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Wilpattu National Park

An hour’s drive from Anuradhapura, on the western coast of Sri Lanka, Wilpattu is the island’s largest national park and despite being located in the dry zone, is heavily forested with approximately 60 lakes and smaller bodies of water. Recently re-opened to visitors after 16 years of closure, the flora and fauna seem to have flourished during this period. 31 species of mammal are to be found, including elephant, sloth bear, leopard and water buffalo, as are many wetland species of bird.

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Mirissa

MIrissa is located at the southern part of Srilanka. The gentle breeze will take you to a whole new world of whale watching which was lately discovered in the near offshore of this southern port town. The keen whale watcher has seen Sperm whales, orcas, flying fish and dolphins too in the offshores. Mirissa a developing Srilankan tourist spot is just 4 kms southeast of Weligama which is yet another developing beach where to tourists are rushing. For accommodation andother services like internet, markets and telephones you can either go to Weligama or Matara.

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Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is an ancient capital constructed by the King Paramabahu who ruled over the kingdom in the 12th century. The site is popular for the renowned statues of Buddha , royal palaces, stupas and temples. The huge reclining statue and the other two seating statues of Buddha are all built from one single piece of huge granite rock. Each statue has peculiar characteristics that its intrinsic works are awesome and takes the visitors to the ancient era. Each statue was enclosed in separate shrines but time has left over only the rock carvings for today. The rock behind each statue is decorated with intrinsic carvings which add the beauty of the statue. Visiting this place shows you the ancient rock carving expertise of ancient Srilanka.

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Kandy, Sri Lanka

In such a small country one can barely imagine a hill station. Kandy is such a destination in Srilanka which is a wholesome package of everything a highland can bestow. Here you find the history of the last independent kingdom before the British could overpower them. The beautiful nature compiles of natural forests, eye soothing evergreen tea plantations and mist covered mountains with milky waters flowing like a white cascade. The hotspots of Kandy are Temple of the Tooth, well known for the Buddhist relic, and the elated Kandy Esala Perahera, one of Asia’s most magnificent festivals. Nuwara Eliya is another noted town famous for the residues of British colonial rule. This town is the best start up plain for the further higher uplands of Horton Plains and World’s End. Ratnapura, the country’s gem mining centre is a start-up point to reach Sinharaja reserve a rare lookout of the tropical rain forests. Uda Walawe National Park is also in Kandy where you find the largest elephant population. It’s a rare chance in a lifetime to closely watch the elephant herds thriving in the wild. Adam’s Peak is a mountain where you can find a footprint imprinted in the rocks claimed to be Buddha’s footprint. For the same reason this highland is a pilgrim destination.

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Knuckles Mountain Range, Sri Lanka

Gombaniya, Kehelpothdoruwegala, Dotulugala and more names are attached to the Knuckles Mountain Range situated in the southern central part of Srilanka. Gombaniya is the highest peak in the range. If you fly over the mountain range it resembles the shape of a giant fist which is peculiar and is the reason why it is named Knuckles. As the temperature is the coolest in Srilanka take precautions to wear layers of clothes and terrain boots. The nearest city is Matale where you can find a decent accommodation before you start trekking. Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area is what it is called by the conservationists. It clearly serves the adventures, environmentalists, bio diversity researchers and educational groups with abundance of study material. Sustainable development of the mountain range is the main priority to the Knuckles Forest system. Srilanka eco-tourism finds space in these mountain ranges and it also indirectly helps the indigenous villagers to find a living instead of depending on the forests.

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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant orphanage is a best place for the elephant lovers fond of simply watching them. This orphanage was established to protect the orphaned elephants found in the Srilankan jungles. Adjoining the Maha Oya River lies a 25 acre property which is home and breeding ground to these wild Asian Elephants. This orphanage under the National Zoological Gardens from the department of Wildlife is a main tourist attraction. It has become popular among the locals as well as visitors mainly due to the activities. The sight of the newborn babies upto 3 years being bottle fed by the volunteers and mahouts, the elephants bathing in the river twice daily and the systematic management of the whole property by the authorities is worth watching. These huge animals are fed and cared with utmost sincerity to achieve their aim of creating a properly maintained natural habitat for the Srilankan Elephants.

