Sri Lanka: Ancient Kingdoms, Nature and Wildlife
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
‘’Explore ruins, relax on stunning beaches, Wildlife and discover secrets and hidden beauty of Sri Lanka’’
Get ready to escape to a unique land of Sri Lanka! Formerly Ceylon, this island country in South Asia is relatively small in size yet remarkably beautiful shaped by its history, traditions, different languages, ethnicities, and other factors. The culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2500 years, drive along the road in Sri Lanka and you can pass Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, churches and mosques all on the same stretch. This fusion – found in the history, the culture, the Arabian, Indian and European-inspired food – makes Sri Lanka a delicious melting pot to explore. From laid-back Negombo venture through ancient Anuradhapura to the lesser explored north, the secrets and hidden places of Jaffna, and on to the beautiful coastline of Trincomalee. Discover the spiritual heart of the country in the temples of Kandy, and enjoy the natural world too, in a country that overflows with plants and wildlife. Spend time with locals keen to share their homes, food, and stories on an adventure that will leave you with many of your own to tell.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Polonnaruwa- the ancient Royal Capital- the best planned archaeological relic cities in the country.
- Dambulla Caves- the largest and the best-preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, dating back to the first century BC.
- Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress on 660 ft high rock column! A UNESCO world heritage site.
- Exciting jeep safari in Minneriya National Park and Yala National Park and the view of the Asian elephants in the wild, leopard, deer, and much other wildlife.
- Visit the most sacred Buddhist temple in Kandy- The Temple of Tooth that enshrines the tooth relic of Buddha.
- Enjoy the hill country scenery, tea estates, lake, and the natural scenery in the colonial hill resort of Nuwara Eliya.
- Hike the World's End in Horton's Plains National Park.
- Walk on the Nine Arch Bridge- an iconic engineering marvel, built without the use of steel, in Ella.
- Witness the European influence in South Asia when you visit the Galle Fort- a UNESCO recognized the site.
- Relax on the beaches of the coastal town of Bentota.
- Explore the city's attractions and the Galle Face Green in Colombo.
- Train ride from Nanu Oya to Ella on observation salon seat.
- Tuk-Tuk ride at Nuwara Eliya &Discover Nuwara Eliya's tea plantations& meet tea pluckers
- Hiking to Adam’s Peak
- Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda & Capture the dying tradition of Stilt Fishing
- Visit historic Galle& open mask Museum
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Arrive Colombo-the capital of Sri Lanka, aftercompleting immigration and custom formalities,
Meetwith the local guide or Representative and transfer to Negombo and check in at hotel.
Later visit (Subject to flight timing) Fishing village, thousands of fisherman who actively take part in fishing on a daily basis, dried & preserved using indigenous technologies. Dutch Canal Boat Ride, It is used to serve as a supply to the Dutch administration along with the Old Churches and fishing villages during the Dutch rule and. Walk to the local market .
Today, travel by road to Habarana, You will have time to settle into your room and take some rest. After that, we proceed for a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park (Entrance fee and Jeep cost are exclusive. Pay on the spot).
Later take jeep ride to Minneriya National Park was created to preserve the massive ancient reservoir built by King Mahasen of Anuradhapura in the third century AD. Initially, the reservoir covered 4670 acres. The reservoir and the area around now makes a great ecosystem and habitat to the diverse wildlife that includes elephants, deer, leopards and various species of birds such as storks, pelicans, hornbills, cormorants, herons, bulbuls and more!
In three hours long safari, we can see several herds of elephants-adults and calves, gathering and grazing in the shores of the reservoir during the dry season.
Today, we proceed to the famous Lion Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. This rock citadel of King Kasyapa on a 660 ft high rock culminating dates back to the 5th-century, and it is ideally the engineering wonder of ancient Sri Lanka. Ramparts and moats surround the Lion Rock are also coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in the Ajanta caves of India. We walk in the shade of an eminent 'mirror wall' embracing the western face of Sigiriya, representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti. There are 1200 steps up to the top and can take about 2 hours for a total trip up and down. The spiral staircase upward the Lion's Paw is strenuous and is not for faint-hearted and people with height issues.
Afternoon time is for the excursion to Polonnaruwa (approximately 1.5 hrs.)- the capital of Sri Lanka between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. The ancient kingdom contained royal castles, bathing pools, temples, monasteries, and dagabas- reflecting a combination of Sinhalese and South Indian culture and architecture. Ravaged much by invasion at different times, the ancient capital now exists in ruins but still with former grandeur.
