Table of Contents
- CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY SRI LANKA
- SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY IS ALL ABOUT TEMPLES
- WHY SHOULD WE BOOK A CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
- WHAT IS THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE OF SRI LANKA?
- IDEAL SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR-HOW LONG SHOULD IT BE?
- HOW TO TRAVEL ON A SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
- HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE?
- WHERE SHOULD I START THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR?
- ONE DAY TRIP TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
- TWO DAYS TRIP TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
- SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY IN A NUTSHELL
- WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT CITIES INCLUDED IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
- WHAT INCLUDES IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
- WHAT ARE THE 11 MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES TO DO IN SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE?
- THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE IS A TESTIMONY TO THE RICH HISTORICAL PAST OF SRI LANKA
- MAP OF THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE OF SRI LANKA?
- WHAT IS THE BEST TIME FOR THE SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
- ANCIENT SRI LANKAN CULTURE THRIVED ON WATER
- BEST MODE OF TRANSPORT FOR THE SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
- HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION FOR SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
- WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES FOR AN OVERNIGHT STAY ON A CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
- WHAT IS THE COST FOR THE ENTRANCE TICKETS TO CULTURAL SITES?
- WEATHER PATTERN IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE
- ABOUT ANURADHAPURA: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
- SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: IMPORTANT PLACES IN ANURADHAPURA
- ABOUT POLONNARUWA: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
- IMPORTANT PLACES IN POLONNARUWA
- ABOUT SIGIRIYA: TOUR TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
- ABOUT GOLDEN TEMPLE DAMBULLA: SRI LANKA TOUR OF THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE
- EXPLORING SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE BY HOT AIR BALLOON
- VISITING KANDY ON SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
- IMPORTANT PLACES TO VISIT IN KANDY
- SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
- DAY 1 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING ANURADHAPURA
- DAY 2 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING SIGIRIYA AND POLONNARUWA
- DAY 3 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING DAMBULLA TEMPLE
- VISITING DAMBULLA GOLDEN TEMPLE
- VISITING TOOTH RELIC TEMPLE: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
- ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE ON SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
- IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR:
- WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY WITH SEERENDIPITY?
CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka cultural triangle itinerary is the Sri Lanka tour itinerary that includes important tourist attractions of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. Sri Lankan tour operators such as Seerendipity offer a wide range of tours and activities based on historical cities of the cultural triangle. The tour of the Sri Lanka cultural triangle is a very popular activity and a large number of travellers venture on this trip, in order to explore the valuable artefacts remains in the ancient cities.
Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour is an essential activity if you have a cultural buff and like to explore the history of the destination that you visit. If you venture on the below-mentioned 3 days Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, you can explore many dozens of important cities in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka with the remaining historical monuments.
SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY IS ALL ABOUT TEMPLES
On this Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, the travellers visit many Buddhist temple and shrines that shows a whole lot of unique characters. Some of the temples Harbor hundreds of Buddha statues and paintings with a history that goes back many millennia. While some others are located in remote places that can be reached only by foot, after conquering a difficult terrain. However, all of these temples have one distinct character; they are all dedicated to Buddha and devotees still flock to these ancient places.
Dambulla cave temple and Polonnaruwa ancient city are two such places that showcase Buddhist temples with huge Buddha statues carved onto the granite stones. There are more than a hundred Buddha statues in the Dambulla golden temple of varying sizes, most of these statues are representing Buddha, while a few other statues are built to memorize his disciples, Gods and a King. The statues in Dambulla golden temple showcase different features and different postures. Polonnaruwa is also an important shire with mainly 4 Buddha statues carved out of natural rock. All 4 Buddha statues are gigantic statues carved by hand after precision measurements. This ancient temple is dating back to the 10th century AD.
WHY SHOULD WE BOOK A CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
These 3 days Sri Lanka cultural triangle itinerary is one of the best opportunities to see the rich historical past of Sri Lanka. The cultural triangle tour takes you to many important places of historical and religious importance, and the tour includes 5 of the seven UNESCO world heritage sites of Sri Lanka…
WHAT IS THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE OF SRI LANKA?
