Instagram is fast becoming a space for people to share their travel photos. As a result, it is also a great way to find out what locations are most popular among travellers.
Curious to discover the most photographed locations in Sri Lanka, we scrolled through a ton of images (or, more accurately, all the location hashtags) to determine the most Instagrammed locations across the country.
Going by the numbers, the most popular areas seem to be coastal locations in the South and East of the Island, such as Galle, Yala, Hikkaduwa, and Mirissa. Places of cultural significance, like Kandy, Sigiriya and Dambulla, are also frequently photographed, while Colombo, with its fast developing metropolis, pretty much tops it all.
From historical sites to pristine beaches to the city itself, these are currently the top 15 most photographed Sri Lankan locations on Instagram:
1. Colombo – 390,469
With more people out and about in the commercial capital, eager to experience the fast evolving city life, it’s no surprise that Colombo is featured the most.
2. Kandy – 201,648
Popular photographed attractions in this sacred city include the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Lake, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
3. Galle – 101,038
The quaint cobblestone streets of the Galle Fort are bustling with locals and tourists enjoying the vibrant boutique shops and eateries. As for the lighthouse overlooking the sea, this is one photo op no visitor to Galle wants to miss.
4. Yala – 89,733
The stunning wildlife of the Yala National Park is a much anticipated attraction for both local and foreign visitors.
5. Hikkaduwa – 62,652
It’s all about the surf, sand, and sunshine, at this beloved coastal town.
6. Nuwara Eliya – 53,169
The misty mountaintops of these hills are best enjoyed with a steaming cup of tea, coupled with a view of the surrounding tea estates, or the magnificent Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, looming in the distance.
7. Sigiriya – 43,219
Considered a World Wonder by many, it’s not difficult to see why this ancient rock fortress is so popular.
Ever been to Sri Lanka? On a whim i found myself on a plane there in February this year and to date, it still is one of my best trips of the year! I've had a rough few months falling back into being a corporate drone and dealing with some unfortunate and painful events. But that's that! Here was I right on top of Sigiriya Rock which was once a palace in the 5th century. Not much of a palace nor a monastery is left but here you get amazing views of the Dambullah mountains 🙂 #srilanka #sigiriya #sigiriyarock #sigiriyarockfortress #travelsrilanka #dambullah
8. Mirissa – 38,956
Mirissa did receive some negative publicity in recent times, with their ‘no locals’ entrance policy at hospitality establishments. But, it’s hard to deny the beauty of its glistening waters, home to different species of whales and other exotic sea creatures.
Ребятки всем привет, я на месте! Из России выпускать не хотели, в аэропорту задали 100 вопросов, куда я, зачем, что и почему, даже билет обратный спросили, хотя редко такое бывает. В ближайшие пару месяцев я буду на Шри Ланке и буду радовать яркими и солнечными фотографиями вас. По вопросам фотосессий в Директ или what's up. О жизни на острове я буду рассказывать в следующих постах 🌴🍷💃🏻 #мирисса #mirissa #srilanka2015 #srilanka2015 #шриланка #шриланкафотограф
9. Unawatuna – 38,443
It’s hard to resist the clear waters of the Unawatuna Bay. This coastal town is a favourite in the Southern province.
10. Negombo – 35,839
As the second largest town in the Western Province, Negombo is best known for its beaches and fish markets.
11. Bentota – 34,454
Bentota is best known for its abundance of water sports; but the mangrove-fringed inner lakes of the town also deserve special a mention.
12. Jaffna – 27,383
This Northern-most town is an eclectic mix of Hindu art, culture, and tradition. It’s not as tourist-y as some of the other locations on the list, but that seems like it’s soon going to change.
13. Arugam Bay – 20,515
Probably the most happening town on the East coast of Sri Lanka, A-Bay attracts swarms of surfers eager to ride the waves, or others who simply seek to embrace the burning heat and wild landscapes of the East.
A farmer rounds up his water buffalo for the evening, guiding them back to the safety of their sleeping pen. Water buffalo in Sri Lanka are mainly reared for milk production (curd and gee) and used for the cultivation of rice; ploughing and preparing fields. Another farmer strolls by on his bike with a smile. #Arugambay #srilanka #east #eastcoast #exploresrilanka #srilankatoday #farmer #agriculture #bike #bicycle #fields #waterbuffalo #buffalo #rice #farm #farming
14. Dambulla – 18,457
This cultural town is home to the most extensive cave temple network in the country.
15. Anuradhapura – 14,890
Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdom, Anuradhapura has no shortage of beautiful ruins, and architectural wonders.
By @theheardle – The daily monsoonal storm rolling in gave this #ancient #dagoba in#Anuradhapura a spectacular backdrop helping to capture the enormity of this magnificent structure. The #Jetavanamonastery was built by King Mahasen (A.D. 271-303) once providing home and place of worship for thousands of #buddhist monks.
- Location hashtag numbers are those observed as at May 14, 2016.
- We acknowledge that there may be unrelated images tagged under the location hashtag, that may potentially skew the count.
- Location hashtags have been used as the basis of measurement for our analysis since geo-tagged locations don’t reveal the exact number of photos at each location.
- For the purpose of this article, only one location hashtag was chosen to determine the number of photos for each area/town.
Featured image courtesy dhammaparami.lk