Tripin 2019 - page 53

Sri Lanka is blessed with several
World Heritage Sites. A UNESCO
World Heritage Site is a natural
or man-made site, monument or
location that has been listed by
UNESCO as a place of special
significance to the common
heritage of humanity, which it is
in the interest of all humankind to
protect and preserve. The list of
almost 1000 sites is maintained by
the international World Heritage
Programme, run by the UNESCO
World Heritage Committee.
Polonnaruwa was the second
ancient capital of Sri Lanka
following the destruction of
Anuradhapura in 993 A.D.. It has
witnessed many civilizations
such as the Cholas who were
disciples of Brahmanism and of
course the Sinhalese between
the 12th and 13th centuries.
The city stands as a testament
to one of the most astounding
urban creations built by King
Parakramabahu I. Being renowned
for its unusual dimensions and
connection amongst its buildings
and surroundings, the city is a
glorious reminder of a flourishing
A vibrant city that embraces its
ancient and colonial past, Galle is
made famous for its fortifications.
Perhaps the best example of a
South Asian fortified city built by
Europeans, the fort is a remarkable
collection of structures and culture
which date back through the
centuries. The city held the position
of the main port of Sri Lanka
for over 200 years following the
construction of the fort in the 17th
century. Its strategic positioning
along the silk route meant it was an
important stop for ships travelling
between Europe and Asia.
The picturesque and sacred city
of Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s
political and religious capital,
flourishing for 1300 years before
being abandoned following an
invasion in 993 AD. Formed around
a cutting from the Buddha’s Bo
tree – ‘The tree of enlightenment”,
which was said to have been
brought there around the 3rd
century B.C, it houses some of
the tallest dagobas, remains of
palaces, monasteries, temples and
of course the famous temple of the
holy Bo tree.
A sacred Buddhist site, Kandy
was formerly known as the city
of Senkadagalapura. It served as
the last capital of the Sinhalese
kingdom before falling to the
British in 1815. The laidback
capital is only 115 km inland with
culture, history, forested hills and
a cooler climate. Kandy is known
as a pilgrimage destination for the
Temple of the Tooth relic (a sacred
tooth of the Buddha) and also
for the Kandy Esala Perahera, an
important 10-day religious festival.
Located in the south-central
region of the island, this expanse is
composed of the Peak Wilderness
Protected Area, Horton Plains
National Park as well as the
Knuckles Conservation Forest.
Home to amazing flora and fauna,
which include endangered species
such as the western-purple-faced
langur, the Horton Plains slender
loris as well as the infamous Sri
Lankan leopard, the region is a hub
for biodiversity.
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