Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery that is situated in the Kirinda area of southern Sri Lanka. It is a historically important place in Sri Lankan history. There are numerous ancient ruins and historical evidence that have helped to establish the surrounding areas of this monastery. Sithulpawwa is a place that belongs to Block 1 of the Yala National Park. Therefore, anybody can visit this place during their tour to the Yala Nationa Park.

 

Location

Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya is located 294km away from the capital, Colombo. The distance from Galle city is 165km and from Ella tourist city is 103km. You can reach this place by travelling 18km along the Yodakandiya-Tissmaharama route from the Kataragama Pilgrimage City. The notice boards will easily direct you to the place. You will also see many wild animals along the route because it belongs to the Yala National Park. There is a nice park available to stop your vehicle.

 

History of the Sithulpawwa Temple

It is believed this monastery was built in the 2nd century BC by King Kavanthissa. At that time, this was named “Chiththala Pabbatha”, which means “The Hill of the Quiet Mind.” This history says that this was a place for Buddhist education for the Buddhist monks. It was also available for worship by the devotees. Today, many ancient cave temples, paintings, inscriptions, Buddha Stratues, and other Stratues can be found in the surrounding area.Most of the paintings have been destroyed, and those historians believe that those paintings belong to the Anuradhapura Kingdom era.

 

Other facts about Sithulpawwa

On the public holidays, Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya is a busy place. Therefore, it’s better if you can go there on a weekday. The large stupa on the large rock can be found from a long distance. The view from that rock is absolutely beautiful, and it is fantastic to take some beautiful photos. This is a nice place to visit if you are a person who loves to explore Sri Lankan culture and history.

.

.

(Sithulpawwa Temple Background Image source: VISIT 2 SRI LANKA from Twitter

 

Lipton’s Seat is a popular high observation point in Sri Lanka among local and foreign travelers. It is situated at the top of the Poonagala Hills at an elevation of 1970m. This is also a viewpoint from which you can observe five major provinces in Sri Lanka. The route to Lipton’s seat is absolutely beautiful with greenish tea estates. We can suggest that it is another must-visit place near the Ella tourism city.

 

Location

Lipton’s seat is situated in the Badulla district of Uva Province. Haputale and Poonagala are the closest town to the area. Distance to here from Haputale is 16km and from Ella is 27km. There are two major routes to reach the place.

  • Bandarawela, Poonagala and through Nayabedda Estate
  • Hapuatale and through dambethenna tea estate

 

Those two routes are very scenic with lush and greenish tea plantations. It’s no matter whether you select one from them,

If you are starting from Ella, then the Poonagala – Nayabedda route is ideal for you. The surround is amazing to watch. Tuk Tuk is the most suitable vehicle for this route and it takes around 1 ½ hours to reach there. If you come from Colombo or from the Upcountry railway, then the Haputale-Dambethenna route should be your selection. The public transport busses are available on that route. But Tuk Tuk or a scooter are the most ideal vehicle for too this route. It also takes one hour to reach the destination.

However, you should buy a ticket to enter the Lipton’s seat. After the entrance, you have to walk around 1.5km to reach the actual viewpoint.

 

Amazing View

As we mentioned earlier, you can observe five major provinces in Sri Lanka from here. Those five provinces are; Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Eastern, Southern and Central. As well as you can clearly identify some of the key places. In a clear day you can identify Chandrika Lake, Udawlawa Lake, Handapanagala Lake, Hambanthota Harbour, Wedasitikanda Mountain, Devinuwara Lighthouse, South Coast and Tricomalee Lighthouse.

Early morning is the best time to visit Lipton’s Seat. On that time you can observe the beauty of the sunrise from the distance. It is actually a fantastic picture and you don’t forget to capture it with your camera. Sometimes, the mist will cover the place and it will destroy your stunning view. In such a time, you can see the clouds under you. If you are lucky person then you will see clear picture of the surrounding. If not you will be unhappy with the mist.

 

History

Lipton’s Seat and the surrounded Dambethenna tea estate was established by the Scottish tea planter Sir Thomas Lipton around 1890s. He was also contributed in development of the tea industry in Sri Lanka. He managed all the surrounded tea estates and lived on there. After his duties, he came to this view point and sited on their leisurely by observing the scenic view. Sir Thomas Lipton also started the Dambethenna Tea Factory for the manufacturing of tea. On those time this was the estate produced the best Black Tea in the country.

