Lovely Beaches of Sri Lanka

1. Bentota
A little over 60 km from Colombo and passing several stretches of other inviting beaches on the Western Coast to Southern Coast, Bentota remains one of the most visited holiday destinations in Sri Lanka. The picturesque road towards this coastal town will only add to the surprise that is in store. Native fishermen in palm leaf clad huts selling fish, king-coconut vendors, inviting toddy bars with the pearl white, low alcoholic percentage drink sold at a reasonable price and children with sun tanned skin playing cricket by the roads are common and homely sights here.

It is the ideal place in Sri Lanka for surfing, jet skiing and other water sports that can be exhilarating and fun.

2. Arugam Bay
When you say that you went to a beach in Sri Lanka most would ask you if it was Arugam Bay in Southern Province- a top ranked surfing spot in the world. The 3 km long beach strip is located about 320 km on East Coast from Colombo. You may be asked if you holidayed in Arugam Bay for obvious reasons as this fishing village covers every beach goers needs.

If you are lucky you’ll get to visit Arugam Bay in the right time for surfing- May to October. If you are a beginner there are surfing trainers and lessons, and you can also rent surfing boards from several places at any given time.

3. Kalpitiya
If you are a dolphin fanatic then taking a tour in Kalpitiya fishing village is the right thing for you.

Located in Puttalam in the North Western Province and almost a four hour ride form Colombo, Kalpitiya is reputed for wild dolphin watching in Sri Lanka. However you have to make sure that you visit the place during the season, which is starting in November and will last till April. Watching time begins at around 6.30 in the morning.

5. Hihikkaduwa_beachkkaduwa
Located nearly 100 km from Colombo on south coast and in the Southern Province the Hikkaduwa beach is mainly known for its resorts. The raucous feel of the waves paves way for a smooth surf. You don’t even have to bother bringing your own surf both as there are several places where you can hire them.

There are a dozen things to see and experience here such as the famous standing Buddha statue, which is 18 meters tall and constructed by the funding of the Japanese Government after the place was affected by the tsunami in 2006, and Ayurvedic spas for relaxation.

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Sinharaja Rain Forest

The entire forest complex of Sinharaja is currently considered as an International Man and Biosphere reserve. It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The majority of its land area is lowlands. However, a small but a significant proportion spreads across higher altitudes. To be more precise, the eastern part of the Sinharaja MAB reserve falls within the sub-montane region of Sri Lanka. Despite the exceedingly small land coverage, the Eastern Sinharaja is extremely rich in biodiversity and endemism.

Morningside is home to most of the lowland endemic birds of Sri Lanka as well as the highland endemics which you would normally not get to see on the southern parts of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Since the forest cover is very thick here birds are mostly heard rather than seen. The Green-billed Coucal, flocks of Yellow-eared Bulbul & Sri Lanka White-eye along with Dull-blue Flycatchers, Sri Lanka Jungle-fowl, a Black Eagle soaring through the low clouds are some of the highlights.
The forests also is home to the Leopard, Sambar, Mouse Deer, Otter, and even s few remaining elephants. Many species of amphibians are also found in this forest with many more new species still to be discovered.

This tropical rain forest believed to be home for almost 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic wildlife draws thousands of visitors wanting to explore and experience this natural wonder that is rich in endemism; an inevitable treasure trove bursting with various species of flora and fauna. The high diversity of vegetation within the reserve has made it a favorable sanctuary for various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, amphibians and plant life; all co-existing within the ecosystem.

Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high.

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Sinhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.[1] Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

Sigiriya consists of an ancient citadel built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of an upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palaces located behind the lavish lower gardens, and moats and ramparts which protected the citadel. The site was both a palace and a fortress. The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock.

Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, and the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings. On the west side of the rock lies a park for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan; the park contains water-retaining structures, including sophisticated surface/subsurface hydraulic systems, some of which are working today. The south contains a man-made reservoir; these were extensively used from the previous capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Five gates were placed at entrances. The more elaborate western gate is thought to have been reserved for the royals.

