Beautiful, exotic Sri Lanka certainly is as much of a spiritual holiday destination as it is a cultural one. The island exudes a real special ambience and it is home to endless sacred grounds, mountain peaks, holy temples, ancient forgotten cities and enchanting nature. Here’s how to have a spiritual holiday in Sri Lanka:
First of all, upon arriving at your villa in Sri Lanka, get rest, take your time to land and adapt to the scents, the colours, the heat and everything else new on this gorgeous island. To help you get settled in and feel recharged again, recovered from your jetlag, explore the benefits of Ayurveda – an alternative way of healing that blew over to Sri Lanka from India. These ancient traditions and healing methods are deeply entwined with the Sri Lankan culture, and it gives a perfect start to your spiritual holiday on the island. The Ayurvedic approach is holistic, touching and healing your body, your mind and your spirit: all is one! You can settle for an ayurvedic massage but you can also dive deeper into and visit an Ayurvedic doctor to find out what Ayurvedic type you are, what diet you should follow and what else is good for you to find harmony and balance.
2. The temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
This temple, located in the beautiful city of Kandy on the border of the central highlands of Sri Lanka, is the most sacred pilgrimage site on the island. As the name already reveals, this temple is home to a sacred tooth and just any but an actual tooth of Lord Buddha himself… or so the myths say. The tooth is kept safe in a pagoda-shaped little box in a heavily guarded room meaning you don’t get to see the actual tooth, but with all the worshippers coming to see this sacred Buddhist relic, your spiritual journey in Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this place. Besides, This golden-roofed temple, where the relic is safely stored, is a beauty to see. On top of that Kandy is a wonderful city with a beautiful lake and it was the last capital of the ancient kings era of Sri Lanka.Surrounded by tea plantations and hills, all spiritual travelers are bound to love it here, finding tranquility and peace of mind.
3. The sacred city of Anuradhapura
This ancient sacred city is a must-see on your spiritual journey to Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura dates back to 900 BC and it was the capital city of the Sinhalese Kingdom until the 11th century. After an invasion, this holy city lay hidden in the jungle for ages until rediscovered in the 19th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage and a pilgrimage refuge for Buddhists. Within this city of ruins that used to be sprawling, you can see endless stupas, sculptures, temples, palaces and ancient water reservoirs. The most sacred point of interest is the Bodhi Tree Temple, believed to be a cutting of the original bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha gained enlightenment. Wandering around here certainly is a special and unique experience and you can easily tell that you are walking on holy grounds.
4. Meditation and Yoga Retreats
In line with the Sri Lankan Ayurveda culture, the island has many splendid meditation and yoga retreats to connect with yourself and with nature again. The setting couldn’t be any better than here on this beautiful island, far away from everywhere and everyone. All around the island there are amazing retreat located, have a look here to find the right one for you.
5. Climbing Adam’s Peak
The hike up to the summit of Adam’s Peak Mountain is already soothing for your body, mind and soul. The beautiful views, the fresh air, the quiet- and peacefulness that calms your being naturally. Of course, it also takes a little bit of hard work to reach the summit, but once up there, the birds-eye view of the landscape is mind-blowing, plus you will get to see a giant footprint that is believed to be from Adam as he got expelled from paradise, hence the name of the sacred mountain. Having said that, the footprint has also been claimed to be of Mohammed and Buddha and therefore it attracts worshippers from different beliefs. Certainly interesting!
Written by Stephanie of Villa-Finder.com.