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy mark the three corners of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, in the dry zone of the north-central province of Sri Lanka, which is one of the important treasures of Sri Lanka, which attracts a large number of travellers every year. Remarkably preserved Buddhist temples, Dagobas and many other ancient structures that are believed to have been built between the 3rd century BC and to early 18s are scattered in the cultural triangle. The Cultural triangle provides evidence of the flourishing ancient Sinhalese culture in the form of temples, palaces, tanks and many other structures.
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is containing 5 major cities namely Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. And the cultural triangle harbours many dozens of archaeological sites. Anuradhapura is the largest excavated ancient city in the cultural triangle as well as in Sri Lanka, while Polonnaruwa makes the second biggest archaeological site in the cultural triangle.
Many ancient cities of Sri Lanka are located within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka’s central province. All cities in the cultural triangle such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, and Dambulla share the same weather conditions such as high temperature and low rainfall. Therefore, most cities in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka see an acute shortage of water at most times of the year. But in order to address the water shortage, the kings of Sri Lanka built man-made lakes to collect water during the short rainy period. Most of these man-made lakes are many thousands of years old but they are still being used by the people in the central province.
The ancient engineer of Sri Lanka had invented an advanced irrigation system in the past, which played an important role in the island’s agriculture. Thousands of man-made and natural lakes were interconnected with the labyrinthine of canal system developed by ancient engineers. Thereby the Kings were able to provide plenty of water for agriculture. Today, visitors can wander around a maze of historical monuments and roads at each archaeological site, that was used by the residents of those historical places many thousands of years ago.
IDEAL SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR-HOW LONG SHOULD IT BE?
The trip to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is available in many forms such as 1 da Sigiriya Dambulla tour, 2 days cultural triangle tour, 3 days cultural triangle tour etc. A cultural triangle trip can be booked as a combination of wildlife reserves, Sri Lanka tea country and beaches and many more. Eg 7 days Sri Lanka trip is a trip that includes the most important tourist places on the island along with cultural triangle tourist attractions. Sri Lanka cultural triangle trip can be booked as a stand-alone tour and visit only the places mentioned in the cultural triangle.
In this article, we discuss a 3 day Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour. As far as my experience, the ideal trip to Sri Lanka cultural triangle should be a 3 days trip or longer. With the 3 days trip, the travellers make 2 overnight stays in the cultural triangle. During these 3 days, trip travellers can visit important temples, palaces, museums, dagobas, and stupas in major ancient cities such as Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy.
However, the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour is available in many other short forms, if you are not able to dedicate 3 days for the Sri Lanka trip, such as a 1-day cultural triangle tour and 2 days cultural triangle tour. However, 3 day Sri Lanka cultural triangle trip includes all important historical sites in the cultural triangle and it also allows you to have some leisure while on your trip.
HOW TO TRAVEL ON A SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka has a well-built road network. The traffic congestion in the cultural triangle is very low and the number of vehicles on the road is far less than in crowded areas such as western and southern provinces. Therefore, travelling between monuments in the cultural triangle is relatively easy and does not need much time compared to most other places in Sri Lanka such as Colombo.
There are few popular transport modes on the island such as buses, trains, domestic plains, and private taxis. As for most Sri Lanka trips, it is highly recorded to use a private taxi on this Sri Lanka cultural triangle trip. It is convenient, saves time, safe and comfortable. Buses are also a viable option of transport on the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, however, you might need a lot of time for travelling between cities, it takes twice as much time as you required for a tour in a private vehicle. Train travel is not a viable option to travel on the cultural triangle tour by train, due to the absence of a well-developed rain network in the area. Air travel is also not a suitable option as it might be difficult to find the landing points near tourist attractions in the cultural triangle.
HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE?
The cultural triangle is one of the most polar places among travellers in Sri Lanka and the ancient monuments in the cultural triangle are the biggest draw in the central province. Ancient monuments such as Sigiriya rock attracts many thousands of travellers every day. As the cultural triangle is popular among the travellers so is the demand for accommodation is also very high. It is necessary to spend a few days in the cultural triangle in order to visit important historical monuments because the monuments spread over a large area.
