The plains of northern Sri Lanka have been known for millennia as Rajarata, “The King’s Land”, although nowadays the traditional name has largely lapsed and the region is generally referred to as the Cultural Triangle. The origins of the name date back to the 1970s and the government’s attempt to restore and promote the region’s great ruined monuments for the modern tourist industry – perhaps inspired by the “golden triangles” of Thailand and India. The three points of this imaginary triangle lie at the great Sinhalese capitals of Kandy in the south, Anuradhapura in the north and Polonnaruwa in the east, although in fact, this tourist-oriented invention presents a rather warped sense of the region’s past, given that the history of Kandy is quite different and separate – both chronologically and geographically – from that of the earlier capitals.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Sri Lanka features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

11 Aug 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Why Sri Lanka should be the next place you take your kids

Why Sri Lanka should be the next place you take your kids

Sri Lanka is blessed with all the essential ingredients for the family trip of a lifetime. Comparatively compact, with a colourful cultural identity, incredible…

24 Jul 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
16 evocative pictures of Sri Lanka

16 evocative pictures of Sri Lanka

After a couple of weeks travelling across Sri Lanka, photographer Nori Jemil shares why this Indian Ocean island is a perfect subject. Here are 16 of her favour…

04 Oct 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month