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Visit medieval capital Anuradhapura
Visit Temple in Mihintale
Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Visit Ancient city of Polonnaruwa
Visit Dambulla Cave Temple
Visit to Kandy Tooth Temple
Visit to Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Approx. distance - 150 km / transfer time: 4 to 5 Hrs
On arrival at Colombo International Airport on, you will be met by a professional English speaking driver.
After the completion of formalities at the airport, you will be escorted to your air conditioned vehicle. Thereafter, you will make the journey to Sigiriya, in the north-central plains – an area known as the “Cultural Triangle” (an area filled with ancient monuments, palaces and monasteries, which take you back to the golden age of Sinhalese civilization).
Upon arrival check into the hotel, and spend the rest of the day in leisure and relaxation.
Approx. distance – 75 km / transfer time: 1.5 to 2 Hrs
After breakfast, depart for Anuradhapura, to the north. Upon arriving, you will enjoy a city tour of this sprawling and majestic city, filled with monuments, temples, monastic complexes, palaces, ruins and courtyards, which are well-preserved and spellbinding.
Visit the ruins of one of Sri Lanka’s oldest capitals and one of the oldest continuous inhabited cities in the world, founded in the 05th century BC. Here is found the largest number of ancient monuments of a great civilization. Buddhism found its first real home in Sri Lanka at Anuradhapura, and it thus contains some of Theravada Buddhism’s most sacred sites.
Thereafter, visit the “Sri Maha Bodhi” Bo Tree, which is the oldest authentically verified tree in the world, with a history spanning over 2,000 years. The “Sri Maha Bodhi” tree in Anuradhapura, planted from a cutting from the original “Bo Tree” under which the Buddha received enlightenment, continues to draw thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from around the world. The pillars of the brazen palace which once had nine stories, the image of the Samadhi Buddha which is one of the finest pieces of Buddhists sculpture, the twin ponds, guard-stones and the moon-stones are amazing remains and reminders of a great civilisation.
A few sites that can be seen in Anuradapura
Thereafter, make the short journey to Mihintale, a 1000 feet high mountain peak. It holds a special place in the hearts of Sri Lankan Buddhists, due to it being the place where Buddhism made its presence in the island.
Upon completion, you will be brought back to your hotel in Sigiriya.
Overnight at your selected hotel in Sigiriya
After breakfast visit the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Sigiriya is an impressive rock palace surrounded by landscaped gardens and expansive views of the surrounding countryside. The UNSECO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, a most singular geological formation towering 660ft above the surrounding plains. Sigiriya Rock is in fact an ancient hardened magma plug from an extinct and long eroded mountain. The Rock consisted of an opulent palace atop which is now in ruins; an intricate and extensive network of gardens, ponds, reservoirs and aqueducts can be observed around the complex. The mirror wall and the frescoes of ancient “Sigiriya Damsels” can be viewed on the rock. The views are truly spectacular and awe-inspiring.
After climbing the Magnificent Sigiriya Rock, you will then proceed Polonnaruwa for an excursion. (Approx. distance – 61 km / transfer time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Ancient Kingdoms of Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa is situated in the north-central region of Sri Lanka and is an important ancient architectural site. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best-planned archeological sites on the island, with its numerous palaces, monuments, ponds, temples, museums and statues. Polonnaruwa is home to the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of King Parakrama), a huge reservoir built by the namesake King around A.D. 386, best known for his immortal phrase, “Let not a single drop of rain that falls on this island flow into the ocean without first serving humanity.” Polonnaruwa is a dream come true to any person with panache for history, culture, tradition and nature.
A few sites that can be seen in Polonnaruwa:
On completion return to your hotel.
Overnight at the selected hotel in Sigiriya
Approx. Distance 22 km / Transfer time - 30 mins
After Breakfast, travel to Dambulla (Approx. Distance 22 km / Transfer time – 30 mins), home to the Golden Temple of Dambulla or the Dambulla Cave Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Golden Temple of Dambulla is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. It towers 530 feet above the surrounding plains with sweeping views of the Sigiriya Lion Rock and the Kandyan Hills in the distance. The Cave monastery, home to Buddhist monks is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15 meter long reclining Buddha and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest antique painted surface in the world.
