The Cultural Triangle
An ancient civilisation waiting to be explored, packed with UNESCO sites, palaces, temples and enormous Buddha statues.
The remnants of Sri Lanka’s ancient Buddhist civilisations were lost in the jungle for centuries, known only to villagers living nearby. Today you can explore these magnificent sites - four of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and marvel at intricately constructed palaces, temples and enormous Buddha statues.
There’s so much to see in this area so pick a good hotel as your base and spend a few days exploring. Stroll or cycle around the old capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, and get up early to climb the huge rocks at Sigiriya and Mihintale with their stunning panoramic views. The cave temple at Dambulla is absolutely exquisite (and incredibly well preserved), while the lesser-known sites of Ritigala, Reswehara, Avukana and Dimbulagala are quieter and equally rewarding.
While you’re in the area it’s also worth popping to one of the national parks around Minneriya to hang out with crowds of wild elephants gathering for a drink.
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