 

Other Facts about Lipton’s Seat

  • Catherine Seat is another nice view point near the Lipton’s seat. It is few kilometers away and which is situated in the Nayabedda estate. This view point also generate a scenic picture and you can clearly identify the places like Bandarawela, Diyathalawa, Uva Valley and Namunukula Range.
  • Lemathota Waterfall is a nice waterfall that you will meet it in the Dambethenna estate. But it is not popular among most of the travelers. However, it is another nice place to wait for few minutes.
  • Lipton’s seat is a place with cool climate. You should be ready for that before go there. As well as you can expect sudden changing weather.
  • There is a nice statue of the Sir Thomas Lipton near the viewpoint. You can sit neat it and enjoy the beauty of the atmosphere.
  • The place is open from 6am to 5pm. Anyhow, Morning is the ideal time to go there.
  • You can visit Dambethenna Tea Factory and further can analyze the tea manufacturing procedure.

 

(Cover Image Source & Credit: Lanka Classy Tours Twitter

Introduction to the Temple of the Tooth Relic

When you think of visiting a rich culture, Sri Lanka always pops into your head. A lot of tourists visit Sri Lanka because of its rich culture and history. This tiny island has so much history, with tales of kings, kingdoms, and temples. One of the most admired places in the whole world is the Temple of the Tooth Relic. In Sinhalese, it is called “Sri Dalanda Maligawa.” It has significant connections to the history of our country.

When you visit Sri Lanka, Put this on top of your must-see list because it is indeed a must-see. Our excellent guides will take you through the temple complex to give you a clear idea of the historical value of the place. Come ready to receive an experience of a lifetime with us in this beautiful place. You will be given a guide who is thorough with local knowledge. If you require language specific guides, they can be provided as well.

The history and architecture of the temple

The importance of this temple is that it accommodates the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. The temple is situated in Kandy, where the royal palace was, during the reign of the Kandyan Kingdom. The tooth relic was preserved and protected in India and was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha.

The entrance of the temple has one of the main architectural symbols in the Kandyan Kingdom. It is called a Sandakada Pahana (Moonstone). It has the shape of a half-circle with many carvings that symbolize prosperity, peace, culture, and other religious figures. This is placed at the entrance below the staircase. The main gate is called ‘Mahawahalkada’ and it was once completely destroyed. But afterwards, it was renovated, along with its symbols and figures, that are similar to the original.

The Tooth Relic

The Tooth Relic is safely kept in a chamber called ‘Handun Kunama.” It is protected by seven caskets which are engraved with precious stones and gems. One of these caskets is used in the pageant, which happens once a year. These caskets have the shape of a‘stupa.’

Why is this temple important?!

Sri Lanka was originally a Buddhist country. Hence, the Temple of the Tooth Relic is utterly treasured and protected by the community. First of all, it is situated in one of the main cities in Sri Lanka. It was built in the times of the Kandyan Kingdom, and to this date, the temple has not lost its importance. It houses the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. Devotees from all over the island come to worship at this temple because they believe it to be a sacred and holy place.

Pay a visit to one of the important religious spots in the country

Come and enjoy a matchless evening in the Temple of the Tooth Relic premises. See the devotees worship in reverence and honor towards their belief. It is indeed a sight to behold

.

.

(Cover Image Source: @fake_or_real_ from Instagram)

Pettigala Mountain is a famous travel destination around Kandy City. It has been widely popular among local and international travelers recently. This single little mountain is situated in the Teldeniya area, about 20km away from Kandy. The beautiful view of the Victoria Reservoir and the amazing panoramic view have attracted many tourists here.

Pettigala Mountain consists of 760m of elevation from sea level. You first need to come to Digana town, which is 15km away from Kandy. Then you need to follow the Senarathwela-Digana road to reach the final location. That will all take one hour from Kandy City. Before reaching the mountain, you will enter the Bamabaragala Temple.

Bambaragala Temple is a culturally and historically valuable place in the Kandy area. History says that the area consists of 79 caves. These caves were built in 2-3 centuries A.C. Bambaragala Old Temple was modified in the 18th century by King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe. You can see some old paintings in this old temple. But you will not be allowed to take photographs of them.

The footpath to Pettigala Mountain starts from the Bambaragala Old Temple. The trek is not very hard and it’s through a forest with moderate difficulty. Some parts are much more difficult to cross because of their steep slopes. You will pass two caves during the trek; they are called “Situwam Lena and Indrasala Guhawa. One hour of trekking will carry you to the summit of Pettigala Mountain.