Thereafter, you will visit a spice garden and batik factory in Matale en-route to Kandy. (Approx. Distance – 65km / transfer time – 1.5 to 2 hours). Here you will be able to see different spices and aromatics for which Sri Lanka has been famous for centuries.
Thereafter proceed to Kandy, tucked away amidst lush evergreen forests at an elevation of 1640ft and the gateway to the highlands. (Approx. Distance – 25km / transfer time: 1 to 1.5 hours)
Upon arrival, check into the hotel.
Overnight at the selected hotel in Kandy.
Approx. Distance – 45km / transfer time: 1.5 hours
After breakfast depart for the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – A place dedicated to the care and well-being of many orphaned Elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka. There are a number of 84 Elephants and the main spectacle is the bath at the nearby lake which is held twice a day. This is the only such sanctuary in the world; you will watch the beasts gamboling in the water and being fed their quota of milk from handheld bottles.
After lunch, commence a City tour of Kandy visiting the Kandy Market, Kandy upper lake drive, Gem museum, Arts & Crafts Centre etc.
Late afternoon explore the city of Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is located in the royal palace complex which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. The entire complex is part of another UNESCO world heritage site.
On completion of the temple visit witness a cultural dance show.
The Royal City of Kandy is a World Heritage Site, as is the Temple of the Tooth, an important shrine to Buddhists the world over, since it contains a relic of the Lord Buddha’s Tooth. Kandy has a scintillating blend of ancient Sinhala architecture and contemporary architecture. The myriad colours, the pulsating atmosphere of the town center, sprinkled with amazing scenery and enveloped by a salubrious climate helps in making Kandy a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka.
Overnight at the selected hotel in Kandy.
Approx. Distance – 80km / transfer time: 3 to 3.5 hours
After breakfast visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. (Approx. Distance – 6km / transfer time: 20 mins)
This was originally the King’s own royal pleasure garden that was later converted in to a botanic garden and opened to the public. At the Royal Botanical Gardens at ‘Peradeniya’ you could treat your eyes to an amazing, wide and rare collection of tropical and temperate, exotic and indigenous flora, and an orchid house with the largest collection in Asia. The gardens host the most extensive collection of orchids in Asia and are home to over 4000 indigenous and foreign specimens, including ornamental and medicinal.
On Completion proceed to Nuwara-Eliya. En-route visit a one of the many ubiquitous tea plantations complete with a factory. After lunch, at around 1600hrs commence a sightseeing tour of Nuwara-Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya is set in the heart of tea-country is a beautiful town where the British succeeded in creating a replica of the English countryside, with homes in styles from Georgian to Tudor to Victorian to Queen Anne. Well-kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican church, a famous golf course and beautiful parks give the place an air of nostalgia. Situated 6,200 feet above sea level, the air is cool and fresh – a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The town is on the foothill of Pidurutalala, the highest mountain on the island, at 8,282ft. A near constant level of cloud cover, the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops, coniferous forests, and rolling fog, it is a place removed from the usual hustle and bustle of other towns in Sri Lanka. Hence, prime relaxation is guaranteed.
Horse and Pony riding is available at the Turf Club of Nuwara Eliya to facilitate you with some sports and adventure. A variety of activities are centred on the banks of Lake Gregory in the heart of Nuwara Eliya.
Upon Completion check in to your selected hotel.
Overnight at the selected hotel in Nuwara Eliya.
Approx. Distance to Kitulgala – 72km / transfer time: 2 to 2.5 hrs
After Breakfast, check out of the hotel and Proceed to Kitulagala for a quick stop. Here you may have an optional Lunch before heading off to the Airport for Departure OR to your chosen Beach destination.
Kitulgala is a wee hamlet on the edge of the lowlands and highlands transition. It borders the Kelani River that ultimately flows into Colombo and the Indian Ocean, and is the premier destination for white water rafting in Sri Lanka. Film buffs will recognise Kitulgala as being the location where the award winning war epic “Bridge on the River Kwai” directed by David Lean and starring Alec Guinness, was filmed.