world – Ceylon tea.
The Tooth Relic Temple is located in Kandy, a sacred Buddhist city in Sri Lanka. After the Buddha’s death and cremation, only four of his teeth survived. One of them was brought to the temple of Kandy, which was named after this event – “Buddha’s Tooth”. One of the magical properties attributed to the Buddha’s tooth is the empowerment of its owner with absolute power.
The rock complex in Sigiriya, called the Lion’s Rock. The 200 m high rock is the result of volcanic processes and the release of magma, which occurred about 2 million years ago, as well as subsequent erosion. Directly on it is the ancient city of Sigiriya. The Lion Rock rises above the surrounding jungle and descends steeply on all sides. From the top the view is unique. In the Sigiriya complex, the natural inhabitants of the surrounding jungle – monkeys – walk and pose freely. The top is reached by a steep path with many stairs, but it is worth the climb.
The famous Pinawella Elephant Shelter was founded in 1975 to rescue orphaned young elephants or adult animals, mutilated and injured, found in the jungle. Sri Lankan elephants are different from African elephants. Their ears are different in shape and smaller. The tusks are smaller, and some do not have them at all – they can be seen on about one in 20 animals. Elephants are fed twice a day and bathe in the river.
The Royal Botanic Garden in Peradenia is one of the most impressive and beautiful botanical gardens in Asia. It houses over 4,000 different plant species and over 10,000 individual orchids. The different soil composition of natural landmarks in Sri Lanka contributes to the prosperity of many different plant species brought here from all subtropical and tropical regions of the earth. The mild climate with a balanced combination of sunshine and rainfall has a beneficial effect on plant growth.
Natural attractions in Sri Lanka
The great variety of historical attractions in Sri Lanka and the rich history of this magnificent island were extremely impressive. But the journey will not be complete without the two safaris. Jeep safari in the wild in Yala National Park, where we saw the savannah and representatives of its fauna in their natural environment. Unfortunately, our group failed to see at least one of the 40 wild leopards living there.
We were satisfied with elephants, buffaloes, deer, deer, crocodiles, lizards, monkeys, peacocks, mongooses, jackals. We did the river safari on the Madu River, on the banks of which crocodiles and huge lizards lived peacefully. We traveled in a small speedboat on one of the many rivers – the Madu River.
And on the islands we were greeted by local families, demonstrating crafts and other activities of their lives. There are more than 60 islands along the Madu River, some of which are inhabited. The living conditions on these islands are difficult – no electricity, no amenities, people make a living mainly from tourists by showing them various activities of their lives. In this case we were shown how to make cinnamon and how to make roofs from palm leaves. Souvenir and fruit shops in the middle of the river. Naturally, waiting for another group of tourists.
I have to pay tribute to the hotels as well. The most impressive were those along the coast – beautiful lobbies, impeccable service, spacious and clean rooms, great food and perfectly maintained gardens. And the photos of the amazing beaches, I will leave without comment!
Natural landmarks in Sri Lanka is a typical example of an exotic island. It was worth getting up at 6 in the morning for this sunrise over the Indian Ocean. Until 1972, the island was called Ceylon – “Land of Lions”. Today, lions can only be seen on flags and coins, but lions have not lived on the island for millennia. The beaches are typical of an exotic place – light blue sea, soft sand and overhanging palm trees. Sri Lanka is a picturesque island located on the south coast of Hindustan, surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.
Dambula Cave Complex is a large temple complex, which is carved into the rock with a height of 350 meters. Its founder is King Valagambach, who spent about 14 years in exile here. As a sign of gratitude to the Buddhist monks for their help, after his return to the throne, he built the first cave temple on the picturesque mountain. It is called the “Golden Temple of Dambulla” because of the many gilded statues of Buddha and especially because of the 30-meter Golden Buddha at the foot of the rock.
There are five main caves and 25 smaller ones in the Golden Temple. Here are 153 different statues of Buddha. This is the largest collection of Buddhist statues, some of which are more than two thousand years old. Dambulla Golden Temple is not only a famous tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, but also one of the most important Buddhist centers, where the most valuable examples of Buddhist culture are located. The ancient temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The people of Sri Lanka have a special attitude towards the protection of the country’s natural resources. Examples of this are 12 national parks and 52 reserves in the country. The pearl of Sri Lanka’s nature reserves is Yala National Park in the southeastern part of the island, right on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The area of Yala National Park is about 100 hectares. In total, the park is inhabited by more than 200 species of birds and 44 species of mammals, the largest of which is the Ceylon elephant. Jeep safari is the only possible way to enjoy the amazing wildlife of Yala National Park.
We move around the park with traditional open jeeps, with a capacity of up to 4-6 people. Tourists usually take jeep safaris to see the most interesting inhabitants of Yala Park – wild leopards. More than 40 of them live here. However, the chance to see them is small. And we didn’t have that chance.