Finding accommodation in the cultural triangle is very easy and there is plenty of accommodation facilities within the cultural triangle. Most hotels are to be found in Kandy, Sigiriya, Habarana and Sigiriya. Travellers can find accommodation in various categories and prices from cheap dormitory types of accommodation to expensive and luxurious boutique villas. However, it could be difficult to get accommodation during the peak season (Nov-April) due to the high demand. Therefore, it is recommended to book accommodation well in advance if you plan your Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour during the peak holiday season.
WHERE SHOULD I START THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR?
A cultural triangle tour can be done in a clockwise direction or anti-clockwise direction. However, most cultural triangle trips start with the visit to Anuradhapura and visit Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy subsequently while the tours go in a clockwise direction. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka’s southern coast, Sri Lanka hill country and west coast beaches towards the end of the trip, it is necessary to plan the cultural triangle tour in the clockwise direction. If you intend to do only the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, your can starts the tour from Kandy and go in an anti-clockwise direction while visiting Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura subsequently.
ONE DAY TRIP TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
If you opt to take a one-day cultural triangle trip, definitely you have to omit many sites in the cultural triangle, due to the limited time available, a few popular one-day trips to the cultural triangle are;
- Kandy one day trip
- Sigiriya Dambulla one day tour
- One day trip to Anuradhapura
TWO DAYS TRIP TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
The tour is planned with one overnight stay either in Sigiriya or Kandy. Despite the duration of the trip being 2 days, you will have to neglect a few important sites in the cultural triangle due to the lack of time to explore all the important sites in cultural triangle. A few popular Sri Lanka 2 days cultural triangle tours are;
- Kandy Sigiriya 2 days tour
- Anuradhapura and Sigiriya 2 days trip
- Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy in 2 days
SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY IN A NUTSHELL
- Day 1: Colombo/Anuradhapura/Sigiriya -Meet and greet by Seerendipity tour representative and leave for the hotel in Sigiriya, en-route visit the historical city of Anuradhapura.
- Day 2: Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa/Minneriya national park- visit Sigiriya rock fortress, Safari at Minneriya national park and Polonnaruwa historical city from your hotel in Sigiriya.
- Day 3: Sigiriya/Dambulla/Kandy/Colombo-Leave for Colombo via Kandy, en-route visit the Dambulla cave temple and tooth relic temple.
How much does it cost for the cultural triangle tour? This 3 days cultural triangle tour cost US$ 190.00 P.P on twin sharing double
What includes the 3 days Sri Lanka cultural triangle trip? If you are wondering what includes in this Sri Lanka 3 days trip to the cultural triangle, here are the things included in the trip.
- 2 nights’ Accommodation in comfortable middle-class hotels
- Daily breakfast and dinner (2 dinners and breakfast)
- Entire ground transportation in an air-conditioned private vehicle
- All sightseeing tours with entrance fees
- Dedicated private tour guide
- All taxes
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT CITIES INCLUDED IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
WHAT INCLUDES IN THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
A vast dry zone, which spreads across Sri Lanka’s north-central province and part of the central province, north of Kandy, stands one of Sri Lanka’s greatest ancient treasures: The remarkably preserved Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, fortresses, man-made tanks and many other vast building complexes, believed to be originated between 3rd century BC to 18s, testify the advanced culture that existed in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka encompasses a vast dry zone, which sees the wrath of nature in the form of scorching-hot weather and receives only a fraction of rainfall compared to the other region of Sri Lanka. Yet, it was home to a thriving, yet mysterious, civilization-ancestors of Sinhalese.
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka showcases some of the stunning historical marvels in the form of Dagobas, Palaces, Lakes, tanks, paintings and statues. Sri Lanka, today, the wonder of Asia had been a wonder of the world many centuries before.
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, as the name denotes, is comprised of a Large number of Cultural and historically important places such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya.
WHAT ARE THE 11 MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES TO DO IN SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE?
- Visiting Anuradhapura ancient city
- Visiting Polonnaruwa ruins and museum
- Sigiriya rock fortress trek
- Watching paintings and Buddha statues of the Dambulla cave temple
- Safari at Minneriya national park
- Village tour with cooking class Habarana
- Visiting tooth relic temple
- Watching Kandyan cultural show
- Elephant ride through the village
- Bird watching in Sigiriya
- Hot air ballooning over the historical monuments
THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE IS A TESTIMONY TO THE RICH HISTORICAL PAST OF SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. First, it emerged in the 4th century BC and evolved for many thousands of years. During this period Sri Lankan civilizations were enriched by other contemporary civilizations in the world such as Rome and Greek. This ancient civilization was strong believers in Buddhism and it was the foundation of their culture.