The top of the mountain consists of manabushes and big stones. There is no water source at the top. You have a large area to walk in and that will give you a few viewpoints. These viewpoints will provide different views of the surrounded areas. The large stone that is situated at the edge of the mountain is actually called “Pettigala. It’s the best viewpoint of the mountain. You can sit there and watch a clear picture of Victoria Reservior. As well, you can see some prominent peaks of the Knuckles Massif.

The view from the top is absolutely amazing and beautiful. From here, you can observe a lot of areas of the Kandy district. Evenings are the best time to visit Pettigala Mountain, and that will generate some amazing photographs of the sunset.

(Cover Photo Credit: SL Traveler )

Nine Arch Bridge in Demodara is one of the most famous travel destinations in Sri Lanka. Most of the travelers who come to the Ella region will not forget to visit this place. It’s an old bridge that was built in the British Era in Sri Lanka. The bridge is also called the “Bridge in the Sky.

The Nine Arch Bridge is 300m in length and 80ft in height. There you can see nine spans. The width of the bridge is 25 ft and the elevation of the place is 3100 ft from sea level. This is located halfway between Ella and the Demodara Railway Station.to the Nine Arch Bridge from Demodara Railway Station is 9km and from Ella it is 4km. If you are starting from Ella town, you can easily hire a tuk tuk to reach this place. But you have to walk a few meters to meet the bridge.

The bridge connects two mountains and the Badulla–Colombo Railway. It was opened in 1921. This construction demonstrates the excellence of the architecture and engineering of the early 20th century. During the construction of this project, the First World War happened. It has affected the import of steel from abroad. The British rulers then decided to finish the project without using any steel or metal.The only materials used were stones, bricks, and cement.

P.K. Appuhami and D.J. Wimalasurendra are two Ceylonese who vastly helped to succeed in this project. Then they finished the work and opened the Nine Arch Bridge in 1921. Laterally, they finished the Colombo–Badulla Railway in 1924.

The Nine Arch Bridge in Demodara is normally crowded during holidays. The best time to go is between 9 and 11 a.m. in the morning.It’s an ideal place to take some beautiful photos. A few of the cafes are available in the area for visitors. The train journey between Colombo and Ella is considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. So, you should not miss it.

Read More: Ella City Tour with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

(Cover Image Credit:@choineczkaa from Instagram) 

Dambulla Cave Temple, or something called Dambulu Temple,” is a sacred pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka. This is situated in the Dambulla area of the Matale District. It is considered the best preserved and largest cave temple complex in the country. The site was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991.

Dambulla is a historical and economically valuable city in the country. The distance to Dambulla from Colombo is 148km and from Kandy is 72km. You will pass through this city once you travel to Anuradhapura or Seegiriya. Both places are not far from here.

Cave Temple and History

Dambulla Cave Temple consists of five major caves. But the fifth cave has no historical value and was built in the last century. The other four caves are called

Cave Number 1: Deva Raja Viharaya

Cave Number 2: Maha Raja Viharaya

Cave Number 3: Maha Alut Viharaya

Cave Number 4: Paschima Viharaya

The largest cave among those is the “Maharaja Vihara Lena”. Many strata can be seen in those caves. These strata represent Lord Buddha, the Gods in Hinduism, and the ancient Kings of the country. Apart from the stratues, you can see around 150 ancient paintings in these caves. These paintings have covered 2100 square meters. Ancient Brahmi characters can be seen just below the drip-legde of the central cave. This evidence shows that Dambulla Cave Temple has a long history.

King Walagamba was a great king in Sri Lankan history. He escaped here when the South Indians attacked the Anurahapura Kingdom in the 1st century BC. He later developed this cave temple, and you can still see a stratue of King Walagamba here today. Ibbbankatuwa is a nearby place to Dambulla, which was an important place in the pre-historical period of Sri Lanka. Evidence has found that people lived in the surrounded areas in the 7th century BC.

Dambulla Golden Temple is a modern architectural temple that is situated near the ancient Cave Temple. You can come to both while you are traveling in central Sri Lanka. We should say it is a best place that you should not miss as a traveler.

Polonnaruwa Day Tour-Great Opportunity to Explore Sri Lankan History & Culture

Are you up to seeing one of the most beautiful and rich cities in Sri Lanka? Are you up for a great day with history? The Polonnaruwa Day Tour is an ideal option for that. Sri Lanka has a strong history of kingdoms and is very rich in culture. This island has so much to see for its locals as well as its tourists. People who come to this country are never disappointed by the beauty, culture, and history of this place.

Our Polonnaruwa Day Tour is designed to give you a historical perspective of one of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities. We will provide a guide for you who is able to communicate with you in English. We ensure that the guides are thorough with local knowledge and historic information. If you require language-specific guides, it can be arranged through a special request as well.

