Nestled in the heart of Colombo, the Arcade Independence Square beckons as a captivating blend of history and modern indulgence. This popular shopping complex, situated in proximity to the iconic Independence Square, offers a unique experience for visitors.

The Arcade Independence Square, a testament to architectural fusion, occupies meticulously renovated buildings, including the former Auditor General’s Office and the Western Provincial Council Building. This seamless integration of historical charm with contemporary amenities creates an unparalleled atmosphere.


Step into a world of diverse offerings at the Arcade:

Shopping Extravaganza
Indulge in retail therapy with an array of options ranging from international brands to local boutiques. The shopping experience here caters to every taste and style.


Culinary Delights:
Savor the flavors of Sri Lanka and beyond at the numerous restaurants, cafes, and food court stalls. From local delicacies to global cuisines, the Arcade is a gastronomic haven.


Entertainment Hub:
Immerse yourself in cinematic magic at Sri Lanka’s first boutique cinema, “The Empire Cineplex.” Whether it’s catching a movie or people-watching, entertainment knows no bounds

Enhancing the allure of the Arcade is its scenic locale next to Independence Square. This green oasis, adorned with a grand fountain and historic monuments, provides a tranquil retreat for visitors seeking relaxation amid urban vibrancy


Independence Square, a stone’s throw away, stands as a symbol of Sri Lanka’s journey to freedom from British rule in 1948. This historic landmark encompasses the grand Independence Memorial Hall, a statue paying tribute to Sri Lanka’s inaugural Prime Minister, D.S. Senanayake, and a captivating exhibition chronicling the nation’s history.

For those with a penchant for leisure, Independence Square offers a serene setting for strolls, picnics, and cultural appreciation. Whether reveling in the shopping fervor, delving into Sri Lanka’s past, or unwinding in picturesque surroundings, the Arcade Independence Square and Independence Square collectively offer an enriching experience for every visitor exploring Colombo’s diverse tapestry.




(Cover Image Credit: Ally Lertchanta from Facebook)

In the heart of Sri Lanka, nestled within the ancient city of Anuradhapura, lies a constellation of eight sacred sites known as the Atamasthana. These revered locations, each bearing the weight of history and faith, are more than just architectural marvels; they are a testament to the enduring legacy of Buddhism and its profound influence on the island nation. To delve into the Atamasthana is to embark on a journey through time, uncovering stories of devotion, architectural brilliance, and the unwavering spirit of a civilization deeply rooted in spiritual pursuit.

A Glimpse into the Eight Sacred Places:

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya:

Towering over the sacred city, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya is not just a tree but a living symbol of enlightenment. Grown from a branch of the very Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained his awakening, it stands as a beacon of hope, attracting pilgrims from across the globe for centuries.


This majestic dagoba, boasting a white hemispherical dome, is the largest stupa in Sri Lanka and a testament to King Dutugemunu’s devotion. Its intricate carvings and serene atmosphere evoke a sense of awe and inspire reflection.



The oldest dagoba in Sri Lanka, Thuparamaya holds a relic of the Buddha’s collarbone. Its simple yet elegant design marks the beginning of stupa architecture on the island and carries within its walls a whisper of the past.



This once-grand monastic complex, boasting nine floors and housing 1,000 monks, was a center of learning and meditation. Today, only ruins remain, yet they paint a vivid picture of the vibrant monastic life that once thrived here.


Abhayagiri Dagaba:

Rising amidst the ruins of a vast monastery, this imposing dagoba served as a rival to Ruwanwelisaya. Its unique square base and intricate carvings offer a glimpse into the architectural prowess of its era.



The largest monastery complex in the ancient world, Jetavanarama housed over 3,000 monks. Its colossal stupa, though partially ruined, still commands respect and evokes awe with its sheer size and historical significance.


Mirisaveti Stupa:

This serene stupa, set amidst lush greenery, was built by King Mahasena and holds special significance for local deities. Its tranquil atmosphere offers a respite from the bustle of the city and invites contemplation.



The largest monastery complex in Anuradhapura after Jetavanarama, Lankarama boasts a unique apsidal-shaped stupa and was a center of Theravada Buddhist learning. Its ruins stand as a reminder of the rich intellectual heritage nurtured within its walls.


Beyond the Walls: A Legacy of Faith and Cultural Exchange:

The Atamasthana are not mere archaeological sites; they are living testaments to the profound impact of Buddhism on Sri Lankan culture. The rituals and traditions practiced here have been passed down through generations, weaving a tapestry of faith and devotion that continues to shape the island nation’s identity.