The kings and queens of ancient Sri Lanka had managed to build large constructions such as Jetawanarama, which was the largest Buddhist construction by the 5th century AD and it was as big as the second pyramid in Giza. Apart from dagobas, historical places in the cultural triangle are comprised of palaces, bath ponds, image houses, dwelling houses for monks, audience halls, chapter houses and many other religious places such as Jayasri Maha Bodhi.
Centuries past the Sri Lankan civilization was unfortunately targeted by the south Indian Tamil invaders and it was the major reason for the downfall of this great culture. Even though Sri Lankan kings managed to regain their kingship from the invaders, damages done to the cities were beyond the repair. There had been many such invasions destroying the great achievements of the Sinhalese people in the past. Today some of their great achievements can still be seen in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.
The constructions of ancient Sinhalese engineers show the advanced knowledge of trigonometry and a thorough grasp of hydraulic principles. Their arts and crafts are boasted to be some of the masterpieces in the old world. In this article, I share some of my favourite monuments from the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Life is too short; don’t wait for the perfect moment to explore the achievements of this great culture. Therefore pack your case and set off for the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. You have a great opportunity to explore one of the advanced civilizations that existed in the past.
MAP OF THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE OF SRI LANKA?
Sri Lanka, one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Asia has a large number of historical attractions. Most of these historical places are top-notch holiday attractions in the country and include them in most road trips to Sri Lanka. Most of these historical places are concentrated in the so-called ‘cultural triangle’.
The three corners of the cultural triangle are formed by Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Most tourist, who make round tours in Sri Lanka visit the attractions in the cultural triangle. It is highly unlikely to get a tour itinerary without these places as attractions to visit.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME FOR THE SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
From January to September all months except April have fairly dry weather with occasional rainfall.
The cultural triangle is situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and it means the few rainfalls in the cultural triangle sites are much lower compared to the rainfall in the cities on the west and south coast. However, the cultural triangle also receives a considerable amount of rainfall and much of its rainfall is from the north-east monsoon.
The rainfall in the month of April can be increased in the cultural triangle cities while usually September, October, November and December also record increased rainfall throughout the cultural triangle. During the heavy rainfall, some places in the cultural triangle are coming under the water and movement across the regions can be hindered.
ANCIENT SRI LANKAN CULTURE THRIVED ON WATER
You may be wondering, why the majority of attractions in the cultural triangle are to be found in the Dry-zone of Sri Lanka. According to the archaeologists, the reason was that the dry zone had been the region, where ancient culture most flourished. Dry-zone had the most suitable conditions for the agricultural lifestyle.
They were dependent on cultivation such as rice and lived in places where water was readily available. The people of ancient Sri Lanka had built large-scale irrigation networks, in order to supply water for agricultural lands. These irrigation networks are still in use and tourists have the opportunity to see some of the gigantic reservoirs and canals achieved by the ancient engineers.
Along with material development, this ancient civilization concentrated on spiritual development as well. They had great dedication to their religion and built gigantic temples and monasteries for monks. These monasteries and temples were adorned with paintings, sculptures, murals, stone and wood carvings and many other elements.
Today Sri Lanka has its own identity with regard to the arts and crafts large due to the ancient artisans of Sinhalese culture. The cultural triangle is considered a treasure trove of the island and some of the valuable items discovered during the excavations are very rare and of high value.
According to the archaeologist, only a portion of the treasure of this great culture unearthed so far and there is much more to unearth. Sri Lanka is a holiday destination that offers a wide range of products for tourists from pristine beaches to relaxation to unbelievable achievements of one of the most ancient cultures in the world.
All visitors to these sacred places suppose to dress in a particular manner to uphold their religious values. There is a set of rules that every visitor to religious sites observes while visiting sacred places in Sri Lanka. If you are wondering what these rules are? Check this article “13 RULES TO OBSERVE WHILE VISITING SRI LANKA BUDDHIST TEMPLE, SRI LANKA TEMPLE DRESS CODE TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH DRES’s CODE“.
