Amazing Sights in Sri Lanka

Explore Sri Lanka, the small island off the coast of India. Check out some of the country's amazing sights, including the Golden Temple, Sigiriya rock, Yala National Park and Ramboda Falls.

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Chichen Itza is the largest known city of the Mayan civilization, located in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The powerful city flourished from AD 800 to 1200 and was a trading center for cloth, slaves, honey and salt. 960 1280

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The main attraction of Chichen Itza is the pyramid also known as El Castillo. Built sometime between 1000 and 1200, the pyramid was used as a temple to the god Kukulkan. Archaeologists believe that the pyramid also served as a calendar for the Mayas. In total it has 365 steps -- one for each day of the year. 960 1280

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The Christ the Redeemer statue stands at the top of the 2,330-foot-tall Corcovado Mountain, looming over the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 960 1280

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The 130-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ was completed in 1931 and is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. It is one of the largest Art Deco statues in the world, and it weighs in at 2.5 million pounds. 960 1280

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The Roman Colosseum was built between AD 70 and 80, and it was in used for gladiatorial events, battle reenactments, animal hunts and other performances for 500 years. 960 1280

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The Colosseum sat nearly 50,000 spectators, and its design still influences the construction of modern-day amphitheaters. Earthquakes and stone-robbers have left the Colosseum in a state of ruin, but portions of the structure remain open to tourists. 960 1280

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The Great Wall of China, actually a series of many walls, stretches 5,500 miles across northern China. 960 1280

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Built between the 5th and 16th centuries BC to protect China's borders from invasion by nomadic tribes, the Great Wall is the world's longest manmade structure. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca archaeological site, sits 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is often referred to as the 'Lost City of the Incas,' because it was known only to locals until it was discovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham. 960 1280

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Archaeologists estimate that 1,200 Incas could have lived in Machu Picchu, although many believe it was most likely a retreat for Incan rulers, built as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). 960 1280

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Petra, an archeological city in Jordan, is known for its dusty pink buildings carved out of rock and its impressive water conduit system. Built sometime around the 6th century BC, Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans. 960 1280

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The entrance to the city of Petra is through a narrow gorge, flanked on either side by 250-foot cliffs. The most recognizable building in Petra is the Treasury, carved completely out of rock as a tomb for a Nanataean king. The building's façade stands almost 150 feet high. 960 1280

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Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was so distraught by the passing of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal, that he commissioned an elaborate mausoleum to be built for her. The Taj Mahal shines as a symbol of eternal love and was built entirely of white marble. Construction stretched over a period of 22 years, beginning in the 1630s. 960 1280

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The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, India, is just one part of a vast complex that consists of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque, a guest house and several other magnificent buildings. 960 1280

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Jerusalem’s Old City

Jerusalem’s Old City

A Hanukkah menorah (also known as a “chanukiah”) glows in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City. The 8-day festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the 2nd century B.C. 960 1280

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun  

Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India

The father of a slain rabbi's wife lights a menorah in front of the landmark Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, a month after militants attacked several sites in the city, including a Jewish cultural center, back in 2008. Mumbai is currently home to 8 synagogues. Plans are underway to rebuild the Jewish center.
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Pal Pillai/ AFP/ Getty Images  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

A menorah stands on the White House Ellipse during the annual national Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony in Washington, DC. In 1979, Jimmy Carter became the first US president to participate in a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on the National Mall. Later, President Bill Clinton led the first ceremony of its kind inside the White House. 960 1280

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images  

NYC

NYC

Head to NYC to see the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah -- 32 feet high and weighing 4,000 pounds. The 9-branched, gold-colored steel candelabrum stands on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, across from Central Park, during the holiday, and was designed by contemporary Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. 960 1280

Chris Hondros/Getty Images  

Berlin

Berlin

Rabbis Shmuel Segal and Yehuda Teichtal of the Jewish Orthodox group Chabad help erect a menorah in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Dec. 7, 2012, ahead of Hanukkah celebrations. These days, Berlin is seeing a resurgence of Jewish life, including an estimated 20,000 Israelis. 960 1280

Reuters/Thomas Peter   

Paris

Paris

With the Eiffel Tower in the background, the chief rabbi of France (right) and the Israeli ambassador to France (center), prepare to light a menorah on Dec. 20, 2011, at the Champs de Mars in Paris. These days, France is home to nearly 500,000 Jews. 960 1280

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London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square glows from the light of a giant menorah, as a crowd watches the festivities unfold. The lighting ceremony is an annual event in this central London space, in a city that’s home to roughly 250,000 Jews. 960 1280

