Kaludiya Pokuna: forgotten monastery lost in the jungle

Kaludiya Pokuna is an ancient monastery, located deep into the Sri Lankan jungle near Dambulla and Sigiriya. The place used to be called Dakkhinagiri Vihara and was built by King Saddhatissa in the 2nd century BC. Later, during the 6th century AD, King Aggabodhi developped the site by adding a chapter house. At some point…

Nalanda Gedige: Mysterious hybrid temple

Nalanda Gedige is a dravidian stone temple located in Matale district in Sri Lanka, and remains a mystery for many. Experts haven’t been able to precisely date its creation, they estimate it was built between the 8th and 10th century. The mix of Hindu and Buddhism style is also really confusing. The architecture is definitively…

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya or Sihagiri, meaning Lion Rock in Sinhalese, is an ancient rock fortress and capital, built in the first century AD by King Kasyapa. The palace was built on top of a massive 200 meters high (660 feet) rock column, the sides of the rock are almost vertical making it really hard to reach the…

Mihintale: a mystical experience

Mihintale is truly a magical place, surrounded by mist, burning incense and Buddhist hymns, the atmosphere here is just mystic and so appeasing. Built in the first century BC, this site is really important in Sri Lanka History and has a huge signification in Buddhism History. It is there, that, in 247 BC, King Devanampiyatissa…

Adam’s Peak: Holiest pilgrimage in Sri Lanka

Adam’s Peak, or Sri Pada in Sinhalese, is one of the highest peak in Sri Lanka. The mountain has a really distinctive conical shape and is 2 243 meters (7358 feet) high. Sri Pada is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. At the top of the rock you’ll find a 2 meters…

Ella: Nature’s marvels

Ella is one of my favorite place in Sri Lanka, trekking through the lush vegetation, the scenery is spectacular and the views are breathtaking. It’s the best place in Sri Lanka to rest for a couple of days, enjoy the fresh air and stroll along the tea plantations visiting temples and waterfalls on the way….

Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s Little England

Nuwara Eliya region is famous for its cooler climate, its abundant tea plantations and its unique architecture. The city is worth spending a couple of days, relaxing, breathing the fresh air, drinking tea and, of course, doing some trekking to discover the amazing landscape the area has to offer. Here is what to do in…

Horton Plains: trekking to the world’s end

  Horton Plains National Park is a protected area located in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Famous for its mountainous meadows and its cloud forests, the region has been classified as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO together with the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and the Knuckles, located nearby and worth a trip if you’re around. The…

Galle: strolling back in time

  Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle (Sri Lanka) reached its peak in the 18th century before the country fell into the hand of the British. The fort was built by the Dutch in 1663, who had taken over the area in 1640. The old city and its fortification have been added…

Meeting with wild elephants in Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is famous for its many elephants, about 300 lives here but not year long, they regularly migrate to other nearby protected areas. Here the elephants are free and, because the area is exclusively for animals, they don’t bother anyone and are safe. The park is not fenced, so they are free to…

Golden Caves Temple in Dambulla

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Dambulla’s Buddhist cave temple were built in the first century BC and used to serve as a shelter for monks during raining season. Called originally Raja Maha Vihara, the caves are curved from a huge granite rock and are the best preserved and the biggest cave…

Exploring Jaffna a decade after the war

  Jaffna peninsula have been severely hit by the war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese. The war ended less than a decade ago and you can still see a lot of signs of bombing around the peninsula. Jaffna is accessible from any major city in Sri Lanka by road or by train. The…