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Archaeology sites

Hill Country


Kandy, the Hill Capital was the last bastion of the Sinhala kings and is a charming city offering a living record of a magnificent past.

Centre of attraction in Kandy is the Dalada Maligawa, the temple housing the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. Kandy Lake enhances the charm of the City. Kandy is a romantic city any time of the year, but in August, this ancient capital becomes the venue of one of the most legendary festivals in Asia, the Festival of the August Moon when thousands of people from all parts of the country and from foreign countries throng to the Hill Capital to witness the magnificent spectacle.

The King's palace, audience hall, King's bath, the archaeological museum must not be missed by any visitor to Kandy.

Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic)

Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy is the most venerated place of worship for Buddhists throughout the world. Built in the 16th century this temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province in ancient India in the 4th century AD. Several buildings have been added to the temple complex by successive rulers, the latest being the Golden Canopy over the inner shrine where the Tooth Relic is placed. Originally the Temple was within the King's palace complex as it was the symbol of Royal Authority.

Nuwara Eliya

In 1819, during the British colonial era, a few Britishers on a hunting expedition in the hill country spotted the site where the present day Nuwara Eliya town stands 1890 metres above sea level and decided to set up a health resort for their use. It was Sir Samuel Baker who later converted it to a holiday resort with a touch of an English village which earned it the name 'Little England' where the temperature sometimes drops down to 9C. In the month of April every year Nuwara Eliya assumes a festive mood with thousands of holidaymakers retreating to the Hill Station to escape the busy City life. The 18 hole golf course is very popular with the locals and the foreign tourists. Hakgala Botanical Gardens a few kilometres away is an added attraction.

Horton Plains is the island's last remaining montane forest 3,160 hectares in extent located in a plateau high up on the hills at an elevation above 2000 metres. A vast expanse of grassland interspersed with little streamlets and craggy trees covers the centre of the plateau providing a pleasant walk of about 5 km. leading to an awe inspiring edge called the 'World's End'. It is a sheer drop of over 800 metres sloping down further away over mist covered treetops fading into the distant sea offering a breathtaking yet the most beautiful sight in the entire country. The jungle bordering the grassland abounds with wildlife. Among the animals that can be seen are the leopard, sambhur, barking deer, wild boar and monkeys. Horton Plains is a bird watcher's paradise.

Sri Pada (Adam's peak)

The hill country not only provides natural beauty but also offers a sanctified place of veneration to people of all faiths atop a 2,243 metre high mountain in the southwest corner of the highlands. It is Sri Pada, which bears the footprint of the Buddha. It is also adored by people of other faiths. Christians say it is the foot print of Adam and call it Adam's peak. Thousands of pilgrims of all faiths climb this mountain during the pilgrim season (December to May). Watching the sunrise from the summit is an unforgettable sight.

Archaeology Site Index

Tooth Relic in Kandy Kandy Perahera Nuwara Eliya Nuwara Eliya

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