Highlights & Glamour


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Highlights & Glamour Of Sri Lanka - 28 Nights 29 Days

The ancient capital of Anuradhapura reigned supreme for over a millennium as one of the greatest monastic cities of the ancient world famed for Buddhist culture and architectural achievements across Asia and Europe. Ruled by 113 successive kings and four queens, Anuradharpura was a majestic sprawl of magnificent palaces, ornate pleasure gardens, exquisite sculptures and vast Buddhist temples. The three main ‘dagabas’ are amongst the biggest architectural creations of the ancient world smaller in size only to the pyramids at Giza.

  •  ITINERARY 
  • INCLUDES & EXCLUDES
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DAY 1 | AIRPORT - COLOMBO

Arrival in Sri Lanka at Bandaranayeke International Airport and transfer to Colombo. You will be greeted by one of our Chauffer Guides at the airport. 


Proceed on a sightseeing tour of Colombo which includes Fort, Pettah, Sea Street, the Gangarama Temple, a National Museum, Old Parliament and the Town Hall only if time permits.

 

COLOMBO

 

The commercial capital of Sri Lanka and the true hub of all activity in the island, Colombo is a buzzing hotpot of cosmopolitan life. In this throbbing city, a heady mix of cultures thrives. Here, contrasting landmarks - ancient sites, colonial masterpieces and ultra-modern skyscrapers sit side by side. Quaint old shops and wayside stalls lie under the shadows of glittering stores and sprawling shopping malls. Similarly, lifestyles and traditions old and new continue, making Colombo a unique and exciting city. Its history dates far back: the port of Colombo was influential as early as the 5th century when ships from Rome, Arabia, and China traded with Sinhalese kings for food supplies, spices and jewels. The subsequent colonial powers also left their individual legacies – and the Portuguese, Dutch and English influence remains very much to date. Many of the grand colonial buildings are lovingly restored – as beautiful arcades or grand hotels, and many old period style homes as cafes, shops and guest houses. The colourful fabric of today’s society comprise Sinhalese, Moors, Tamils, Burghers (Portuguese, Dutch and British descendants), Chinese, and Malay populations. Several historical sites including ancient Buddhist temples, Hindu Kovils, churches, and mosques are found in the heart of the city as well. The attractions of Colombo are countless with many museums, art galleries, golf courses, gyms, spas and salons, bars, restaurants, night clubs, cafes and coffee shops to keep you busy.

DAY 2 | COLOMBO

Early Breakfast. Proceed to Anuradhapura, which is approximately about five and half hour’s drive from Colombo. (Drive time to Pinnawala from Colombo approximately 2 and half hrs and from Pinnawala to Anuradhapura approximately 3 hrs)
En route, visit the famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

 

PINNAWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE

 

The town of Pinnawala near Kegalle, on the route to Kandy has become a vital stopover for most travellers who flock to visit the famed Elephant Orphanage. Begun in 1972, the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala is a remarkable project created to protect abandoned or orphaned wild elephants who would not otherwise have survived in the wild. Relocated to the present size in 1975, today it has grown to become one of Sri Lanka’s key attractions. The elephants roam free within the sanctuary – and the highlight of their (and the visitors’) day is the feeding sessions and when they are led down to the river for a bath. From the banks of the river you can watch these gleeful herds of elephants splashing around freely on the river. The wildlife guides here will also provide you with background on elephants in Sri Lanka and their remarkable – and often fragile partnership with man. The nearby Eliphus Maximus project which produces elephant dung paper creates awareness on elephants as well as providing much needed employment to the village community.
Directly proceed to your chosen hotel in Anuradhapura.
Overnight in Anuradhapura.

 

ACCOMMODATION : Alakamanda Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 3 | ANURADHAPURA

Breakfast. Visit Anuradhapura, the famous ancient Capital of Sri Lanka in the morning.

 

ANURADHAPURA

 

The ancient capital of Anuradhapura reigned supreme for over a millennium as one of the greatest monastic cities of the ancient world famed for Buddhist culture and architectural achievements across Asia and Europe. Ruled by 113 successive kings and four queens, Anuradharpura was a majestic sprawl of magnificent palaces, ornate pleasure gardens, exquisite sculptures and vast Buddhist temples. The three main ‘dagabas’ are amongst the biggest architectural creations of the ancient world smaller in size only to the pyramids at Giza. The ancient rulers also created impressive feats of engineering, building great reservoirs to preserve the monsoon rains and irrigation systems to produce great harvests of paddy. Anuradhapura was founded in 377 BC by the third king of the Vijaya dynasty, Pandukabhaya, and was much fought over. Abandoned in 1073 when the capital was transferred to Polonnaruwa, it was ‘reclaimed’ by the jungle and rediscovered by British explorers in the 19th Century. Today, the surviving ruins are still spectacular even after thousands of years, and the ‘sacred city’ of Anuradhapura remains on the ‘must visit’ list of locals and tourists alike.

 

SRI MAHA BODHI TREE

 

The Sri Maha Bodhi is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. However, for Sri Lankans’ the Sri Maha Bodhi has a far more significant meaning, both rich in historical and religious value. A sapling from the historical Bodhi tree from Bodhgaya in India under which the Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment, the Sri Maha Bodhi has grown into a luscious tree having been nurtured by Sri Lankan Kings and Buddhists pilgrims from ancient times. It was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta Thera, the daughter of Emperor Asoka, who was later the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. The Sri Maha Bodhi was planted by King Devanampiya Tissa in 288BC on a high terrace about 6.5 m above the ground in the Mahamevna Uyara or Park in Anuradhapura. The Sri Maha Bodhi has been a revered place of worship for over 2000 years and thousands of pilgrims gather to offer prayer and worship. Poya days (Full moon days) which are public holidays in Sri Lanka are particularly busy and probably best avoided as crowds of Buddhist worshippers converge from all over the island to offer their prayers.

