Sri Lanka – the island of elephants, tea and Buddhism
The island of Sri Lanka is rightly called the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Even in ancient times, Greek sailors, admiring the indescribable beauty, called it “Taprobana”, which means “cinnamon country”, but the island is known to us as Ceylon – “country of lions”.
TREASURE AND TOURISM ISLAND
The whole world knows about the best varieties of tea that are grown here. Sri Lanka got its current name in 1972, which means “Shining Island.”
Holidays in Sri Lanka can not be forgotten because of the delight received from the abundance of bright vegetation, the splendor of beaches strewn with golden sand, swimming in crystal clear and clear water, a beautiful and rich underwater world.
In the coastal waters of Sri Lanka, excellent conditions are created not only for fishing, but also for diving. Using the modern equipment that diving centers offer, fans of underwater excursions can not only enjoy the beauty of coral reef gardens and their diverse exotic inhabitants, but also visit the long sunken ancient ships, truly feeling in the role of explorers. Many tourists prefer canoeing on the river, but elephant safaris have become especially popular recently. The beauty of the whole island can also be appreciated from a bird’s eye view by taking a balloon or helicopter excursion.
CULTURE, RELIGION AND INTERESTING PLACES
Kalutara, Bentota, Hikkaduwa – the most popular and famous resort areas. The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo – a port city in which modern life “beats”. There are many shops in the city where you can buy various gifts and souvenirs as a keepsake. Exhibits of the National Museum of Colombo are of interest to thousands of tourists. South of the capital, only 10 kilometers away, you can visit one of the best zoos in Asia and see a performance of trained elephants.
Closer to get acquainted with the ancient culture and find out why Sri Lanka is considered the birthplace of Buddhism, you can leave the bustling city streets and take an excursion to the holy places.
Anuradhapura – one of the cities included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List, carefully preserves the memory of past centuries. Thousands of pilgrims travel to this city to see the oldest tree on the planet – Bo. It grew out of the branch of that tree, under which the great Buddha knew his insight. It is very interesting to consider seven dagobas. One of them, Jetavana – a stupa, 120 meters high, is only slightly inferior to the pyramid of Cheops.
Until the beginning of the XIX century, the capital of the island was the city of Kandy, which is located on an extremely picturesque mountain range. In the center of this city, amazingly beautiful lake is located, on its shore there is Dalada Maligawa – a temple decorated with silver and ivory, which houses the greatest relic – the Tooth of the Buddha. In addition, many ancient manuscript books and statuettes of Buddha made of gold, crystal, jade and emerald are preserved here. Walking along the green streets of the city, tourists can admire, observing the grace and plasticity of Kandy dancers and the skill of “fire swallowers” who also walk on hot coals. It is impossible not to visit the magnificent Royal Botanical Garden, located outside the city. It first appeared at the beginning of the XIX century, and now there are already more than 45 plant species.
An unforgettable impression remains after visiting the ruins of the palace in Sigiriya. Having overcome 1200 steps carved between the paws and jaws of a lion, you will find yourself in a once beautiful city with gardens, pools and fountains. Currently, work is underway to restore the city and it is under the protection of UNESCO. The complex of cave temples is located near Sigiriya. The most famous cave of Sri Lanka is famous for the fact that the water in it flows up the stone, and when it reaches the top, it falls into a golden bowl located below. Monks come to this cave to meditate.
At the peak of Adam is another shrine of the island. By the way, people of various religions overcome the difficult path up to the very top of the mountain only to touch sacred tracks with their lips. At the same time, Buddhists are sure that these traces were left by the Buddha, Indians believe that they worship the traces of Shiva, Muslims believe that it was at this place that Adam made his first step to the earth, and Christians are indestructibly convinced that these traces belong to St. Thomas.
A very good impression will be made by visiting the elephant nursery, in which elephants deprived of maternal care are fed. Elephants are the island’s favorite animal. They are an integral part of religious holidays and working days of the population of the entire state. Here at close range you can watch the process of eating and bathing elephants.