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MOST POPULAR PLACES IN SRILANKA
District : Kandy
Typical Weather : Cool
Dist. From Colombo : 116 Km
Sri Lanka's hill capital, stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, is our most beautiful town. It is 488 metres above sea level and next to Colombo is Sri Lanka's most visited place. The focal point of the town is, without doubt, the golden roofed Dalada Maligawa where the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is enshrined. Major restoration work is in progress here by the UNESCO - aided Central Cultural Fund. The highlight of the year is the Esala Perahera, when a replica of the relic casket is taken in procession accompanied by exotically costumed dancers, drummers and about 80 to 100 elephants during ten glittering nights in July/August. Visit Kalapuraya in the beautiful Dumbara valley 8 km. from Kandy, where descendants of the ancient craftsmen still create items of rare elegance in metal and wood. There are many shrines and temples in and around Kandy, where you will see rare paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings. Don't miss the Peradeniya Gardens begun as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala King, with its amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Kandy is an exciting place for shopping with souvenirs in wood, copper, silver, brass, ebony and bronze. Ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, jewellery and rush and reed-ware can
Wasgamuwa National Park
WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK situated in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa, this substantial national park stretches up to a remarkable 36,948 hectares. Initially Wasgamuwa was affirmed to be a strict nature reserve in 1938 but then it was altered and declared into a national park in 1984. The park lies within the central and northern central provinces. Rainfall is generally by the northeast monsoon (December to February) and inter-monsoonal rains. Meaning annual rainfall can vary from about 1750mm in a dry zone to about 2250mm in an intermediate zone. The yearly temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius.
Park consists of Riverina forest, dry mixed evergreen forest, grasslands and wetlands. As park is almost surrounded by Mahaweli & Amban Rivers, riverine forest area is fairly large.
Wasgamuwa is famous as an elephant habitat. These elephants are known to be less habituated to people and are more wildish. Other than elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo are also found here. Torque Macaque, Purple face leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris is also found in the park. Lesser Adjutant, Wooly necked stork, open bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl & Spurfowl are among the over 100 species of birds found within the park.
There is historical evidence to that this area had been inhabited by man during the ancient Sinhala kingdoms in BC. Giant canal of kalinga (Kalinga Yodha Ela) built in the reign by king Parakramabahu in the 12th century while the remains of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Wasgamuwa and Dasthota tanks bear witness to the past prosperity of the area. Kalinga island (Kalinga Duwa) too is an interesting place to visit. Kadurupitiya, Dagoda, Baduruwayaya Buddha Statue, Malagamuwa stone pillars and other ruins also bear witness to the past glory of the area
How to get there
Wasgomuwa can be reached through Matale and Hettipola or from Dehiattakandiya coming from Polonnaruwa or from Mahiyangana.
Arugam Bay the Surfers paradise
Arugam Bay is located in the East cost of Sri Lanka, the unspoiled beautiful beach is a must visit place. Arugam Bay is with an easy reach of the town Pottuvil and you can visit many interesting and beautiful places like Yala, Kataragama, Lahugala National Park and superbkovils at Oganda as well.
Arugam Bay is among the world’s top ten surfing locations. The people in the area have developed tourism by their own there are no larger hotels, most of the hotels are stilt cabins and coconut palm leaf cabins. Near by village abundant bird life and the archeological siteshave made Arugam Bay a destination like no other. No wonder Arugam Bay awarding the highly commended Best Destination by the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Awards Ceremony which was held in London on the 14 th of November among other thousands of nominees.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
One of the most outstanding tourist attractions in Sri Lanka is the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This is a refuge for orphaned and abandoned elephants that lies in Kegalla between the capital Colombo and Kandy. The orphanage was established in 1975 and is now government run.
Photos with Elephants
The orphanage is set in 24 acres of land, but there is a map as you first enter to help you wind your way around the paths. The public are requested to stay on these paths. When on site you will find yourself surrounded by palm trees and sun-scorched ground, which provides a natural habitat for the elephants. There are plenty of photo opportunities with elephants during a tour of the orphanage, but expect to tip the people that are accompanying them.
Bathing in the River Maha Oya
Apart from being able to walk around amongst the elephants, there are also set times of day when they eat and bathe. Lots of food is brought into the orphanage each day and you can watch the baby elephants, as they are bottle fed milk. In a country where elephants are kept as pets, the keepers know how to look after the animals.
The elephants are also taken to the nearby River Maha Oya to bathe twice a day. On the walk down to the river from the orphanage there are an array of shops and stalls, selling elephant souvenirs. Once at the river you might choose to eat in the café that overlooks the water. It is lovely to see these rescued creatures splashing around in the water. Some of the animals have been clearly scarred. For example there is an elephant that has been run over by a train. Although his walking is impaired, it is satisfying to see that like all the other animals he was being cared for so well.
One of the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Sri Lanka
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, yet still the elephants are the priority and this is not one of the places in Sri Lanka that tourists can go on elephant rides