Explore the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka

March 26, 2017

Sri Lanka’s famous Cultural Triangle is derived from a collection of royal cities, Buddhist Temples and ancient monuments that was once the early Sinhalese civilization. Kandy, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa are the 3 main historic capitals which make up the cultural triangle. Within this triangle there is also the astounding Sigiriya rock, the cave temples in Dambulla and the heart of Buddhism in Mihintale. A cultural tour of Sri Lanka arranged by our skilled consultants at Blue Lanka Tours will include all these attractions to allow visitors to absorb the unique culture and history of Sri Lanka.

Not to Miss


Major Cities


The ancient city of Anuradhapura is known as the Buddhist capital of the country and is home to a collection of popular religious sites.



From the 11th to 13th century, Polonnaruwa was the capital of the country and because of this long period of prominence, we see several great ruins here. Today, the city represents medieval Sri Lanka at its best.



After Colombo, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second biggest city, beautifully set surrounding a man-mad lake. Kandy has a rich and long history because this city was able to resist colonial forces for longer than the rest of the island. Hence it has retained some unique traditions and is considered the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.



Sigiriya is a town situated in the dry-zone of central Sri Lanka. Many centuries ago, one of the Kings of Sigiriya built his palace complex at the top of the rock and the remnants of this is kept intact till today. Known as the “Lion’s Rock”, tourists consider it an exciting activity to climb to the top. On the way, you will come across beautiful frescoes carved into the insides of the rock. The entrance of the fortress is passing a Lion’s Paw, which is a spectacular sight today. At the top you will find remnants of the Royal Palace and a beautiful view of Sri Lanka’s nature.


At the heart of the cultural triangle is the town of Dambulla, which boasts well preserved cave temples dating back to the 1st century BC. A large rock covers the cave temples and partition walls are built to separate every individual temple. Although the site has been remodeled and repainted many times over the years, the style and appearance of the art has been consistent.

  1. Cave 1 – 15m long resting Buddha carved from solid rock.
  2. Cave 2 – largest cave with more than 150 life size statues and images of Lord Buddha. Ceilings and walls are covered with fantastic murals depicting historical events.
  3. Cave 3 – meditating Buddha carved from solid rock and interesting murals.
  4. Cave 4 – noted for the Dagoba at the centre.
  5. Cave 5 – smallest cave with brick and plaster statues of Buddha.

When visiting the cave temples, start in reverse order so you can end with the most impressive one.


Mihintale is a mountain peak, where Buddhism was born. The Temple complex here consists of shrines and rock dwellings as old as the 2nd century. While climbing to the summit, you can see:

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