It is a bit silly to talk about “the interior” of a country where the coast is never more than 100km away, but that won’t stop me! There is a different kind of beauty away from the coast: tea country, forests, ancient temples, rock fortresses, hiking trails.
Ella. Gorgeous little Ella's busy corner. Excellent hiking in the hills.
A wave of tea bushes in Haputale.
Tea is a major employer in Sri Lanka. This factory belongs to a well known company, Liptons.
It's hard work, pays piece rates but picking tea is generally a better option than other work around, and the workers enjoy benefits like school and medical for families.
Preparing the tea leaves for drying. Poor fella can't even stand up straight.
Trains are always a better option than a bus, but a rarely as convenient. Heading down from the hill country by bus though was never an option.
Looking a bit rickety, a three storey shop/residence stand in Kandy's market district.
Kandy attracts many tourists and pilgrims to its Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Cultural peformances are staged in the evenings.
"Tourist Dance Performances" may be performed for tourists, but where else are you going to see them? This one in Kandy was quite a show.
Kandy is the largest inland town in Sri Lanka. Here lawyers' shingles compete for space near the courts.
Thick forests abut farmland in the area around Sinharaja National PArk.
Ratnapura is a gem mining and jewelry making town.
While mines dot the landscape, farming remains equally impportant.
Like the rest of the sub-continent, when the work is done, it's time to play cricket.
Whether you are down unstable mine shaft, or breaking your back in the fields, the beauty of the landscape probably won't make up for the tough rural life.
Wandering through villages and farming areas will often gather a crowd.
Several cities and towns in the country's north-central area have historical Buddhist monuments.
Anuradhapura, at 2500 years, is the oldest of those towns.
The rock fortress of Sigiriya is over 1500 years old.
King Kashyapa chose the sight for his capital, but it was abandonded after his death. It served as a Buddhist monastry until about 1500.
12th century reclining Buddha of Galvihara at Polonnaruwa.
Frescoes decorate the walls of Sigiriya.
Buddhist links to Sri Lanka are extremely old, including a tree sourced from one under which the buddha himself achieved enlightenment.