Thereafter visit,

 

RUWANWELI SEYA

 

Arguably one of Sri Lanka’s most famous historical sites, the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba is sacred to Buddhist pilgrims the world over. Commissioned to be built by King Dutugemunu, who is the first Sinhalese king to rule the entire island, legend has it that he did not live to see the completion of this glorious structure. As he was ailing, his brother arranged for it to be draped in white cloth so that he could see what the completed masterpiece would look like from his deathbed. 
Ruwanweliseya is said to be King Dutugemunu’s finest construction. Today it is visited by thousands of pilgrims and travellers from the world over. It is also a sacred place of worship for many Sinhalese Buddhists.
The sheer size of the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba is breathtaking, and you really get a feeling of history when you gaze at this magnificent structure through the walls guarded by a freeze of hundreds of elephants. There is a statue within the premises which is popularly believed to be a statue of King Dutugemunu. 
As at any place of Buddhist worship, visitors must remove footwear and dress appropriately as a sign of respect. Therefore plan ahead and visit Ruwanweliseya at a time when the sun is not too hot, especially if you plan on walking the circumference of the Dagoba in your bare feet.

 

THUPARAMAYA

 

The Thuparama Dagoba is the oldest dagoba in Sri Lanka and has great historical significance. It was built by King Devanampiya Tissa in the 3rd Century BC shortly after the teachings of Lord Buddha were brought to the island by Mahinda Thera, an envoy sent by King Ashoka of India. The Thuparama Dagoba is a sacred place of worship to Buddhists the world over as it is said to contain the right collarbone of Lord Buddha - a gift from India and a testament to cordial relations between the two countries at the time. The Dagoba was destroyed on many occasions during the islands illustrious history and was restored in 1862AD to the more conventional bell shaped stupa which is seen today.

 

LOVAMAHAPAYA

 

Lovamahapaya or the Brazen Palace is said to have had a bronze roof, which is how it got its name. It is located close to the Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruvanaveliseya and was built by one of Sri Lanka’s greatest leaders, King Dutugemunu, almost 2000 years ago. This amazing structure was said to have been 9 stories high with the ability to house a 1000 monks and attendants. Unfortunately, the building was completely destroyed during the reign of King Saddhatissa, who was King Dutugemunu’s younger sibling, and was renovated on several occasions during the illustrious Anuradhapura period. The Great King Parakramabahu I of the Polonnaruwa period restored it last in the 12th century and all that remains to be seen today is 40 rows each with 40 stone pillars for a total of 1600 pillars, which is still a pretty spectacular sight.

Back to hotel and relax.

ACCOMMODATION : Alakamanda Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 4 | ANURADHAPURA - TRINCOMALEE

Breakfast. Proceed journey to Trincomalee.

 

TRINCOMALEE

 

The largest city in the East of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee - better known as `Trinco’ is a vibrant hub of activity, and a natural wonder combined. Blessed with astoundingly beautiful beaches, it is also the world’s deepest and largest natural harbour. Trincomalee has a significant place in Sri Lanka’s history as one fought over by many a colonial power seeking to take advantage of its strategic position. The Portuguese landed in the 17th century and were ousted by the Dutch later on – who were in turn conquered by the British, and remnants of their occupation remain in the abandoned forts and in the colonial architecture. Trincomalee served as an important naval base for the allies during World War II, and still continues to be vital to the Sri Lankan Navy. The beauty of Trinco and the surrounding areas draw visitors to bask in its unending white sandy beaches, coral islands and shimmering blue seas - distinctly different from coasts around the island. The secluded beaches of Uppuveli, Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli are located north of the town. The Konewswaram Kovil situated on Swami Rock – a giant outcrop steeped in legend, also gives magnificent views of the Trinco harbour and its surrounding beaches.

Check-in to hotel. At leisure in the evening. Relax at the sandy beach. Overnight in Trincomalee. Pigeon Island Beach Resort

DAY 5 | TRINCOMALEE

Breakfast. Proceed for the city tour of Trincomalee.

Visit,

 

FORT FREDERIC

 

Originally built by Portuguese invaders using the debris from the historical Hindu Koneswaram temple, Fort Frederick was rebuilt by the Dutch following their capture of the area and duly renamed. As the harbour of Trincomalee was an important port for dominance over Asia, the surrounding seas were the site of many naval battles. The area has been governed by many European invaders including the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British. Today Fort Frederick is home to the Sri Lankan Army’s prestigious Gajaba Regiment, but some parts can still be accessed by tourists. The insignias crown of the British can still be seen on the gateway into the fort.
When you venture further you come to the scenic Swami Rock which is home to the historical and much revered Koneswaram temple. While the current temple was built post independence, the historical and religious significance of the area is immense and is undoubtedly one of Trincomalee’s must visit sites. The Koneswaram temple is one of five historical temples of Sri Lanka and is the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is home to the Swyambhu Lingam which thus makes it one of the island’s most sacred sites for followers of the Hindu religion. You will have to venture bare foot onto this hallowed ground, so it is best to avoid visiting when the sun is at its highest as the rock does get extremely hot, making walking quite uncomfortable. The sheer drop of 130m to the sea has earned Swami Rock the nickname of ‘Lover’s Leap’. The area is totally immersed in history and legend and is definitely worthy of a trip.

