Sheltered in the foothills, 15 km northeast of Tissa, is Kataragama.
A compelling mix of pomp and procession, piety and religious extravagance, this most holy of towns is a shot of oriental thrills at the end of an island-wide pilgrimage.
Along with Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada), this is the most important religious pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka and is a holy place for Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus alike.
The hill capital Kandy is another ‘World Heritage Site’.
It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement.
To the Buddhist of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (Maha Wasala), Palle Wasala, where the Queens stayed, but now used for the National Museum.
Meda Wasala where other close relatives lived, Audience Hall, Natha Devala and Vishnu Devala are situated. The Bathing Pavilion (Ulpenge) is by the Lake and in the Center of the lake is the Island called “Kiri samudraya” (Milk white ocean) used by the kings as the summerhouse.
Unawatuna is known for the fine sandy beaches, and is a beloved town for beach holidays.
In Unawatuna You can visit the Buddha temple, located on top of a cliff with a spectacular view.