We then took the 3 hour drive inland to Sigiriya which is one of the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and a UNESCO Heritage Site. It was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful paintings. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. Hence the name Sigiria which when translated means, the Lion Rock.
Another UNESCO Hertiage site that you need to visit on your trip to Sri Lanka is the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka, from 1070 to 1310 and the ruins of The Ancient City are really something to be seen. The majestic King’s Council chamber, the rock cut Lotus Bath, the statue of Parakrama Bahu (one of the great kings of Sri Lanka), the rock-cut sculptures of Gal Vihare (Temple) and the Sea of Parakrama (a vast man-made reservoir) are really memorable sights.
Our final leg of the trip took us to the beautiful resort town of Pasikudah. It used to be a popular tourist destination, however suffered huge devastation following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Sri Lankan Civil War.
The town is in need of tourists revenue to grow and develop further.
The trip out to Pasikudah is very scenic and nice to see as you drive through the national park areas which are not fenced off in Sri Lanka so your chances of seeing wild elephants are very high. The only problem is it’s about an 8 hour drive so you need to be prepared to spend a full day travelling. You can however get a flight out of the small informal Batticaloa Airport which is about 45mins back to Bandaranaike International Airport.