The elephant is a synonymous symbol in Sri Lanka, for a variety of reasons and in a myriad of forms. Elephants are used as a representation of the country, part and parcel of religious events and cultural events. Although smaller than its larger African counterparts, the Sri Lankan elephant has been part of this nation’s history for centuries. It is also one of the few animals to grace the local currency, hence placing greater emphasis on its majestic appeal.
It is not an uncommon sight to see elephants partake in major cultural festivals such as the Kandy Perahara in August, where they are beautifully adorned in traditional clothing whilst carrying religious relics in procession.
Considering that elephants are an endangered species, they can be seen in nature reserves situated across the island. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka, where locals and tourists alike can see one of the largest gatherings of captive elephants in the world. Located 80 kilometres from Colombo, reaching this elephant orphanage is an easy task. During the months from August to September, an exceptional sight occurs where over 300 elephants gather together in the northern central province near Minneriya Lake in the Minneriya National Park during the dry season. It is an intriguing sight to see such a large concentration of elephants in just a few square kilometres. Yala National Park is also another extremely popular destination to see elephants in Sri Lanka, amongst other wildlife.
Tourists to Sri Lanka can also delight in the elephant back safaris. There is nothing to beat traversing along on a jungle trek atop an elephant’s back. Riding these gentle and stately animals is a humbling experience, whilst taking a glimpse in to an era long gone. It is also not a rare sight to see an elephant along the beaches with their mahouts who are more than willing to let you take a picture and go for a ride, if the price is right!
There are numerous souvenirs and beautifully hand crafted items to be bought in around Sri Lanka, making ideal memorabilia from your journey to this tropical paradise. For more information on Sri Lanka travel, visit TrulySriLanka
a website dedicated to providing a rich source of information on this slice of paradise, enabling you to plan one of the most perfect Sri Lanka tours.