Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex named Sigiriya i.e. Lion Rock, has significant archaeological importance and unsurprisingly attracts a vast combination of tourists from all around the world every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization. The palace and fortress complex is recognized as one of the finest examples of ancient urban planning. Considering the uniqueness of Sigiriya UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya is an unmatched combination of urban planning, water engineering, horticulture and arts.
Wilpattu National Park
It is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka and is among the top national parks world-renowned for its leopard population. Wilpattu National Park is home for many villus, or natural lakes which dot the landscape in the Wilpattu National Park. Except for two, these lakes contain rainwater, thus are important for resident and migratory water-birds.
Wilpattu National Park’s varying and vividly diverse natural habitats, namely coastal belt, natural lakes (villus), rocky outcrops, scrublands, open grasslands and dense forest, provide for numerous species of animals. Among the species are 31 mammals. The biggest draws are Leopards and Sloth bears. The Asian Elephants, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, jackals, Sāmbhar, barking deer, mouse deer Wild Pig, Water and Mugger Crocodiles also makes this visit one not to miss.
Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8890 hectares of this National Park is an ideal visit for tourists in Sri Lanka searching for wildlife. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka’s favorites such as Sāmbhar deer, leopards and elephants.
However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank built in 3rd century. During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze on the grasses. The Elephants socialize, bathe and even find mates. It is a unique phenomenon of nature and can only be witnessed in this park. Huge flocks of birds; cormorants and painted storks, to name to a few that come to fish in the shallow waters are also a sight to see.
Yala is Sri Lanka’s wildlife central, and thousands of people flock the National Park every year for a chance to spot wildlife, especially the elusive Lankan leopard.
Forming a total area of 1268 sq. km of scrub, light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons, it’s very rich in wildlife and you’re virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes and monkeys. The rocky outcrops scattered over the park provides vantage points to enjoy the sprawling areas with Sri Lanka’s dry zone landscape: low scrub and woods. Still more, the southern border of the park being the south-eastern coast, the brackish lagoons and dunes enhances the distinctive charm of the Yala National Park.
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