Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle


Sri Lanka is essentially made up of five main components: history, culture, religion, wildlife and indescribable amount of natural beauty. Although you must explore the whole island at least once, if you are only here for a short period of time, you can experience all the best facets of Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle, a region made up of a collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

History: Sigiriya

Photo of Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle 1/5 by Sahi
From Wikimedia Commons

Sigiriya is truly a world wonder, and it is both historically and architecturally fascinating. The rock fortress was built in the 5th century by King Kashyapa, the illegitimate son of King Dhatusena. Kashyapa committed patricide to ascend the throne, fearing for his life, Kashyapa’s half-brother, Moggallana, fled to India. However, he would one day return to reclaim his throne and an epic battle would ensue.

Culture: Village Walk

Photo of Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle 2/5 by Sahi
From Wikimedia Commons

The Cultural Triangle is situated in the central province and it is one of the country’s most rural regions. One activity to do here is to go on a village tour and get an immersive experience into rural Sri Lankan life. Many hotels, like Hotel Sigiriya, offer this excursion to their guests who will be taken around a village, learn about village life and eat a traditional home cooked Sri Lankan meal.

Religion: Sri Maha Bodhi

Photo of Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle 3/5 by Sahi
From Flickr

One of the country’s holiest Buddhist sites, the Sri Maha Bodhi is a temple dedicated to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree—a tree grown from a sapling of the original bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment. The sapling was brought to Anuradhapura by Sangamitta, daughter of the Indian Emperor Ashoka who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka. It is believed that King Devanampiyatissa planted the sapling in 288 BC, making it the oldest human-planted tree.

Wildlife: Mineriya National Park

Photo of Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle 4/5 by Sahi
From Wikimedia Commons

One of the most amazing things about Sri Lanka is that this small island is home to the world’s largest mammals: elephants and whales. Minneriya National Park is a 45-minute drive from Sigiriya, and it is within Minneriya that the largest gathering of Asian elephants occurs. During the dry season elephants are forced to come out of the dry shrubbery and into the open plains, where you will be able to see 200 – 400 wild elephants! This phenomenon takes places between June and August; needless to say, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Natural Beauty: Hot Air Balloon Ride

Photo of Experience Sri Lanka in the Cultural Triangle 5/5 by Sahi
From Flickr

Normally when people think of Sri Lanka images of golden beaches and blue waves come into mind, however, since the Cultural Triangle is found in the Central Province, you sadly won’t be able to see that… Instead you can experience the wonderful emerald greens of the shrub forests which surround the dry plains, and what better way to see it than from a hot air balloon?