Tours in Sri Lanka aren’t complete without a visit to the Cultural Triangle, which is the focal point of the Sinhala civilisation’s origin.
Also known as “The King’s land”, the Cultural Triangle houses the ruined city of ancient Anuradhapura, which was the capital of the island from the third century BC until 993 AD. At Walkers Tours, we provide tour guides who mesmerise you with tales of majestic days gone by, and the locals are usually more than happy to sit down with you for tea and speak about the cultural history. Kandy, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa are the three dots that make this triangle, and within the triangle are some of Sri Lanka’s most popular attractions.
The three historical cities that form the triangle is much spoken about and visited too, but it’s the sacred ruins and architectural wonders located within the triangle that is the highlight of the Cultural Triangle itself.
Smack in the middle of the Cultural Triangle lies the great rock of Sigiriya. An entire city carved on a rock, this 200m tall spreads out over 3 acres on the summit of the rock. Folklore says that the caves below the rock housed lions, and therefore, the Sigiriya is also known as the Lion Rock locally. An almost vertical climb up naturally carved stone steps takes you up, to spellbinding views and endless skies. The Royal Palace is a sight to behold, even in its ruined form, and the graffiti and carvings on the walls throughout the city date back to the 7th century.
Located on the border of the triangle, this Golden Temple in Dambulla sits on the surface of mammoth granite. The temple itself is inside a cave, but once you step in, you’d feel like you were in a chic art gallery, for the colours used in paintings and statues aren’t very old fashioned, but was way ahead of their times. The Temple has over 150 statues, and one of the narrower caves has a 15m long Sleeping Buddha statue carved out of solid rock. Regardless of the season, this Temple has always been a part of Sri Lanka tours.
When tailor-made, Sri Lanka tours usually include this site, which is lesser visited but carries an equally prominent hold in the cultural history of the island. A purely white Buddha sits calmly in meditation, while the world gathers around him to see the Mahaseya Dagoba, the largest dagoba in Mihintale. A stone’s throw away is the Naga Pokuna or the snake pond, which is protected by a five headed cobra carving.