BEST MODE OF TRANSPORT FOR THE SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY?
Usually, most travellers who wish to explore the cultural triangle start their tour in Anuradhapura, while some of them start the cultural triangle tour from Kandy. If you wish to see only important places in the cultural triangle, starting the tour in Anuradhapura or Kandy does not make much difference. But if you wish to explore other important places such as mountains, southern Sri Lanka, along with the cultural triangle, it is highly recommended to commence your cultural triangle tour in Anuradhapura.
If you start the cultural triangle tour from Anuradhapura you can proceed in the southward direction from Anuradhapura exploring other important sites in the cultural triangle such as Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Kandy. After visiting the cultural triangle then you can continue the journey further in the direction of southern Sri Lanka and explore the Mountains, tea gardens and Yala national park. Later you will be able to travel to southern and west coast beaches and Colombo.
Usually, most Sri Lanka tour packages offered by Sri Lanka tour operators such as Seerendipity tours start in Anuradhapura and continue through mountains, southern Sri Lanka and the west coast. It is the most convenient and time-saving route while it saves a lot of money for travellers.
HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION FOR SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
The availability of accommodations in the cultural triangle is very high and travellers can find luxurious boutique hotels to cheap accommodation types such as dormitories. There is a very high demand for accommodation facilities in the cultural triangle because it includes most Sri Lanka land packages.
Normally the travellers base in cities such as Habarana, Sigiriya, and Dambulla during their tour and make short tours to important places in the cultural triangle. Habarana and Sigiriya are centrally located in the cultural triangle, hence providing easy access to all places within a short period of time. Due to this reason, most travellers opt to say in those cities and the most number of hotels are also concentrated in those areas.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES FOR AN OVERNIGHT STAY ON A CULTURAL TRIANGLE TRIP?
What are the best places for the overnight stay during the cultural triangle tour? Good question and there are many answers to this question. As a popular inbound tour operator, Seerendipity users hotels in below mentioned cities during their cultural triangle tours.
Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy and Habarana are the most popular cities in the cultural triangle for overnight stays. All 4 cities provide easy access to the most important historical places and museums in the cultural triangle. Especially Sigiriya, Dambulla and Habarana are centrally located in the cultural triangle and therefore travellers can reach all historical places of the cultural triangle from these cities within about 1-hour drive. On the other hand, these 3 places have the most number of hotels, guest houses, rest houses and eateries within the cultural triangle.
WHAT IS THE COST FOR THE ENTRANCE TICKETS TO CULTURAL SITES?
The cultural triangle is under the purview of the archaeological department and central cultural fund, which are government institutions. The visitors should pay the entrance fees to all sites of the cultural triangle. The entrance ticket can be bought at the main gate of each site. A separate entrance ticket should be bought at each location. Earlier there was a ticket allowing the travellers to enter all places of the cultural triangle but this ticket is not available anymore.
- Entrance fees for Anuradhapura USD 25
- Entrance fees for Polonnaruwa USD 25
- Entrance fees for Sigiriya USD 30
- Entrance fees for Dambulla Golden cave temple USD 10
- Entrance fees for The tooth relic temple USD 10
It is best to avoid mid-day sun s much as possible, especially when you visit Anuradapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla. These cultural cities are located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s north-central province. The North-central Province of Sri Lank tends to be very hot throughout the year and the average temperature hovers around 35°C. If you are not familiar with hot weather it makes you tired and can make sunburns.
You will be visiting many historical monuments in those places and most of them are in open areas means you are exposed to direct sunlight. The temple’s gardens are paved with stones or sometimes covered with sands, making them also very hot during the day. Please keep in mind that you are not allowed to wear shoes, sandals and head covers such as hats while visiting the temple.
ABOUT ANURADHAPURA: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
Anuradhapura was founded by King Pandukabhaya in the 4th century B.C and Anuradhapura was the first capital of ancient Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka till the 11th century A.D. and the city was the capital of Sri Lanka for more than a thousand years. Anuradhapura had been the centre for Buddhism and it had been 40 km² in extent.
Anuradhapura is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Same time it had been one of the most stable and durable centres of political power and urban life in South Asia. Today Anuradhapura is being visited by many foreign as well as local tourists, owing to its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. Some of the religious edifices of Anuradhapura are more than 2000 years old and an extent second only to the structures of Egypt.
