The Hill Country has a naturally poetic spirit, which animates through the vast rolls of lush forestry, soft fragrance of the tea plantations, and sleepy mist that settles like wisps of cotton along the skyline. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a painting.
The serene ambience and cool climate make it the ideal location to find inspiration and seemingly stop time for a while. You could spend a day going for a stroll, enjoying a picnic amongst the striking views, and then perhaps relax with some Ceylon tea in one of the local villages. Notable towns include Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, and the countries cultural pinnacle of Kandy. You’ll also spot some of the islands most iconic landscapes here, with some truly awe-inspiring mountains. The World’s End, Pidurutalagala and Adam’s Peak are a few of the most astounding sights.
A stay or visit to the Hill Country allows for a break from the hustle and bustle of places such as Colombo, and also gives a break from the humidity of other areas.
Bandarawela is a town within Sri Lanka that makes up part of the central province. It is characterised with the beautiful natural landscapes of the hill country along with a British Colonial feel. Due to its natural sites such as the Ravana Ella waterfall, and peaceful surroundings it has become a popular base for eco-tourism. The weather is milder than in other parts of the country, which makes it all the better for exploring. The most famous historical attraction of the area is probably the Ancient Dhowa Buddhist Rock Temple, which is a well know heritage site. It is a place perfect for experiencing some of Sri Lanka’s traditional atmosphere and most awe-inspiring scenery.
If you want to become properly acquainted with Sri Lanka, and to experience its culture, heritage and general spirit, Kandy is the region to visit. It is steeped in beautiful nature, located at the foothills of the central highlands and bordered by banks of calm lake. You’ll be able to spend time visiting some of the country’s finest cultural attractions, with temples, museums, monasteries and the famous Esala Perahera, which is otherwise known as the Festival of the Tooth. Held around July/August time this spectacular display of national traditions and art, with Kandyan dancing and music is an inspiring event to experience!
The Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is also paraded at this festival, and is usually housed in Kandy in its own temple. The Salubrious weather keeps the nature animated with an exotic appearance, making it easy to see why the area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. There’s something very special about Kandy, something that is held very close to Sri Lanka’s identity. After spending some time here, no doubt you’ll see why it is known as Maha Muwara to many Sri Lankans, which translates to “The Great City”.
Nuwara Eliya translates to ‘City of Light’. This name captures the inspiring spirit of vibrant greenery, rolling hills and temperate climate that charms those who visit. Also, located at an altitude of 1,868m it stands out amongst the Sri Lankan landscapes as a peak, illuminated close to the sun glow skies. It is well known as the most important area for tea production in Sri Lanka, which is quite something when you consider what an important part of the country’s culture and identity tea is. Some magnificent views surround the area, like Pidurutalagala, which is Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain. You’ll find yourself completely entranced by the vivid colour and textures of the scenery!
The city was founded by Samuel Baker, which perhaps explains why Nuwara Eliya has such a British feel to it. The outskirts of Nuwara Eliya in particular show a lot of examples of British colonialist heritage. The village feel, with rose gardens and traditional style houses gives the ambience a quaint feel. Attractions and sights such as the racecourse and 18 holed golf course only add to this.
Nuwara Eliya is an extremely prosperous looking part of Sri Lanka and throughout most of the year appears bountiful with markets selling fresh vegetables, and beautiful flowers blossoming in the countryside around April. It has a healthy appearance, offering peace and a refreshed outlook on life. The air here is also cooler than other parts of Sri Lanka, especially in the evenings.
The cultural triangle of Sri Lanka is the linking of three of the islands ancient capitals: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. Within this triangle are at least seven UNESCO world heritage sites and ruins dating back to 4th century B.C. For this reason, the triangle very much represents the heart of the country’s cultural heritage and spirit. It reminds visitors of the fascinating narrative through which various civilisations have passed through and shaped the present day.
Some of the sites you will be able to see here include the Sigiriya rock fortress, rock temple caves at Dambulla, the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism at Mihintale, and the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. That’s to name just a few! Notably, there are also the elephants at Minneriya.
The environment within the triangle is perfect for going on walks or bike rides too, during which you can take in the surroundings and perhaps stop for a snack in a local eatery. There are many hotels that provide the ultimate accommodation location for keen sightseers.
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