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 Viewpoint in Horton Plains National Park & World's End

World’s End

The Horton Plains plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. The walk here is 4km, but the trail then loops back to Baker’s Falls (2km) and continues back to the entrance …
Top Choice Monument in Wellawaya

Buduruwagala

The beautiful, 1000-year-old, rock-cut Buddha figures of Buduruwagala are the region's biggest attraction. The gigantic standing Buddha (at 15m, it is the tallest on the island) here still bears traces of its origin…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Tangalla & Around

Mulkirigala Rock Temples

Dangling off a rocky crag 16km northwest of Tangalla and nestled away among a green forest of coconut trees are the peaceful rock temples of Mulkirigala. Clamber in a sweat up the 500 or so steps and you’ll encounte…
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 National Park in Uda Walawe National Park

Uda Walawe National Park

With herds of elephants, wild buffalo, sambar and spotted deer, and giant squirrel, this Sri Lankan national park is one of the nation's finest. In fact, for elephant-watching, Uda Walawe often surpasses many of the…
Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Anuradhapura

Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba

This magnificent white dagoba is guarded by a wall with a frieze of 344 elephants standing shoulder to shoulder. Apart from a few beside the western entrance, most are modern replacements of the originals from 140 B…
Top Choice Church in Mannar Island & Around

Our Lady of Madhu Church

This mainland church is Sri Lanka’s most hallowed Christian monument (though it's thought to be have been constructed over an ancient Hindu shrine). Its walls shelter Our Lady of Madhu, a diminutive but revered Mado…