A large number of palaces, temples, dagobas, parks, moats, ponds, reservoirs and many other historical buildings are scattered all over the historical city. Some of the buildings are not yet identified by historians and a large part of the city is yet to be uncovered. Anuradhapura is one of the world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and attracts a large number of local and foreign travellers since its discovery in nearly 18’s.
Anuradhapura is a must-visited place for travellers, who wish to see the rich historical past of the island. Anuradhapura is worth being considered as a destination for a short tour. It has a large number of ruins dating back to the 2nd century BC. If you visit Sri Lanka just for a beach holiday and water sports, you might miss one important part of Sri Lankan life. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries that were continuously inhabited since the pre-Christian era.
Historical cities such as Anuradhapura showcase the knowledge of ancient inhabitants in the fields of architecture, engineering, water management, Ayurveda medicine and art & craft. Their dedication to the religion is testified by the gigantic temples and other religious buildings. The magnitude size of the ancient city demands you to spend several days if you wish to study all the monuments.
In spite of being a large city, it is calm and serene. The city has a high profile among the historical attraction in the country. Following are some of the important places that can be covered within several hours and important attractions with religious importance.
SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: IMPORTANT PLACES IN ANURADHAPURA
Thuparama is the oldest Dagoba in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Thuparama dagoba was built by King Devanampiyatissa and is one of the oldest constructions in the historical city of Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura is an archaeological zoo and has a large number of historical monuments. I hereby listed some of the most important places in the city.
- Abhayagiri Monastery complex
- Jetawana monastery complex
- Palace of King Vijayabahu
- Sri Maha Bodhi
- Brazen palace
- Ruvanveliseya Dagoba
- Thuparama Dagoba
- Dakkina stupa
- Mirisaveti Dagoba
- Aukana Buddha Statue
ABOUT POLONNARUWA: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
Legend apart, inscriptions suggest that the history of Polonnaruwa dates back at least to the 2nd century AD, in the 6th century it became a military garrison of some importance to the Sinhalese kings of Anuradhapura. This was because it guarded the vital crossing point of the Mahaweli River from the southern province of Ruhuna, where rebellion was a continuous threat. A century later, the kings of Anuradhapura started to use Polonnaruwa as a country residence.
Polonnaruwa was the second capital of ancient Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century. Polonnaruwa is the home of many ancient religious buildings date back to the pre-Christian era. Along with the religious buildings, one can see the Palaces, Audience halls, Trade stalls, and many Hindu temples. The ruins of Polonnaruwa are younger than the ruins of Anuradhapura and in good shape.
IMPORTANT PLACES IN POLONNARUWA
- Pothgul vehera
- council chamber
- Nissankamalla bath
- The palace of King Parakramabahu
- The Quadrangle
- Menik vehera
- Pabalu vehera
- Rankot Vehera
- Ayurveda hospital
- Tivanka Image house
ABOUT SIGIRIYA: TOUR TO SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE
Sigiriya is considered to be one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Sigiriya (Lion’s rock) is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
ABOUT GOLDEN TEMPLE DAMBULLA: SRI LANKA TOUR OF THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE
Dambulla golden cave temple is one of the ancient cave temples in southern India. Dambulla cave temple is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Dambulla temple complex comprises 5 caves and the temple dates back to the 1st century B.C. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, Vishnu and Ganesh.
The tooth relic temple is n important place in Kandy, it is a world heritage site in the mountains. The temple is visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees every day and the temple is included in almost every tour package offered in Sri Lanka.
EXPLORING SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE BY HOT AIR BALLOON
Dambulla is located at the heart of the cultural triangle near Sigiriya. Dambulla and Sigiriya are the 2 most picturesque cities with a large tract of pristine green cover. Hundreds of gigantic man-made lakes of different sizes with their neighbouring rice paddies make a very picture-perfect scenery.
Dambulla and Sigiriya also harbour a large number of historical monuments, Buddhist temples, and many other ruins dating back many centuries.
Hot air ballooning is a very popular yet a bit expensive activity in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. There are only a handful of places, where travellers can engage in this thrilling adventure. Dambulla is the only place in the cultural triangle, where travellers can float up in the sky using a balloon.
