Sri Lanka is widely known for its mesmerizing natural beauty & rich cultural heritage. While many blogs write about the natural wonders of Sri Lanka, our editors decided to take you through a journey along the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s culture and heritage are two integral elements of what makes Sri Lanka an interesting place. Sri Lankan culture has long been influenced by Theravada Buddhism which was passed through from India. Its heritage ages to more than 2000 years from today.
Sri Lankan culture is often reflected by the use of art, architecture, sculptures and even food. The vibrant multi-cultural society adds more spice to Sri Lankan legacy. As some people refer Sri Lanka has more conventional culture which is influenced by the prominent religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
Indian & European influence is Sri Lankan culture is widely accepted and practiced. The reason to adapt some Indian culture is mainly because the Sri Lankan kings married to Indian princesses in the past. This caused Sri Lankans to adapt some of the vibrant features of Indian culture into Sri Lanka. But the unique Sri Lankan identity is still being preserved by the locals. The European influence was a result of colonial era. Some of the best characteristics of Dutch, Portuguese and British were adapted by Sri Lankans and they added more value to Sri Lankan heritage.
Sri Lanka has a documented history of over 2000 years due to ancient historic scripture Mahawamsa. Sri Lankan cultural heritage takes pride from such an ancient era and still admired in the modern society.
Here are the few important highlights of Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka,
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Not just one, Sri Lanka’s cultural depth is recognized by UNESCO by declaring 08 World Heritage sites within the country. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sacred city of Anuradhapura, Holiest city of Kandy, Kingdom of Sigiriya are the main among them. The colonial time fort built by Dutch engineers also claims a place in the list along with Golden Cave Temple of Dambulla. Sinharaja Forest Reserve & The central highlands are the latest to join the list.
The Cultural Triangle
Buddhist temples, stupas, sculptures and ancient monasteries are the main attractions of The Cultural Triangle while some of them are dated back to 2000 years. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya & Kandy are the main cities that falls under the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.
Architecture & Visual Arts
Sri Lankan architecture displays a rich variety of architectural forms and styles. While Buddhism which was introduced to the island in 3rd century BCE plays the major role in designing Sri Lankan architecture. Techniques and styles are mainly adapted from India, China and later Europe.
The visual arts and crafts are originated from religious beliefs. Mostly they are represented in many forms such as paintings, sculptures and architecture.
Sri Lankan Cuisine
Rice & curry are the main, usually consumed daily and can be seen in any special occasion. Mostly Sri Lankan cuisine culture is influenced by southern India, Indonesia and Netherlands. A very popular alcoholic beverage is Arrack made from Palm tree sap.
Ceylon Tea & Spices are not only admired by locals, but a main attraction for foreigners since the old age. It is a well-known fact that Sri Lanka was colonialized for its Tea& Spice production and now it is a part of the vibrant heritage of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan cultural heritage is influenced by many factors throughout the history. But the specialty is, it has still got its heritage and unique culture to offer to the world.