Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. Timeless ruins, endless beaches, rolling surf, stirring mountains, verdant tea plantations, oodles of elephants, soulful Buddhist monasteries, fun trains, and welcoming people, make Sri Lanka irresistible. The country has no shortage of beautiful spots of natural, historic, cultural importance, each more picture-perfect than the next. Vacationing in this rich cultural island located amidst lush greenery is truly refreshing.
The National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum, uses multiple types of media to display the rich cultural and natural heritage of the country. The National Museum of Natural History in Colombo exhibits the country's incredible natural history. Several plants, fish, amphibians, insects and animals that are exclusively endemic to the country are displayed here. In addition to them, you'll also see skeletons and fossils of ancient and extinct species. Some other important museums are National Museum of Kandy, Colombo Dutch Museum, International Buddhist Museum, and Colombo Cricket Museum.
Udawalawe National Park is a large wildpark situated in the southern part of the country. It is one of the best places in the world to see elephants in their natural habitat. You can also spot leopards, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, deer, monkeys and more. The park is also ideal for bird-watching.Dehiwala Zoological Garden near Colombo is one of the oldest zoos in Asia. It boasts nearly 3,000 different animals. As the zoo is involved in animal exchange programs, you can see exotic varieties of mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles, and marine invertebrates. The Pinnawala Zoo is also a great place to visit to see some diverse species of animals and birds.
Hikkaduwa Beach, located near Colombo, is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It offers a plethora of water-sports, including, bodysurfing, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. In fact, it's considered as one of the country's best surfing areas. Located just off the shoreline, the Hikkaduwa National Park houses the amazing Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary. Another beach famous for its surf breaks is the Arugam Bay. At the east coast, Public Beach, Uppuveli Beach, and Nilaveli Beach are the famous beaches in Trincomalee. Other popular beaches are Unawatuna Beach, Mirissa Beach, Kalkudah Beach, Negombo Beach, Tangalle Beach, and Bentota Beach, among others.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a holy Buddhist shrine in Kandy. Housing the legendary Buddha tooth, this World Heritage Site is one of the most important shrines of Sri Lanka. Gangaramaya Temple, located in Colombo, is a beautiful Buddhist temple complex. You can view the temple's most sacred relic, a lock of Buddha's hair and a sacred tree around which the complex was built. Red Mosque, formally known as the Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid, makes quite a statement with its bright red and white stone minarets topped with onion-shaped domes. Its Indo-Saracenic style architecture makes it one of a kind.Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla, also known as Dambulla Cave Temple, is made with a massive granite outcrop. It houses beautiful paintings which show the majestic manifestation of the first sermon of Buddha. The Golden Temple Buddhist museum is worth exploring as well. Lying by the Beira Lake, Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo is a beautiful piece of art. Some other beautiful places of worship in Sri Lanka are Mahamevnawa Monastery, Bahiravokanda Temple, St. Anthony's Church, Galmaduwa Temple, Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Vihara, and Lankatilaka Temple.