The passengers have comfort and they are safe during the 1 hours balloon trip over Sigiriya and Dambulla. Seeing a large number of isolated ancient temples amidst the thickly forested area, across the plains, emerge through the mist as the sun wakes up is undoubtedly one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive sites to behold.
VISITING KANDY ON SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
Kandy lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the three angels that marks the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an administrative and religious city. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka and all around the world.
- Temple of the tooth relic
- Pattini devala
- Hindagala temple
- Gadaladeniya temple
- Lankathilaka Temple
- Embekke Devala
SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY
This 3-day Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour is one of the best opportunities to see the rich historical past of Sri Lanka. The cultural triangle tour takes you to many important places of historical and natural importance, and the tour includes 5 of the seven UNESCO world heritage sites of the island namely; Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura while wildlife reserves, lakes, and remote hamlets are places to explore with activities such as wildlife safari, visiting the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala.
Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour starts in Colombo or at any other places convenient place of your choice, but the pick-up location should be within Colombo, if the pick-up location is far away from Colombo there will be a supplement charge for the transfer. The pick-up location and time will not affect the tour at all, because this is a private tour and the vehicle is reserved only for your group.
You will not be a part of a big coach, having a private vehicle for the tour means that you can enjoy the tour while having maximum privacy, the tour will run at your pace. An air-conditioned modern vehicle will be allocated for the tour and the same vehicle with the same chauffeur guide will be allocated until you finish the entire circuit.
DAY 1 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING ANURADHAPURA
You will visit Anuradhapura on the first day of this Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour. Anuradhapura is the first capital of Sri Lanka and dates back to the 3rd century B.C. According to the historical information, Anuradhapura played the role, of the capital of Sri Lanka, for many centuries, since its inception in the 3rd century BCE. However, as the fame of this flourishing city grew exponentially, it became a target of south Indian invaders, who it is easy to access Anuradhapura from south India, which led to a never-ceasing Indian invasion.
The city was equipped with palaces, temple complexes, gardens, hospitals and living quarters for people. Today the city is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its cultural and historical importance. You will be accompanied to dozens of important historical sites in Anuradhapura and our historian will you a full report to you about these important historical sites.
Now it is time to move to one of the tourist hotspots on the island, Sigiriya rock fortress, However, the visit to the Sigiriya rock fortress is scheduled for the next day due to time constraints. The journey from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya takes around 30 minutes. The first day of the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour come to the end with check-in to your hotel in Sigiriya.
DAY 2 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING SIGIRIYA AND POLONNARUWA
On the second day of the tour, you will visit the Sigiriya rock fortress. Sigiriya rock fortress is another important historical site in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and is visited by many thousands of travellers every week. The history of the Sigiriya rock fortress dates back to the 5th century AD, it had been a well-planned city with palaces, gardens, swimming pools, moats, ditches, and walls and the fortress was built in the middle of the city.
At Sigiriya, the visitors can see the world-renowned Sigiriya frescoes and mirror walls. They can catch breathtaking scenery of the surrounding area from the top of the rock. The upward climb to the pinnacle of the rock takes around 1 hour and the downward journey takes around 30 minutes.
SIGIRIYA ROCK CLIMB
It is advisable to start the climb early morning to avoid the scorching heat in Sri Lanka’s dry zone. The humidity is also very high here making it a sweaty condition. There is a great deal of walk-in Sigiriya and you have to climb a rock on well-laid stairs. Even though there is a well-laid stair the climb of the rock cab is very tiring for some people, therefore the site is not recommended for pregnant ladies, old people as well as heart patients. It is a site recommended for travellers with good physical and mental fitness.
SIGIRIYA ROCK CLIMB-WHAT TO WEAR?
A pair of good shoes recommended for hiking makes it easy to climb 200 steps, however not essential. A cotton t-short and pair of shorts are the best possible attire as it is warm and sweaty throughout the climb. Sigiriya is not a sacred site, therefore, you can wear a pair of shorts.
After visiting the Sigiriya rock fortress you might be hungry and tired, so it is time to have lunch or just a refreshment. In fact, there is a great deal of distance to cover on foot in Polonnaruwa historical city.
