Things to Do in Southern Province
Located in southern Sri Lanka, Udawalawe National Park is the island’s 6th-largest reserve, created in 1972 to house wildlife displaced by the building of the Udawalawe Reservoir. Spot animals such as elephant, buffalo, deer, crocodiles, leopards, and exotic birdlife among the park’s 119 square miles (308 square kilometers).
The Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project is a small venue in Kosgoda that’s run by volunteers and relies on donations to help protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction.
The central aim of the project is to monitor local sea turtle activity and to conserve the local nesting sites. A crucial element is the hatchery, where rescued eggs can hatch safely, away from the clutches of potential predators (or poachers) before being released into the ocean at night. In addition, a selection from each hatching are kept at the sanctuary for a short period for 'headstarting' before their release.
Another of the project’s aims is to increase public awareness of how endangered the creatures are and just how important it is to help protect them as a species. Volunteers are on hand to show guests around the various tanks to see (but not touch) the different types of turtles. These volunteers are generally well-informed and encourage visitors to ask questions and find out more about the project.
Mulkirigala Rock Temple (Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara) refers to a collection of ancient Buddhist cave temples situated on a craggy rock in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by lush green forest, there are seven rock caves perched on five terraced levels of varying altitudes. These include the Lower Terrace (Patha Maluwa), Bo Tree Terrace (Bodhi Maluwa), the Great King's Temple Terrace (Raja Maha Vihara Maluwa), Upper Bo Tree Terrace (Uda Bodhi Maluwa), and Chetiya Terrace (Chaitya Maluwa).
All levels of the Mulgrigala rock temples are reached via well-paved granite pathways and many steps. Along the way, you’ll see reclining, seated, and standing Buddhas images, as well as elaborate religious wall paintings within the caves. Further up, perched at the summit some 205 meters above sea level (and having climbed more than 500 steps), you’ll find a small dagoba, not to mention some incredible views over the surrounding forests.
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