Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two national Parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, Trincomalee a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. The island’s name derives from the rock pigeon which has colonized it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963. In 2003 it was re-designated as a national park. This national park is the 17th in Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era.
Pigeon Island National Park
Trincomalee also known as Gokanna, is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and major resort port city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour, 113 miles south of Jaffna and 69 miles north of Batticaloa, Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia. With a population of 99,135,the city is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours. People from Trincomalee are known as Trincomalians and the local authority is Trincomalee Urban Council. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai and is home to other historical monuments such as the Bhadrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee, the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall and, opened in 1897, the Trincomalee Hindu College. Trincomalee is also the site of the Trincomalee railway station and an ancient ferry service to Jaffna and the south side of the harbour at Muttur.
Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.
It is believed that from the fourth century BC until the beginning of the 11th century AD it was the capital of the Sinhalese. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²).
Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
Pasikudah or Pasikuda (Pronounced Paasikkudah – historic Tamil translation “Green-Algae-Bay”) is a coastal resort town located 35 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa, Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka. Historically a small Tamil hamlet alongside nearby Kalkudah, it used to be a popular tourist destination. Foreign travel to Pasikudah has recently increased due to increased investment and development. It is home to the Pasikudah Mariamman temple. Pasikudah is easily accessible from the cities of Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009 and the completion of tsunami rehabilitation projects, Pasikudah has become a popular tourist destination amongst locals and foreigners alike. Pasikudah is fast becoming an investors hub as foreign and local investors have shown interest in developing tourism along the beach.
Arugam Bay is a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s southeast coast. The bay is located 320 kilometres (200 mi) due east of Colombo, and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the market town of Pottuvil. The main settlement in the area, known locally as Ullae, is predominantly Muslim, however there is a significant Tamil and Sinhala population to the south of the village, as well as a number of international migrants, largely from Europe and Australia. While traditionally fishing has dominated the local economy, tourism has grown rapidly in the area in recent years. Tourism in Arugam Bay is dominated by surf tourism, thanks to several quality breaks in the area, however tourists are also attracted by the local beaches, lagoons, historic temples and the nearby Kumana National Park.
Yala National Park
Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or ‘Yala East’ for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.
There are six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala. Among the largest is Lunugamvehera National Park. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands.
Hummanaya Blow Hole
Hummanaya Blow Hole is the only known blowhole in Sri Lanka and it is considered to be the second largest blowhole in the world. “Hummanaya“refers to the noise, “hoo”, that can be heard a distance away when the blowhole is active.
The Hummanaya Blowhole is located 1.1 kilometres (0.7 mi) from the small fishing village of Kudawella, which is 28 km (17 mi) from Matara, in the Southern Province.
Hummanaya is a natural blowhole, and caused when sea water rushes through a submerged cavern and is pushed upwards. The sea water flows underneath the shore, and then comes out of this hole due to pressure. The water fountain created by the geological feature shoots up every couple of minutes, depending on the nature of the sea, with the spray often reaching as high as 25 m (82 ft) to 30 m (98 ft).
Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. It is a suburb of Galle, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast to the city center and approximately 108 kilometres (67 mi) south of Colombo. Unawatuna is situated at an elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) above the sea level.
Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.
Adam’s Peak Sinhalese: Sri Pada or “Sri Paadaya“ is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha.
The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands in the Ratnapura District and Nuwara Eliya district of the Sabaragamuwa Province and Central Province lying about 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura and 32 km southwest of the city of Hatton. The surrounding region is largely forested hills, with no mountain of comparable size nearby. The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve, housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, and including many endemic species.
Adam’s Peak is important as a watershed. The districts to the south and the east of Adam’s Peak yield precious stones emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous, and which earned for its ancient name of Ratnadvipa.