Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean having area of 65,610 square kilometer. The island is 100 km off Indian Coast of Tamilnadu. Inface arial distance between Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka is about 40 kilometers. Seventy one percent of Srilankans follow Buddhism. Indian mythological epic Ramayana is incomplete with Srilanka and Ravana.
The Central part of the island is hilly with maximum height of 8281 feet. The island has a coastline of 1340 km. Weather is Srilanka is tropical. In the mountains temperatures will be very cold during winter. Best time to visit Srilanka west, south and hills is December to March. For the east coast April or May to September is the best season.
Colombo has the international airport and is the main entry point to Sri Lanka. Chennai Colombo airfares are attractive if booked in advance. For Indians Tourist ETA i.e. Electronic Tourist Authorization for duration of 15 days can be applied online which is valid for 3 months. Sri Lankans currency is Sri Lankan Rupees. Once Arrived at Colombo you can start from Sri Lanka tour starting from Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura is a world heritage site. It is the ancient capital of Sri Lanka which has a Bodhi tree grown from the cut branches of the original Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya India where Buddha attained enlightenment. In 3rd Century BC Sanghamitra believed to have planted this here. It lies on the banks of Malvathu river which is the second longest river in Sri Lanka.
It is 205 km north of Colombo which takes 5 hours by road. You can also opt for a train from Colombo Fort station. Direct taxi from Colombo Airport is possible too.
Important sightseeing attractions are Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, Mirisawetiya Stupa, Jetavana which is the largest stupa in Sri Lanka, Abhayagiri stupa, Isuruminiya Rajamaha Vihar. The city also has fortification with citadel. Stupa is locally called Dagoba. While monkeys is a common sighting here you can also see peacocks in the monastery remains.
Polonnaruwa is a world heritage site. Polonnaruwa is another capital city of Ancient Sri Lanka. The capital was established by King Vijaybahu who defeated Chola rulers in 1070. The important sight seeing here include The Royal Palace, King Nissanka Malla’s Palace, King Parakramabahu I Statue, Alahana Pirivena Complex, Lankatilaka Gedige, Gal Vihara, Topa Wewa Lake and the Parakrama Samudra, Demala Maha Seya and Thuparama.
Sinha giri or Lion fort is perhaps the most iconic sites of Sri lanka. Pidurangala is mount opposite to Sigiriya which offers best views of Sigiriya. Many tourists visit both the mounts.
Sigiriya citadel is at the height of 200 meters. It has 1200 steps and you must take food and water while you hike. It is also recommended that you wear a hat to avoid sun. Sigiriya museum is at the base worth visit.
Cave Temple of Dambulla is a world heritage site. The rock cut cave with statues and paintings, illuminated with soft light will mesmerize you.There are around 80 caves out of which 5 caves are important for sightseeing. The main cave complex houses more than 150 Buddhas statues.
Kandy Colombo is 95 km distance by road. It can be considered as center of Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city of Sri Lanka. The tooth relic temple of Kandy is an important site of worship. It is a part of Royal palace complex of king of Kandy. The rituals performed in the temple are important to Buddhist followers in Sri Lanka also an experience for tourists. Another important site of tourist attraction is Royal Botanical Garden of Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya is called Little England due to its weather and colonial architecture. Single tree mountain tea plantations gives splendid view of the city. Lake gregory offers peaceful sighting and boating too. The highest railway track near Pattipola is an attraction to visit.
Sita amman temple near Hakgala botanical garden is an important site for Hindus.
Ella is famous for 9 arch railway bridge. Hike to Ella rock and Little adams peak will excite you. The train journey from Nany Oya (Nuwara eliya) to Ella is very scenic. Ella is popular among backpackers.
From mountains going towards southern Sri Lanka, Galle is a city on shore with Dutch built fort.
Mirissa another nearby town also has a fort. This again has colonial architecture.
Eastern coast of Sri Lanka is famous among surfers. Once you are done with Sri Lanka sightseeing you need to come back to Colombo for return flight.
Colombo city has three important museums. National museum, Natural History museum, Dutch period museum. The town called Fort will make you remember Mumbai. The main railway station is called Fort station too. Pinnawala Elephant orphanage is a very popular tourist site. Negombo, Jaffna, Adams peak are some more tourist places to visit in Sri Lanka.