You will proceed to Polonnaruwa after a break, the second capital of Sri Lanka. After the downfall of Anuradhapura, the kings of Sri Lanka had chosen Polonnaruwa as the capital of Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa was the ruling capital of Sri Lanka for many decades, VijayabahuI, Parakramabahu and Nissannkamalla had been the noteworthy kings, who immensely contributed to the development of the city. Most historical monument such as Galvihara, Thuparama, Hetadage, and Atadage at Polonnaruwa is attributed to these three kings.
Due to the invasions that took place in the latter period most of them were damaged. Today Polonnaruwa is another important tourist attraction and a UNESCO world heritage site. The Polonnaruwa city tour takes around 2 hours and doesn’t forget to visit the Polonnaruwa museum.
There are many places to visit in Polonnaruwa and you come across image houses, palaces, dagobas, conference halls and many other places important places. Some of them are religious sites and you are required to have dressed at least covering your knees and shoulders. Please check our 2 articles Clothing & gear guide for Sri Lanka and Visiting a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka here are 9 rules to consider.
MINNERIYA SAFARI ON CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
There is a great opportunity for Sri Lanka jungle tours to explore Sri Lankan wild animals today. After Polonnaruwa, as you are coming across the Minneriya national park, here you can witness a large number of wild elephants. Wild buffaloes, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boar, and deer are some of the very common animals here. Minneriya is an optional activity and it can only be done if time permits you to do it.
By the time, you return to your hotel in Sigiriya it will be around 6.00 pm today. The hotel you are staying in is a middle-class hotel with an outdoor swimming pool. Maybe you can have a dip in the outdoor swimming pool in the hotel before heading to the restaurant. You can sip a glass of wine or arrack (a Sri Lankan alcoholic drink) at the bar.
DAY 3 OF SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY: VISITING DAMBULLA TEMPLE
On the 3rd day of your Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, you leave for Kandy after breakfast from your hotel in Sigiriya. The first stop on the day is at Dambulla golden cave temple, which is only 20 minutes away from your hotel. After visiting Dambulla golden temple, you could make a stop at a spice garden in Matale, which is an optional activity to learn about traditional Sri Lankan spices such as Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg etc. On your visit to spice, you also will be able to learn about the traditional healing system of Ayurveda,
VISITING DAMBULLA GOLDEN TEMPLE
The temple is located about 300 meters above the ground. The visitors need to climb the rock on the staircase to reach the temple on the rock. Dambulla golden cave temple is another UNESCO world heritage site in Sri Lanka. Here you can see hundreds of statues and wall paintings, the temple is dating back to the 1st century BC.
VISITING TOOTH RELIC TEMPLE: SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
After Dambulla golden cave temple the travellers proceed to the tooth relic temple of Kandy, which is another important historical site and a UNESCO world heritage site included in the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour. The tooth relic temple is the most important Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka and the left eye tooth of Buddha suppose to be residing here. The temple is visited by thousands of local and foreign visitors every day. The tooth relic temple is the last important cultural site in the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour and it is time to proceed to Colombo.
ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE ON SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
After the Tooth relic temple, it is time to drive to Colombo, the journey will take around 3 hours and you have the opportunity to visit the Pinnawala elephant orphanage on halfway down the track as you drive to Colombo. You are most welcome to visit it and see the biggest herd of tame elephants in the world.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR:
The time taken for the tour is unpredictable due to the traffic and other circumstances, the time mentioned above is only based on rough calculations. If you have any time constraints, due to the departure flights, appointments or need to arrive in Colombo for a cruise ship etc, please inform us in advance, so that we can plan your Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle Tour accordingly.
Please contact us at least a day before your Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle Tour so we can easily arrange our vehicles and guides. Thank you for your cooperation. We do pick up from 40+ hotels most of them on the west coast beaches.
The Sri Lanka Cultural triangle tour can be booked with all categories of hotels such as five-star hotels, four-star hotels, and three-star hotels… however, this tour package is planned with four-star compatible hotel accommodations. you will be notified of the hotel name before finalizing the Sri Lanka Cultural triangle tour. The rate can make a notable difference across different hotel categories.
WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK SRI LANKA CULTURAL TRIANGLE ITINERARY WITH SEERENDIPITY?
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