Reuters/Luke MacGregor   

South Beach Miami

South Beach Miami

A menorah made out of … seashells? Yep, that’s right. This towering creation -- made of more than 10,000 seashells, each personally collected by the artist himself -- was the handiwork of jazz musician Roger Abramson. 960 1280

Wally Gobetz, flickr  

Burlingame Pez Museum

Burlingame Pez Museum

Among the collection of vintage Pez dispensers, the world's largest Pez-dispensing machine resides at the Burlingame Pez Museum. The San Francisco Bay area museum also has an online store offering Pez dispensers of all kinds for candy enthusiasts to begin their own collection at home. 960 1280

Joey Rozier, flickr  

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Dedicated to documenting the culinary history of the American South, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans showcases exhibits on Louisiana’s multilayered cuisine, the importance of sugarcane in the South's growth and the art of barbecue, among others. 960 1280

Werner Krug  

The International UFO Museum and Research Center

The International UFO Museum and Research Center

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is located in -- where else? -- Roswell, NM. With an extensive research library open to anyone looking to learn all they can about UFOs, the museum’s mission is to educate the public on UFOs. 960 1280

Robb Sheridan, flickr  

Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex

The Museum of Sex, or MoSex, is definitely Fifth Avenue’s most … innovative establishment. Opened in New York City in 2002, the museum has drawn visitors from all over the world seeking an open discourse on sexuality -- and the museum's collection of sex-related art, photography, costumes, inventions and historical artifacts does not disappoint. 960 1280

Scott Beale, flickr  

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan is sure to inspire nostalgia for your good ole college days. With exhibits on ramen history and a replica of a section of Toyko in 1958 -- the year instant noodles were invented -- the museum makes it difficult to leave without craving the noodle dish. Thank goodness there's a ramen food court at the museum, too. 960 1280

Lucius Kwok, flickr   

Museum of Bad Art

Museum of Bad Art

The Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, prides itself on collecting and preserving art that’s "too bad to be ignored." Art is subjective, you say? A visit to one of the museum's 3 Boston-area galleries should change your mind. 960 1280

Chris Devers, flickr  

Giant Shoe Museum

Giant Shoe Museum

Seattle's Giant Shoe Museum started out as a place to display one man's collection of novelty shoes. But when the museum acquired the world's tallest man's shoe, it became what it is today -- a photo op for tourists wondering just how tall the world's tallest man was. 960 1280

Joey deVilla, flickr  

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Dedicated to educating the public on the history of toilets and helping toilet manufacturers improve their skills by showing them the mistakes of the past, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets is on a sanitation crusade. Don’t worry if you can't make it to New Delhi to visit this unique repository of toilets -- the entire museum is online. 960 1280

Nathan Cooke, flickr   

The Collection of Questionable Medical Devices

The Collection of Questionable Medical Devices

The Science Museum of Minnesota's collection of Questionable Medical Devices includes a Psychograph. Invented by a Wisconsin man named Henry Lavery in the 1930s, the Psychograph was designed to read the bumps on a patient's head, measuring the strength of their personality traits. The Psychograph would generate a report, ranking the patient's talents and personality characteristics, based on the size and shape of their skull. 960 1280

Science Museum of Minnesota  

The Fan Museum

The Fan Museum

Dedicated not only to fans, but also to fan-making, the Fan Museum in London is one-of-a-kind place located within the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich. The museum features a collection of more than 3,500 fans dating back to the 11th century, as well as an orangery, or an 18th-century greenhouse, where afternoon tea is served each Tuesday and Sunday. 960 1280

Visit Greenwich, flickr  

National Mustard Museum

National Mustard Museum

Middleton, WI, is the proud home of the National Mustard Museum, free to the public and filled with more than 5,400 kinds of everyone's second favorite condiment: mustard. Every Aug. 4, also known as National Mustard Day, the streets of downtown Middleton come alive with free hot dogs, mustard custard and condiment mascots. 960 1280

Courtesy of National Mustard Museum  

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

An entire museum is devoted to the "devil's rope" in the barbed wire capital of the world: La Crosse, KS. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum celebrates the invention that tamed the West, according to the museum’s founders. Displays demonstrate barbed wire's significance during warfare and in keeping cattle and bison from roaming freely. 960 1280

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum  

Chicken Art Museum

Chicken Art Museum

Chickens are an important symbol in Korean culture -- they're thought to act as messengers between heaven and earth, exorcise evil spirits and bring prosperity. So it comes as no surprise that there’s a museum in Seoul, South Korea, devoted to chicken-inspired art. The Chicken Art Museum features chicken sculptures and paintings from cultures worldwide. 960 1280

Jerry Michalski, flickr