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What to see in Cultural Triangle

Cultural Triangle Attractions

The major destinations that mark the three points of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla, although some people put the southernmost point of the triangle at the beautiful city of Kandy. While Kandy is a must for travellers in the region, it is located in the lush highlands of Sri Lanka and is therefore different in character to the ancient wonders of the triangle, which are located in the dry interior plains where the flat landscape is interrupted by dramatic rocky outcrops. This region was traditionally referred to as Rajarata, 'The King's Land', and boasts a wealth of fascinating historical sites from the Golden Age of Sri Lankan civilisation, many of which are now UNESCO-listed.

Apart from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla, travellers are awed by the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the ancient monastery of Ritigale, and Mihintale, the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Lesser known attractions include the great Buddha statues at Sasseruwa and Aukana, the mysterious old cities of Yapahuwa and Panduwasnuwara, and the temples of Aluvihara and Ridi Vihara.

Travel in the Cultural Triangle is usually safe and trouble-free, especially in recent years, but there have been some terrorist attacks in the region and it is a good idea to check up-to-date travel advice from official sources about the safety situation before booking a trip.


The remains of the ancient city of Anuradhapura are situated about 130 miles (205km) north of Colombo, standing majestically in the jungle that for generations hid away the palaces, monasteries and…

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Dambulla Cave Temples

Sri Lanka's Buddhist heritage is nowhere as evident as in the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave-temple is the best preserved…

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The relaxed and peaceful atmosphere of Kandy, in the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country, is probably the result of being beautifully situated around a tranquil lake in a bowl of hills. It is a colourful,…

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Sigiriya is an important Buddhist site in central Sri Lanka, about 100 miles (161km) northeast of Colombo. The remains of an ancient royal fortress and city dating from 477 AD stand on a vast rock,…

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