Honeymoon Destination

A Sri Lankan honeymoon guarantees an epic journey because nowhere else in the world can you experience such a wide array of cultures and experiences in one compact destination. Everywhere you go leads to discovery: ancient temples in the Cultural Triangle, artist havens in Kandy, tea plantations in Ceylon, palm-lined beaches in Tangalle, colonial-era buildings in Galle, leopards on safari in Yala National Park, and metropolitan grandeur in Colombo.

Sri Lanka is once again booming. Couples can spend anywhere from 10 days to two weeks exploring all this island nation has to offer. No matter how much time you have, it’s easy to pick and choose your perfect honeymoon using this overview as a starting point. Waking up in your room’s airy four-poster bed, surrounded by perfectly manicured tropical gardens, will immediately get you in a peaceful Sri Lankan state of mind—as will the breakfast and dip in a gorgeous outdoor pool.

A Sri Lankan honeymoon wouldn’t be complete without a stay on one of its southern beaches. Sri Lanka is fringed with stunning white and golden sands, swaying palm trees and every sort of accommodation you could ask for, whether you want a beach shack or glamorous hotel. The developed south coast and west coast of the island – where resorts such as Beruwala and Ahungala are found – is rich with choices for honeymooners. With high levels of service and facilities, you could choose to never leave your resort area, but it is also possible to do day trip excursions to places such as Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage or the charming fort city of Galle. Over on the east coast, you’ll find serene sands and watersports at places such as Arugam Bay and Trincomalee. The southwest is a better choice post-Christmas, while the east coast is basking in sunshine in the summer months.

Kandy, nestling amongst green hills in the centre of the country, is the traditional choice for Sri Lankan couples on honeymoon. At first glance, its appeal lies more in its historic and cultural attractions – it was the seat of the last king of Sri Lanka and is home to the country’s most venerated relic – the Buddha’s tooth, housed at the holy Temple of the Tooth. But this city is possessed of a dreamy quality too – walk around the central lake or into the verdant hills to fully appreciate its idyllic setting.

Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a bay situated in the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of the southeast coast and a historic settlement of the ancient batticoloa territory. It’s a wide sweeping sandy beach in front of the village of Arugam Bay. The Arugam Bay and is an attraction for surfing and swimming all year-round.

Surfing : Arugam Bay is renowned for its fantastic waves, which attract surfers from all over the world. Although you can surf here all year round, the most favoured season is from April to October with the average height of waves being 1.5 to 2.5 meters. Main surf spots are Pottuvil point, Main Break and Crocodile Rock.

Dive : You can enjoy diving and snorkelling around Arugam Bay. If you are a serious scuba diver, you can charter a boat and head for the Basses Reefs, which is a “must see” dive site in Sri Lanka.

Wildlife : Catch the rare spectacle of elephants strolling across the A4 through the Lahugala elephant corridor. The best time to catch a glimpse of wildlife such as these gigantic elephants, wild boar, deer and crocodiles is before dawn or at sunset.

Bird Watching : Be over-awed by the flocks of birds that migrate to the Arugam Bay area in the months of November and December.

Muhudu Maha Viharaya : Located between Arugam Bay and Pottuvil, among the sand dunes of the beach is the ruins of a Buddhist temple with fairly well preserved stone statues. It is believed that the temple was built where Princess Vihara Maha Devi disembarked.

Magul Maha Viharaya : This boasts of the best – preserved moonstone in all of Asia, with a special feature of the Mahout carved on the back of the an elephant. The Magul Maha Viharaya, which was constructed during the reign of King Dhatusena, is also believed to be the venue where the royal wedding of King Kavantissa and Princess Vihara Maha Devi had taken place. It is located eight kilometres west of Pottuvil along the A4 main road.

Pottuvil Point : The highest place in Pottuvil, popular with Surfers ,this is a long and deserted beach. Wild elephants can often be seen around the area.

Crocodile Rock : From a distance the rock look like a pair of sun bathing crocodiles. The area boasts of a wild environment, with elephants roaming around and eagles sweeping overhead.

Okanda: Located around 28 Kilometres south of Arugam Bay, the Okanda Kudumbigala Forest Hermitage is a small ancient shrine dedicated to the God of Kataragama – Skanda.