TOURISM & CULTURE 

More than seven centuries ago, Marco Polo described one of the gems in the treasury of the King of Sri Lanka, a magnificent ruby, as “brilliant beyond comparison”.

That description might just as well apply to Sri Lanka itself, for indeed no holiday destination can be compared with this beautiful island's miles of gorgeous beaches, ancient ruined cities shrouded in timeless mystery, a rich natural heritage and a uniquely fascinating living culture.

A history stretching back to the sixth century BC, has endowed this island with the richest treasury of ancient cities, shrines and temples, from the 2500-year-old grandeur of Anuradhapura, the cave temples of Dambulla, the rock palace of Sigiriya and the towering Buddha statues of Polonnaruwa to the temple of Kandy and the colonial battlements of Galle.

◾Eight sites of Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage, namely, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the ancient city of Sigiriya, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the sacred city of Anuradhapura,the sacred city of Kandy, Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Cultural Highlands of Sri Lanka. In addition to the cultural heritage, one can find around the island, pockets of forest and wilderness sheltering hundreds of rare species of flora and fauna, herds of elephants and troops of raucous monkeys to gorgeous birds and butterflies. 

 ◾In Sri Lanka's hill country, cool mountains offer a delightful contrast to the tropical sunshine of the coast, lush green plantations carpeting misty hillsides producing the world's finest tea.

  ◾Around the city of Ratnapura, the earth yields up a bounty of precious and semi-precious stones - sapphires, rubies, alexandrite and amethysts.

  ◾Each of these unmatched attractions is within a few hours of some of the finest beach resorts of the Indian Ocean island and Sri Lanka's commercial capital and gateway, Colombo. 

  ◾ Sigiriya: Sri Lanka's ancient water gardens - https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20211205-sigiriya-sri-lankas-ancient-water-gardens

◾Your maiden trip to Sri Lanka, simplified!...  Read more at: https://www.onmanorama.com/travel/outside-kerala/2021/12/06/maiden-trip-sri-lanka.html

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