The Splendor of Ancient Cities

Duration: 11 Days - 10 Nights

Day 01 AIRPORT – NEGOMBO

Most of the visitors around the globe, select Sri Lanka as their traveling destination to witness the rich cultural heritage of the nation. Our cultural tours in Sri Lanka cover all the aspects of cultural highlights in Sri Lanka.

The representative will meet arrival at Bandaranayaka International airport, on arrival clients. Thereafter they will be introduced to the local tour guide/ Chauffeur who will be accompanied them around the Island.

Transfer to Negombo (Approx 20mts drive)

Afternoon commence city tour of Negombo (Approx 02hrs)

Negombo is a famous fishing village North of Colombo, with a Dutch built Canal.  The canal itself is a hive of activity with all the fishermen travelling up and down in their gaily painted boats.  One the shores of the canal you will find many homes and churches and many species of birds including spectacular Kingfishers and Parrots.  Catamaran trips in the sea and boat trips in canal can be organized.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 02 NEGOMBO – ANURADHAPURA – MIHINTALE –DAMBULLA

After breakfast leave for Aukana (Approx 3 ½ – 04 hrs)

Aukana Buddha undoubtedly, the most magnificent undamaged ancient images in the island.  This 5th Century statue, ascribed to King Dhatusena, is 42½ feet (13 meters) high, standing beneath a recently constructed brick shelter, a reconstruction of an image house said to have contained it 1,000 years ago.  Aukana means “sun-eating “, and the image is best viewed when the sun rises.  It is situated 32 miles (51 kilometers) southeast of Anuradhapura via the great tank of Kalawewa. (Approx 30 – 45 mts spend)

Afternoon proceed to Anuradhapura for sightseeing (Approx 30mts)

ANURADHAPURA - the capital of Sri Lanka from the 05th Century B.C. to the end of the 10th Century A.D. was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas constructed of bricks and are hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagobas are the Ruvanveliseya dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. and is 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and the Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. Anuradhapura is a “World Heritage Site” (Approx 02 – 02 ½ hrs for sightseeing)

Late afternoon leave for Dambulla en-route visiting Mihintale (Approx 20 mts to reach Mihintale)

Mihintale - 8 miles from Anuradhapura is the” Cradle of Buddhism” in Sri Lanka.  Mihintale is the first sanctuary in the world for Flora & Fauna declared in 247 B.C and is still a sanctuary.  The King of Anuradhapura met the missiony Arahat Mahinda here, and the monument dates from 3rd C.B.C. When you climb 1840 steps you see Ambastale Dagaba, Maha Seya, Kantaka Cetiya, Alms Hall,  Hospital,  Kaludiya Pokuna,  Naga Pokuna and other monuments.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 03 DAMBULLA  – POLONNARUWA – MINNARIYA – DAMBULLA

After breakfast excursion to Polonnaruwa for sightseeing (Aprox 01 – 1 ½ hrs)

Polonnaruwa - Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th - 13th C.A.D Great revival was achieved in the country, politically, economically and socially during the period of Kings Vijayabahu 1, Parakramabahu 1 and Nissankamalla of the Polonnaruwa period. The monuments are better preserved than at Anuradhapura. Parakrama Statue, Royal Palaces, Audience Halls, Vata-da-ge, Thuparama, Rankoth Vehera, Kiri-Vehera, Gal-Vihara, Lankathilaka and Tivanka Image House are some of the interesting monuments here. (Approx 02 hrs)

Afternoon Safari at Minnariya National Park by jeep, - OPTIONAL

Minneriya National Park - This area covers the former Minneriya - Giritale Sanctuary.  About 200 Wild Elephants, Wild Buffaloes, Eild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear, Sambhur, Leopards, Crocodiles, Lackals, 9 kinds of Amphibians, 25 kinds of Reptiles, 160 speices of Birds, 26 varietys of Fishes, 78 varieties of Butterflies are recorded from the Minneriya National sanctuary.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 04 DAMBULLLA  – SIGIRIYA – DAMBULLA – KANDY

After breakfast visit Sigiriya & climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress  (Approx 02 hours to climb up and return )

Sigiriya - is home to the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defense the huge rock rises almost to a sheer height of 500ft. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of Frescoes of life sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original color. Thereafter proceed to Kandy en-route visiting Dambulla Cave Temples & a spice garden in  Matale, (Approx 30mts to reach Dambulla)

Dambulla - Dambulla is famous for the five cave Temples on a rock.  The first 03 caves are better, older and larger than the other two.  Some caves dates to 1st C.B.C. All the 5 cave walls and ceilings are covered with Buddhist murals and there are more than 130 Buddha statues, statues of Gods and Kings are also found here. (Approx 01 – 1 ½ hrs to climb up and return)

A spice Garden, Spice Garden at Matale and see the luscious Cinnamons, Cardamons, Pepper plants etc. You can also purchase your requirements of spices. (Reach Approx 1 – 1 ½ hrs) (Approx 30 – 45 mts to spend) To reach Kandy from Matale (Approx 01 ½ hour) -

Afternoon commence city tour of Kandy, including Upper Lake Drive, Market Square, Arts & Crafts Centre, Gem Museum. (Approx 02 – 2 ½ hrs)

Kandy - the hill capital, venue of the annual Perahera. The last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Kandy is an example of the Buddhism's influence in Sri Lanka today. Temple's shrines and monasteries keeping alive Buddhist traditions are everywhere.

