Kandy – City of Kandy is visited by travelers all around the world as a must place of visit basically to visit the temple of sacred tooth relic. Apart from that, Ambuluwawa, located 15 km away from Kandy city is also a Buddhist temple which also has an embarrassing view from its top. Kandy is also famed among meditators all around the world for the meditation centers located there. Nilambe, Sanatha suwaya are some of those places in Kandy where meditation methods are taught and practiced to the worldwide followers. Gadaladeniya viharaya, Embekke viharaya, Degaldoruwa raja maha viharaya, Lankathilaka viharaya, etc also stands among the special religious temples in Kandy.
Dambulla – Dambulla is a town in the district of Matale. The most popular & important religious place in Dambulla is Rangiri Dambulu Rajamaha viharaya (The Golden Cave Temple). The magnificent images of Lord Buddha & the unique paintings on the rock dates back to the ancient Anuradhapura & Kandyan kingdoms.
Nuwaraeliya – Nuwaraeliya is specially famed for its collection of places related with Ramayana tales. Shri bhaktha hanuman temple in Ramboda, devoted to Lord Hanuman will allow you to see A large statue of his majesty (4.8 m) surrounded by other small shrines in a quite view of cold green nature. You would also love a traditional Indian meal closer to the temple. Sita amman kovil devoted to Seetha is said to be the place where Sita had been imprisoned by King Ravana. Divurumpola temple (means the place of oath) is worshiped with honor with the faith that this was the place where Sita succeeded agni pariksha (the fire ordeal).
Trinco – Trincomalee, a serene peace of land in Eastern coastal line of Sri Lanka consists of a number of places related to Ramayana tales as well as Buddhists temples. Among them Koneshvaram Shakthi peeth temple, built in honor of the supreme god of Hinduism, God Shiva is outstanding. The temple sits with pride over the bay of Gokanna being related to a number of tales over centuries. Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal kovil, Kanniya hot water springs (related to Ramayana tales), Gokanna viharaya, Velgam vehera, etc are among the places of religious importance in Trincomalee.
Negombo – A large number of small & large churches can be seen scattered throughout Negombo; hence it came to be called as the Little Rome by the people.
The majestic heaven of Catholics in Negombo, is St Mary’s church which was built during the Portuguese period. The long spacious isles still stand with a heart consoling calmness with the statue of the crucified Christ & the rest venerated saints. Similarly, the other churches like St. Sebastian’s church, St. Anne’s church also attracts crowds of tourists throughout the year.
Jaffna – It is needless to say that Jaffna is a paradise of kovils when you just see the Sri Lankan Tamils dwelling there in peace. Nallur kovil (Nallur Kandaswamy kovil) devoted to Lord Murugan can be said the heart of the Sri Lankan Hindus. The kovil premises is full of spectacular statues & paintings of Hindu gods & deities. Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman kovil, Vaitheeswaran kovil, are also visited by tourists, specially Indians with an eduring devotion. The Honored Buddhist temple Naga viharaya, which is said to be the third place where Lord Buddha has stepped in Sri Lanka is also located in Jaffna symbolizing the harmony among nations.
Kataragama – Kataragama is one of the places in Sri Lanka where multy cultural people go to worship. The very first reason that one goes there is to visit Kataragama temple. The belief varies with the ethnicity; such that Buddhists believe it to be the place of Kataragama deviyo, while Hindus worship there as the place of Lord Murugan. The veddas (indenous people of Sri Lanka also worship this place in consider of “Kanda yaka (the spirit of Mountain)”. However, the premises now has been a spot of tourist attraction. Apart from the main building premises, sella kataragama is also a religious site that one can go & have a memorable experience of Sri Lankan religious & cultural back ground.
Adam’s peak/ Sri pada – Adams peak is called by different names by different nationalities with their faith about the site. The Buddhists call is Samanala kanda (mountain where there are a lot of butterflies) or Sri pada (sacred foot) believing that the footprint of Lord Buddha is there on the summit, prior to the artival of Buddha it was Samanthakuta (the peak of god Saman). Name Adams peak refers the footprint to be that of Adam. The Portuguese believed it as the foot print of St. Thomas, & the Hindus believe it as that of God Shiva. Anyway thousands of pilgrims climb the summit to see the amazing view of sun rise in the dusk during season & also off season.
Temple of the tooth – The assurance of the security of the sacred tooth relic of Lord buddha, the Temple of sacred tooth relic is in the Royal Palace of Kandy. This a site of attraction as a place of tremendous architectural importance too.