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jaffna sri lanka

The city of Jaffna placed at the northern end of Srilanka projects a vibrant mixture of colonial rule and Tamil culture. The city mostly populated by Tamil Hindu’s is now a thoroughly rewarding place to rediscover the Srilankan culture mixing with Tamil culture. The 30 year old conflict as a result of terrorism and an unruly war that had shattered the city was indeed an irrevocable episode in the pages of Srilankan history. But the subsequent end of war in the year 2009 has brought light of hope and a ray of optimism in the eyes of the people of Jaffna. Kilinochchi, former capital of LTTE, depicts the dark end of the war prone Srilanka once in ruins is rebuilding in a slow pace. The ancient kovils like Nallur Kovil and the famous Jaffna market are the main highlights of jaffna’s upcoming tourism. A visit to Jaffna is truly an offbeat tour but still it has in store history with the churches that was built during the 17th century. The land is leafy and has picturesque views of Palmyra Palms and lagoons where the site flamingos flocking together after the rains are a soothing sight to both mind and soul. It has indeed a strip of coastline that has peaceful and mostly isolated beaches where nature has not shown any partiality to its beauty.

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Ancient Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura is an ancient city that takes us back to an extraordinary civilization that ruled this island thousands of years ago. Even though in ruins, a visit to this stupendous city testifies the existence of a great civilisation that contains beautiful palaces, giant stupas and vibrant temples. While you walk through the city the still enchanted prayers creates a mystical ambience of tradition, culture and a more elevated spirituality. Undoubtedly, Anuradhapura is an enormous complex with a huge collection of architectural and archaeological wonders. The huge dagobas, brick towers, ancient pool and the ruins of temples are some of them. Abahayagiri Dagoba, Archaeological museum, Ratnaprasada temple and Sri Maha Bodhi tree are some of the top picks in Aruradhapura. The guest house area and the main street is quiet planned and peaceful for the visitors, compared to the hustle and bustle anywhere else in the island.

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Negombo, Sri Lanka

Negombo is a busy with the fishermen from the Negombo lagoon hurrying with their outrigger canoes locally known as oruvas go to the lagoons to sweep the fish to their home town. Even though the towns economy is based on the traditional fisheries industry tourism plays a crucial role too. This town speaks of a history of foreign invasions. The Dutch and Portuguese captured it consecutively in the 17th century and then left it for the British in the 18th Century. These invasions were because of the rich sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era. There are still traces of the foregone European life in the form of houses, churches and administrative building. Ruins of a Dutch fort built in 1678 are found in a seafront. But it is now used as the town prison. The city has many churches and many of the locals had become catholics that the city came to be known as Little Rome.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress , Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a stunning single construction project ever built in Srilankas history. It is the best known tourist spot that is capable of comprehending the past glory of Asian civilization. The rocks are graced with the beautiful paintings popularly known as Sigiriya frescos depicting celestial nymphs showering flowers on humans from above. UNESCO has listed this complex as World Heritage site. The ruin seen today is just a small replica of the good old days which dated back to the 5th century while King Kashyapa ruled. The fortress was built with his vision of making a new city called Alakananda. Majority of the buildings where made of wood which is hardly seen in this great complex. Now what remains are the structures built in bricks and stones that have captured the grandeur of the past glory. What seen is beautiful and unseen is unimaginably eye capturing. The unseen beauty of this fortress lies hidden in the thick forests. The tourists are welcome to the earthly paradise to take a glimpse of spectacular frescos and witness the cloud tethered rock fortress.

