Insights Into History, Culture, & Creativity of Sri Lanka – Explore the Cultural Triangle


No Sri Lanka tour is complete without a trip to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. In this article we share important things you should know about the Sri Lanka cultural triangle.

The cultural triangle is an area located in the north-central part of the country that has a great historical value. Concentrated with ancient Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas, sculptures, cities and kingdoms, the cultural triangle is a must visit area to get a peek at the dazzled ancient civilizations of the island. Cultural triangle is dotted with many priceless ancient sites however below we have listed the top 9 places you must visit in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.


Being the number one cultural city of the country, Kandy is one of the must-visit cities during your Sri Lanka cultural triangle exploration. The city is home to a UNESCO world heritage site- the temple of the tooth where lord buddha’s tooth relic rests which is the number one attraction of Kandy. With several museums and cultural shows full of traditional performances, Kandy is one of the best attractions of the cultural triangle to absorb the essence of the island.


Known for its famous Golden cave temple complex, Dambulla is a city situated 160 km away from Colombo. The temple nestled on top of a rock is one of the ancient natural cave temples in Sri Lanka and offers you breath-taking views of the surrounding. The large Buddha statue with several other statues and impressive wall murals make it worth a visit. It’s one of the UNESCO world heritage site you can find in the cultural triangle.


Being the first kingdom of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura is an ancient city with well-preserved ruins of palaces, monasteries, Buddhist temples that make history buffs don’t want to leave. The sky-high dagabos and the seas-like man-made reservoirs will leave anyone in awe and surprise. With a history that runs back to the ‎4th century BC, Anuradhapura is a place where you should not miss to explore during your visit to the cultural triangle, if you really want to experience the core values of the island.


The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is another highly visited UNESCO world heritage site you can find in the cultural triangle, where you can explore ancient palaces, temples and numerous royal buildings that will uncover another grand era of Lankan history. You can explore the city on a bicycle enjoying the dry breeze.


The Lion rock fortress is another UNESCO world heritage site you can find in the cultural triangle. As the name suggests, it’s a rock fortress built on a top of a 660 ft tall column of rock by King Kashyapa(473 to 495 CE). With water fountains, water pools, pavilions, water gardens and wall murals, Sigiriya lion rock fortress lies on the top of the list of attractions to visit in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.

Pidurangala Rock

Though some might think that the Sri Lanka cultural triangle is all about culture and history, you will find a diversity of activities to enjoy during your visit to the area. One is a hiking adventure to the Pidurangala rock. Located a few kilometres away from Sigiriya lion rock fortress, the rock offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes as well as of Sigiriya at the summit.


Located 112 km away from Colombo, Yapahuwa rock fortress is another capital of Sri Lanka that has a history that runs back to 13th century. The well-preserved ruins of the fortress are truly remarkable and showcase the greatness of another great era of Sri Lankan history.

Hot air ballooning

Explore the Sri Lanka in a different angle and fly with the clouds above to witness the best attractions and landmarks of Sri Lanka in a hot air balloon. You can find hot air ballooning facilities only in Kandalama lake.

Minneriya national park

When you need a break from the dry and dusty cities and crowded attractions of the Sri Lanka, Minneriya national park is an ideal place to launch a safari ride to. Comprised of thick tropical jungles and scrublands, the park is a home to a diversity of animals and birds including elephants, leopards, deer, monkeys, peacocks and more. The sight of majestic elephants at the Minneriya reservoir against the blue sky and the lush green grassland is a sight you will remember forever.

Tours to Cultural Triangle

When it comes to the Tours to Sri Lanka, there are many travel and tourism companies who offer different kind of packages to cover the cultural aspects of Sri Lanka. Basically the cultural tours will cover Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya,Dambulla and Kandy as main destinations with significant cultural and historical value.

Some of the companies who does Cultural Tours are, Tangerine Tours a company which operates from 1982. Also an upcoming UK based Travel company with Local Presence in Sri Lanka; The Sri Lankan Dream by Paradise Pursuit also covers significant amount of cities and ancient kingdoms in their cultural tour packages.


Source by Anjana Pulathisi Gunatillake

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