Sri Lanka is an island found in the Indian Ocean and is part of Asia. The largest city is Colombo and it is the commercial hub of the country. The official language is Sinhalese Tamil but the English language is also recognized. 70% of the population is Buddhists while Hindu (13%), Muslim (10%) and Christians (7%) are the other major religions in the country. The most popular game in this nation is cricket and they won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in 2014. Eight sites in Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage. They are; Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, the Golden Temple of Dambula, the old town of Galle, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. In this article, we will discuss some of these sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Sri Lanka
Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa
It is a cultural site found in the North Central province Polonnaruwa district. A new city in the same locality, Kaduruwela, is the new polonnaruwa and is undergoing a major development depcted as the awakening of polonnaruwa. The city was developed by King Vijayabu who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 and shifted the capital to this ancient city for strategic regions. The city has attracted tourists in huge numbers and a town has developed six kilometers from the old town which has hotel rooms and glossy shops for the tourists.
Ancient City Of Sigiriya
This is an ancient rock fortress located in the central Metale district in the Central province of Sri Lanka. The site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital and built his palace on top of a rock which he decorated with frescoes. There is clear evidence that the rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist Monks in the third century. In 477 AD, Kashyapa who was the king’s son by a non-royal consort seized the throne while the rightful heir, Mugalan, sought refuge in South India fearing for his life. Kasyapa moved the capital from Anuradhapura to a more secure Sigiriya fearing attack from Mugalan. However, he was later defeated and Mugalan took over power again and returned the capital back to Anuradhapura and turned Sigiriya into a Buddhist Monastery. Some striking features of Sirigiya include the water Gardens, the Mirror wall, frescos, and the terraced gardens.
The Golden Temple Of Dambula
This is the largest and the best preserved cave temple complex inn the country. The area has over 80 documented caves and the rock towers stand at over 450- feet above the surrounding plains. The caves contain many paintings and statutes with 153 Buddha statutes, three statutes of Sri Lankan kings and four statutes of gods and goddesses. The temple is composed of five unique caves built at the base of a 450 feet high rock. In the early 1960s, the conservation of the temple concentrated on preservation of its mural schemes by cleaning and applying protective coating on them. The strategies have however changed and it now concentrates on maintaining the integrity of the existing temple as agreed in a meeting between UNESCO and the government.
The Old Town Of Galle And Its Fortifications
Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka located in southern province. The city was extensively fortified during the Dutch reign in the 17th century. It is the largest fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other notable features in the town include the city’s natural harbor, national maritime museum, a Shiva temple, and Amangala which is an historic luxury hotel. Historically, the Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Indians and the Chinese conducted business via the Galle port. The present fort was built by the Dutch in 1663 using solid granite. They also built three bastions known as Sun, moon and star. When the Bri6tish took over from the Dutch; they made the fort the administrative centre of the district and preserved it unchanged. The Sri Lankan railways’ coastal line connects Galle to Colombo and Matara.