Moreover, the Atamasthana played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s cultural exchange with other Buddhist nations. Monks from India, China, and Southeast Asia traveled to Anuradhapura, exchanging knowledge and practices that enriched the island’s Buddhist heritage. This cultural exchange left an indelible mark on the architecture, art, and literature of Sri Lanka, leaving behind a legacy that continues to resonate today.


A Call to Exploration: Embarking on Your Own Pilgrimage:

Visiting the Atamasthana is not just a sightseeing tour; it is an invitation to immerse yourself in a world steeped in history, culture, and spirituality. As you walk through these sacred sites, imagine the chants of monks echoing through the halls, the vibrant festivals held around stupas, and the whispers of pilgrims seeking solace and enlightenment.

Each site within the Atamasthana offers a unique experience. At Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, find peace under the ancient Bodhi tree. Marvel at the architectural grandeur of Ruwanwelisaya and Thuparamaya. Feel the weight of history at Lovamahapaya and Abhayagiri Dagaba. Imagine the bustling monastic life at Jetavanarama and Lankarama. And find serenity amidst the greenery surrounding Mirisaveti Stupa.

Embark on your pilgrimage, let the Atamasthana narrate their tales, and allow the echoes of ancient devotion to resonate in your soul.




(Cover Image Credit: Chathura Anuradha Photography from IG)

The Baobab tree, a living testament to a botanical odyssey across continents, graces the landscape of Mannar in Sri Lanka. Known by various names like biobab, boab, boaboa, bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree, these ancient giants weave a majestic tale of nature, mystery, and cultural significance.

Believed to have been introduced to Sri Lanka by Arabian traders, the Baobabs have stood resilient against the currents of time. A 2003 study identified around 40 Baobab Trees in Sri Lanka, with Mannar hosting 34 of these ancient beings. Among them, the Pallimunei Baobab reigns supreme, estimated to be around 800 years old. This magnificent giant boasts a circumference of 19.5 meters and a height of 7.5 meters.

In Sri Lanka, the Baobab is affectionately called Ali-Gaha, translating to Elephant Tree, owing to its bark resembling an elephant’s skin. Tamils, on the other hand, refer to it as ‘Perukka.’ Despite being an introduced species, these trees are safeguarded for their rarity and historical value. The Baobabs were not confined to Mannar alone, as historical accounts note their presence in Jaffna and Puttlam.

English travelers, captivated by these colossal trees, marveled at their mysterious importation from Africa. Sir James Emerson Tennent, in “Ceylon – An Account Of The Island” (1860), speculated that early mariners, possibly predating the Portuguese, could have introduced these colossal trees. The unique shape of the baobab, resembling a bulb rather than a typical stem, added to the intrigue.

Henry W. Cave, in “The Book of Ceylon” (1908), acknowledged Mannar’s commercial decline but highlighted its fame for the peculiar baobab trees. The landscape, dominated by these monstrous trees, added an unusual charm to an otherwise barren terrain.

Despite the ambiguity surrounding their introduction, Baobab trees are now protected in Sri Lanka, standing as silent witnesses to centuries gone by. The peculiar charm of these shapeless, massive stems continues to capture the imagination of those who venture to Mannar. As a testament to their enduring mystique, these trees serve as living conduits to an age when mariners traversed oceans, carrying with them botanical wonders from distant lands.

For travelers seeking a rendezvous with these botanical giants, Mannar offers a unique opportunity. Explore the Baobab Grove, particularly the iconic Pallimunei Baobab, and immerse yourself in the enigmatic aura of these ancient sentinels. As you stand beneath their massive branches, feel the whispers of time and the secrets of a landscape where these majestic trees have become synonymous with Mannar’s identity.

In conclusion, Mannar’s Baobab trees beckon adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike, inviting them to partake in a journey that transcends continents and epochs. As guardians of history and natural wonders, these Baobabs stand tall, their gnarled trunks and sprawling branches weaving stories that continue to echo through the ages.




(Cover Image Credit: Channa Jayasinghe from FB)


Located on Mannar Island along the picturesque northwestern coast of Sri Lanka, Mannar Fort proudly stands as a testament to the nation’s rich historical tapestry. Its origins trace back to the Portuguese colonial period, rendering it an intriguing destination for both history enthusiasts and curious travelers.


A Glimpse into History:

Originally constructed in 1560 by the Portuguese, Mannar Fort became a pivotal stronghold during the colonial era. Over time, it changed hands and was subsequently ruled by the Dutch in 1658 before eventually falling under British control during the 18th century. The fort’s captivating architecture beautifully combines European and South Asian influences, yet bears the marks of battles fought and shifting colonial powers.


