December Holiday Destinations – Sri Lanka
The final holiday destination that we’ll be talking about during this series of articles is a tear-drop shaped piece of land, situated off the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, the island of Sri Lanka. Known for many hundreds of years as “The Pearl of the East” or the “Golden Isle”, Sri Lanka is pretty much as close as you can get to the idea of an exotic location.
While it is a rather small island, Sri Lanka is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, thanks to both its exotic beauty, as well as its reputation for yielding precious stones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Besides these there are also spice gardens and temples, and elephants and tea plantations, so wherever you’ll be looking you’ll bee seeing or experiencing something truly exotic and special.
The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo, this is the economic, political and cultural hub of the entire island, but there are a few other important cities besides it, such as the hill city of Kandy.
Kandy resisted foreign conquest for hundred of years, it is the second largest city in the country and a place where the traditional culture is still very much alive. This is also where you’ll find one of the best known and most sacred Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka, the Temple of the Tooth which is also a World Heritage Site. It is called so because it is thought to house one of Buddha’s teeth, a relic of great significance. If you visit during July and August, which is the lunar month of Esala, the Esala Dalada Perahera festival is celebrated with a procession, and it is indeed a sight to see because it features, drummers, dancers and decorated elephants.
As you might expect from a warm island country, there are a couple of resort towns which offer some great beaches and wonderfully clear waters; Bentota and Hikkaduwa are some good examples of resort towns. The latter is actually the most popular resort town in the country featuring an attractive coral reef and wonderful beaches, as well as the potential for all manner of sea-related activities.
However Sri Lanka also offers the possibility of hiking the Samanalakande, also known as Adam’s Peak or the Sri Pada. This peak is sacred to most inhabitants of the island as it is considered that the ‘footprint’ at its top belonged to Buddha, while Hindus believe it is the mark of Lord Shiva and Christians think it is the place where Adam first set foot on the Earth.
These few highlights only scratch the surface of what Sri Lanka can offer its visitors, you can be sure that there are many more things that can be found, seen and done in this exotic destination, so don’t hesitate to consider it for this year’s winter holiday.
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