Tissa, as this south-eastern town is known, is surrounded by rice paddies and ancient temples. Visit the recently restored white-domed Tessa Dagoba, a Buddhist stupa that is thought to have held relics of Buddha. Aside from its rich cultural and religious offerings, it is also a nature lover’s paradise. The Tissa Lake attracts flocks of roosting egrets and, if you’re up for a safari, a visit to Yala National Park is a must. It covers an area of 1 260 square km, but only one fifth is open to visitors. The remainder is designated as a strict natural reserve. A wide variety of wildlife can be seen, including elephants, leopard, sloth bears, water buffalos, wild boars, golden jackals and spotted deers.

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