History & Culture

Exquisitely carved stone friezes, serene statues of Lord Buddha, dazzlingly decorated temples built into rocky overhangs and feats of irrigation that amaze the world even today are just some of the treasures left by a proud civilization stretching back more than two thousand years. Times of war, events of religious significance and invasions by foreign elements colour the odyssey of the history of Sri Lanka. The island of serendipity is studded with places of historical importance that speaks of a time when kings and knights fought and made peace and excelled in activities that brought fame to their motherland, in short testifies a time where "children of the lion" reigned supreme. The remains of Sri Lanka's ancient and medieval civilization - palaces, monasteries, shrines, water gardens and temples - bear witness to thriving kingdoms and to the influence of Buddhism. These remains from the past are so outstanding that five areas have the distinction of being designated World heritage sites by UNESCO. Fortunately for the visitor, four of these are conveniently located in the same region, dubbed the Cultural Triangle.

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