Sri Lanka is an island, located at the south tip of India, formerly called Ceylon. It’s predominantly Buddhist, but Hinduists, Muslims and Christians co-habit peacefully. Inhabited, basically since records began, there are layers of temples architecture from throughout the ages, with many ancient temples still being used today. Despite the legacy of a 25-year civil war, Sri Lanka is a jewel of a place to visit. It has an intricate history built upon its precious stones.
Sri Lankan aboriginal inhabitants, the Veddas, are thought to have inhabited the island since pre-literate times, and still make up a very small population of the island. There are ancient ruins and golden monasteries in caves to explore. The island has been colonised various time, but western empire building from the 16th century onwards led to them be colonised by the Dutch, Portuguese and the British (in that order), each of whom left a cultural legacy behind them.
What’s known as the cultural triangle is formed by Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Kandy, and many of the ancient ruins of Sri Lanka are located within their boundaries. You can find ancient civilisations in forests, temples perched on rock formations or within cave systems, Portuguese fortifications, rainforests, and even tropical beaches to provide an incredible backdrop to it all.