Reasons to Explore Mannar Fort:

Mannar Fort allures visitors with its captivating history and architectural splendor. As one traverses its time-worn walls and crumbling ramparts, they are transported to a fascinating era when mighty empires clashed on these very shores. Panoramic vistas from the fort offer enchanting views of the surrounding landscape, including the Gulf of Mannar and the vibrant fishing communities adorning the coastline.


Cultural and Archaeological Significance:

Beyond its military significance, the Fort holds immense cultural and archaeological importance. The premises are adorned with remnants of ancient churches, exemplifying the region’s religious diversity. Moreover, the fort is home to baobab trees, believed to have been brought from Africa by Arab traders centuries ago, adding a unique touch to its historical ambiance.


Reaching Mannar Fort:

The place can be conveniently accessed by road from the mainland, offering a picturesque journey through the scenic landscapes of Sri Lanka’s northern region. The island’s expanding infrastructure ensures a smoother and more enjoyable drive for those eager to explore this historical gem.


Insider Tips for Tourists:

To maximize your experience at Mannar Fort, consider the following tips:

  • Visit during the cooler months to fully relish the exploration of the fort’s outdoor spaces.
  • Engage with knowledgeable local guides who can bring the rich history of the Fort to life through captivating stories and insights.
  • Combine your fort visit with an exploration of nearby attractions, such as the ancient Baobab Tree and the illustrious Thiruketheeswaram Kovil.


Preserving Mannar Fort’s Heritage:

While the Fort has weathered the test of time, concerted preservation efforts are underway to safeguard its historical legacy. Visitors play an integral role in ensuring the sustainable conservation of this significant cultural heritage site.


In Conclusion:

Mannar Fort beckons travelers to immerse themselves in a world where history unfolds within weathered stones and whispers through the sea breeze. It represents more than just a fort; it embodies the living testament to the cultural confluence and historical epochs that have molded the identity of Mannar Island. Embarking on a journey to this Fort is an immersive experience that allows the echoes of the past to resonate with the present, inviting all who wander its corridors to become a part of its enduring narrative. So, discover the captivating tales and timeless beauty of Mannar Fort and uncover the enchantment that lies within this remarkable Sri Lankan destination.




(Cover Image Credit: Pradeep Gamage )

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of Ella, Sri Lanka, lies a hidden gem that holds great significance for those embarking on a Ramayana tour. Ravana Cave, steeped in myth and legend, offers an enchanting experience for seekers of the Ramayana narrative. This natural wonder carries the legacy of one of the epic’s most prominent characters, Ravana, making it an essential stop on any Ramayana-themed journey.


Exploring Ravana Cave:

Ravana Cave, also known as the Ravana Ella Cave or Ravana’s Cave, is an extensive network of interconnected caves located near the Ravana Ella Falls. As per the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, it is believed to be the place where Ravana, the 10-headed demon king, held Sita captive.


The Significance for Ramayana Tour Seekers:

For those undertaking a Ramayana tour, Ravana Cave offers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the epic. As visitors traverse the intriguing labyrinth of caves, they can vividly imagine the events that unfolded during Sita’s captivity.

The cave’s historical and cultural value extends beyond the Ramayana itself. Archaeological findings have revealed remnants of ancient inscriptions and carvings, providing glimpses into the lives of the people who once inhabited this mystical abode.


The Experience:

Stepping foot into Ravana Cave transports visitors to a different era, offering a sense of connection with the legendary characters of the Ramayana. The serene ambiance, complemented by the cave’s awe-inspiring rock formations, sets the stage for an unforgettable journey through time.



Ravana Cave stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Ramayana in Sri Lanka. It serves as a valuable pilgrimage site for Ramayana tour seekers, enabling them to retrace the footsteps of the epic’s protagonists and relive the extraordinary tales of valor, devotion, and love. By immersing themselves in the rich heritage of Ravana Cave, visitors gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical significance of the Ramayana, solidifying their connection to this timeless epic.

(Ravana Cave Image Credit: Shalika Malintha from facebook)

Located in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka, the Divurumpola Temple is a special destination for those on the Ramayana tour. This ancient temple is surrounded by peaceful surroundings and carries a deep historical and cultural significance that connects with the epic story of Ramayana. As travelers and devotees explore the fascinating sites linked to this legendary Hindu tale, the Divurumpola Temple stands out as a sacred place that offers a meaningful connection to the story of Lord Rama.