Thereafter visit,

 

Hot water wells in Kinnia

 

Hot water wells in Kinnia.
The legendary Kanniya Hot Water Springs have now been converted into hot water wells. Each well is approximately 3 to 4 feet deep, paved and square in shape. There are seven wells in total, each of which has a slightly different temperature from the other. The water is clear and the bottom of each well is clearly visible. Many of the locals believe that the water from these wells are therapeutic and have special healing capabilities for a variety of ailments. The hot water springs are deeply rooted in Sri Lankan Hindu culture with many visiting the hot wells to conduct religious rituals for lost loved ones.

Also visit,

 

TRINCOMALEE HARBOUR

 

The Trincomalee Harbor is a large natural harbor in Sri Lanka. Located in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka in the heart of the Indian Ocean, its strategic importance has shaped its recent history. There had been many sea battles to conquer the harbor. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, and the English, each held it in turn. The harbor, the fifth largest natural harbor in the world, is overlooked by terraced highlands, and its entrance is guarded by two headlands.The harbor was open even before Sri Lanka won her independence from the British.
The harbor was a very important point for sellers and cargo ships to stop and re-fuel and re-supply. It was a major point in the route taken by spice traders.

Thereafter visit Koneshwaram Hindu Temple only if time permits.

Back to Hotel. Relax. Overnight in Trincomalee. Pigeon Island Beach Resort

DAY 6 | TRINCOMALEE

A trip out on a dolphin and whale-watching excursion with picnic breakfast into the deep seas is certainly a must. Relax at the golden sandy beach in the evening.
Overnight in Trincomalee.

Pigeon Island Beach Resort

DAY 7 | BEACH STAY AT TRINCOMALEE

Breakfast. Relax at the golden sandy beach.
Overnight in Trincomalee

DAY 8 | BEACH STAY AT TRINCOMALEE

Breakfast. Relax at the golden sandy beach.
Overnight in Trincomalee

DAY 9 | TRINCOMALEE

Breakfast. Directly proceed to Sigiriya. En route visit Ritigala.

 

RITIGALA (WIKIPEDIA DESCRIPTION)

 

Ritigala is an ancient Buddhist monastery and mountain in Sri Lanka. The ruins and rock inscriptions of the monastery date back to 1st century BCE. It is located 43 km away from the ancient monastic city of Anuradhapura.


At 766 m above sea level, and 600 m above the surrounding plains, Ritigala is the highest mountain in northern Sri Lanka. The modern name Ritigala is derived from the ancient name Ari??ha Pabbata (Dreadful Mountain), mentioned in the Mahavamsa.


Ritigala mountain range consists of four peaks of which the main and the highest peak at the south of the range is named Ritigala Kanda. Ritigala mountain range, a 3776-acre (1582 ha) Strict Nature Reserve, in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, is managed by the Department of Wildlife of Sri Lanka together with the Forest Department of Sri Lanka.

Check in to hotel, Enjoy hotel stay in the evening, Overnight stay in Sigiriya

Kassapa Lions Rock Hotel

DAY 10 | SIGIRIYA

After breakfast proceed journey to Sigiriya to climb Sigiriya Rock fortress.

 

SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS

 

The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is possibly Sri Lanka’s most famous historical site and attracts thousands of locals and tourists every year. The history as recorded in the ancient chronicles states that the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was built by King Kasyapa. Kasyapa was King Dhathusena’s son by a non-royal consort and thus was not an heir to the throne. Unable to accept this, Kasyapa killed his father usurping the throne which rightfully belonged to his brother Mogollan. Knowing that Mogollan, who fled to India, was bound to return and challenge him for the throne, Kasyapa moved the kingdom out of Anuradhapura and built his palace on the summit of the Sigiriya rock.

Approaching the Sigiriya rock one can’t help but wonder how ancient builders accomplished the seemingly impossible task of building such an elaborate royal palace at the summit of this 200m high granite rock. This astonishing feature of engineering and construction had a highly sophisticated irrigation system which even went up to the palace complex atop the summit. In fact the irrigation system was so good that fountains which are found in a series of symmetrical pools still spurt water almost 1500 years after they were constructed. The entrance to the summit of the palace is guarded by a pair of giant lion’s paws which have been sculptured out of rock. The original entrance is said to have had visitors enter through the open mouth of a lion, but this has since perished. As if all this is not enough of a reason to visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the famous Sigiriya frescoes which you encounter half way up the rock are truly breathtaking. The approach to the rock is well fortified with a complex rampart system complete with city walls and a moat. The view from atop the summit is breathtaking and enables you to take in the beautiful landscape for miles.

Considered by most as Asia’s best preserved ancient city, Sigiriya is considered to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world. There is ample evidence of ancient visitors recording their impressions through a series of comments and verses scratched on the famous mirror wall of the rock in some of the earliest known graffiti. As Sigiriya is located in the harsh dry zone, it is best to climb the rock as early as possible as it does get very hot very fast!

Thereafter, proceed journey to Polonnaruwa in the afternoon.

