Exploring The Cultural Triangle In The Northern Plains Of Sri Lanka
Many people opt to visit Sri Lanka for its gorgeous beach towns, yoga retreats, boutique hotels and other amazing historical sites, but for the eternally curious traveller, Sri Lanka's 'Cultural Triangle' is a must-see. The Cultural Triangle--located North of Kandy and traditionally referred to as 'The King's Land'--served as the centre of ancient Sinhalese civilization, encompassing the great cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in its territory.
The beautiful city of Anuradhapura (now in ruin) served as the capital city of the island from 3rd century BC to 993 AD and is one of Asia's great metropolises. Here you can explore the city's monasteries, palaces, and monumental dagobas. What's most impressive about this historical site is that its vastness is surpassed in the size of monuments of the ancient world only by the pyramids of Egypt.
Polonnaruwa, the island's second ancient capital city, is smaller in size but no less breathtaking than its larger counterpart. If you're visiting this region and have the chance to climb the spectacular rock citadel of Sigiriya, do it. This is an experience that not many travellers get to have and well worth it. We can wait to add it to our bucket list!
If you're the type that thoroughly enjoys explorative travel and breathing in the soul of a country, The Cultural Triangle is the place for you. Aside from the above-mentioned cities, you can explore the cave temples of Dambulla, the abandoned cities of Yapahuwa and Panduwas Nuwara, and the haunting forest monasteries of Arankele and Ritigala. For a more spiritual experience, visit the great Buddha statues of Aukana and Sasseruwa, as well as the religious centre of Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced on the island.
No matter where you choose to go while in Sri Lanka, you're in for a historical and cultural treat. The people are welcoming and friendly, the island is easy to travel around by train or hired guide, and there are no shortages of amazing scenery to take in, but we definitely recommend this site for a truly immersive experience into Sri Lankan history.
Ever been to Sri Lanka? What did we miss that we need to see? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Featured image: Marco Lazzaroni, Flickr