This day tour is conducted during the day because it is a cultural tour and a lot of visits to ancient ruins are included.

The Royal City of Polonnaruwa

The Sri Lanka Cultural Traingle connects the three cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy. This cultural triangle contains many historical and ancient sites. Polonnaruwa is an ancient city considered as one of the eight UNESCO world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. This is the place you should definitely visit if you love to explore Sri Lanka’s history.

It is declared as the second ancient city in Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura. Polonnaruwa was one of the kingdoms in Sri Lankan history and was ruled and reigned over by many kings at the time. The main difference between these two kingdoms is that, unlike the Anuradhapura kingdom, Polonnaruwa had a lot of influence from Hinduism and was even ruled by some Tamil kings. This cultural city has a lot of Hindu kovils apart from the Buddhist temples. It is also a city that has been famous for its agriculture. There are a lot of farmers out there.

Must-see places in Polonnaruwa

One of the significant places in Polonnaruwa is the ancient ruins of the Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu. Even though you can only see ruins, they are evidence of great architecture and design. Another main attraction is “Gal Viharaya’ which consists of many beautiful images and statues of Buddha. It is a symbol of excellence in carving. Apart from that, there are temples, stupas, and dagobas that are quite significant in the city, such as Lankathilaka Temple, Rankot Vehera, Thuparama gedige, and Potgul Viharaya.

The ruins in Polonnaruwa are so much more than what is described above. Apart from those temples and stupas, the city also has many Hindu temples and kovils due to the influence of Hinduism. There are several temples dedicated to the god Shiva and the god Vishnu in Polonnaruwa, all considered as historical ruins.

Beautiful Sri Lanka, beautiful Polonnaruwa.

Our Polonnaruwa day tour is considered very informative and educational. During this day-tour, you will learn about the many influences Polonnaruwa had as a kingdom, the names of kings that ruled, and the agricultural influence. It is an ideal day trip for everyone that loves experiencing new cultures and discovering history. Sri Lanka in general has a very rich history in terms of kingdoms, agriculture, and civilization.

Polonnaruwa Day Tour with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

Come and join the tour to enjoy this magnificent ancient kingdom with great history. Our guides will guide you throughout the tour to give you the most exhilarating tour experience. Don’t forget to bring your smart phones and cameras to capture these mighty sights.

Possible Starting/Pick-up Locations:
Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Pasikudha, Trincomalee, Nilaegombo (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility)

Duration : It takes around 3 hours to complete the visit of the Polonnaruwa ancient city. You can walk or we can arrange some bicycles if you prefer some cycling.

Tour Type : Our Polonnaruwa Day Tour is a private tour. The vehicle and the guide/chauffeur guide are dedicated to you and your group. The safari tour will be done by an off-road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by a comfortable car, van, or mini coach.

If you are a person with a cultural interest, then you should definitely explore places in Sri Lankan cultural-traingle. You can also plan your Anuradhapura city tour with us too! Call +94777 111553, email: info@mahaweli.lk, or contact us for more information on any of these issues!

.

(Polonnaruwa Image Credit: PT Palace from Pinterest

Galle is one of the major cities located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is also a favorite travel destination for both local and foreign visitors. The Galle Fort is a symbol of pride for the Galle City. It is an ancient construction that was built by the Portuguese and Dutch in the 16th and 18th centuries. UNESCO designated this historical fort as a World Heritage Site in 1988.

Galle Fort is a good example to illustrate the European influence in Sri Lanka in the 16th and 19th centuries. The Portuguese were the first European nation that landed in Galle and also in Sri Lanka in 1505. The Portuguese then ruled most of the coastal areas of the island, including Galle, Matara, and Colombo. The Portuguese built the Fort in the late 16th century for their military purposes and to defend the Galle from local and foreign attacks. Their first construction was very basic and included three bastions and a single rampart. The Portuguese then used the Galle fort as a prison camp in later years.

The Dutch army captured the fort in 1640 with a 2500-strong force. They received the support of King Seethawaka Rajasinghe and the local people. The battle between the Dutch and the Portuguese later became popular and was called siege of Galle” in 1640. Dutch rulers then modified the Portuguese fort into a huge structure, thus expanding its military strength. In the 19th century, there were Protestant churches, gun houses, residences of commanders, public administration buildings, warehouses, residential quarters, and trade buildings. Mud, granite stones, and coral were used as materials for the fort. A British army captured the galle and the fort in 1796. They paid less attention to the Galle fort, and the fort’s importance shifted to Colombo.

