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Hidden Villages in Sri Lanka.

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Sri Lanka had several lesser-known and hidden villages that were not as popular among tourists but still offered unique experiences. Keep in mind that the popularity of destinations can change over time, and new hidden gems might have emerged since then. Here are a few lesser-known villages in Sri Lanka that were worth exploring:

1. Ella:

While Ella is not entirely unknown, it's a smaller town located in the hill country known for its stunning views of tea plantations, waterfalls, and hiking opportunities.

2. Jaffna:

Jaffna, Sri Lanka, is a city located in the northern part of the country. It offers a distinct cultural experience with its Tamil heritage and historical sites. Jaffna is known for its rich history, vibrant traditions, and unique attractions that showcase the region's heritage and beauty.

3. Arugam Bay:

Arugam Bay is a laid-back beach town on the east coast, Arugam Bay is a paradise for surfers and travelers seeking a more relaxed atmosphere.

4. Mannar Island:

Mannar Island, also known as Mannar, is a small island located in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It lies in the Palk Strait, separating the island nation of Sri Lanka from the southern tip of India's Tamil Nadu state.

Here are some key points about Mannar Island:

i. Location: Mannar Island is situated in the northwestern part of Sri Lanka, in the Gulf of Mannar. ii. Bridge to the Mainland: Mannar Island was historically connected to the Sri Lankan mainland by a causeway known as Mannar Causeway, which facilitated road access. It is possible that additional infrastructure developments may have taken place beyond my last update, such as a new bridge or changes to the causeway, so it is recommended to check for the latest information.

5. Dambana:

Dambana is a term used in Sri Lanka to refer to remote villages or settlements of indigenous communities. One such indigenous group in Sri Lanka is the Vedda people. They are considered the original inhabitants of the island and have a distinct culture and way of life. The Vedda community primarily resides in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, in areas such as Dambana, Henanigala, and Mahiyangana. Dambana, in particular, is known as one of the main settlements of the Vedda people. The Vedda community has faced challenges in preserving their traditional lifestyle and culture, as modernization and development have impacted their way of life. However, there have been efforts to protect their cultural heritage and promote awareness about their unique traditions.

6. Meemure:

Meemure is a remote village located in the Knuckles Mountain Range, in the Kandy District of Sri Lanka. It is known for its picturesque and untouched natural beauty, making it a popular destination for adventurous travelers and nature enthusiasts. Here are some key highlights about Meemure: i.Isolated Location: Meemure is relatively isolated and can be reached by traveling through rugged terrain, including trekking trails and narrow roads. The journey to Meemure itself is an adventurous experience. ii.Scenic Beauty: The village is surrounded by lush greenery, mountains, and waterfalls, offering breathtaking views and excellent opportunities for trekking, hiking, and exploring nature.

iii.Traditional Lifestyle: Meemure is known for preserving its traditional lifestyle and customs. The villagers lead a simple life and have retained many aspects of their ancient cultural practices. Vi.Knuckles Conservation Forest: Meemure is situated close to the Knuckles Conservation Forest, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forest is rich in biodiversity, featuring a wide variety of flora and fauna. V.Camping and Trekking: Many visitors come to Meemure for camping and trekking experiences. There are various trekking routes and trails that lead to scenic viewpoints and natural landmarks. Iv.Water Activities: The nearby rivers and streams provide opportunities for activities like bathing in natural pools, river trekking, and even white-water rafting.

7. Kudumbigala Monastery:

Kudumbigala Monastery is an ancient Buddhist site located in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, near the town of Ampara. It holds historical and religious significance and is considered one of the most important ancient forest monasteries on the island. The site is nestled within the Kudumbigala Wildlife Sanctuary, which adds to its natural beauty and tranquility.

Key features of Kudumbigala Monastery:

I. History: The exact origins of the monastery are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have been established during the ancient Anuradhapura period (3rd century BCE to 10th century CE). Some inscriptions found in the area date back to the 2nd century BCE, indicating that the site may have been inhabited by monks even before the formal establishment of the monastery.

Ii. Architecture: The architecture at Kudumbigala reflects a blend of both early Anuradhapura and later Polonnaruwa periods. The monastery includes cave dwellings, stupas, dagobas (dome-shaped structures containing relics), and other ruins that showcase the artistic and architectural skills of ancient Sri Lankans.

Iii. Meditation: Historically, Kudumbigala Monastery was primarily used as a meditation retreat for Buddhist monks. The secluded and peaceful environment of the forest provided an ideal setting for meditation and spiritual contemplation.

Iv. Ancient Scriptures: The monastery is associated with ancient scriptures, and it is said that important texts and writings related to Buddhism were once preserved here.

V. Preservation: In recent years, Kudumbigala Monastery has undergone restoration and conservation efforts by the Sri Lankan authorities to protect its cultural heritage and make it accessible to visitors.

Vi. Scenic Surroundings: The site is surrounded by lush greenery and offers panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness and coastline, making it an attractive destination for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Visitors to Kudumbigala Monastery should be mindful of its religious and cultural significance and act respectfully while exploring the area. As with any historical site, it's important to adhere to any guidelines set forth by the authorities to preserve the site for future generations to enjoy.

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