SRI LANKA WORLD HERITAGE SITES TOUR
12 Nights / 13 Days
Arrival, welcome by a Representative of Lanka Sportreizen and transfer to Hotel
Evening City Tour of Negombo including a Fishing Village, Old Dutch Fortress from 1678 converted to prison, the Hamilton Canal which was built by the Dutch for the transportation of Cinnamon; St. Mary’s Church and the Old Dutch Cemetery and naturally the Negombo Fish Market.
Overnight stay at Negombo
After early breakfast leave for Anuradhapura – “The first Capital – 5th Century BC”.
Anuradhapura … the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities dating back to the 5th Century BC which formed the foundation for a magnificent civilization spanning over a few centuries .According to the Mahavamsa – the great Sinhala Chronicle, this was a model of planning with precincts set aside for different vocations as well as for foreigners. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels and hospitals and water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs. Its greatest treasures are its dagabos constructed of small sun-dried bricks and are hemispherical in shape two of which have been identified by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The reservoirs used for storage of water formed the basis of the hydraulic civilization which later on spread to the entire island.
En route visit the Elephant Orphanage to see the world’s largest herd of domestic Elephants including babies who are still being fed by bottle thrice a day, Yapahuwa Rock – where the majestic Gateway remains to be seen as the proof to the grandeur that this former capital enjoyed and any other place of interest
Elephant Orphanage… established in 1975 as an effort towards education and conservation by way of scientific captive breeding. Located on the banks of the Maha Oya,the Elephant Orphanage provides shelter to house young elephants who find themselves displaced and lost from their natural habitats for various reasons such as environmental changes due to development projects, being abandoned by their parents when they fall into pits and ravines, etc.
Visit many sites of the City of archaeological and historical interest including Isurumuniya – the first temple to be built in the island, Sri Maha Bodhi Tree– with an authenticated history of more than 2300 years which has been planted from a sapling from the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment , Ruwanveliseya – the largest stupa in the island , Jethawanaramaya and Abhayagiriya – which in their original form have been equivalent in size to the Great Pyramids in Giza and have thus been declared as World Heritage Sites , Twin Ponds, Thuparamaya– the first Stupa to be built in Sri Lanka enshrining the left collar bone of the Buddha, the Samadhi Statue – meditating posture etc In the afternoon
Overnight stay at Anuradhapura
After breakfast leave for Dambulla. Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla…….a collection of five caves of different sizes declared a World Heritage Site. Initial authorship is attributed to King Valagambahu who took refuge here after being driven out of Anuradhapura by invading armies, although the works span over all periods since then to the late Kandy Period in the 18th Century.
Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple considered being the largest painted caves in the world with more than 22,000 sq ft of painted surfaces with many paintings, sculptures, statues of Lord Buddha, his disciples, Kings, Gods etc
Continue to Sigiriya
Sigiriya … a Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD – stark and forbidding, haunted by an epic story of murder and betrayal is attributed to King Kasyapa who found hiding here after killing his father more fruitful than meeting the wrath of the people who loved King Dhatusena much more before meeting his rival – Prince Mugalan who had fled to India seeking reinforcements of his Army. This unique Rock Fortress or “castle in the sky” – a massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft above ground , derived the name “Lion Rock” as the entrance to the climb to the summit is reached between the paws of a lion .
Climb the Rock fortress of Sigiriya. Overnight stay at Sigiriya
After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa – “The Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka- 11th Century AD”
En route visit the Avukana Standing Buddha Statue – 12m tall – a magnificent master piece of Sri Lanka Craftsmanship. In Polonnaruwa, visit the many sites of archaeological and historical interest in the Sacred City of Polonnaruwa including the Grate Statue, Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Vatadage, Hatadage, Siva Devalaya, Gal Viharaya, Alahana Pirivena Complex, Kumara and Lotus Ponds, Thuparamaya, Rankoth Vehera, Pabalu Vehera, Thiwanka Image House, The Museum etc some of which depict the influence that Hinduism had on the Buddhist Civilisation during that period of history.
Leave for Kandy via Riverstone – “The Hill Capital”. Engage hike in the Pitawala Pathana. Walk in to a Spice Garden and take part in a conducted tour to get some knowledge about the growth and use of spices in the day to day life.
In a Batik Making Factory, see how beautifully the village girls turn out beautiful colored cloths for different purposes with colourful designs. Overnight stay at Kandy
After breakfast leave for a City Tour including the Upper Lake Drive – a place where one could have a bird’s eye view of the city below, the Royal Botanical Gardens – one of the best of its kind in Asia with more than 5000 species of different varieties of flora which incidentally was the Headquarters of Lord Louise Mountbatten – the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the 2nd World War, a Gem Museum – to see how the valuable gems that you see on a shop shelf are turned out from a raw stone with the back ground history.
In the evening watch a Cultural Performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers and Drummers including devotional “Fire Walking” and walk across in the star lit night to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha – by far the most important place of worship for Buddhists world over.
Overnight stay at Kandy
After breakfast leave for Dalhouise
Transfer to the Base of the Adam’s Peak. Overnight stay at Dalhouise
Leave for the ascend to the Adam’s Peak at 2.00am. Enjoy the ascend to reach the summit of the Holy Mountain. Witness the “Sun Rise”
Return for a late breakfast. Refresh and leave for Nuwara Eliya – “Little England”
En route visit a Tea Factory and a Plantation to witness the manufacturing process of world famous “Ceylon Tea” and to taste a pure unblended cup of factory fresh tea before being sent to the Tea Auctions in Colombo leading to Export.
Evening is free for walk /tour around the city – the important places being the Victoria Park, Gregory Lake, Golf Course, and Market etc. Overnight stay at Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast leave for Horton Plains National Park and hike up to the World’s End and the Bakers Falls.
Relax. Overnight stay at Belihuloya
After breakfast leave for the Sinharaja Rain Forest
Overnight stay at Weddagala
After breakfast leave for Bentota on the south west coast via Matugama
Bentota … is everything a tropical paradise should be – miles of golden, palm-fringed beaches, lapped by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The township offers visitors an opportunity to explore Sri Lanka’s natural, cultural and historical riches, at their own pace.
Relax. Overnight stay at Bentota
After breakfast undertake an excursion to Galle Dutch Fortress – a World Heritage Site
Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in south and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
Return to Hotel. Overnight stay at Bentota
After breakfast leave for Colombo – “The Commercial Capital”
In Colombo undertake a half day City Tour including a Buddhist Temple, Dutch Wolvendhal Church, a Hindu Temple , Town Hall, BMICH(Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall) , Cinnamon Gardens , Prime residential area, replica of standing Buddha Statue and Nelum Pokuna, the newly opened Performing Arts Theatre.
Shopping at “ODEL Unlimited” and “House of Fashion” etc.
Continue to Negombo. Overnight stay at Negombo
Transfer to Airport for departure
End of Tour