Sri Lanka is a country of diversity and studying its culture will be as exciting as admiring the wealth of its natural landscapes. It can take you many visits to discover all relevant landmarks, but the following five are what you should definitely start with.
- National Museum, Colombo
An interview with the president of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Sanath Ukwatte highlights the importance of Colombo’s diversity for the development of the country. And there’s no better place to see this diversity in action than the National Museum.
The many exhibitions within its ancient walls show off different parts of Sri Lanka’s history and give you a glimpse of the many cultures that were mixed into the creation of the nation as it is today. This visit is a great place to start your journey of discovering the culture of Sri Lanka because it can help you choose the direction for where you want to go next.
- Sacred City of Kandy
The true discovery of Sri Lanka starts in Kandy, says Fathima, who works for T2 Travels Sri Lanka. She explains how this is not only one of the most beautiful places in the country but also a UNESCO Heritage Site with most interesting history.
The Temple of the Tooth is a must-see place for any visitor interested in the local culture. That temple is the reason that the place became a World Heritage Site, it also has an i9mportant political meaning for the country today. The temple’s strange name comes from the fact that it holds a sacred relic, an actual tooth of Buddha. It’s an artifact of great importance for the entirety of Buddhists, which means that the country housing it has a lot of political power.
- Old Town Galle
Old Town Galle is a place where you can learn about more recent Sri Lankan history. It dates back to the 16th century and it was an important site during the reign of the Dutch East India Company.
Today you can admire the fort and try to imagine how it looked like a few hundred years ago. This place is both beautiful and functional, also, it provides you a look at a different side of Sri Lanka. This one is very distant from temples and reverence for the culture of local communities. Instead, it shows parts of the Western world that were largely forced on the local populations.
- Kandy Lake Cultural Show
The best way to learn about culture is from the people, so Stephanie Holmes, a Deputy Travel Director for NZ Herald, recommends visiting the Kandy Lake Show. There, you can see the local culture coming alive through various performances.
The event takes place in the evenings inside an old theater building. This is a show for the tourists, but this doesn’t reduce its beauty or value to the person who wants to learn a bit more about the culture of Sri Lanka. The beautiful native costumes as well as dances and music of the land will captivate anyone.
- Royal Cave Temple at Dambulla
To get some idea of just how old the culture of Sri Lanka is, you must visit the Royal Cave Temple located at Dambulla. This place is not merely an interesting temple or a well-preserved cave complex. It’s both of those and people have been using it as a place of worship all the way back to the 1st century B.C.
The caves are now full of statues and paintings. The place is stunning, even if you don’t think about the fact that people have been using it actively for over two thousand years. And now, you can touch the same things they did.
Sri Lanka is a country of endless discovery. If you come here, be sure to take your time studying every corner as there’s always something exciting to see.