At the outset, the entrance, “Mahawahalkada” is decorated with moonstone at its foot, elephants depicted besides, makara thorana & the guardian stones,.. all created in Kandyan style. The temple premises consists of main three buldings; wedahiti maligaya, paththirippuwa & aluth maligawa. Out them Paththirippuwa (the octagon) is said to be the place where the king addressed the public. It is a design of the architect, Devendra Moolacarya. The wood roof of “Magul maduwa” is supported with wooden pillars which depicts how skilled was the Kandyan architect. The doors of wedahitina maligawa are also an eye catching creation made up of ivory. The very first noticeable thing above all there is the golden canopy. Both the golden canopy & the golden fence had been built in late 1980s.
Geoffrey Bawa’s constructions – The farther of modern Sri Lankan architecture, Geoffrey Bawa has offered his supreme service to Sri Lankan arts through a number of massive constructions. He had also performed his unique skills at overseas too. Out of them, Lunuganga in Bentota & the modern Parliament complex are the prominent outcomes. Apart from that, Seema malaka, Ekala & Palllekele industrial estates, Heritance Haungalla hotel, Heritance Kandalama hotel, Lighthouse hotel – Galle, Blue water hotel – Colombo, Club Villa – Bentota,Serendib hotel, Bentota Beach hotel, University of Ruhuna, Institute of Engineering technology – Moratuwa, Official residence of the president – Kotte, Agrarian research & training institute – Colombo are also among his majestic creations.
Anuradhapura – Anuradhapura ancient city is full of giant architectural sites, specially the Buddhist temples. Statues like Samadhi buddha statue is one of the majestic creation of the Anuradhapura architect. Samadhi buddha Prathima, rathna pasada & many more ruins of unique creations can be still found the the Abhayagiri stupa area. Stupas belonging to atamasthanaya (ruwanseliseya, thuparamaya, mirisawetiya,..) already have become the wonders of the world with their arts, designs & the existence over centuries. Isurumuniya temple which is famed all around the world for its collection of rock carvings is even beyond ones level of maximum appreciation. Aukana buddha statue, though located in a village bit far from the city has not received any reluctance from the guests all around the world to see the amazing skill of the carpenter on the massive natural rock. Other than the main constructions separately, all most all such bulding premises are decorated with some features like stone staircases, moon stones, muragala, korawak gala, makara thorana, pun kalasa, stone terraces, etc which shows some common features of Anuradhapura era & with few variations sometimes. The most significant thing related to these is that each of the images included in these decorations are depicting an extreme truth taught by lord Buddha or a valuable message to the humankind. Some evidences of the world’s oldest hospitals are also found in Mihintale area with ruined architectures left there.
Polonnaruwa – When someone hear Polonnaruwa what comes to his mind at once is a heaven of majestic rock carvings. Specially, Gal viharaya & Thiwanka pilima geya (image house) shows us the ancient architect had handle the rough rock masses so smoothly depicting all the humanism features of lord Buddha on the rocky statues. Thiwanka image house, as the name implies consists of images of lord buddha with three bent postures. The ruins of the royal palace, the image of King Parakramabahu, Nissankamalla council chamber, Nissanka latha mandapaya (the creeper pavilion), Siva devala, Thuparama image house,.. also stand with the pride of architectural skill of ancient Polonnaruwa kingdom.
Yapahuwa – Yapahuwa architectural site is left with the ruins of ancient Kingdom of Yapahuwa basically with slight influences of other kingdoms too. This had been known as Sundara giri pavva & Ayo parvata in different scripts which gives more or less similar meaning about the constructions. It is mentioned that this was a fortress once in the history & the ruins of the royal palace, the supportive pillars are visible up to now there. The most outstanding figure in the site is the staircase to the building identified as the housing of the tooth relic at that time. The sculpture of the kneeling lion, dwarf, dancer & the feminine, musicians are all spectacular operations done on the rock. In the building of the temple of the tooth, water sprouts, ponds, a stupa & foundations of buildings can be seen.
Sigiriya –Sigiriya is already nominated as a world heritage site & was the eighth wonder of the world few years ago. Sigiriya referring Sinha giri is a rock fortress used by King Kashyapa is located closer to Dambulla. The natural fountains built during the ruling period of King Kasyapa are still amazing to see working properly upto now. The rock fortress, museum, natural fountains, frescoes, mirror wall, are the wonders to see in the site. The historians also say that it shows industries of two eras; King Ravana & King Kashyapa. It is also said that this was the ancient Alakamandawa which was the dwelling place of King Kubera (dates back to Ravana period) as per mentioned in Ramayana.
Embekke – Embekke temple is a miracle of architectures from the entrance itself. The wood carvings of Embekke has been identified as the best wood carvings of the world by UNESCO. The entrance gateway is decorated with sculptured pillars besides. The premises consist of three main sections as Garbha, Digge & Hevisige/Hevisi mandapaya in the meaning of sanctum, dancing hall & the drummers’ hall respectively & other creations such as vahalkada, vee bissa, image house, etc. The wooden pillars of Digge are comprised of liyapatha designs & other carvings while the Hevisi mandapaya is comprised of more than 500 wood carvings.
Others – Richmond castle,