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Perserved Sri Lankan Culture

Travelers Today       By    Katherine Hewitt

Updated: Jan 27, 2015 11:00 AM EST

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A small island nation of the coast of India, Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean was exposed to much sea faring, South Asian trade.  Despite this exposure to diverse cultures, Sri Lankan culture survived untarnished by many foreign customs, even during the British Imperial rule and the internal political strife in the 80s and 90s.  What are preserved now are wonderful, ancient testaments to the past.

Sigiriya is an extensively large rock in the middle of the Matale District.  At the top King Kasyapa (477-495) built his palace.  The sides of this 200 meter high rock were decorated with colorful frescos.   The gate to the palace is about halfway up the side and is in the form of a lion.  This is where the hill gets its name Sigiriya, meaning the Lion Rock.  Today the palace is gone, but the foundations and spectacular view remain.

The sacred city of Anuradhapura was built around a cutting of the Buddha's "Tree of Enlightenment" in the third century B.C.  The tree still lives on today, spreading out from the center of the city.  This city quickly developed into the political and religious capital of the Sri Lankan empire.  When neighboring kings attacked the city, the citizens of Anuradhapura abandoned the city. 

For some nature exploring visit Ramboda Falls near Nuwara Eliya.  The white water rushes down the brown cliffs in the midst of the vibrant green forest.  The hike to the waterfall is easy for all levels.  The area also has other trails and waterfalls as well as tea estates to visit.  The best way to see everything in this area is to stay at the Ramboda Falls Hotel; really it's a very peaceful resort set in the forest of Sri Lanka.  

The Ancient city of Polonnaruwa became the second capital city of Sri Lanka after invaders destroyed Anuradhapura, and the people left.  The city became known as the garden city as the king incorporated nature in with the design of palaces and buildings. 

Ganagaramaya Temple is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka.   The style comes form Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Sri Lankan architecture.  This is one of the few examples of a mix of cultures in Sri Lanka.   A merchant bought the land for the building of a temple in the 1800s.  Today the temple is still used for religious and learning purposes.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
Lanka, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Ramboda Falls, Polonnaruwa, Ganagaramaya Temple
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