 

POLONNARUWA

 

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa 216 km northeast of Colombo is a cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. One of the most significant kingdoms in Sri Lankan history this medieval capital (11th - 12th Century AD) remains a well-preserved city of ancient stupas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and imposing statues. The ruins of this ancient city stay scattered over an extensive area of woodland and can be explored within a day. The city was enclosed by three concentric protecting the royal palace complex at its centre, the religious buildings - called Quadrangle, lie to the North and are very well preserved to this day. The largest monuments are found here including the buildings of the Menik Vihara, Rankot Vihara, Alahana Pirivena and Jetavana monasteries, the incredible Buddha statues of the Gal Vihara, the soaring Lankatilaka shrine, the majestic King's Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath are must see sights. And of course, the giant statue of Polonnaruwa's greatest king - Parakramabahu, and the vast ‘Sea of Parakrama’ – a 12th century man-made reservoir which dominates the city are not to be missed either.

Proceed back to Sigiriya, Overnight in Sigiriya. Kassapa Lions Rock Hotel.

DAY 11 | SIGIRIYA

After breakfast proceed on a trekking to the village of Hiriwadunna.

 

HIRIWADUNNA

 

This tour of a typical Sri Lankan village allows people to experience rural life for a day and includes activities such as visiting a mud hut, eating milk rice, grinding paddy, going on a catamaran safari, bush walks, looking at chena cultivations and much much more. Some activities also enable people to participate in it adding a unique feel to the whole experience. It is the ideal activity if you want to experience how people are able to live in true peace and harmony without any of the trappings of modern day city living. Life is not a rat race in these rural villages, but people have time to meet and spend time with their families and extended relatives who often reside in close proximity to each other. 


A tour of a rural Sri Lankan village is the perfect way to witness firsthand the various domestic and cultural activities which remain largely unchanged and uninfluenced by modern city life and western society.


Proceed back to Sigiriya. At Leisure in the evening.
Overnight in Sigiriya. Kassapa Lions Rock Hotel

DAY 12 | SIGIRIYA

Breakfast. Visit Dambulla Golden cave temple

At Dambulla, we head off to the famed Golden Cave Temple in the morning.

 

DAMBULLA ROCK CAVE TEMPLE

 

The famous Dambulla Rock Temple, also known as the Dambulla Cave Temple, is rich in history and cultural heritage. Standing approximately 100m high, the approach to the entrance of the caves entails climbing up the face of the rock, although stone steps have now been cut to make the climb easier. Whilst climbing to the entrance of caves, take time to stop and enjoy the view of the surrounding area, which is truly breathtaking. You can even catch a glimpse of the majestic Sigiriya rock a mere 20km away. Once within the caves one is treated to five separate caves, each offering a myriad of sculptures and murals of Lord Buddha, some of which are more recent than others.The caves initially served as a place of refuge for King Valagamba in the 1st Century BC when he fled his throne in the then capital of Anuradhapura to escape the invaders from South India. The caves offered the King a place to dwell for 15 years. However, King Valagamba went on to regain his throne and had the interior of the caves carved into the beautiful rock temple in gratitude for offering him refuge. Subsequent rulers of Sri Lanka also added to the adornment of the caves, thus ensuring it remained a major religious shrine. King Nissanka Malla from the Polonnaruwa period was responsible for gilding the caves and the addition of 70 Buddha statues in 1190AD. The Golden Temple of Dambulla was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.

En route visit a Spice Garden in Matale,

hereafter proceed to Kandy

In the afternoon, visit the city of Kandy with an artificially created decorative lake in the heart of the city and surrounded by rings of wooded mountains. Kandy, the Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka is home to numerous Buddhist temples including the most sacred of all, the Holy Temple of the Tooth Relic.

In the evening, visit the Temple of the tooth.

 

TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH

 

The Dalada Maligawa or Temple of the Tooth Relic is home to Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist relic – a tooth belonging to Lord Buddha. The shrine receives many worshipper and visitors throughout the year but is particularly busy on Poya days. The temple is located in close proximity to Kandy town and the Kandy Lake and remains a high security area. Those visiting the hallowed grounds of the temple must take care to dress in an appropriate manner ensuring that their legs and shoulders are covered. Footwear must also be removed before entering the temple premises as an act of respect. The tooth itself is not on display as it is kept in a gold casket shaped like a Dagoba which itself contains a further six caskets. The sacred tooth is said to have been smuggled onto the island during the 4th century AD concealed in the hair of a princess. The tooth was considered a symbol of sovereignty and it was believed that its custodian had the right to rule the country. Thus the sacred tooth relic has journeyed across the island having spent considerable time in each of the ancient kingdoms until it reached its final resting place in the ancient hill capital of Kandy. The temple complex itself was constructed by many Kandyan Kings who ruled the region from 1687 and was considered to be a part of the Kandyan Royal Palace. The main tooth shrine is the Vahahitina Maligawa which is a rectangular building which is positioned in the centre of the paved courtyard. It is an accepted belief amongst Sri Lankan Buddhists that they must pay homage to the Temple of the Tooth Relic at least once in their lifetime.

After visiting the temple in the evening and enjoy the Kandyan Cultural Show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre

The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display

Overnight in Kandy. Hotel Casamara

DAY 13 | KANDY

After early breakfast at hotel leave to visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical garden famed for its wide variety of orchids, among other flora and fauna. ( you need to leave the hotel at least by 8.00am to visit the Botanical Garden since you need to reach the Railway station before 12.10 pm in the early afternoon).

 

ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

 

Attracting approximately 2 million visitors a year, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens was established as far back as 1371 during the reign of King Wickramabahu III. Originally restricted exclusively to members of Kandyan Royalty, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is rich in history as well as in an abundance of nature’s most spectacular creations. Officially established in 1843 with plants brought from the famous Kew Gardens, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is home to more than 4000 species of plants.


