ADAM'S PEAK (2243 M.ü.M)
Also called Sri Pada, actually designates the footprint on the summit. The mountain is one of the most important pilgrimage sites. The place of pilgrimage is for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. On the summit you will find an inhabited monastery with a 1.8-meter footprint worshiped by Buddhists as the footprint of the Buddha. The mountain is also called a butterfly mountain, as once a year a large swarms of small, yellow butterflies suddenly set in motion in all parts of the island and fly up to Adam`s Peak to die there. Science can not explain this phenomena to this day. The pilgrim season starts with the December full moon and ends with the last May full moon. The mountain is climbed at night, so you can avoid the heat of the day and experience the beautiful sunrise, which can be an unforgettable experience.
Anuradhapura was founded in the 4th century BC in the vicinity of the Sri Mahabodhi tree and with this it was the first capital of Sri Lanka. Anuradapura is called the Holy City and since 1982 a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Anuradhapura has been the center of several Sinhalese royal dynasties for over a thousand years. The tree Sri Mahabodhi is a place of pilgrimage. According to tradition, this poplar fig grew from a branch of that tree in Bodhhartha (northern India) under which Siddhartha Gautama is said to have attained his enlightenment. In the 3rd century BC, the branch in the Buddhist missions of King Ashokas arrived in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is one of the most important places for pilgrimage for Buddhists.
DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLE
The Golden Temple of Dambulla, since 1991 a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the largest temples in the country and is located about 70 km north of Kandy. Famous are the Buddhist cave temples. In the temples there are historical paintings and statues, 153 Buddha statues, three of kings, and four of gods, two of which are Hindu gods (Visha and Ganesh), created in the 12th century. The paintings depict the life of Buddha, including Buddha's temptation by the demon Mara and Buddha's first sermon.
Kataragama is for all Sri Lankans a very important site. It is a multi-religious city and the absolute favorite place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and the indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka, where the god Muruga is the main deity. It is a rapidly growing community surrounded by jungles in the deep south of Sri Lanka. Kataragama is also the entry city for safaris to the Yala National park.
Pinnawela is located a few kilometers from Kandy. Pinnawela is an orphanage for elephants. Here they take care of orphaned young elephants and older elephants expelled from the herd. Some elephants that have been injured and that would not survive in the jungle you will find here. There are about 70 elephants living there. The best time to visit the elephant orphanage is early morning. You can not only see the animals on the grounds, but also see them swimming in the river. Around 9:00 clock the young animals are fed. The orphanage is financed by the government and for the visitors.
From 1017 - 1235 after the demise of the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa became the second capital of Sri Lanka. During this time Polonnaruwa housed the tooth relic Buddha, which is kept today in Kandy. Parakrama's reign brought a golden age for the island. Numerous artificial lakes e.g. Parakrama Samuara at Polonnaruwa, area-wide irrigation systems, agriculture was able to bring in particular good records of rice cultivation during the dry season. Several wars (invasions) eventually led to the relocation of the capital to Dambadeniya. Since 1982, the archeological park of Polonnaruwa has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remains of large stupas and temples with numerous Buddha figures and gardens, parks and palaces make the resort a major attraction of tourism.
A monolith, which is the ruin of a historic fortress known as the Lion's Rock. The rock of Sigiriya rises more than 200 meters high and is one of the most important sights in Sri Lanka. Since 1982, Sigiriya Rock is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Sigiriya is located in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Once there was a fortress on the rock. Even today you can see the remains of it here. Famous are also the murals of Sigiriya, which can be admired during the Ascension. At the top of the summit there is a wonderful view over the landscapes of Sri Lanka. This pictures shows Sigiriya from the peak of Piturangla, also worth a hike.