See baby elephants wondering around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers at Pinnawala, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors and are harmless.
Started in 1972 the Elephant Orphanage was relocated to at the present site in 1975 Bathing time at Ma Oya just in front of the orphanage is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about and hour earlier.
DAMBULLA ROCK CAVE TEMPLE
The 1st century BC Caved Rock Temple in Dambulla contains the most outstanding collection of Buddha’s images in Sri Lanka. The walls are covered in paintings of images of Buddha during his different reincarnations as well as depicting some historic episodes. The Golden Mountain Temple was a monastic settlement as early as the 2nd century BC which is now among the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. The rock rises over 400 ft. above its surroundings and consists of 5 cave temples spread out of about 50 acres. There you could see one of the richest collections of 154 Sri Lankan sculptures in the form of a large number of Buddha images in standing, seated & recumbent postures as well as a few outstanding figures of gods. Well preserved massive wall and idling paintings covering 22,000 sq. ft. has made this temple complex more important to the world.
Anu-radha-pura Kingdom lasted one thousand and five hundred years from 380BC. This city is home to many of the earliest grandest monuments of Sri Lanka. A popular destination of Sinhalese Buddhist's prilgimages because of its many ancient Buddhist monuments.
Anuradhapura was made royal capital by the king Pandukabhaya in 380 BC. It remained residence and royal capital for 119 successive Singhalese kings till the year 1000 AD when it was abandoned and the capital moved to Polonnaruwa. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagoba of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bo-tree. This tree was grown from a sapling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago the Buddha found enlightenment.
Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo, 140kms northeast of Kandy and 104kms southeast of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka's medieval capital (11th - 12th Century AD) is a well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King's Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa's great kings, Parakramabahu, are a few of this capital's memorable sights. The Sea of Parakrama - a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city. Although it is nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura, and in much better repair. The monuments here are located in a more compact area, and their development is easier to follow.
Sigiriya or Simhagiri is an ancient rock fortress located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
Mihintale regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps, 5m wide, leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
Mihintale is a rocky hill 11 kilometers east of Anuradhapura. It was here that in the year 247 B.C. King Devanampiyatissa became converted to Buddhism in his encounter with Mahinda. Mihintale, called the "Mountain of Mahinda" soon became a great monastic city composed of 4 rocky forested hills. Today, an aura of seclusion still lingers here, despite a thriving bazaar at the foot of the hills and the thousands of pilgrims who flock there. Every person who wishes to reach the dagoba at the summit of this sacred mountain must climb 1,840 steps to do so.