While the gardens are most renowned for its exceptional collection of orchids, it is also home to many varieties of spices, medicinal plants and palm trees, as well as an abundance of flowering plants and trees. The Avenue of Palms located in the gardens include a tree known as the Cannonball Tree which is filled with historical significance. It is said that this tree which is often laden with fruit that are thought to resemble cannon balls, was planted by none other than King George V and Queen Mary in 1901. 


The Botanical Gardens have a strategic location being on the banks of the island’s largest river, the Mahaweli Ganga. While the Gardens have been watched over by many King from the Kandyan Kingdom, it was also used by Lord Mountbatten, who was supreme commander of the allied forces in South Asia during World War II as the headquarters for the South East Asia Command.
History aside, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens makes for an extremely pleasant visit where you are likely to come across an array of plants and trees which you are otherwise unlikely to encounter. A leisurely visit is recommended so that you are able to truly enjoy the wonders of nature in all her splendour. 


Thereafter directly proceed to Peradeniya railway station. ( Train scheduled time from Peradeniya is at 12.20pm).Then you will transferred to NanuOya station by train. Your chauffeur guide will pick you up at the Nanu Oya railway station. ( subject to availability of seats).
Thereafter go on to Nuwara Eliya, often, known as “Little England”. This hill country is covered in acres and acres of tea plantations and flowing waterfalls.

NUWARAELIYA

Hidden away high in the central mountains at an altitude of over 6000 feet, Nuwara Eliya is the resort capital of the hills – and a world away from the hot tropical beach atmosphere of the coast, not just in climate but in its character too. The British planters who flocked to the region to grow tea in the mid-19th century developed Nuwara Eliya as their summer retreat. Created as an exact replica of an English town it is often called ‘Little England’; and with its primarily colonial architecture, the stately Victoria Park, golf course, racing track, boating lake and grand period style hotels – and the cold, frequent showers of rain adding to the illusion, you could well be in an old English country town. This is the heart of the tea country, and is also a good base for excursions to discover other attractions of the hills. Sri Lanka’s tallest mountain range ‘Pidurutalagala’ looms over the landscape, the surrounding forest is a treasure for nature lovers and the Hakgala Botanical Gardens close by is known for its roses and rare ferns.

In the evening take in a city tour of the town

ACCOMMODATION : Cey bank Rest (Breakfast)

DAY 14 | NUWARAELIYA

A pre-dawn start to reach Horton Plains with picnic breakfast. Spend the morning exploring Horton Plains for highland endemics , flora and fauna.

 

HORTON PLAINS

 

World’s End is situated in the Horton Plains National Park, which is the only national park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to walk on designated trails unaccompanied. World’s End itself is a sheer cliff which drops almost 4000ft allowing for a breathtaking view of the world below. On a clear day vistors can expect to see mountains, tea estates and even the coastal area in the distance. It is claimed that on extremely clear days the Indian Ocean which is almost 81km away is clearly visible. However, the mist usually comes in around 9am or so, is it best to try and reach World’s End by around 7am.World’s End is located approximately 4km from the entrance of the park but the trail takes a circular route which makes the complete journey a 9.5km hike. World’s End has two parts, names Small World’s End and Big World’s End, which are approximately 1km apart from each other. It is best to avoid Sundays and Public holidays as these days tend to get extremely crowded which doesn’t allow for soaking up the true atmosphere of the area.


Proceed back to Nuwaraeliya.


Boat ride at the Gregory lake in the late afternoon or evening. Overnight in Nuwara Eliya.

ACCOMMODATION : Cey bank Rest (Breakfast)

DAY 15 | NUWARAELIYA

Breakfast. Proceed to Arugam Bay via Ella Gap. En route stop at Ella Grand Motel to enjoy the view of the famous Ella gap, also view the beauty of the Ravana Ella Falls as you ascend to the high lands.

 

RAVANA ELLA WATER FALLS

 

Located on the road from Ella to Wellawaya, streaming from a tributary of the Kirindi Oya and cascading from an oval-shaped rock out crop, Ravana Falls is approximately 82ft in height. The falls is located close to the Ella railway station and forms a part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary.The falls is named after the legendary King Ravana. Legend has it that that King Ravana had kidnapped Princess Sita as an act of revenge her husband Rama and his brother Laxmana for slicing and hidden her amongst the caves behind the falls. The Ravana Ella Cave is a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and it lies approximately 4,490ft above sea level on the foundation of a cliff.
Continue journey to Arugam bay.
Overnight in Arugam Bay

ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 16 | ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Proceed on a jeep safari at Lahugala Kitulana National Park in the afternoon.

 

LAHUGALA KITULANA NATIONAL PARK

 

A short way inland from Arugam Bay the main road west passes through the small but beautiful Lahugala National Park, comprising Lahugula Tank and a magnificent swathe of dry mixed evergreen forest, dotted with lofty rosewoods and satinwoods. Lahugala Kitulana National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Sri Lanka. Despite its land area, the park is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephant and endemic birds of Sri Lanka. The national park contains the reservoirs of Lahugala, Kitulana and Sengamuwa and they are ultimately empties to HedaOyariver. 
The park is best known for its elephants: up to 150 congregate around the tank during July and August, when the rest of Lahugala’s waters dry up, to drink and feed on the beru grass which grows prolifically around the water. The tank is also good for spotting a wide range of aquatic birds, including innumerable snowy white egrets that can often be seen hitching a ride on the backs of obliging elephants. When the rains come the elephants disperse, and large sections of the park turn a brilliant, post-monsoonal green.

Back to hotel

Overnight in Arugam Bay.

ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 17 | ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Proceed journey to Potthuvil Lagoon.