Historical Importance:

According to the Ramayana, the Divurumpola Temple is believed to be the spot where Sita, Lord Rama’s beloved wife, underwent a “trial by fire” called the Agni Pariksha. This trial was meant to prove her innocence and loyalty after being held captive by the demon king Ravana. The temple is said to be where Sita emerged unharmed, demonstrating her purity and devotion to Lord Rama.


Sacred Rituals and Offerings:

Visitors to the Divurumpola Temple can take part in various sacred rituals. One such ritual involves tying colorful pieces of cloth to a tree, symbolizing prayers for blessings, protection, and the fulfillment of wishes. People also offer flowers, fruits, and incense at the shrine dedicated to Sita, seeking her divine blessings for happiness, prosperity, and a happy married life.


Beautiful Architecture:

Aside from its religious significance, the Divurumpola Temple showcases stunning architectural features that captivate visitors. The temple is adorned with detailed carvings, colorful paintings, and elaborate statues depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The peaceful atmosphere of the temple complex provides a serene setting for contemplation and reflection.


Spiritual Journey:

For those on the Ramayana tour, the Divurumpola Temple offers a profound experience, enabling them to connect deeply with the events and characters of this ancient epic. Exploring the temple and taking part in its rituals offer a spiritual journey, allowing visitors to contemplate themes of devotion, loyalty, and the triumph of good over evil.



As one of the important sites associated with the Ramayana, the Divurumpola Temple in Sri Lanka holds great value for Ramayana tour explorers. Its historical importance, sacred rituals, beautiful architecture, and peaceful atmosphere make it a must-visit place. By visiting this sacred site, devotees and travelers can gain a deeper understanding of the timeless story of Lord Rama, Sita, and their enduring love, leaving them with a meaningful and unforgettable experience.

(Cover Image Credit goes to the original owner)

Ambekka Devalaya is a historic temple located in Sri Lanka, known for its intricate woodwork and religious significance. Situated in the village of Ambekka, near Kandy, this temple holds a special place in the country’s cultural and architectural heritage.

Built during the 14th century, Ambekka Devalaya is dedicated to the worship of Hindu deities, primarily God Skanda (Murugan) and the local deity Kataragama. The temple complex consists of several structures, including a main shrine, a drummers’ hall, and a dancing hall. What sets Ambekka Devalaya apart is its stunning wood carvings, which adorn the entire complex.

The woodwork at Ambekka Devalaya is considered a masterpiece of craftsmanship and artistry. The intricate carvings depict various themes from ancient legends, religious stories, and daily life. Visitors can marvel at the detailed carvings of dancers, musicians, animals, and mythical creatures, all meticulously carved out of solid wood.

The Kandyan architectural style is evident in the construction of the temple, with its intricately designed roof and pillars. The roof is adorned with decorative wooden beams known as “madol kurupuwa,” which are carved to resemble various motifs such as swans, lions, and mythical creatures.

Every year, the temple attracts numerous devotees and tourists who come to admire its architectural beauty and seek blessings. The temple also serves as a venue for traditional cultural events and religious ceremonies, further preserving Sri Lanka’s rich heritage.

In recent years, conservation efforts have been undertaken to preserve the delicate woodwork of Ambekka Devalaya. The temple has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting its historical and cultural significance.

Visiting Ambekka Devalaya provides a unique opportunity to witness the rich artistic traditions of Sri Lanka and immerse oneself in the spirituality of the temple. The wood carvings serve as a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Sri Lankan artisans, leaving visitors in awe of their talent and dedication.




(Cover Image Credit: Neranjan Amarasinghe from FB)

Lankathilaka Vihara, located in Hiyarapitiya, Kandy, Sri Lanka, is a historical temple that attracts tourists from all around the world. The temple was built during the Gampola period, which lasted from 1341 to 1408, and it stands as a testimony to the architectural ingenuity of the ancient Sri Lankan craftsmen.

The temple was constructed by King Buwanekabahu IV and is renowned for its unique architectural style, which blends the South Indian Dravidian style and the Sinhalese architectural style. The temple is believed to have been built on a giant rock, which was said to have been the foundation of the entire temple.

The main shrine of Lankathilaka Vihara is believed to have housed a statue of Buddha, but it has been destroyed over time. Nevertheless, the temple still houses many other Buddha statues, which are of great religious significance to the local people. In addition, the temple also has several stone inscriptions that provide valuable insights into the history of Sri Lanka.

