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Tourist Places To Visit In Habarana
Habarana is a small town and there isn’t really much to explore here. However, being a major junction to travel through to some of the major cities in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, Habarana has ample places to board at when passing through. Habarana is also the commencement point for Safaris to the National Parks of Kaudulla or Minneriya, with a possibility of observing the transitory movement of elephants for free, between the parks, during the off-season. From a tourist standpoint, walking excursions, fishing or elephant safaris are a big hit here. Some of the best tourist attractions to visit in and around Habarana are enlisted here for your reference.
Surrounded by lush greenery and wilderness, Lake Habarana is one of Habarana’s main tourist attractions and a small walk around it makes for a serene and peaceful sojourn. You can also take an elephant ride around the lake and witness a variety of wildlife around you, with boating and picnicking as other must-do options.
Kaudulla National Park
Located about 197 km from Colombo, the Kaudulla National Park was labeled so in April 2002, becoming the 15th national park in Sri Lanka. In the ancient era, Kaudulla was one of 16 irrigation tanks built by the then ruling King Mahasen and after a brief period of neglect, it was then reconstructed in 1959, and now supports a variety of flora and fauna that includes fish, reptiles and large mammals. The park’s undergrowth is indicative of Sri Lanka’s dry evergreens, surrounded by parklands and Chena farming.
September’s the time when the elephants move to Kaudulla tank for their food and water supply. Some of the other species that enrich the wildlife at Kaudulla National Park include the Srilankan Sambar, Axis Deer, Wild Boar, Leopard, Chevrotain, Sloth Bear and the Gray Slender Loris in addition to its varied bird species that include the lesser adjutant, spot-billed pelican, several fish species and freshwater turtles. The best time to visit the park is October through March between 6 am and 6 pm.
A mountain and an ancient Buddhist monastery, Ritigala’s ruins and rock engravings go way back to the 1st century BC and are located about 19 km/ 32mins from Habarana. With four peaks in its mountain range, Ritigala Kanda is the highest peak on the south side, spanning 3,780 acres. About 2,513 ft above the sea level and 600 m above the encompassing plains, Ritigala is the highest in northern Sri Lanka, standing taller in comparison to the other tourist spots in the Northern Central Plains.
The beauty of this wondrous landscape lies in its unexpected translucence of the Sierra, the peak’s wet microclimate and its sylvan slopes. Ritigala witnesses the highest rainfall of the whole dry zone during the northeastern monsoons. The ruins of Ritigala Monastery, situated on the mountain’s east side at the foot of a ravine, cover an expanse of 59 acres. The area’s entrance is close to the Banda Pokuna reservoir, which perhaps served the ceremonial Bath before entering the Hermitage.
An ancient rock fortress situated in Northern Matale District, Sigiriya’s historically and archeologically significant to Sri Lanka’s heritage, dominated by a huge rock column that’s 660 ft high. According to the Island country’s ancient chronicles, Sigiriya was chosen by King Kasyapa as his new capital, and he built his palace atop the rock column, adorning its sides with vibrant frescoes, with an enormous lion gateway on a small highland.
Listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, Sigiriya boasts of some of the best maintained ancient ruins. Aside from its historical tourist attractions, Sigiriya’s gardens are quite significant owing to their identity as the oldest redesigned gardens in the world, categorized into 3 distinct but connected structures – the terraced gardens, the water gardens and the rock & cave gardens. Sigiriya’s 15.5 km/ 23 mins away from Habarana.
Considered one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities in Sri Lanka, and a UNESCO world heritage site, Polonnaruwa exhibits the splendor and glory of the rulers who contributed to its development expertly. From an assortment of enigmatic edifices and ancient museums, palace ruins, picturesque constructions and ample historic monuments, Polonnaruwa has a lot to offer its visitors.
One of the most popular sites of this lovely city is the Parakrama Samudra, an age-old reservoir which not only irrigates paddy fields but also houses a long lineage of monkeys who’ve been inhabiting the area way before the humans came. Visiting Polonnaruwa’s a treat for nature fans or archeological enthusiasts.
A distinctively commercial town, Dambulla is widely known for its well-preserved cave temples in one of the largest complex and a cricket stadium of international repute. The Golden Cave and the Golden Temple are two of the most popular sites to explore here, involving an exhaustive walk via numerous stairs. Dambulla is also the wholesale hub for the fruits and vegetable market, home to Buddhist monasteries in the neighboring ironwood forests and has a variety of hot air balloon rides at sunrise and nature walks, making it an ideal spot for a day visit.