 

POTTHUVIL LAGOON

 

The Pottuvil Lagoon is famous for the wide variety of wildlife it has to offer. Canoe rides are the best way to explore the lagoon and numerous people can be seen enjoying these rides daily. It has a large number of waterways and mangroves which is home to pelicans, herons, grebes, darters and sea eagles to name but a few. The trees are also home to macaque monkeys.
In addition to this, one can also see large water monitors, crocodiles, peacocks and the occasional elephant. It also offers a serene and majestic view into the natural habitat of these animals and birds. This tour is done in support of the local fisheries and also to raise awareness regarding the need to conserve mangroves and wildlife which is a very important issue today. Before this Ecotour was started this lagoon had suffered much damage. 
This lagoon draws foreign as well as local tourists and is a wonderful experience and a great way to raise awareness.


Thereafter visit Muhudu Maha Viharaya

 

MUHUDU MAHA VIHARAYA (WIKIPEDIA DESCRIPTION)

 

Muhudu maha viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated at Pottuvil in Eastern province of Sri Lanka. This temple is situated near a wide beach. In this temple there have a stone made statue of lord Buddha and two statues of old kings or gods. In today also there is a Buddhist temple. This temple is built in Anuradapura era by king Kaavantissa. According to some folk stories Viharamaha Devi has come ashore from this place not from Kirinda and there are lot of archeological proofs supporting that. However this Buddhist temple has been built over 2000 years ago and currently ruins and remainings of Stupas and statues are being destroyed.


Overnight in Arugam Bay.
ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 18 | BEACH STAY AT ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Enjoy beach stay. 
Overnight in Arugam Bay.


ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 19 | BEACH STAY AT ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Enjoy beach stay. 
Overnight in Arugam Bay.


ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 20 | BEACH STAY AT ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Enjoy beach stay. 
Overnight in Arugam Bay.


ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 21 | BEACH STAY AT ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Enjoy beach stay. 
Overnight in Arugam Bay.


ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 22 | BEACH STAY AT ARUGAMBAY

Breakfast. Enjoy beach stay. 
Overnight in Arugam Bay.


ACCOMMODATION : Bay Vista Hotel (Breakfast)

DAY 23 | ARUGAM BAY - YALA

Early Breakfast. Proceed journey to Yala. Proceed for an evening jeep safari in Yala National Park.

 

YALA NATIONAL PARK

 

Situated in the arid South East region of Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is home to the greatest variety of the nation’s wildlife and therefore, its most popular wildlife destination. Declared a Game Reserve in 1938, Yala comprises five blocks covering an area of 151,778 hectares. The park comprises several major habitat types - dunes, scrub forest, riverine forests, rocky out-crops, secondary forests and coastal lagoons with mangrove forests which are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The 44 mammal species found here includes the endangered leopard sub-species Panthera pardus kotiya, which found only in Sri Lanka. 


Yala is also known to contain the highest Leopard concentration in the world. Other ‘big game’ such as sloth bear, herds of elephants, buffalo, sambar, spotted deer and crocodiles are also found in great numbers. The dry months from May to September are the best times for viewing them. With over 200 species of birds, Yala is a hotspot for birders too. From October to April during the Northern Hemisphere winters, Yala becomes home to many species of migrants and the salt pans at Palatupana are a popular location for bird watching. Yala’s historical significance dates back to 500 B.C and evidence shows that the park was inhabited in the past. There are many archaeological sites within the park and the ancient monastery of Sithulpahuwa standing sedately on an isolated rocky platform is a popular pilgrimage site.

Overnight in Yala

Magampura Eco Village Resort

DAY 24 | YALA

Breakfast. Proceed journey to Kataragama sacred city

 

KATARAGAMA

 

One of the three most venerated religious sites in Sri Lanka Kataragama is held sacred by Buddhists and Hindus, even Muslims and Christians visit here in hope of divine intervention. The ancient shrine complex includes a Hindu kovil, a Buddhist temple and an Islamic mosque and it is indeed a place where races, religions, cast and creed meet to beg favour at a colourful festival. The Kataragama shrine is devoted to an eternally youthful god named Skanda – in fact, the only deity common to the indigenous Vedda people, as well as Sinhala and Tamil believers. Sri Lankans of all communities are drawn here to observe practices dating from ancient times. The passionate devotees partake in incredible rituals of painful penance, it is however, far easier to watch the traditional ‘Kawadi’ dancers whose vibrant energy and1 devotion is truly enthralling.

 

KATARAGAMA DEWALAYA

 

KataragamaDevalaya and its surroundings is always a hive of activity. A place of reverence for many cultures, KataragamaDevalaya in the Uva Province has been a revered place of pilgrimage among Buddhists and Hindus for centuries.
Pilgrims seek the divine intervention of God Katargama, depicted with four faces and twelve arms, to fulfil their worldly desires devoid of pain and suffering. The common sight of pilgrims smashing coconuts and carrying baskets of fruits to offer to God Kataragama during the three main poojas of the day is an anthropological study in itself, as they demonstrate their piety through lavish monetary gifts to an omnipotent god. And in the shrine room, a priest chants prayers interceding for the believers and their pleas. The main shrine room is believed to have been built in 160 BCE by King Dutugemunu in fulfilling a vow to defeat the Dravidian King Elara.
The annual Kataragama festival in July/August is another spectacle of devoutness with display of human self-mutilations such as pierced cheeks and tongues with skewers.
Thereafter visit Situlpawwa.

