Amazing Places in Sri Lanka You Didn't Know Existed

Visit the Buddhist temple of Wewurukannala in Dikwella to see the enormous Buddha statue
Visit the Buddhist temple of Wewurukannala in Dikwella to see the enormous Buddha statue | © Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Sri Lanka Hub Writer

You’ve seen Adam’s Peak, climbed Sigiriya and got up close and personal with a Sri Lankan elephant or two. But what about the destinations visitors rarely see? Sri Lanka has plenty of amazing places you’ve probably never heard of. Here are some of the best. Adventure awaits on the teardrop island.

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Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, Colombo

Museum
Just southeast of Colombo and inland from Mount Lavinia is the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum. Right next to the Ratmalana Airport, the air force has a collection of antique aeroplanes and helicopters set up in a park-like area with walking paths and a black and white chequered patio. There are also aeroplane-filled hangars, some of which you can visit. This place is great for airplane buffs and a cool getaway for a lazy Sunday.

Helga’s Folly, Kandy

© Neil McAllister / Alamy Stock Photo

Helga’s Folly is the quirkiest and most outlandish hotel and restaurant in Sri Lanka. It’s the brainchild of eccentric artist, Helga Blow, a marvellous Sri Lankan lady who saw the world through her own eyes. Stereophonics even wrote a song about her called Madame Helga.

Delft Island, Jaffna

Natural Feature
Off the coast of Jaffna and only reachable by boat, Delft Island sits in the Indian Ocean with wild ponies and historical remnants. You may hear it called by its original name, Neduntheevu, although not many tourists visit. To get there, travel to Jaffna, then take an early morning bus or tuk tuk to the port to catch the navy boat that leaves at 9.30am.

Mackwoods Tea Sign, Nuwara Eliya

Museum

© Martin Turzak/Travel / Alamy Stock Photo

Mackwoods Tea is one of the oldest tea companies in Sri Lanka and is still going strong today. What visitors might not know, though, is that up on the mountain in front of the Mackwoods Tea Museum, there is a sign with white letters reminiscent of the Hollywood sign. The sign, of course, says Mackwoods.

Richmond Castle, Kalutara

Architectural Landmark

© Paul Gapper / Alamy Stock Photo

Richmond Castle was built at the beginning of the 1900s by the son of the Mudaliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena. It was built in the Edwardian style and sits on a hill in Kalutara on a 32-acre (13ha) estate.

Wewurukannala Vihara, Dikwella

Buddhist Temple

© Peter Schickert / Alamy Stock Photo

Not too far northeast of Colombo is the city of Dikwella and the memorable Buddhist temple of Wewurukannala. This site is home to a huge Buddha statue and a collection of sculptures that represent the underworld and its hellish experiences.

Brief Garden, Beruwala

Botanical Garden

© Martina Katz / imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Bevis Bawa, brother of the famous Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, created Brief Garden as a homage to all things beautiful. To reach Brief Garden, visitors must cross paddies, fields and the countryside southeast of Colombo.

Lakegala Peak, Meemure

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
From the secluded village of Meemure, hikers and day trippers can see the amazing Lakegala Peak and its rocky pointy top. Getting to Meemure is an adventure in itself but some try to climb the peak – only think about it if you’re a very experienced rock climber.

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