One of the most notable features of the temple is its massive size, with the temple’s central tower standing at a towering height of 80 feet. The tower is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures that depict various aspects of the Buddhist religion. The temple’s walls are also adorned with beautiful paintings, which are believed to date back to the Kandyan period.

The Lankathilaka Vihara is a testament to the ancient Sri Lankan civilization’s remarkable architectural and artistic achievements. The temple’s unique style and grandeur make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Sri Lankan culture and history. Visitors to the temple can experience the spiritual essence of the Buddhist religion, and the temple’s serene atmosphere provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

In conclusion, Lankathilaka Vihara is a stunning temple that is sure to captivate anyone who visits it. Its unique architectural style, intricate carvings, and beautiful paintings provide valuable insights into the ancient Sri Lankan civilization’s artistic and cultural achievements. For anyone interested in history, art, and religion, a visit to Lankathilaka Vihara is an experience not to be missed.



(Cover Image Credit: Nayana De Silva)

The Avukana Buddha Statue is one of the most magnificent examples of ancient Sri Lankan sculpture. Carved out of a single granite rock face, this 13-meter-tall statue of the Buddha stands tall in the middle of a peaceful, serene forest in the north-central region of Sri Lanka.

The Avukana Buddha Statue is considered a masterpiece of Sinhalese art and is believed to have been carved during the reign of King Dhatusena (455-473 AD), one of the most prominent kings in Sri Lankan history. The statue is located in the Avukana village, close to the historic city of Anuradhapura, which was once the political and religious capital of the country.

The Avukana Buddha Statue is known for its unique features that distinguish it from other Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. It is said that the sculptor who created the statue was a master craftsman who had a deep understanding of Buddhist philosophy and iconography. The statue is characterized by its well-defined, symmetrical features, such as the perfectly shaped nose, the gentle smile, and the elongated earlobes, which symbolize wisdom.

The Avukana Buddha Statue is also notable for its posture. Unlike other Buddha statues in Sri Lanka, the Avukana Buddha Statue is depicted as standing upright, with both arms resting at the sides of the body. This posture is known as the Samadhi Buddha, and it represents the Buddha in a state of deep meditation.

The Avukana Buddha Statue has survived for over a thousand years, despite being exposed to the elements and other natural forces. Its preservation is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient sculptors who created it. The statue is now a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, and many visitors from around the world come to marvel at its beauty and learn about its rich history.

In conclusion, the Avukana Buddha Statue is a unique and magnificent example of ancient Sri Lankan sculpture. Its well-defined features, unique posture, and deep historical significance make it a true masterpiece of Sinhalese art. As a symbol of Buddhist philosophy and iconography, the Avukana Buddha Statue continues to inspire visitors from around the world with its beauty and grace.



(Cover Image Credit: N.A. Wimalasena from Facebook)

Start Fort, or someone called “Tharaka Kotuwa,” is an ancient building in Matara, Sri Lanka. It was built by the Dutch as a defense building during the period of 1763–1765. The start fort is located 350 meters east of the Matara fort on the Nilvala River. The Dutch called this fort “Redoute van Eck” back then.

The Dutch captured Sri Lanka from the Portuguese in 1638. They captured the Matara fort from the Portuguese and reconstructed it in 1640. However, it was vulnerable to attackers coming from the land. The Matara Rebellions and the Kandyan Kingdom army attacked and captured the Matara Dutch Fort in 1762. Anyhow, the Dutch re-captured the fort in 1763. They identified the vulnerable situation of the fort and then decided to increase its strength. As a result, they planned to build the Star Fort.

The name “Star Fort” comes from its unique shape. It has a six-pointed star with enough space for 12 large cannons to cover all directions. The rampart walls have been constructed with granite rocks and corals. The width of the rampart wall is 14 feet. It also has got enough space to hold a small garrison, food supplies, and ammunition.

Further, it has two prison cells and a well in the center with a 2.75-meter diameter. The roof of the building was completed with cadjam leaves in the early days and then replaced with clay tiles. There is a deep moat around the Star Fort, which also provides additional protection.

Even today, you can see the VOC emblem and the year of the construction near the main gate. The Dutch were made to live in this fort for their protection, but they never had a chance to prove that. They handed over the Star Fort to the British in 1796.

The site is still open to visitors and is under the control of the Sri Lankan government. You can walk around the star fort and experience the Dutch culture in Sri Lanka. It is a nice place to visit around the Matara area of Sri Lanka.




(Star Fort Image Credit: Viraj De Alwis from Facebook)