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Things to do

Place to See

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Places to See

 

High on any traveller’s list would be a visit to Sigiriya. Sri Lanka however is a land of many such wonders. And Royal Retreat - at the very centre of the cultural triangle is the perfect place from which to discover them. It’s only a day’s trip to the historic capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Mountain caves that have been turned into magnificent temples, holy places buzzing with ethereal energy and hundreds of elephants taking over the ancient Minneriya tank to have a gathering are just a few of the things to do and see in the region.

Sigiriya World Heritage Site 

Sigiriya. Sri Lanka (UNESCO World Heritage Site). An ancient Palace that sits on a colossal rock with a mid-level terrace dominated by the Lion Gate. It makes you wonder if its creators were brilliant or crazy…or both. Undoubtedly one of the brightest jewels in Sri Lanka’s archeological crown, the world famous frescos and mirror wall, the lower gardens and palaces, moats and ramparts leave subtle impressions of what it was like here back in the day.

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The incredible Cave Temples at Dambulla 

Located more or less at the centre of the Cultural Triangle and approximately 20 minutes from Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, is the imposing 52-feet Dambulla Rock. Festooned with a marvelous array of sculptures and murals, this rock houses one of the most impressive Buddhist cave temples.

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Historic Anuradhapura 

Historic Anuradhapura, about one and a half hours drive away, welcomes you with the weathered ruins of Sri Lanka’s ancient past. The sacred Sri Maha Bodhi, Thuparama, Jetavanarama monastery and stupa and the Abhayagiri Monastery complex are the main draws of this great monastic city.

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Ancient architecture at Polonnaruwa 

Polonnaruwa is approximately an hour away from Sigiriya. Sri Lanka does have plenty of relics from the past, but none so grand or well preserved as those in Polonnaruwa. The Museum, the Quadrangle (or the Dalada Maluwa), Gal Vihara, and the Lankathilaka are all within easy distance of each other.

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The enormous Aukana Buddha statue 

The gigantic Aukana Buddha stands less than an hour’s drive away. 13 meters high, carved into a single rock – this is the one of the greatest testaments to ancient Buddhist art. Its perfectly preserved state makes it well worth the visit.

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Buddhist shrines at Mihintale 

Mihintale, about 70 KM to the south is the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The mountain is adorned by beautiful temples and dagobas. The view from the top is simply spectacular and the feeling of being on sacred ground – incomparable.

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The Minneriya National Park 

The Minneriya National Park Connected to the Kaudulla National Park, is a mere 15-minute drive from Sigiriya, Sri Lanka hosts a great diversity of life and here is one of the best places to see a grand exhibition of it. The Sri Lankan Leopard, Deer and Sloth Bear are among the residents here while the annual gathering of elephants in August and September is Asia’s largest.

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