Matale, heart of the Cultural Triangle
If variety is the spice of life, Matale, which lies at the heart of Sri Lanka’s fabled Cultural Triangle, is a cornucopia of experiences that underlies the richness of this tropical island paradise.
And it is the spices themselves—cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom and black pepper, to name but a few—that provide a fragrant and colorful backdrop to this historic central location.
Although Matale is also renowned for its equally fabled Ceylon teas, plus rubber and every type of vegetable, it is its spices that put Sri Lanka on the map of the ancient world, and which for thousands of years brought traders flocking from Ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
A trip to Matale would not be complete without a visit to at least one of the many spice gardens and tea plantations that dot the broad, fertile valley of this favourite hill-country destination.
And once up in the hills, be prepared for spectacular views and vistas of mountain ranges as they recede into the mist, and which have prompted the writers, painters and poets of the world to wax lyrical as they strive to do them justice.
The Matale tour package includes many of the sacred sites that make the Cultural Triangle such a magnet for visitors seeking a glimpse of how Sri Lanka’s fabled cultural antiquity created its present-day cultural diversity.
But while Hindus and Moslems have all played their part, it is Buddhism, and its close links to the royal families that once ruled this ancient kingdom, that provides so many UN World Heritage Sites and weaves its rich and colorful tapestry into the social fabric of the nation.