On a sightseeing spree in Sri Lanka? The best place to see some of the island’s most magnificent temples, ancient ruins and historic sites is the Cultural Triangle.
This area in the north-central part of Sri Lanka was given its name because of three main attractions, each forming the point of a triangle. There’s Anuradhapura to the north, Kandy to the south-west and Polonnaruwa to the east – and there are plenty of other sites of interest in between. Also known as ‘the King’s Land’, the Cultural Triangle was at the heart of the golden age of ancient Sinhalese civilisation on Sri Lanka.
In Anuradhapura, you’ll find the ruins of a once-great city that was the island’s capital up to 993 AD. There’s so much to see on this vast site, from elaborate palaces to enormous monasteries. Another ancient Buddhist capital was Polonnaruwa, where you’ll find compact but equally fascinating ruins of the great city. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are a true spectacle to behold. Kandy, the third point of the triangle, was the home of the Kandyan empire between the 14th and 19th centuries. It’s famous for its Dambulla cave temples, one of which houses a giant golden Buddha.
Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to explore the treasure trove of history that is the Cultural Triangle. There’s an endless list of things to see and do here. Aside from the three ancient cities which form the corners of the triangle, there’s also the extraordinary rock citadel of Sigiriya, the slightly spooky forest monasteries of Arankele, a choice of beautiful national parks and much, much more.
Plan your trip to the Cultural Triangle today!