Buddha-filled temples and monumental Hindu gods
The Cultural Triangle is a true jewel in Asia’s cultural crown. Spectacular Buddha-filled temples, historic ancient cities and striking Hindu statues make Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla such atmospheric and magical places to visit.
There’s a lot of history here to discover beneath the sheer exuberance of the temple’s ornamentation. Sigiriya – an ancient rock fortress – has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s capital until the 11th century. Mighty Polonnaruwa, meanwhile, was the second largest kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka.
Overlaying this history is a magic and spirituality that continues to permeate the sacred sites of the Cultural Triangle. Here you’ll find one of the most sacred sites in the Buddhist world in Anuradhapura. The beautiful temples attest to its spiritual significance.
A visit to the caves at Dambulla takes you to places still used by monks for meditation. Founded in the 1st-century BC by King Valagamba, there are over 80 caves to explore. Five of the caves display Hindu statues, sculptures and paintings that date back to the 12th-century.
The ancient city of Sigiriya has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this royal city you’ll see the ruins of an ancient rock fortress built to protect the former capital. The buildings date back to the 5th century but, as you stroll around the gardens with their walled terraces and moats, you can still see frescoes on the rock face.
Your trip to the Cultural Triangle will see Sri Lankan history and spirituality come alive.