Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located in the Indian Ocean region, separated by India by the Gulf of Mannar. A country of 2.17 crore people, Sri Lanka has an abundance of natural beauty and cultural richness. The country became a favorite tourist destination for travelers since the beginning of the last decade. From serene beaches to incredibly tall mountains, Sri Lanka has everything to amaze you. There are so many things that you can do in Sri Lanka even when you are traveling on a budget. The affordable food and public transport make it a perfect destination for backpackers. You can travel with your friends, partners or even alone, Because, Sri Lanka and its people will make you feel at home. Here are 5 top reasons that make this South Asian beauty a must-visit destination
- Wildlife: If you are a budget traveler, Sri Lanka can be your alternative to the African Safari. Sri Lanka is home to a vast diversity of animals and species and it is undoubtedly one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, and Wilpattu National Park are some of the places where you can enjoy having a closer look at a variety of animals that include bears, deer, monkeys, wild boar, peacocks, and several other beautiful species. However, the most famous of all is the majestic elephants. Sri Lanka has a huge population of elephants and a visit to a national park isn’t complete without making friends with these giants yet adorable creatures.
- Food: The food in Sri Lanka is cheap yet delicious. Spicy curries, coconut water, and lentils are some of the most affordable eating options for the vegetarians. But the list is not limited. Sri Lankan restaurants have an Indian influence due to the closeness between the two countries and hence, you can easily find a variety of veg and non-veg dishes in top cities and towns of the country. Apart from this, the island nation has a long list of mouth-watering seafood that everyone should try at least once. You can also find many stalls selling fresh fruits that will give you a company while trekking or chilling at a beach.
- Clean Beaches: Sri Lanka is home to some of the world’s most unspoiled beaches and the icing of the cake is that they are less crowded in comparison to Bali, Maldives, or Mauritius. But less crowded doesn’t mean less beautiful. The first place you should head to after visiting the capital city of Colombo is Galle. Galle is a colonial city with a blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and British history. The most famous and beautiful beach sides are situated in Galle and it will leave you awestruck. It is the most famous tourist spot in the country. Apart from beaches, you can also see lighthouses and Portuguese architecture in this city.
- History and Architecture: Sri Lanka’s history dates back to 34,000 years ago and thus you will find a lot of Buddhist and Hindu temples in the country. The country finds a mention in the holy Ramayana and many temples and places of that era are still present in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage is enriched with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with Sigiriya Fortress and Central Highlands. You can take the challenging task of climbing up the Sigiriya fortress to get a mesmerizing view from the top. There are certain trekking and hiking points that you can visit to get a breathtaking view of Sunrise. Nuwara Eliya is one such place where you can see the sun rising.
- Kandy: The town of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, deserves a separate mention for so many reasons. The mountain city is a sacred city that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list mainly due to the famous Temple of Tooth. It was a royal Kingdom for the Sinhalese between 1592 to 1815 and hence, this place has no dearth of natural beauty or cultural richness. The Royal Palace of Kandy, Kandy Lake, Knuckles Mountain Range, and Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage are some other notable places to visit in Kandy.