Visiting Cultural Sites
Sigiriya (Lion's rock) is an ancient rock fortress and palace surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescoes ), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. The fortress was built during the reign of King Kasyappa I (AD 477 – 495), and is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka .
The Dambulla Rock temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is a World Heritage Site (1991) and the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves spanning about 2,100 square metres, which contain statues and paintings related to Lord Buddha and his life. Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons from 2700 years ago.
A mile north of the Sigiriya citadel is Pidurangala which served as the royal monastery. A despoiled dagoba (dome-shaped structure built over relics of Buddha or Buddhist saints) at the foot of the hill could well have been the cremation site of King Kasyappa who founded the citadel. Carbon datings at the site coincide with the traditional date of the demise of the King. Above the modern temple are the old image houses. A flight of steps leads to the summit, where a long cave has a large recumbent image of the Buddha in brick and stucco.
This site is closer to Kumbukkadanwala, about 4 km away from Wild Grass. Situated in a jungle area, this site had been named as Dakkhinagiri Vihara in an inscription of the ninth century. Several inscriptions, some caves with inscriptions under the drip-ledges, a dagoba, pillars, a residence of monks, remains of a monastery can be seen in the site. This vihara is named after the Kaludiya Pokuna or the pond with blackish water found in the vicinity.
The extensive Ritigala Buddhist Monastery nestles deep inside the Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve and is found just off the Anuradhapura-Habarana road. It was abandoned following invasions in the 10th and 11th centuries. Today, the partially-excavated ruins holds special appeal with its curious blend of nano-safari and archaeology. Walking around the beautiful ruins does certainly give you a feeling of adventurers in search of mythical pasts; it is easy to imagine yourself as Indiana Jones whilst clambering over the overgrown relics of a forgotten era!
Minneriya is a small town in Sri Lanka, and is famous for two things: for the great Minneriya lake built by King Mahasen and for the Minneriya wildlife sanctuary which is a hot spot for safari lovers because of the abundance of elephants. Give yourself the ultimate safari treat as you get up close and personal with the wild jumbos that roam the park.
The Kaludiya Pokuna is a treasure trove of archaeological wealth. The largest of the Mihintale ponds, this beautifully built pond is a telling signature of the developed irrigation engineering of our forefathers. The boundaries of the pokuna (well) are constructed with granite, but the southern end, 66 feet, is formed by a natural outcropping of rock.
Nalanda Gedige is an ancient complete stone building near Matale , Sri Lanka (approximately 40 km from Wild Grass, direction Kandy). This is an ancient Hindu Temple constructed in between 8th to 10th century with dravidian architecture and then believe to have been used by Buddhists.
This is one of 15 national parks in Sri Lanka, about 55 km from Wild Grass. It has been identified as an important bird area, along with Minneriya. It attracts and supports a variety of plant and animal life, including large mammals, fish and reptiles.
Things To Do
Our resident naturalist can accompany you on nature tours both within and outside Wild Grass. These tours include birdwatching, village walks, night tours.
There is no better way to discover the sights and sounds of the village than on a bicycle. Guaranteed to energize the spirit as well as the body. Bicycles are provided by the resort at a nominal fee.
Take a hike into the surrounding jungle and experience the delightful sense of being one with nature. Try out mountain hiking and indulge in the breathtaking views from atop.
Get up close and personal with the wild jumbos and other animals that roam the national parks of Minneriya and Wasgamuwa. Begin your safari right from the resort. Wild Grass can arrange visits to these parks on request.
Enjoy the calm waters and peaceful solitude as you ignite the angler in you.
Wild Grass Nature Resort is also ideal for those who wish to use it as a base while exploring further afield!
(Distances provided here are from the resort)
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. From the 4th century BC, it was the capital of Sri Lanka until the beginning of the 11th century AD. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over sixteen square miles (40 km²). It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Kandy (maha nuvara) is nestled in the hills of the Kandy valley in the centre of Sri Lanka. It is both an administrative and religious city and home to the word-renowned Temple of the Tooth. It is also the starting point of Sri Lanka’s most magnificent religious festival parade, the Perahera.
Kalpitiya is skirted by sea on one side and lagoon on the other. There are fourteen unspoilt islands basking in the sun rimmed by the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and wide sandy beaches waiting to be discovered by the discerning visitor. The larger islands are covered with green mangroves. However, Kalpitiya’s most stunning attraction is the large pods of dolphins visiting its waters - November to March being the best months for viewing them.
Pronounced Nilaa-Veli (in Tamil, 'land of the moon-shine'), it is a coastal resort town located about 20 km north-west of Trincomalee . The pristine beach of Nilaveli is considered one of the finest unspoilt beaches in Asia with white sands and clear blue seas. Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka situated one kilometre off the Nilaveli coast.
The largest botanical garden in the island, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya is situated about 5 km to the west of Kandy and is visited by 1.2 million people each year.
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 by the Department of Wildlife on a twenty five acre coconut property on the Maha Oya river at Rambukkana. The orphanage was primarily designed to afford care and protection to the many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. 20 elephants have been born since 1984. One of the highlights for tourists is for them to be able to feed baby elephants.
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I. Today Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
A sea port since the days of the ancient Sri Lankan Kings, Trincomalee or Trinco as it is commonly called, has attracted seafarers like Marco Polo, Ptolemy and sea traders from China and East Asia since ancient times. It is one of the main centers of Tamil-speaking culture in the island. The Trinco Bay harbour is renowned for its large size and security; unlike any other in the Indian Ocean, it is accessible to all types of craft in all weathers. The beaches are used for surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching. The city also has the largest Dutch fort in Sri Lanka.