On our recent short trip to Sri Lanka, we did not plan to do much sight seeing because we were travelling with our baby but by second day the crazy tourist feeling kicked in and we were out and about to checkout some attractions of Sri Lanka
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located at Pinnawala village on the way to Kandy.
It is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants and known for having largest herd of elephants. There are different arenas where visitors can interact with elephants, especially the baby elephants can be fed milk or you can click photos with them as they play. In some arenas Elephants were not chained and were grazing in herds, that was really a sight to see!
Quick tips :
-It took us around 4-5 hours to drive to Pinnawala from Wadduwa and we only had about 2 hours time to spend, which was not enough.
-The place opens from 8:30am to 5:45pm and there is ticket to entrance.
-Would recommend at least half day, as I have heard that elephants going for the bath in the river is fun to watch, which we missed.
-There was huge crowd on the day we went, because it was a local holiday, so choose a working day to enjoy the place.
Tooth Temple in Kandy
Kandy is located in the mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island. It is the second largest city after Colombo.
The drive to Kandy is beautiful. It has long winding single lane roads, passing through little villages then tropical plantations, mainly tea and then around hills in Kandy Plateau to reach an elevation of 1,600 ft above sea level. The weather is cooler and pleasant. The city lies next to a large Kandy lake, has narrow shopping street lanes and is home to the famous Tooth Temple.
We went to Kandy to visit the Tooth Temple, which is grand and elegant. It has many murals and paintings. It being a popular attraction has lot a locals and tourists, still kept very clean. We went around the many temple halls and finally sat down at a open hall with gardens around, where one could just sit down to mediate, I assume. It was evening time and just serene.
It took a whole day of driving to reach Kandy and we managed to see Tooth Temple and do a little of shopping/lunch. However, would recommend staying over at Kandy than a day trip.
Kalutara Buddhist Temple
Kalutara Budhist Temple was closest to our resort in Wadduwa and is located in Kalutara. It is by side of Kalu river and has simple yet beautiful vistas of the river and town around. The temple itself is not a popular tourist attraction hence there were very few tourist and we went towards afternoon so very few locals. It has a modern 'Stupa' meaning there is large 'stupa' structure meditation hall within which there is buddhist stupa. Sitting there; mediating, feeling the wind and surroundings around took us into a peaceful world.
Try and visit a local temple, instead of a touristy one, to get a feel of the place.