Located in the heart of Sri Lanka, between Kandy and Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, and surrounded by the Knuckles mountain range, the midsized regional town of Matale is home to two very interesting archaeological sites. The historical and sacred Aluvihara Temple was where the Tripitaka Buddhist scriptures were first committed to writing. The history dates back to 3 B.C. and it is believed that King Devanampiyatissa constructed the site after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign. The second is Nalanda Gedige, a mysterious and ancient shrine constructed between the 8th and 10th century, combining elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. Both attractions are slightly off the beaten path, but are certainly worth a detour for a uniquely Sri Lankan experience.