Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise packed full of captivating contrasts. Along with an intriguing past that has produced ancient cities and religious relics, this diminutive yet delightful island boasts lush jungles, beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, and colourful coral reefs.
For this reason, it is a superb destination for photographers wanting to capture history, culture, scenery, and everything in-between. But where are the best places to get snap happy in Sri Lanka?
Seeing as not much goes on in the quiet beach town of Ahungalla, it is an ideal place to relax and unwind. However, this also gives photographers the opportunity to document what life is really like on the Sri Lankan coast. You’re also not far away from the town of Galle and its historic fort as well as various tea plantations and national parks inland.
Dambulla Cave Temple
One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sites, this was the location of a huge Buddhist monastic settlement in the third century BC. There is even archaeological evidence of human occupation, which traces its roots back to the pre-historic period and the megalithic cemetery at Ibbankatuwa. Today, the Dambulla Cave Temple is a photographer’s dream, as the complex is ripe for exploration with rock paintings, cultural artifacts, and some 157 statues of varying sizes.
The best thing about the small village of Kammala, located on Sri Lanka’s west coast, it is a fantastic location. Up the road you’ll find the city of Negombo, while the country’s capital, Colombo, is only a day trip away. You can also make a beeline for must-see attractions like Sigiriya Rock and Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth with your camera in hand. Choose to stay here and you can give your shutter finger a break by soaking up the sun on golden sand beaches, which stretch along the tantalising Indian Ocean.
Known as ‘Little England’, the remnants of British occupation found in the hill city of Nuwara Eliya makes it a lot different to the rest of Sri Lanka. But this is all the more reason to get out your camera and take some pictures, as the surreal sight of red telephone boxes, pretty rose gardens, and colonial-style bungalows is well worth documenting. The bustling town centre and rolling tea plantations are typically Sri Lankan though.
There are more palm trees than people in the village of Wadduwa, giving it a serene and secluded appeal. However, there is still plenty of scope for photos, so point your camera in the direction of the local fisherman, who provide the beach-side restaurants with the freshest seafood around for that evening’s fare. Make sure you witness the hustle and bustle of Pettah Market too, which will make your viewfinder pop with an abundance of colour.
The countless contrasts found within Sri Lanka are a blessing for any photographer. Not only will you be spoilt for choice with potential pictures, you’ll also be able to recharge your own batteries each night thanks to this island’s superb hospitality.
Ahungalla – Image by motumboe on flickr – Creative Commons
Reclining Buddha – Wikipedia Creative Commons
Nuwara Eliya – Image by Eleleleven on flickr – Creative Commons
Guest Author Bio
Karen Osborne is an outdoor enthusiast who spends her spare time reviewing equipment for a variety of companies. She particularly loves cycling, and enjoys testing her limits when she’s out on the trails.