Lying just off the south-western coast of India, Sri Lanka is often overlooked as an exotic destination for tourists, but the island has just as much to offer visitors as its more celebrated neighbour.
In actual fact, the island nation’s status as something of an undiscovered gem makes it more special in some ways, and later this year, there are plenty of events being held that make the trip there worth your while.
At the time of writing, there’s plenty going on in Sri Lanka right now that will have you feeling more than a little curious. Many events in the country have a spiritual theme, which is great for anyone who has a keen interest in religion, but there’s more to this part of the world than that. Here are some events going on for your consideration:
A celebration of Hindu culture, this event began on July 1st. What the Kataragama Festival involves is a range of performances in the sacred Kataragama jungle shrine, where devotees can take in performances of rituals such as fire walking and listen to the continuous chanting in honour of God Kataragama. The Festival falls during the full-moon in July, and is one that has to be seen to be believed.
In the city of Kandy, where there are many practising Buddhists, a sacred ritual takes place every August. On August 8th, the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which is kept under lock and key in a golden casket, is paraded on the streets of Kandy where thousands of visitors flock each year. Elephants, Kandyan chiefs, dancers, drummers and Monks are all present.
The national animal of Sri Lanka, at the beginning of August there’s always a gathering of elephants taking place in Minneriya National Park. One for those of you with a keen interest in nature so be sure to bring a camera to capture some of the action, as you’ll want something to remember the gathering by.
If none of these events are for you, there’s nothing stopping you from exploring Sri Lanka at your own discretion. Here is some handy stuff to know when you arrive on the island, or if you’re looking to visit somewhere a little different from all the usual places.
Sri Lanka is fantastic for anyone with a keen interest in nature and religion, as well as those of you who long to get away from the urban sprawl you wake up to every morning at home.