 

SITULPAWWA RAJA MAHA VIHARAYA (WIKIPEDIA DESCRIPTION)

 

Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in Hambantota District, South Eastern Sri Lanka. Situated 18 km east of the pilgrimage town Katharagama, it is believed to have been built in the 2nd century B.C by king Kavantissa. Sithulpawwa Vihara can be reached by travelling 18 miles along the Tissamaharama-Yodhakandiya road towards the Yala National Park. The name Sithulpawwa is derived from the word "Chiththala Pabbatha", which means the hill of the quiet mind. 


This ancient monastery with a history over 2200 years, was a place of worship for devotees as well as a center of Buddhist education for Buddhist monks. Paintings of the Anuradhapura era and the ruins of stone Buddha images, Bodhisatva images, Image Houses, Circular Relic Houses are spread throughout the monastery premises. The present chief incumbent of Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Vihara is Ven. Metaramba Hemarathana Nayake Thera.
Thereafter proceed to Kirinda.

 

KIRINDA VIHARAYA

 

Kirinda is a small village basking in the southern province of Sri Lanka. It has become one of the most venerated places of Buddhism. The beautiful beach and the temple built on the huge rock boulder on Kirinda beach are the main attractions of Kirinda.The ancient temple which attracts the pilgrims, is sited atop a rocky outcrop from which one can obtain magnificent views of the desolate coast with its long stretch of sand dunes and the ocean beyond You can experience, a beautiful out look to the Indian Ocean can be enjoyed. It is believed that the Kirinda is the place where Princess Viharamahadevi landed after being set coastward. According to scholars the royal court of arms (the sun and the moon) cut on a boulder nearby, commemorates this event and marks the landing place. At Gotimbaragodaella about 2 miles inland from Kirinda are said to be the ruins of a palace where King Kavantissa officially welcomed and wed the princess.
Overnight in Yala,

Magampura Eco Village Resort

DAY 25 | YALA - MULKIRIGALA - MIRISSA

Breakfast. Proceed journey to Mirissa. 
Visit Mulkirigala Temple.

 

MULKIRIGALA TEMPLE

 

Twenty kilometers north of Tangallalies the large rock of Mulkirigala, reminiscent in shape to Sigiriya. The rock houses an impressive series of cave temples dating from the third century, similar to those of Dambulla.


The Rock of Mulkirigala rises about 676 feet from the surrounding land mass. There are seven cave temples situated in five Terraced areas of different altitudes. They are the Lower Terrace (PathaMaluwa), Bo Tree Terrace ( Bodhi Maluwa), Great King's Temple Terrace ( Raja MahaViharaMaluwa), Upper Bo Tree Terrace (Uda Bodhi Maluwa) and Chetiya Terrace (ChaityaMaluwa). These terraces can be accessed comfortably through well paved granite paths and steps going right upto the Dagoba Terrace.


The Bo tree at the Upper Terrace is considered be a shoot from one of the 32 saplings of Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maga Bodhi planted at the said terrace during the rein of King DevanamPiyatissa. Mulkirigala temple is also considered to be one of the 64 temples constructed by King Kawantissa and was called as 'MuhuduGira' then which dates back to the 3rd Century BC. 
The Chetiya at Uppermost Terrace is considered to house Lord Buddha relics offered by the King Saddhatissa. According to Historical manuscripts, King Mahanaga, King Kawantissa, King Dutugemunu, KingParakramabahu the Great, King Saddhatissa, King Valagamba, King Jetta Tissa I, King Parakramabahu I are credited with construction work of the temple during their rein.
The temples remaining at present belongs to the Kandyan era and the Buddha images and many cave paintings depicts magnificent examples of Kandyan era arts and crafts. Mulkirigala Rock Temple is one of the few 'Raja MahaVihara' or the 'Temples of the Great Kings' ( of the Kandyan Kingdom) found out of the then Kandyan Kingdom. King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 AD) gave his patronage to reconstruct this temple after it being neglected for centuries since the rein of the Parakramabahu the Great.


The Cave temples numbering seven consists of Reclined Buddha , Seated Buddha and Standing Buddha Images, paintings of Buddhas, Arhaths, Gods and Jataka Stories.
Check-in to hotel. Relax at the beach. Overnight in Mirissa.

ACCOMMODATION : Paradise Beach Club (Breakfast)

DAY 26 | MIRISSA

Picnic Breakfast. Proceed journey to Mirissa at dawn to proceed on a whale watching safari.

 

WHALE & DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR

 

In the recent past Sri Lanka has become renowned for being one of the best places in the world to see the largest creature on the planet – the majestic Blue whale. Mirissa is as good a place as any to set off to see these gentle giants serenely go about their business in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The season for whale watching in Mirissa is between the months of November and April. If you are lucky you may also catch a glimpse or two of a pod of Sperm Whales or even a few species of dolphins. There is a wide range of privately operated whale watching services, but be careful of the smaller vessels that sometimes venture too close to these magnificent beasts, as the whales tend to get stressed when boats are too close to them. This could end up driving away the whales all together. The Sri Lanka Navy also operates a whale watching service which departs from the Navy base at Galle and ventures out to the seas off Mirissa. Relax at the beach. Overnight in Mirissa.

ACCOMMODATION : Paradise Beach Club (Breakfast)

DAY 27 | MIRISSA - GALLE - NEGOMBO

Breakfast. Leave Mirissa for Negombo. Visit Galle Fort en route.

