Sri Lanka and the Way of Life

Sri Lanka and the Way of Life

Sri Lanka flag
We happened to be in Sri Lanka during their independence day which was pretty cool.

Sri Lanka really surprised me with it’s rich history and culture. Before arriving, I knew very little about the country other than where it is and Ceylon tea comes from there. However, after ten days of traveling around the Central region I was blown away by what I discovered. I learned about the long, rich history of Sri Lanka people, the food, landscape, and culture. It truly was life changing and I look forward to another visit to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and Buddha

The Buddha is everywhere in Sri Lanka. Seems about every turn you see some reminder of his influence. Buddhism was introduced in Sri Lanka in the third century BCE and has deep roots in the culture. There are temples, statues, signs & symbols nearly every place you go or look. And quite frankly, it was very inspiring and calming to be around.

Dambulla cave temple

Dambulla cave temple is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. Atop the hill is a large temple complex with many statues tucked into large cavelike rooms.

Dambulla cave temple
Huge Buddha and gift shop at Dambulla Temple
Meditating Buddhas
The Dambulla cave temple and many meditating Buddhas
At Dambulla Temple
Selfies seem to be universally enjoyed by all.

Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 990-CE. It is mostly ruins now however several important structures remain well enough for you to see and imagine their original magnificence.

We hired a guide and he walked us around and was very helpful explaining all the sights.

Polonnaruva Buddha
This is one of several carvings into a large rock. Here is the Buddha meditating.
Polonnaruwa Rankoth-vehera
In old capital of Polonnaruwa there is this huge stuba.
Ruins of the kings hall where the Polonnaruvan King would hold assembly.

Temple of the Tooth

The temple of the Tooth is where the relic of The Buddha’s tooth is kept. After the Buddha’s body was burned his remains were taken by followers and cherished as relics. Apparently, on of his teeth is kept and protected at the Temple of the Tooth. Unfortunately the general public cannot just walk in an look at it. The tooth is kept in a vault like enclosure to protect it.

The legend is whoever posseses the tooth is the rightful ruler of Sri Lanka. Every year there is a huge parade and ceremony in Kandy city where the tooth (actually a copy) is put on an Elephant and walked around the city. It’s a big deal and quite a party.

Temple of the Tooth
This temple in Kandy safeguards the Buddha’s tooth relic. It is very important relic for Sri Lanka.
Moonstone at Temple of the Tooth
This is the new moonstone that replaces the one that got damaged in a terrorist attack.
Inside the temple
Inside the temple the decor and architecture is very beautiful.


The food in Sri Lanka is fantastic. I cannot really state a favorite but I do have fond memories of the spicy curry dishes. Lots of fresh fruits to enjoy and the mangos were deliciously sweet with a hint of tart.

Tea service at The Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya
World famous Ceylon black tea and jaggery. Jaggery with tea is a tradition in Sri Lanka and one I enjoyed a lot.

Sri Lanka is famous for its Ceylon tea and the people there are quite proud of it too. Tea was brought to Sri Lanka by the British and because of the excellent growing conditions it soon became a primary export. After Sri Lanka gained it’s independence they renamed the country from “Ceylon” to “Sri Lanka” but the tea is stilled called Ceylon.

An interesting tradition for Sri Lankan’s is to have their tea with jaggery, a caramel like sugar cube. You take a sip of tea and a nibble of the jaggery.


Sigiriya is one of the most important archeological sites in Sri Lanka. The rock fortress, known as LIon Rock, has been used both as a palace and a monastery. On the top of the big rock is the fortress and palace complex. Mostly ruins now but you can clearly see what is what.

The walk up is pretty easy but on hot, crowded days it’ll be challenging. The assent is mostly narrow stairs but it’s totally worth doing. About half-way up are nice looking cave wall paintings of women. I highly recommend using a guide because there is so much to see and details you may otherwise walk past.

Lion Rock fortress
View from the top of Lion Rock
Sigiriya ancient rock fortress
Early morning and already long lines ascending the Sigiriya rock fortress.
Sigiriya ancient capital
Ancient City of Sigiriya. The ruins of the capital built by King Kassapa
Lion Rock
Long lines to the top of Lion Rock
Leaning rocks
These leaning boulders mark the entrance to going up.


The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975 for feeding and providing care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild.[1]

When we got there many elephants were in the river playing and washing up. Most of it is for show so the tourist can watch elephants.

In addition to elephants we got to watch a snake charmer showing off his cobra and boa. Kids like it and they even got to touch and hold the big boa constrictor.

Also worth doing is a safari ride in one of the parks to see elephants and other wildlife.


We had the great pleasure of staying at The Blue Water Hotel just south of Colombo. This hotel is great and a little more quite than the ones up the beach toward Colombo city.

We just relaxed and enjoyed the perfect weather. It was simply wonderful.

beach pano view
Beach view from hotel

Wait, There is More

One of amazing things about Sri Lanka is there is just so much to experience and share. This blog is just a sample of all that we experienced. Each day was filled with new adventure.

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya
Beautiful day for a walk in the national gardens