Today, the fort is controlled by the Sri Lankan government. It has two major gates to enter. If you visit this amazing construction, you will see many hotels, shops, and government buildings. Galle lighthouse is a recent addition to the fort and was built in 1938. The Galle clock tower is another major construction which can be seen in the fort. It is another recent addition, built in 1883 by the British government. Furthermore, it is considered one of the oldest clock towers in Sri Lanka. The Archeological Department of Sri Lanka reconstructed some parts of the fort recently.

The Galle Fort is a nice place for any traveler where they can view the beauty of the Galle Sea and its beautiful sunset. There are many hotels and restaurants in the fort for travelers. It’s a must visit place for any traveler if he or she visits the southern part of Sri Lanka.

(Featured Image Source: Awesome Sri Lanka)

Anuradhapura is one of the major cities up to date in terms of its size, ancient ruins, and demographics. Our Anuradhapura day tour is specifically designed to take you around the city to give you an unforgettable experience of its opulent culture, pilgrimages, and people. You will be given a guide with excellent local knowledge and communication skills. Language-specific guides can be provided upon special request as well. For people who are in love with culture and history, this is the ideal tour to enlighten their spirits.

 

The Great Kingdom: Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura was one of the seven kingdoms in the history of kingdoms in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest, largest, and most prosperous of all. In 377 BC, it was declared a kingdom, and King Pandukabhaya made it prosperous. It is still considered the capital of the North Central Province. This kingdom lasted almost 12 centuries ago until it was destroyed in the 10th century AD.

The ancient city of Anuradhapura is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. It is a must-see on your trip as it can give you a broad perspective of Sri Lanka’s  history. There are so many ancient monasteries, temples, lakes, and ruins available to watch. The technology for that construction is wonderful to see. Our guides will explain these things further to you. We cover all these things within our Anuradhapura Day Tour.

 

The series of sacred places: Atamasthanaya

This little island is full of nature, culture, history, and food. This tour will be educational and informative for all tourists. The guides will guide you through important historic ruins and places where the stories behind them will also be explained. Leaflets or brochures are available at the entrance of most places.

There are eight significant icons that represent Sri Lanka’s connection to Buddhism, and all of them are situated in Anuradhapura, thus calling this collection “Atamasthanaya,” meaning “eight sacred places.” There is a unique story or history connected to each one of them. Most of them were built by kings that ruled the Anuradhapura Kingdom. You will visit all these places on our Anuradhapura City Tour.

  • Sri Maha Bodi

This is a fig tree that was planted in 288 BC and is considered sacred because it is believed that Buddha achieved enlightenment while meditating under this tree.

  • Ruwanwelisaya

It is a “stupa” that is built by King Dutugamunu and is one of the biggest completed ones to date.

  • Thuparamaya

It is the oldest ‘dagoba’ in Sri Lanka, and possibly the oldest visible one in the world.

  • Lovamahapaya

The significance of this building is that the roof was once covered in bronze tiles.

  • Abhayagiri

It is one of the biggest viharas in Anuradhapura. It was a monastery of 5000 monks.

  • Jethavanaramaya

It is a sacred world heritage site and had accommodated some 3000 monks at the time. It is also quite similar to Abhayagiri.

  • Mirisavetiya

This stupa was built by King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara.

  • Lankaramaya

This is also built by a king called King Valagamba in the Anuradhapura Kingdom times and is one of the eight sacred places in the city.

There are plenty of other places to see and enjoy. Join us on this day tour to see the biggest contributors in Sri Lankan history. Your love for culture will be expanded after seeing the richness of the city.

Anuradhapura Day Tour with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays.

You can plan your Anuradhapura day tour with us. Here are more details about this city tour;

Possible Starting/Pick-up Locations:
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Colombo, Negombo, Tincomale, Nilaveli, Kandy (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility).

It takes around 3 hours to complete the visit of Anuradhapura, the ancient city. You can walk or we can arrange some bicycles if you prefer some cycling.

Tour Type: Our Anuradhapura Day Tour is a private tour. The vehicle and the guide/chauffeur guide are dedicated to you and your group. The safari tour will be done by an off-road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by a comfortable car, van, or mini coach.

So, visit our Contact us page to connect with us. We will provide all the essential details regarding this tour! Polonnaruwa is another place in Sri Lankan cultural history, and it was the second kingdom of Sri Lanka. Likewise, Anuradhapura, there are so many ancient places to explore in Polonnaruwa too. You can also plan your Polonnaruwa tour with us!

(Cover Image Source: Spin The WindRose from Pinterest)