When visiting Sri Lanka, you definitely should not miss out on the cultural triangle. It’s beautiful! It’s ancient. And full of jaw-dropping landscape and magnificent sights! Well worth a visit!
Here I will introduce you to the most important places of interest as well as many places off the beaten track and even some secret places, that only few locals know about. All of these places I visited myself, so I can give you valuable first-hand information and useful tips. Then again, in this blog, I focus more on the difficult-to-research useful/ practical information rather than on the plain facts about the places, which you can find in any guidebook or every web page.
Here is an interactive map with all the most important places to visit in the Cultural Triangle (click on the map to open MapHub and see more detailed information or the location).
The main sights of the cultural triangle
The cultural triangle is formed by the town of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy. In the middle of these are Dambulla and Sigiriya. Therefore Dambulla is quite well located to explore the World Unesco sites in this area as convenient day trips.
Off the beaten track
The following places are well worth a visit, especially when your itinerary isn’t too tight. Those are really beautiful places to linger around for a while away from the mass tourism.
- Namal Uyana
The Hidden Gems are often skipped completely by tourists, mainly due to lack of time. They are also not easily reachable and mostly vastly explored within a few minutes to half an hour. Whoever has enough time or organized a tuk-tuk or another private transport with a driver can visit some of them along the way, for example the last three (Nalanda and Matale) on the way from Dambulla to Kandy.
- Beautiful lakes around Dambulla
- Aukana Buddha
- Matale Hindu Temple (Sri Muthumariamman Temple)
- Matale Buddhist Temple (Alu Viharaya)
It still takes time to write down all the information. As soon as I finished one post, I will link it here. Thank you for your patience.