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Home & Away with Robert Walshe

Holiday Hotspot – Cultural Triangle Sri- Lanka

SRI LANKA is a country rich in history and culture. The heart of most of its history and ancient civilization is in the cultural triangle. This area is formed by linking the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura, Polannaruwa, Kandy, and Dambulla with Sigiriya in the centre. The cultural triangle is a UNESCO world heritage site and is the pride of all Sri Lankans. Anuradhapura is scattered with mega stupas and huge man made lakes. This is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhism as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree is found here. This sacred fig tree was planted nearly 2300 years ago,

■ Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka

making it the oldest known planted tree in the world. This Bodhi tree is believed to have been planted from part of the tree in which the Buddha achieved enlightenment. The ancient city of Sigiriya is also one of the most popular tourist attractions. During the 5th century AD, King Kassapa rose to power by killing his father and sending his brother and political rival into exile. Popular opinion in Sri Lanka is that he ordered his capital city to be built on top of this natural landmark. The frescoes of 21 partially naked, nymph-like women found on the rock face are a famous attraction. Along with the construction of the ancient city, the land surrounding the base of Lion’s Rock was transformed into an expansive and scenic garden complex. Dambulla situated in the Central province about 148 km north-east of Colombo was inhabited from early as the 7th to 3rd century BC. Statues and paintings found in the era dates back to the 1st century even though they repaired and repainted in the 12th and 13th century. The famous caves in the city were also a place of refuge to King Valagamba in his 14 year long exiles from the Kingdom of Anuradhapura. One of the major attractions in the region is the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple also known as Golden Temple. Jetwing

Vil Uyana a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and the country’s top “eco resort” is a short distance from Sigiriya a perfect start to your Cultural Triangle adventure. This property combines history with wildlife encounters and environmental sensitivity. Built from local materials around a man-made wetland, Jetwing Vil Uyana is home to 80 species of birds, 17 species of mammals, 36 species of butterflies and 21 species of amphibians. Guests can choose from water, marsh, forest or garden dwellings. For best rates visit JF Tours specialise in tailor made packages offering flexibility and enjoyment of independent travel with an excellent team of well experienced, knowledgeable chauffeur guides driving a modern fleet of luxury cars & 4 wheel drives.

For our best deals call 0044 28 9038 1111 or visit

■ Jetwing Vil Uyan

a Villa

Turkish airlines offer 10 flights a week from Dublin to Istanbul with daily onward connections to Colombo in Sri-Lanka. On long-haul flights, first and business & economy class passengers feast on authentic Turkish and international dishes and the experience leaves the other Middle Eastern carriers like Emirates trailing far behind. Turkish Airlines also fly to 96 countries across the globe with new destinations including Kilimanjaro, Sharm el Sheik, Maldives and South Africa. For best fare prices www.turkishairlines. com For those travelling from Northern Ireland or Ulster counties

the Hilton Dublin airport offers a perfect stop off point before you catch your Turkish Airlines flight the following morning. This homely Hilton offers short & long term parking, a complimentary shuttle to the airport, good sized rooms and a friendly service at Burnell Bar & Grill. Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio Network and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe. com

Home & away travel page sri lanka part 1 week june 2nd 2014  
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