Sri Lanka - A Cultural Guide to its Historical Monuments



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Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage, with monuments and temples build through a combination of Buddhist and royal history. The location of its historical structures has been hugely influenced by its fight throughout history to remain a separate country, retreating and then defending successfully invasions and intrusions from India in particular.

Here is an Guide to some of the most important monuments and historic sites in Sri Lanka to help you choose where to travel. Aqua-Firma provides expert local guides and logistics for visiting all of these areas. For further information about each, please click on each image or where you read 'more'. You can also Contact Us with any questions and help in planning your perfect trip to this diverse island.

Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, is a temple fortress carved literally from a solid piece of rock nearly 200m high. Lying in the north central region of Sri Lanka, this is perhaps the single most famous monument in Sri Lanka. .....more
  Anuradhapura is one of the world's great ancient monuments; the capital and birthplace of the Sinhalese culture and one of the Southern Asia's longest continuously inhabited cultural and sacred centres. It was once set deep in jungle, in the climatically drier northern section of Sri Lanka, beyond .… more
  The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy is Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist religious monument - a symbolic, cultural centre of Sri Lankan independence and pride … more
  Koneswaram Temple is one of Sri Lanka's most important Hindu temple sites, is situated on the highest point of spectacular Swami Rock, on a thin peninsula situated next to the town of Trincomalee.… more
  Dambulla is most famous for its Cave Temple Complex, which is the largest and best preserved of its kind in Sri Lanka. There are more than 80 documented caves in the area, but there are five major caves which contains statues and paintings, primarily relating to Gautama the Buddha; but also 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods & goddesses ... more.
  Polonnaruwa's ancient city is a World Heritage Site and the second site ever to be declared as the capital of Sri Lanka, when King Vijaybahu I defeated Chola invaders in 1070. There are hundreds of ancient structures to visit here, including tombs, temples, stupas and statues ...
  Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the oldest tree known to have a specific planting date (249 BC). Its religious importance is that it is believed to have derived from Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India, which is the tree under which Gautama the Buddha is believed to have first attained enlightment. It is situated in the centre of the country close to Anuradhapura.