Evening visit The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relics and Cultural dance performance (Approx 01 – 1 ½ hrs spend in Temple). Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha's Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess' hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka's most prized possession. (Approx 01hour)

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 05 KANDY –  RAMBODA – HAKGALA – NUWARA ELIYA

After breakfast proceed to Kandapola via Ramboda en route visiting a tea estate & factory (Approx  03 – 3 ½ hrs to reach Nuwara Eliya)

Evening commence city tour in Nuwara Eliya, including visit Hakgala Botanical Garden  (Approx  01 hour)

Nuwara Eliya – The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations.  It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island, but is really just like an England spring day although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence.  Houses are like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.(Approx 01hour)

Hakgala Botanical Gardens – 9 kilo meters from Nuwara Eliya, below the Hakgala Peak and Strict Nature Reserve, in a 55 acre land, is the Hakgala Botanical Gardens.  It is well laid with temperate and semi- temperate trees and plants, at an elevation of 5600ft. This garden was opened as an experimental station for Cinchona in 1860, for the production of quinine for Malaria.  Famous for the well – laid garden of Roses, and Tree ferns, with a beautiful summerhouse.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 06 NUWARA ELIYA – HORTON PLAINS – BANDARAWELLA

Early morning at 0500 am pick up from the Hotel with breakfast packets & proceed to Horton Plains (Approx 05 – 05 ½ hour to return)

Horton Plains – The highest plateau at 7000ft (2134 meters) is a National Park, visited by tourists and a large number of Sri Lanka tourists. The Patnas in the lower parts, rising from the Marshes and streams extends up to the tree-line.  The trees, stunted by the wind and mist, covered with ‘Sphagnum moss ‘ or old man’s beard, and the jungle is full of rare and endemic plants. The red flowered Rhododendrons, or the ‘Niloos’ that blooms once in 12 years, and the Butterflies, Birds, found only in the hill areas, the ‘Bear Monkey,’ large herds of Sambhur, Leopard and other animals are found in the plains. The ‘World End’ and ‘Little World End” with sheer drops of 3000ft to the plantation below and the beautiful scenery, are not found anywhere else in the country.

Thereafter leave for Bandarawella (Approx 01 – 01 ½ hour to return)

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 07 BANDARAWELLA – HAPUTALE – KATARAGAMA – YALA

After breakfast leave for Kataragama via Haputale

Kataragama – Dedicated to God Skanda (Murugan for Hindus) a deity who came from India, married a local girl call Valli and lived here.  He is treated by Hindus as the God of war.  The annual festival is held during the month of July, culminating in the fire walking by large number of devotees and the water cutting ceremony. Here is a complex of temples dedicated to various Gods and deities; in the sacred area and large number of shops providing fruit offerings prepared to be purchased by devotees.

Large crowds make the offerings in the morning, mid-day and evening. The girls working for the temple offering lights, and the ceremonies connected with the Pooja are interesting for visitors.

Thereafter transfer to Kataragama.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 08 YALA

After breakfast safari at Yana National Park,

Yala National Park – 185 miles from Colombo. Yala National Park is 378 sq. miles in extent. Yala was established in 1938 from, what originally was a Sportsman’s shooting reserve.

This is the most famous and well developed National Park where wild animals and birds could be observed. The Wild animals include Elephants in herds of varying sizes, Leopards, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Crocodiles, Peacocks, Jackal, Sloth Bear and other animals.

The bird-life comprises of about 130 species including the resident and migrants.  Painted storks, Paradise Flycatcher, Grey Herons, Serpent Eagle, Sea Eagle, Black-Necked Stork, Spoonbills, Pelicans add color to the bird-life in the park. (Approx 03hrs)

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.      

Day 09 YALA – GALLE – BENTOTA

After breakfast leave for Bentota en-route visiting Galle Dutch Fort (Approx 06 hrs to reach Galle)

Galle – 72 miles from Colombo.  This is the most ancient and important harbor of the country, until the Colombo harbor was established.  Galle is identified as the ‘Tarshis ‘ of the Bible.  This was captured by the Portuguese in 1587 A.D, Dutch in 1640 A.D, and British in 1796 A.D. Most of the existing buildings date to Dutch Period.  The Bastians are still using Dutch names such as Zwart, Akesloot, Aeloes etc.  Famous for lace making, Ebony carving, Gem cutting & polishing, out on shooting chanced on Nuwara Eliya plains, and Sir Edward Barnes investigated on it.   (Approx 01 – 1 ½ hrs to visit)

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.    

Day 10 BENTOTA

Full Day leisure.

Dinner & overnight stay at the selected hotel.      

Day 11 BENTOTA – AIRPORT

After breakfast transfer to the Airport in time to connect the departure flight.

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