CULTURE OF SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka is one of the few countries with a very vast and rich cultural diversity. The culture is itself very unique and thereby contributes to the Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, whish date to more than 2000 years which were handed down from generation to generation. The most prominent feature of the Sri Lankan is its colourful festivals , which is one of the main tourist attractions. Religion plays an important role in molding the Sri Lankan culture and traditions.
Sri Lankan culture if often reflected by the use of art, architecture, sculptures ,and even food. Some people would say that Sri Lanka has a more conventional culture which is obviously influenced by the prominent religions prevailing the country such as buddhism, hinduism, islam , etc. The Sri Lankan way of life is very simple and filled with humility and happiness , this is one of the reasons why the Sri Lankans have a very great sense in appreciating the simple things in life such as nature.
One of the main features of the culture is its Indian and Europen influence. Since most of the time Sri Lankan kings married Indian princesses they incorporated Indian culture into ours but still preserving the unique Sri Lankan identity. The European influence was a result of invasion from the Dutch and Portugese and finally the British. Hospitality is also one of the prominent characteristics of the culture, making Sri Lankans one of the friendly nations in the world.
Anuradhapura Ancient City
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient cities in Sri Lanka, well known for its ruins depicting early Sri Lankan civilization. It is very famous among Buddhists pilgrims. Anuradhapura was earlier the capital of the Island (in ancient times) and most of the Kings who ruled Sri Lanka resided in this vast city. The city is now named as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Sigiriya Ancient City
Sigiriya also known as the Lion’s Rock is a rock fortress and a palace located in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. This ruin is surrounded by gardens, ponds and other structures. Sigiriya was built by King Kassapa and it is included as a World Heritage site. Sigiriya is the best preserved city centre in Asia.
Kandy Ancient City
Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka and lies in the midst of hills. It is the Capital of the Central Province. It is both an administrative ad religious city. Kandy is the second largest city in the country and is frequently visited by Buddhists especially of the Theravada School. Kandy is very famous among tourist for three main reasons: It is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ; Dalada Maligawa ), The Botanical Gardens ( Located in Peradeniya) and it always has a special place when it comes to festivities such as the Esala Perahara.
Yapahuwa Ancient City
Galle is a jewel. A Unesco World Heritage Site, this historic city is a delight to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Wandering its rambling lanes you’ll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.
Polonnaruwa Ancient City
Polonnaruwa is the Island’s 2nd largest kingdom. Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers. Its beauty and serenity was captured in the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Lankathilaka temple and a colossal statue of the Buddha made from stone is located here.
Dambulla Ancient City
One of the major places for buddhist pilgrimages and tourist attractions. Situated in the Matale District. It is home to the largest cave complex in the entire island. It also has the largest rose quartz in the entire South-east Asia. However the caves take precedence when it comes to attractions in Dambulla, the rock is more than 160m high. The cave temple contains a lot of statues and painting depicting buddhism in a very fundamental level that can make an individual speechless by the mere sight of it. There is a total of 153 buddha statues. The murals themselve’s cover a very vast area on the insides of the cave and are very well preserved for an ancient site. The UNESCO named the cave a World Heritage Site.