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Pinnawala.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanagenursery and captive breedingground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawalla is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.

The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).

The Millennium Elephant Foundation is a separate registered private charity organization which is a retirement home for 7 elephants and a tourist attraction

 

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Sigiriya

Sigiriya (Lion's rock, Sinhalese - සීගිරිය) is a town with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles asMahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.
The Sigiri inscriptions were deciphered by the archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana in his renowned two-volume work, published by Cambridge, Sigiri Graffiti and also Story of Sigiriya.

Location and geographical features

Sigiriya is located in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is within the cultural triangle, which includes five of the eight world heritage sites in Sri Lanka.

The Sigiriya rock is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano. It stands high above the surrounding plain, visible for miles in all directions. The rock rests on a steep mound that rises abruptly from the flat plain surrounding it. The rock itself rises approximately 370 m (1,214 ft) above sea level and is sheer on all sides, in many places overhanging the base. It is elliptical in plan and has a flat top that slopes gradually along the long axis of the ellipse.

 

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Polonnaruwa.

Polonnaruwa (Sinhalese - පොළොන්නරුව Tamil - பொலநறுவை or புளத்தி நகரம் as called by Cholas) is a town. It's the main town of Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Townand the other part of Polonnaruwa, remains as the royal ancient city of polonnaru kingdom.
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader.
The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site.

History

While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real "Hero of Polonnaruwa" of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the king, who was so adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each was to be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu's reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a moat against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu's reign.

With the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court.[citation needed] They also went on to form more intimate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by KingKalinga Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then moved to Dambadeniya.
The city of Polonnaruwa was also called Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.

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Habarana Jeep Safary

Habarana is a small city in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka. The city is famed for its chain of high class tourist resorts.

Habarana is a popular tourist destination for safari lovers as it is the starting point for safaris in the nearby Habarana jungle and theMinneriya sanctuary which is heavily populated by elephants. Elephant back riding is also an attraction in this small city. Habarana is situated nearby to the ancient rock fortress and castle/palace ruin of Sigiriya and is situated on the main road from Colombo toTrincomalee and Polonnaruwa. The population of the city is expected to be in the area of 5000-10,000.

The area has some of the best hotels in the country and the greenery and wild life has added value, making the location attractive for tourists.

 

 

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Dambulla

Dambulla is a big town, situated in the Matale DistrictCentral Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. Due to the major junction, it's the distribution centre of vegetable in the country.
Major attractions of the area include the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The area also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana.
Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla cave temple complexes is the latest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla, which is located within 3 kilometers of the cave temples providing evidence on presence of indigenous civilisations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the Island nation.

History

The area is thought to be inhabited from as early as the 7th to 3rd century BC. Statues and paintings in these caves date back to the 1st century BC. But the paintings and statues were repaired and repainted in 11th, 12th, and 18th century AD. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba (also called Vattagamini Abhaya) in his 14 year long exile from the Anuradapura kingdom. Buddhist monks meditating in the caves of Dambulla at that time provided the exiled king protection from his enemies. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradapura kingdom in the 1st century BC, he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla as a gratitude to the monks in Dambulla.

Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla, where prehistoric (2700 years old) human skeletons were found according to scientific analysis gives evidence on civilisations in this area long before arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Evidence of ancient people living on agriculture have been detected in this area for over 2700 years according to archaeological findings. (750 BC)
It was earlier known as Dhamballai. This was ruled by Kings like Raja Raja Chola, Rajendra Chola, etc. during their tenure in the late 10th century and early 11th century.

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Kandy Dance.

Kandyan Dance is a dance form that originated in the area called Kandy of the Central hills region in Sri Lanka. But today it has been widespread to other parts of the country.

History

According to the legend, the origins of the dance lie in an exorcism ritual known as the Kohomba Kankariya, which was originally performed by Indian shamans who came to the island.

According to legend, the Indian shamans came to the island upon the request of a king who was suffering from a mysterious illness. The king was said to be suffering from a recurring dream in which a leopard was directing its tongue towards the king, believed to be as a black magic of "Kuweni" the first wife of the king "Vijaya". After the performance of the Kohomba Kankariya the illness vanished, and many natives adopted the dance.

It was originally performed by dancers who were identified as a separate caste under the Kandyan Fudel system. They were aligned to the Temple of the Tooth and had a significant role to play in the Dalada Perahera (procession) held each year by the temple.

The dance waned in popularity as the support for the dancers from the Kandyan kings ended during the British period. It has now been revived and adapted for the stage, and is Sri Lanka's primary cultural export.
Tänze (Uda Rata Netum) Ves Tanz "Ves" dance, the most popular, originated from an ancient purification ritual, the Kohomba Yakuma or Kohomba Kankariya. The dance was propitiatory, never secular, and performed only by males. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity Kohomba.

Only toward the end of the 19th century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Perahera festival. Today the elaborately costumed ves dancer epitomizes Kandyan dance.

 

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Relic of the Tooth of Buddha.

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of KandySri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.

Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.The temple sustained damage from bombings at various times but was fully restored each time.

