Five offbeat things to do while vacationing in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, often called the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is renowned for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. While many travellers flock to the island nation to indulge in its more conventional tourist attractions, countless offbeat experiences are waiting to be discovered. Here is a look at unique and offbeat things to do in Sri Lanka that will take your vacation to a whole new level.

Stay At Madulkelle Tea Estate

If you’re seeking a serene and picturesque encounter with Sri Lanka’s tea country, Madulkelle Tea Estate is the ultimate destination. This opulent eco-lodge presents capacious and cosy tents, each offering awe-inspiring vistas of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Here, you can relish the refreshing mountain air, immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature, and partake in an array of activities such as hiking, cycling, yoga, and tea sampling. In addition to the luxurious accommodations in your private tent, the estate grants you a distinctive chance to explore the tea plantations and gain insight into the art of tea production.

Pass Through The Tunnel Of Hell

The tunnel of Hell, Wewurukannala Vihara near Dikwella, Sri LankaShutterstock

Wewurukannala Vihara, nestled in the heart of Dikwella, Sri Lanka, is a mesmerizing temple known for its chilling “Tunnel of Hell.” This unique attraction offers tourists a surreal experience as they venture through a dark, winding tunnel adorned with vividly gruesome and graphic depictions of Buddhist hell, portraying the consequences of sin. The artwork is a stark reminder of the consequences of one’s actions according to Buddhist beliefs. Travellers are both fascinated and unnerved by this immersive and thought-provoking display, making Wewurukannala Vihara a must-visit for those seeking a profound encounter with Sri Lanka’s spiritual and artistic heritage.

Walk Through The Rajagiriya Marsh

Common Babbler bird resting on a tree branchShutterstock

Hidden amidst the serene landscapes of Sri Lanka, the Rajagiririya Marsh is a hidden gem that offers a respite from urban life. Tourists can explore the lush wetlands, home to diverse flora and fauna. The atmosphere invites visitors to unwind and observe numerous bird species, butterflies, and aquatic life. Strolling along the raised wooden walkways, you’ll witness the delicate balance of a thriving ecosystem. Rajagiririya Marsh is a reminder of Sri Lanka’s stunning natural beauty, providing an opportunity to reconnect with nature while being just a stone’s throw from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Swim On The East Coast

A Catamaran standing still on a lonely Passikuda sea in East coast of Sri LankaShutterstock

Sri Lanka’s east coast is less developed and more pristine than the west coast. It has some of the best beaches and surfing spots in the country, as well as some of the most diverse marine life. You can swim in the clear blue waters of Nilaveli, Arugam Bay, Pasikudah, or Trincomalee and see dolphins, whales, turtles, and coral reefs. You can also visit some of the historical and cultural attractions nearby, such as Fort Frederick, Koneswaram Temple, and Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara.

Take The Slow Train From Kandy To Ella

Kandy to Ella train journey, known to be the most beautiful train journey in the worldShutterstock

Travelling by train is one of the most scenic and enjoyable ways to explore Sri Lanka, and the route from Kandy to Ella is particularly picturesque. The train passes through hills, tea plantations, waterfalls, and bridges, offering spectacular views at every turn. You can choose to sit back and relax in one of the old-fashioned carriages or hang out of the open doors and windows to feel the breeze and capture some stunning photographs. The journey takes around seven hours, but it’s worth every minute to experience the natural beauty of Sri Lanka in all its glory. If you find yourself in Kandy or Ella, purchasing tickets directly at the station is an option. Alternatively, when in other regions of Sri Lanka, you can acquire tickets from local travel agencies.