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Sri Lanka – the island of elephants, tea and Buddhism

The island of Sri Lanka is rightly called the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Even in ancient times, the Greek sailors, admiring indescribable beauty, called it “Taprobana”, which means “country of cinnamon”, to us the island is known as Ceylon – “country of lions”.
The whole world knows about the best teas that are grown here. The current name of the island of Sri Lanka was in 1972, and it means “Shining Island”.
Rest on Sri Lanka can not be forgotten because of the delight received from the abundance of bright vegetation, the splendor of the beaches, strewn with golden sand, swimming in crystal clear and transparent water, beautiful and rich underwater world.
The coastal waters of Sri Lanka have created excellent conditions not only for fishing, but also for diving. Using modern equipment offered by diving centers, fans of underwater excursions can not only enjoy the beauty of coral gardens on the reefs and their various exotic inhabitants, but also visit the ancient shipwrecks that have truly felt themselves to be researchers. Many tourists prefer canoeing on the river, but elephant safaris have become especially popular lately. The beauty of the whole island can be appreciated from a bird’s eye view, taking a guided balloon or helicopter tour.
Kalutara, Bentota, Hikkaduwa – the most popular and famous resort areas. The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo – a port city in which modern life “beats the key”. The city has many shops where you can buy various gifts and souvenirs. Exhibits of the Colombo National Museum are of interest to thousands of tourists. South of the capital, just 10 kilometers away, you can visit one of the best zoos in Asia and see a performance of trained elephants.
Take a closer look at the ancient culture and find out why Sri Lanka is considered the birthplace of Buddhism, you can leave the bustling city streets and make an excursion to the holy places.
Anuradhapura, one of the cities included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, carefully preserves the memory of past centuries. Thousands of pilgrims go to this city to see the oldest tree on the planet – Bo. It grew out of the branch of that tree, under which the great Buddha knew his insight. It is very interesting to consider the seven Dagobas. One of them, Jetavana – a stupa, 120 meters high, is only slightly inferior to the pyramid of Cheops.
Until the beginning of the XIX century the capital of the island was the city of Kandy, which is located on an extremely picturesque mountain range. In the center of this city is, striking with its amazing beauty, the lake, on its shore is Dalada Maligawa – a temple decorated with silver and ivory, which houses the greatest relic – the Tooth of the Buddha. In addition, there are preserved many old manuscripts and statues of Buddha, made of gold, crystal, jade and emerald. Walking through the green streets of the city, tourists can admire, watching the grace and plasticity of Kandian dancers and the skill of “fire eaters,” who also walk on hot coals. It is impossible not to visit the magnificent Royal Botanical Garden, located outside the city. It first appeared at the beginning of the XIX century, and now there are already more than 45 species of plants.
An unforgettable impression remains after visiting the ruins of the palace in Sigiriya. Overcoming 1200 steps, carved between the paws and jaws of a lion, you will find yourself in the once beautiful city with gardens, pools and fountains. Now work is underway on the restoration of the city and it is under the protection of UNESCO. The complex of cave temples is located near Sigiriya. The most famous cave of Sri Lanka is famous for the fact that the water in it flows up the stone, and reaching the top, falls into a golden bowl located below. Monks come to this cave to meditate.
At the Adam Peak is another island shrine. By the way, people of different religions overcome a difficult path up to the very top of the mountain only to touch the sacred tracks with their mouths. At the same time, Buddhists are sure that these traces were left by the Buddha, Hindus believe that they are worshiping the traces of Shiva, Muslims believe that it was here that Adam made his first step to the earth, and Christians are firmly convinced that these traces belong to St. Thomas.
A very good impression will leave a visit to the elephant nursery, in which elephants are fed up, deprived of maternal care. Elephants – the most favorite animal of the inhabitants of the island. They are an integral part of religious holidays and working days of the population of the entire state. Here, from a close distance you can watch the process of eating and bathing elephants.

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