Attractions

Top Choice Monument in Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara

This is a group of beautiful Buddha images that probably marks the high point of Sinhalese rock carving. They are part of Parakramabahu I’s northern monastery. The Gal Vihara consists of four separate images, all cu…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Anuradhapura

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Dating back to the 1st century BC, this colossal dagoba was the ceremonial focus of the 5000-strong Abhayagiri Monastery. Originally over 100m high, it was one of the greatest structures in the ancient world, its sc…
Top Choice Historic Site in Polonnaruwa

Quadrangle

A short stroll north of the Royal Palace ruins, the area known as the Quadrangle is literally that – a compact group of ruins in a raised-up area bounded by a wall. It’s the most concentrated collection of buildings…
Top Choice Hindu Site in Trincomalee

Kandasamy Kovil

This revered temple at the summit of a rocky outcrop is one of Sri Lanka’s pancha ishwaram, five historical Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and established to protect the island from natural disaster. It houses the…
Top Choice Hindu Site in Jaffna

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

This huge Hindu temple, crowned by a towering god-encrusted, golden-ochre gopuram, is one of the most significant Hindu religious complexes in Sri Lanka. Its sacred deity is Murugan (or Skanda), and during cacophono…
Top Choice National Park in Kumana National Park & Kumana Reserve

Kumana National Park

This 357-sq-km park, once known as Yala East, is much less frequently visited than its busy neighbour, Yala National Park. Consequently, it's a far less zoo-like experience and it never feels too crowded here, even …
Top Choice Fort in Yapahuwa

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

The steep ornamental staircase of this dramatic rock fortress is perhaps its finest feature, and once led to the Temple of the Tooth. One of the lions near the top of the staircase appears on the Rs 10 note. The por…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Anuradhapura

Sri Maha Bodhi

The sacred bodhi tree is central to Anuradhapura in both a spiritual and physical sense. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodhgaya in India and is said to be the oldest historically authenticated tree in the…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Dambulla

Cave Temples

The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues and paintings, some of Sri Lanka's mo…
Top Choice Fort in Jaffna

Jaffna Fort

Sections of this vast complex overlooking the Jaffna lagoon have been recently restored, though much work continues. Once one of the greatest Dutch forts in Asia, it was built in 1680 over an earlier Portuguese orig…