Sri Lanka has a rich heritage of culture and tradition dating back to the ancient times. These reflect in the beauty of their palaces, temples, ancient cities and forts. In a fitting tribute to the monarchs, architects and designers who contributed to the construction of these magnificent edifices, UNESCO has declared six of these ancient landmarks as World Heritage Sites.
Down the ages, these places of cultural significance have been witness to strange and exotic celebrations and festivals, some of them which are carried out even to this day.
A brief description of important Sri Lankan World heritage Sites and their respective cultural events which are applicable, are listed below:
The Cave Temples of Dambulla
It is an important World Heritage site, it is a part of the Sri Lankan cultural triangle and is home to one of the most beautifully preserved relics. These caves total eighty eight in number and some of them contain exquisitely carved statues and stunning story telling murals. This cave temple complex is a must see for any visitor.
Sigiriya is famous for its palace ruins, which are on the top of a 200 metre high natural rock formation. This palace is surrounded by a network of reservoirs and gardens. The palace contains a great number and variety of ancient frescoes and murals.
The Sacred City of Kandy
It is a cultural and tourist centre of prominence. It is an important religious centre for Buddhists, as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth is situated here. The new rice festival, is conducted here every January and freshly harvested rice is offered to the Buddha at this festival. The Esala Perahera (Procession of Erahera) is another important cultural festival conducted here, during the months of July and August. During this festival, beautifully decorated elephants are led in a procession to the temple. Fire dances, whip dances and various other cultural dances form an integral part of this cultural event and draws tourists from all over the world.
The Galle fort is another UNESCO World Heritage site and contains the largest remaining fortress built by the Europeans in Asia. It is also home to the National Maritime Museum and the St. Mary's Cathedral, built by the Jesuit priests at the end of the nineteenth century. The annual church festival is quite famous and draws a large number of visitors.
Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura
The ancient cities of Polannaruwa and Anuradhapura are two of the most famous tourist attractions. They are also important historical landmarks. Anuradhapura is famous for its ancient domed temples and Polonnaruwa for its well-planned ancient constructions. The relics are well preserved and are considered important due to their adherence to green building principles.
In conclusion, a visit to Sri Lanka make for an informative and interesting trip. Due to its historically significant attractions, the country draws thousands of foreign tourists every year It is commendable that the Government has taken steps to ensure that these priceless artefacts are well preserved and maintained. For those desirous of visiting this country have to possess a Sri Lankan ETA visas from its consular offices all over the world.
Flora, a passionate traveler and blogger who shares her thoughts on various topics she came across. As a solo traveler shares her stories on many blogs. Presently she is working for Turkish e visa , which is a visa service provider.