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Royal Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanical GardenPeradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.and attracts 1.2 million visitors annually, It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 300 varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

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Ramboda Water Fall

Ramboda Falls is 109m high and 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world. It is situated in Pussellawa area, on the A5 highway at Ramboda Pass. It formed by Panna Oya which is a tributary of Kothmale Oya. Altitude of the falls is 945m above sea level.

 

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Tea Plantation and Factory

Tea production in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is of high importance to theSri Lankan economy and the world market. The country is the world's fourth largest producer of tea and the industry is one of the country's main sources of foreign exchange and a significant source of income for laborers, with tea accounting for 12% of the GDP, generating roughly $700 million annually.

In 1995, Sri Lanka was the world's leading exporter of tea, (rather than producer) with 23% of the total world export, but it has since been surpassed by Kenya. The tea sector employs, directly or indirectly over 1 million people in Sri Lanka, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates. The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall in the country's central highlands provide a climate that favors the production of high quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1847 by James Taylor, the British planter who arrived in 1852.

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Horten Plains & Worlds End

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated anational park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.

The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the MahaweliKelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here.

The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest diebackis one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Fallsare among the tourist attractions of the park.

 

 

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Ella Gap

Ella is a place blessed with some of the most beautiful and breathtaking views, you could find in Sri Lanka. Located 230km from Sri Lankas Capital City Colombo, this small town is used as a base for plenty of trekking expeditions to the surrounding countryside.

The Ella Gap Panorama Guesthouse is within close proximity of Ella town located on a picturesque hill side directly facing the magnificent Ella Gap and Ravana Falls, off the Ella - Kithalella road.

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Ravana Water Fall

The Ravana Falls (popularly known as Ravana Ella in Sinhala) is a popular sightseeing attraction in Sri Lanka. It currently ranks as one of the widest falls in the country. This waterfall measures approximately 25 m (82 ft) in height and cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop. During the local wet season, the waterfall turns into what is said to resemble an areca flower with withering petals. But this is not the case in the dry season, where the flow of water reduces dramatically. The falls form part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary, and is located 2 km (1 mi) away from the local railway station.

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Yala National Park.

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names also, like Ruhuna National Park for the (best known) block 1 and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) fromColombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along withWilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds.

There are six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.

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Galle

Galle is the largest town in the region. It is the most important southern town with an old-world charm. Its natural harbour was a famous fort in days gone by. Famous for its Dutch fort, lace making, emboney carving and gem polishing.

The Dutch Fort
A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from the mid 17th century onward and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions.


Dutch Museum
A splendid Dutch building, the oldest within the Dutch fort has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur and consists of three units. The Museum contains a collection of rare and antique items dating from pre Portuguese period to British Colonial era. Jewellery, pottery, coins and Chinese porcelain items are on display.

Galle National Museum
Located in the historic Dutch fort of Galle. This museum displays objects connected to the history and life of people of Galle. Products of handicrafts include reed ware, embroidery, horn and shell objects.

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Madu River Boat Safary

The estuary of the Madu Ganga river is a complex coastal ecosystem of mangroves and islands. It may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka.A boat trip is a wonderful way of seeing some of the hundreds of species of plants and animals – monkeys eat fruit in the trees, a water monitor lizard glides slowly through the water, and cormorants, egrets and kingfishers wait patiently on the banks, eyeing the water for prey.

There are around 64 islands in the river and lagoon, from a tiny speck housing a deserted shrine to one housing 250 families connected to the mainland with a very long footbridge. You can visit an island with a Buddhist monastery, where the friendly young monks will show you a 150-year-old book made of palm leaves and how they cook on cinnamon wood on an open fire.

The main occupations of the local inhabitants are producing cinnamon and prawn fishing – if you take the trip in the evening you will see the fishermen in their canoes lighting lanterns to attract the shellfish into their traps.

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Turtle Hatchery - Kosgoda

Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the sandy beach. Visitors can see huge tanks filled with new born turtle hatchlings. After being fed, the baby turtles are taken to the sea and released when they are 2-4 days old, usually during the safer hours of darkness. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year.

The beaches of Sri Lanka are the nesting grounds for five species of marine turtles. They are the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. All 5 species have been recorded to nest along specific areas of Sri Lanka's coast. Studies have indicated that beaches can be categorized in accordance with visitation by different species of turtles. For example Leatherbacks nest at Walawe Modera and Godawaya. Hawksbill nests at Bentota while Green Turtle nests at Rekawa and Kosgoda. Loggerheads nest at Welipatanwala. Olive Ridleys are the only species of turtle that nest everywhere.

There are 18 hatcheries found along the southern coastal line; of them, nine hatcheries are found in the district of Galle and one is found in the district of Hambantota (Darwin's Cabana). According to statistics from 1996 to 1999, nearly a hundred thousand sea turtles were hatched and released to the sea from these hatcheries. A growing interest is manifest in the field of turtles everywhere in the world. While an infinitesimal minority of carnivores are bent on destroying this disappearing breed of marine turtles for their flesh and shell, a preponderant majority of people in many countries are keen to protect them and provide them sanctuaries.

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