 

GALLE FORT

 

The Galle Fort is located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka on a small rocky peninsular in the town of Galle. A Fort was initially established by the Portuguese in 1588, but was later fortified into the solid structure seen today by the Dutch during the 17th century. Also known as the Galle Ramparts, the Galle Fort is a historically and archaeological rich site which was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988. This architectural triumph was so well built that it was able to withstand the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 which unleashed its fury on the coastal area of Galle, destroying many modern buildings and structures.

 
The Galle Fort has a glorious history and a strong Dutch influence can be seen throughout the Fort. Today you will find a population that is multi-ethnic and multi-religious that has converged to live together peacefully in this historical town. Visitors can embark on a guided tour or simply stroll through the narrow streets and discover for themselves all that the Fort has to offer. There are a variety of cafes, fashion outlets, jewellery stores, interior design shops and many other little nooks and crannies that make for an excellent day of exploring. Don’t forget to walk on the ramparts and take in the glorious view of Galle Harbour and the spectacular Indian Ocean in all her glory. The former Dutch Governor’s residence has now been transformed into the luxurious Amangalla Hotel. 
Continue journey to Kosgoda to visit Turtle Hatchery .

TURTLE HATCHERY

Kosgoda has become famous for its turtle conservation projects which attract many local and foreign visitors throughout the year. These conservation projects help to protect turtles from extinction in Sri Lanka and have seen the release of millions of baby turtles safely back into the wild. Although the main season for laying is October to April, Green turtles lay eggs almost throughout the year at Kosgoda. 


A total of five species of sea turtles lay eggs along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka, out of which the most common is the Green turtle. The Olive Ridley and the Hawksbill follow next on the list, while the extremely large Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles bring in the rear. The Kosgoda turtle hatcheries also look after turtles that have been injured or disabled due to becoming trapped in fishing nets or other natural calamities. Rare albino turtles can also be seen.
Check-in to hotel in the evening.
Overnight in Negombo.

Golden Star Beach Hotel

DAY 28 | STAY AT NEGOMBO

Breakfast. Proceed on a short sightseeing tour of Negombo.

 

NEGOMBO

 

The primary resort town on the western coast of Sri Lanka, Negombo is highly sought after for its long stretches of golden, palm fringed beaches and the buzzing, cosmopolitan lifestyle of the town and of course, its close proximity to the airport at Katunayake. The economy of the town and the region is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry which continues to thrive today – making it a paradise for seafood lovers. Here, myriad cultures mix and exist freely. The town, which is predominantly Roman Catholic, is called “Little Rome” due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches found within it. However, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims too have significant landmarks of their own – often next to each other. Several buildings also date back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era, including an ancient Dutch Fort gate built in 1672 now a part of the prison and the Dutch Canal which was a supply route to the administration. The 100km long canal – still very much in use, runs through and a boat ride will offer a different perspective of the city. The wide beaches and the gentle surf are ideal for water sports and a few well preserved coral reefs and a 50 year old shipwreck attracts divers too.

 

NEGOMBO FISH MARKET

 

Negombo is a popular fishing town in Sri Lanka, located on the west coast of the island near the Negombo Lagoon. The Negombo Fish Market is the second largest fish market in the Island and is a noisy, colourful and even smelly affair! It is situated near the Old Dutch Fort Gate and is definitely worth a visit to experience local culture and enjoy seeing the many variety of fish and seafood being offloaded from the boats. Fish that are captured from other neighboring towns such as as Wennappuwa, Marawila, Chilaw, and Kalpitiya are also transported to the Negombo Fish Market. . Varieties of fish on sale would be shark, tuna, sardine and mackerel .Live crabs, shrimp, lobster and prawns are plentiful too for sale at the stalls in the market. The fish is laid in heaps for display and is quite an interesting sight to see. They can be purchased in bulk or in smaller quantities. The price is very economical in comparison to what you would pay at a supermarket or commercialised fish store. So if fresh fish is what you need for a scrumptious lunch or dinner, or just to experience the native fishing industry, a visit to the Negombo fish market is highly recommended.

The fish market is situated near the Old Dutch Fort Gate and held every day except Sundays and evenings.

 

LAGOON ( WIKIPEDIA DESCRIPTION)

 

The fishermen who are based at the Negombo lagoon live in abject poverty in shanty thatch palm villages along the water's edge. They rely mainly on their traditional knowledge of the seasons for their livelihood, using outrigger canoes carved out of tree trunks and nylon nets to bring in modest catches from September through till April. Their boats are made in two distinct forms, oruvas (a type of sailing canoe) and paruvas (a large, man-powered catamaran fitted with kurlon dividers), and are said to have originated in the islands off the Mozambican coast; they were brought to Sri Lanka by Portuguese traders in the 17th century. For generations the lagoon has provided the fishermen with a plentiful supply of crabs, shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish and many of the native species of fish. 
Enjoy beach stay till late evening.


Overnight in Negombo. Golden Star Beach Hotel

DAY 29 | NEGOMBO

Breakfast. It’s time to bid good bye to the charms of our tropical island, and leave for your return flight to the airport. Transferring to the airport to catch the flight to onward destination.

Package can be customized any time on request

* Terms & Conditions Apply

For Reservations: Email : reservations@gotravelclub.com.au

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Package can be customized any time on request

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For Reservations: Email : reservations@gotravelclub.com.au

For more optional excursions, Please contact your travel adviser: 03 8788 5152 or mail : info@gotravelclub.com.au

Package can be customized any time on request

* Terms & Conditions Apply

For Reservations: Email : reservations@gotravelclub.com.au

For more tour extentions, Please contact your travel adviser: 03 8788 5152 or mail : info@gotravelclub.com.au

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