Sri Lanka at Leisure for special offer
Sri Lanka at Leisure
The Cultural Highlights Tour gives you a fascinating look into the archaeological & historical places in Sri Lanka. The tour attractions range from the ruins of ancient kingdoms to the beautiful hill country, rich in natural beauty.
Departure & Return Location
CMB Bandaranayake International Airport
- 10 Nights Hotel Accommodation
- Tour Guide
- All transportation in destination location
- Guide Service Fee
- Driver Service Fee
- Any Private Expenses
- Room Service Fees
Day 1 – Airport / Kandalama
Arrival and transfer to Kandalama.
Day 2 – Kandalama / Anuradhapura / Mihintale / Kandalama
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Anuradhapura.
Do a city tour of Anuradhapura. It was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Ceylon. Two of the World Heritage Sites are situated here and many places of historical and archaeological interest could be visited. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a sapling of the tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained to enlightenment. It is over 2200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. The Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence of monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the Dagobas. It originally depicted the perfect ‘bubble shape” that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. ‘Samadhi’ Buddha statue (4th century AD) is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of deep meditation and Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C) which is well known for its rock carvings.
Transfer to Mihintale.
Mihintale is where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. Mihintale is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is riddled with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1,840 steps made out of granite slabs of 15′ wide leads to the summit from where one could get a splendid view of the surrounding countryside.
On completion, transfer to Kandalama
Day 3 – Kandalama / Polonnaruwa / Medirigiriya / Kandalama
Breakfast at the hotel.
Thereafter transfer to Polonnaruwa. Do a city tour of Polonnaruwa which is a world heritage site and the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD. See the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where four splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the statue of king Parakramabahu and the Parakrama Samudraya – a lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Transfer to Medirigiriya.
Visit Medirigiriya temple, famous for its 7th century Vatadage Temple which is situated on top of a low rocky point. There are three concentric rows of pillars, making a total of 68, surrounding four large seated Buddha statues facing the four directions.
On completion, transfer to Kandalama.
Day 4 – Kandalama / Sigiriya / Minneriya / Kandalama
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Sigiriya.
Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted on plaster using earth pigments.
Thereafter, transfer to Minneriya.
Do a safari of the Minneriya National Park by jeep, the extent of which is about 8,889 hectares. There are wet-lands in this National Park, which have international importance, animal and plant species which are plenty in dry zone are found in this park. Wild elephants, various amphibians, local and immigrant bird species are plenty in this park. About 160 species of birds, 09 amphibians, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species and more than 78 butterfly species have been found in this area. There are bamboo trees which are rare in other parks and wild elephants can be seen moving conveniently. The significant feature is that these elephants can be seen going very closer to you.
On completion, transfer to Kandalama.
Day 5 – Kandalama / Dambulla / Matale / Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel. Free for bird watching around Kandalama. The 55 acre forest around the Kandalama tank where the hotel is situated has a variety of trees – 100 years or more in age, with medicinal plants and a rich and varied bird life. Around 90 varieties of birds including migrants – babbler, blue flycatcher, oriole, paradise flycatcher, warbler, wagtail, barbet, bee-eater, Brahmin kite, owl, teal, pelican, make their home here. Then transfer to Dambulla Visit Dambulla rock temple which has been built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. It is a World Heritage Site. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and ceilings, is the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 metres.
Thereafter transfer to Matale.
In Matale, visit a spice garden to see different spices for which Sri Lanka is famous for. You could see different spices and how some of these spices are grown and processed. Also, witness a Cookery demonstration.
On completion, transfer to Kandy.
Day 6 – Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter, do a city tour of Kandy. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site. The name “Kandy” conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and bazaar, the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. Also, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy.
Thereafter witness a cultural show.
Day 7 – Kandy / Pinnawala / Peradeniya / Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter transfer to Pinnawala.
Visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala established in 1975 and commenced with seven orphans. Today, some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but soon it became a conservation and an educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawala started a scientific captive-breeding programme for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role in this regard and in 1984, the first baby of Pinnawala was born.The success story of Pinnawala has drawn the attention of scientists from all over the world. A considerable number of books and research articles on Pinnawala have been published in several languages. The members of the Pinnawala herd have been filmed, videoed and photographed thousands of times by professionals.
Transfer to Peradeniya.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and has been expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
On completion, transfer to Kandy.
Day 8 – Kandy / Tea Plantation / Nuwara Eliya / Kandapola
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter, transfer to a Tea Plantation.
Visit a tea plantation and a tea factory where the best tea in the world is produced. Here, you could observe the process of manufacturing tea. You can also see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory.
Transfer to Nuwara Eliya.
Do a city tour of Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. One of the finest 18 hole golf courses available in South Asia is also situated in Nuwara Eliya. Transfer to Kandapola.
Day 9 – Kandapola / Horton Plains / Kandapola
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter transfer to Horton Plains.
Visit Horton plains, which is located on a high windswept saddle at about 2134 meters above the sea level. The plains are an expanse of misty grassland with scraggy trees and ice-cold rivulets. Visit the World’s End considered to be the finest view in all of Sri Lanka. The awesome escarpment drops vertically for about 4,000 feet, hence its name. You can also see the beautiful Backer’s falls. (walk is about 14 km). The park shelters mammals such as Sambhur, Leopard and endemic Bear Monkies. This area is the home for over 20 endemic bird species including Sri Lanka’s Whistling Thrush, Orange-billed Babbler and Yellow-eared Bulbul.
On completion transfer to Kandapola.
Day 10 – Kandapola / Bandarawela / Buduruwagala / Yala
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter transfer to Bandarawela.
Bandarawela is a charming town at an elevation of 4000 feet. It is a popular health resort. Transfer to Buduruwagala.
The great sculptures of Buduruwagala dates back to the 9th or 10th century. The central figure of the Buddha is 51 feet (15.5 metres) from head to toe. The statue is attended on either side by figures of two ‘Bodhisattvas’, each of 40 feet in height. It is approached through a jungle area until suddenly the face of the Buddha statue emerges through a dark arch of forest.
Transfer from Buduruwagala to Yala.
Do a safari of the Yala National Park by jeep. Yala is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka which is the home for wild elephants, wild boars, wild buffaloes, leopards, bears, deers and crocodiles. Large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds are also found here
Day 11 – Yala / Galle / Beach Hotel
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter transfer to Galle.
Galle was once the chief port of Ceylon. It is still well known for hand-made lace. Visit the Galle Fort (spanning 90 acres) which has been originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663. This is a World Heritage Site.
On completion, transfer to a Beach hotel in Negombo or in the South coast
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