A treasure trove of ancient kingdoms, royal ruins and holy temples, Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle is one of Sri Lanka’s best cultural spots with historical wonders that are well worth a closer look, and now’s the best time to go
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Thought to once be the epicentre of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, this UNESCO World Heritage Site awes with its dramatic splendour and deep-seated history. Weave through nooks and crannies that unravel centuries of age-old secrets and make your way to the western wall, which is particularly striking with its colourful frescoes and ancient paintings. When you finally reach the top, get ready for spellbinding views of the city from this striking cultural spot.
Temple of the Tooth
Not only is this golden-roofed temple home to Sri Lanka’s most prized Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha – but it’s also home to stunning sculptures and paintings depicting Gautama Buddha. Time your visit during pooja (the time for offerings or prayers). The small ceremony of reverence is a must-see, with drummers and dancers weaving their way through the crowd. Considered a holy sanctuary, the temple garners deep respect, so modest dress is advised.
Archaeological Museum of Polonnaruwa
Built to mirror the once thriving citadel of the Polonnaruwa Kingdom, this museum offers a deep insight into the city’s ancient history. Reimagine a lost world by checking out the impressive scale models that illustrate the historical buildings that once existed in the kingdom. Alternatively, make a beeline for the wonderful selection of bronzes, including some outstanding Shiva statues.
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