The heart of the country, Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle connects three ancient cities: Anuradhapura to its north, Polonnaruwa to the east, and Kandy to the south-west with National Parks, hence the name Cultural Triangle.
In 1988, UNESCO declared the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka a World Heritage Site. This means that it is a site of outstanding universal value and therefore has been placed on the list of sites to be given special protection by UNESCO. The Cultural Triangle also represents an area where Sinhala, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam have co-existed in cultural harmony for more than 2000 years.
What are the things to know about Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle?
For travelers looking to explore Sri Lanka’s rich history, the Cultural Triangle is an absolute must-see area.
A traveler would be negligent if they didn’t stop by at least one point on their trip through this beautiful island nation!
The Anuradapura Dagobas
The Anuradhapura Dagobas, or stupas, are large dome constructions built to house ancient relics of Buddha. With three major dagobas, one can easily see how they make you feel even smaller as you walk next to them. These structures stand at over 2500 years old and are only second in size (to the pyramids) like Giza’s Great Sphinx monument located near Cairo, Egypt; but what makes these more interesting is that they were created as a way for devotees from all around India come together during pilgrimage occasions such as Diwali where they would be able to relax under its shade while meditating on their life choices.
Sacred Bodhi Tree
The sacred Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura is one of the most visited attractions on this island. It attracts pilgrims day after day with its tradition-rich history that dates back thousands upon centuries ago. The rich history behind these trees makes them an essential asset both spiritually and also culturally – many rituals are offered up at different times throughout the year due to their importance within Buddhist traditions.
Dambulla Cave Temple
The Dambulla cave temple is home to a giant Buddha statue and smaller standing ones. The complex also houses five temples; all made up of different structures that have been intricately carved into the rock over time with wall paintings telling the life story of Gautama Buddha.
The famous Cultural Triangle must-see for any visitor looking at these fabulous Buddhist sacred spaces, which house not just one but many holy representations from Indian culture’s most influential figure – Siddartha Guatama himself!
In Sri Lanka, tanks are a standard fixture of towns and villages. They can be found throughout the country as both water storage facilities or used for bathing pools to enjoy during monsoon season when it rains heavily but not enough to fill up lakes freshwater bodies such as dams. There is one large reservoir near Polonnaruwa which also has several smaller ones scattered across central plains; however, Sigiriya’s numerous lotus-filled ponds make this town famous among tourists from around Asia.
The dry, grassy plain of Sri Lanka is dotted with majestic rock outcrops. One can easily make their way through this landscape and see some spectacular scenery on these hillsides as well. Sigiriya was once a palace-fortress for one of the ancient Sinhalese kings who had his coronation hall inside its walls; it’s pretty impressive to visit even though there are always many people climbing up those steps or standing at various points around your perch looking down into the valley below them.
The Sri Lankan people are Buddhists who make pilgrimages to various holy sites throughout their country and the Cultural Triangle. These temples hold great significance for them, as they can be found across different areas of this region or even within one city-temple complex like Anuradhapura.
Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth
The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy is a large temple complex full of sculptures and paintings depicting Gautama Buddha. It was here that one man kept what some belief to be his very own set of sacred teeth–the Poya Perahera Festival celebrates these holy items with parades through town.
Sculptures in Temples
The temples of the Buddhist religion are usually filled with sculptures that have been hand-carved from stone, wood, or other materials. Amongst these architectural marvels sit elephants carved into walls around dagobas or the giant standing Buddha at Polonnaruwa.
Ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa
The ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were once the capitals of an independent kingdom. The first, built-in 380 BC by Sinhalese kings on land given them by their ancestors who fought back against invasions from India that occurred around the 10th century AD before they abandoned it for many years until the jungle took over again, only to be cleared up in the 1800s later which left structural remains you can see today at both sites – one much older than other but still magnificent just like its predecessor also known as Second Capital city where most structures are intact despite having faced Indian attacks regularly.
Ancient Kingdoms of Rajarata and Kandy
Rajarata, meaning King’s Land, is in the northern part of the ancient kingdom. Old Sinhalese kings lived in this area. Kandy is the southern section of the triangle. The two kingdoms of Rajarata and Kandy are not directly related, but they were both Buddhists, and their beliefs and religious ideologies are still alive throughout history.
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