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India

India. A country that is often referred to as a subcontinent… It extends from the mighty Himalayas in the north to the fathomless Indian Ocean to the south. The second most populous country, it speaks over 15 different languages and about 100 different dialects, follows a multitude of faiths, celebrates thousands of festivals, eats a variety of cuisine, have traits of a heterogeneous mix of all races, exists in the ancient and ultra modern forms, is an enigma and functions as a democratic nation. A civilization more than 5000 year old, looted, plundered and colonized by many but resilient as ever, India grew rich in culture and colour while she braved, invaders, gave asylum to refuge seeker, put forth the most peaceful principles of life and remained content in her disarming simplicity. Blazing hot deserts, freezing cold mountains, lush tropical forests, coral islands, enchanting backwaters, surging rivers, the topography of the country supports flora and fauna beyond imagination. Exotic and endemic species, many of which are endangered populate the wilderness. Tigers, Elephants, Cobras, Hornbills, Lion tailed macaque, sambhar, one horned Rhino, red Panda, narrow long snout crocodile called Gharial, snow leopard and so on. Hinduism, the prominent religion, is intimately woven into the fabric of everyday life, reflected in an extraordinary range of time-honoured traditions. Apart from its ancient spiritual framework, India's vastness also challenges the imagination, being home to one sixth of the world's population. Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Bahaism and multitude of ethnic beliefs also give strength to the diversity. The most frequently visited part of India is the Golden Triangle, comprised of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The main cities are New Delhi in the north, Mumbai (Bombay) in the west, Chennai(Madras) & Bengaluru(Bangalore) in the south and Kolkata (Calcutta) in the east. The holy city of Varanasi and the awe-inspiring temples of Tamil Nadu are rewarding places of pilgrimage. For those in search of tropical bliss, there are the palm-fringed beaches of Goa and Kerala. And for fresh air and serenity, India abounds in destinations. India is Vibrant, tranquil, peaceful, adventurous, wild, wise, simple and yet complex. Come, and discover for yourself.

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Srilanka

SRILANKA Variously called the emerald isle and green paradise, Sri Lanka is really a country like no other. Culturally and naturally rich, the island has long been famous for its precious gems. Through history this southern neighbour of India has been conquered by Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and British who left their marks here, making for a delightful mix of ancient cities, monuments and atmospheric colonial architecture. Tourism is one of the major industries here and it took a major hit after the 2004 Tsunami which ravaged the coastline of the island. But the lure of this beautiful land draws tourists again. The beautiful beaches, tropical forests, ancient culture and heritage sites are just some reasons to visit the country. In ancient times the Arabs referred to this island as Serendib, the origin of the word 'serendipity'. The name Sri Lanka means 'resplendent land' and the island nation truly lives up to the epithet. A multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society, the native Sinhalese in Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist but there is a Tamil minority which adheres to Hinduism. . Traditional arts and crafts like woodcarving, weaving, pottery and metalwork are highly developed. The archaeological sites show Buddhist, Hindu and colonial heritage of the nation. There are Dutch forts and churches as well as British clubs and courthouses. There are seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka, which include ancient cities, temples and the Sinharaja rainforests. Kandy, with the 16th Century Temple of the Tooth; Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's first capital city; Galle, Negombo and Pollonaruwa; Adam's Peak, just out of Colombo; Sigiriya Fort, and so goes on the long list. The warm and friendly people are unassuming and befriend the tourist easily and make you feel at home. The Sri Lankan cuisine is irresistible. And then of course, there's enough sun and surf here for an ideal beach holiday. Bentota and Hikkaduwa are two of the famous spots, but luxurious beach resorts are located all over the country and are perfect destinations for rest and relaxation. Adventure sports facilities here are topnotch, from windsurfing, diving and snorkeling to rafting, canoeing and trekking, there are thrills galore! The 103 rivers and streams in Sri Lanka create some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Sri Lanka is indeed a photo opportunity of a lifetime with it natural wealth and cultural beauty. It has many national parks and sanctuaries with exotic wildlife like Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bears and a great variety of tropical birds.

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