Sri Lanka Off the Beaten Path – Part 1

Sri Lanka is an alluring country that never fails to charm travellers who tour around the unique lands of the country. The country is also blessed with attractions and beautiful landscape that will always invite you to come once again.

You may have read about different attractions in Sri Lanka but delving away from what you have read, you will discover an array of hidden gems that will keep you curios on seeing off the beaten path of Sri Lanka.

Here are some destinations for Sri Lanka travel that will gear you to come back;

Diyaluma falls and trek from Haputale

Diyaluma FallsThe second highest water fall in Sri Lanka and the great day trek from Haputale is the perfect spot and journey off the beaten path of Sri Lanka.

Located five kilometers away from Koslanda in the Badulla district of Colombo-Badulla highway formed by the Punagalay Oya River is the waterfall. Once you are dropped at the Makaldenya junction on Pooonagala road, you trek down the hill until you get to the falls.

At the top of the Diyaluma falls are series of pools cascading towards the edge of the pool.  The falls crash 628 feet into the pool and peering over the edge can give you a perfect look if you are game enough. There are also trails that can be followed to get to small pools where you can swim. Other side attractions are the rubber factory and the guesthouse for lodging.

The unique properties of the waterfall earned it the name Diyaluma meaning “rapid flow of water”

Sunrise in Knuckles mountain range

Sunrise over knucklesOn the central island east of Kandy are the wild mountains of knuckles range where you can have the unique and aesthetically pleasing view of sunrise.

For a perfect Sri Lanka trip to see the off beaten path, the wild mountain of knuckles range are remote, beautiful and worth seeing.

Trek and see the sunrise in the mountain range as a way to enjoy your Sri Lanka travel. Aside sunrise and trekking, the mountain range is the most remarkable biodiversity hotspot of the Nation. Leopards lurking the shadows, the purple faced langur monkeys, some superb endemic birdlife, giant squirrels, and other rare creatures are found in the wilderness.

Ritigala forest monastery

Ritigala Forest MonasteryMagical, thickly forested monastery deep in the heart of Sri Lanka is the Ritigala forest. The forest monastery gives you a look into the great ancient Buddhist monument of Sigiriya, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa and is always on the top list of every visitor coming for Sri Lanka tour.

Due to its remote location and dense forest, the forest has appealed to generations of revolutionary activists, religious ascetics, anyone seeking a place to hide from the world and every visitor of Sri Lanka.

Some 5000 years ago the Buddhist monk established a monastery there, although the jungle has swallowed most of the buildings, substantial parts still remain. One of the substantial parts left in the monastery is the “meditation walkways” running through trees and quaint little monastic residence dotting forest floors with houses linked by tiny bridges and surrounded by small scaled moats.

Swimming elephants in Gal Oya national park

Swimming Elephants in Gal OyaImmediately you enter the word Elephant safari in Sri Lanka into any search engine, the data that comes is the Gal Oya National Park. Off the beaten path and South east of Sri Lanka is the Gal Oya Park, the home of Senanayake Samudray, the only national park with a lake where boat safari can be enjoyed.

Sri Lanka may have plenty opportunities to observe wildlife but the boat trip to Gal Oya national park where you have a look at the swimming elephant is unique. This swimming elephants have evolved and adapted to the aqueous habitat which makes them fantastic swimmers.

If you would be going on Sri Lanka tours and you will like to have a look at the swimming elephants, or join in with a jeep safari, visit the Park anytime during the year to have a look.

Aside the swimming elephants, you will also be privileged to see about 32 mammals (including but not limited to Sri Lanka Leopard, Muntjac, Sri Lankan axis deer, wild boar, mugger crocodile, toque monkey etc.)

Tonigala Rocks

Tonigala InscriptionLastly, the last location here on the list is the charming Tonigala rock with inscriptions. The inscriptions on the rock are dated back to the ancient Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura kingdom.

The inscriptions on the rock give an insight to the history of the country and shows that one of the earliest forms of open market existed on the island. The Old Brahami script was used in these inscriptions explaining financial information like storing of money and goods, interest rates and conditions.

Not only will the inscription mesmerize you, the serene lake and enchanting surrounding will tempt you to have a leisure walk of the beaten path.

This article is the first of the Off-the-Beaten Path Series. We will keep posting some amazing finds through out this series. Tune-in for more.

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