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UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country with one of the oldest cultures in the world. Therefore, Sri Lanka offers a large number of historical and cultural attractions that inspires travellers in many ways. Sri Lanka is also a land of great natural beauty that travellers find both exotic and accessible. Therefore it is not a surprise that a majority of the UNESCO world heritage sites of Sri Lanka has either historical or natural importance. However, the teeming waters of southern and western coastal belt,  the stark beauty of the Outback and the lesser known regions of inland Sri Lanka provide a very diverse set of attractions for people who want to get a taste of a little bit of everything that this small yet beautiful tropical island has to offer.

Here are the interesting and attractive UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

perinnial water streams of Sinharaja


Sitting in a remote corner of Sri Lanka, in the southern part of the island, Sinharaja is one of the truly natural and historical treasures of the people of Sri Lanka. It is thought that the forest is the most historical rainforest on the island. It is believed to be as old as many other natural assets of the world such as Amazon, Congo etc. A huge collection of fauna and flora species in Sinharaja back up this claim.  Sinharaja is the most important bio-diversity hot-spot in the island. In addition, Sinharaja is a great destination for adventure enthusiast.  The mountains, rivers, waterfalls, lowland landscapes provide unique habitat for various types of fauna and flora that do not grow or live anywhere else on the island.


From the 4th BC to 11th Century AD, during the early days of Sinhalese civilization, it was used as the first capital of the island. Some of the building of temples, palaces, and hospitals from these early days still remain, and the most historic have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This historical capital and settlements can be found about 200 km from the capital of Sri Lanka.

Watadage of Polonnaruwa is a circular building with unique architecture, which is a very important monument and located near Shiva devala.



You can’t create a list of the most famous sights in Sri Lanka without mentioning Sigiriya rock fortress. Sitting in the middle part of the island, within the cultural triangle, Sigiriya is a monolith that consists of very hard granite. Its unique shape and steep sides make it a very picturesque topographical feature. It was converted to a fortress by King Kashyapa in the 5th century AD. This fortress was adorned by a magnificent garden and it was consisting of ponds, fountains, boulders and caves. Today Sigiriya is one of the most visited UNESCO world heritage sites in the island.

Dambulla golden cave temple

tooth relic temple


Colonial History of Sri Lanka
This magnificent fort is dating back to 15th century and one of the best-preserved forts in the region


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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

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