We walk across the spread walls and admire the ancient Sri Lankan engineering wonders of this World Heritage Site. We will see stupas with resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals. And also fantastically carved Hindu sculptures while observing the relic house Watadage that boasts of beautiful stone carvings.
Today, travel by road to Kandy- the largest city in central Sri Lanka and the last capital of Royal Sri Lanka. Shortly after, on the road, we stop to visit the magnificent Dambulla Caves. It is located high on a cliff face, and the caves house many Buddha images, frescoes, and paintings. Each of them tells the history and religion and leaves you with a unique sense of spirituality. We avoid the mid-day heat as it requires good 30 or 40 minutes of a challenging climb through the stone stairs. Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, dating back to the first century BCE.
On the way, at Matale (44 miles), we will stop in one of the several spice gardens that we can see along. Sri Lankan spices and herbs are world-renowned. And here, you will be amazed to learn that they aren't just used in food but also on many cosmetics and ayurvedic medicines. We will have an in-house spice and herb specialist guide who will lead us through the various plants that include cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, curry leaves, and what not! They also have a small showroom, but the price offered is inflated. It's not obligatory to purchase here, but the tour gives an insight into Sri Lankan spices.
Today, begin your city exploration from the Temple of Sacred Tooth that enshrines the sacred tooth relic of Buddha. The relic has been significant since ancient times not only for a religious reason but also in local politics as whoever owned the relic, also held the governing power of the country!
Next, you will visit the International Buddhist Museum- the world's first International Buddhist Museum built with contributions of the world's 17 countries. These countries are Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Bhutan, and Afghanistan!
Nearby is Kandy Lake- an artificial lake built in the early 19th century. We will take a scenic drive around and stop to visit a local bazaar. We walk through the market to see stalls filled with fresh fruit, produce, and other merchandise; and eating Sri Lankan street food such as koththu.
Evening witness a Cultural show featuring various dance types of Sri Lanka
Optional:Early morning at 7.00 a.mYoga & Meditation Session.The Yoga is 1 ½ hour per session.
Then go to the Temple of the Tooth (Sri DaladaMaligawa)to attend morning “Pooja” ceremony.
After breakfast, travel by surface to Nuwara Eliya, It's a scenic drive through tea estates. We will enjoy the hill country scenery and waterfalls, appreciate the nature-friendly trail abundant with green filled mountains and waterfalls wrapping the mountains with scenic beauty. And also beautiful tea plantations that are draping down from the sides of the mountains as you pass by. We will stop in a tea factory to learn about the world-famous Ceylon Teas production.
In Nuwara Eliya, enjoy the beauty of Gregory Lake, constructed during the period of British Governor William Gregory. There are quite a few activities offered by locals like canoeing, boating, games if you wish to partake in or gaze the beauty of the area from one of the restaurants on the shore.
Another attraction of Nuwara Eliya is the Haggala botanical garden, where you can take a stroll and learn about the wondrous flora. The garden is located at an altitude of 1745m above sea level under the shadow of the Haggala Rock and offers scenic views of Madulsima and the Namunukula mountain range. The garden has more than 1000 different species that include orchids and roses.
You can take a nice evening walk around the Gregory Lake. Visit the beautiful club house and British colonial style bungalows.
Note, Sunday Tea pluckers on Leave
Today, travel by road to Ella, enroute visit Horton Plains is a beautiful highland plateau famous for hiking to the fabled viewpoint of the World's End.
Take 4WD vehicle to get there due to adverse road conditions. From the trailhead, the World's End , but the trail makes a nice look via Baker's Fall and then back to the entrance (3.5 miles) in approximately 3-hours. We walk on a relaxed pace on a well-trodden path through cloud forests and grasslands and arrive at the World's End- the main attraction of the park. World's End is a spine chilling 2854 ft sheer drop with a view across the green mountains of the island country to clear blue coastline and beyond! We need to leave early morning so that we arrive at the trailhead around sunrise and make to the World's End before the clouds start rolling in and blocking the view.
The other attraction of the park is the Baker's Falls- named after Sir Samuel Baker- a famous explorer. Waters cascading down from the height of 66 and the environs creates a beautiful scene!
Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and after wash up and change, proceed to Nine Arch Bridge, which is a leisurely walk of less than half an hour. The Nine Arch Bridge is on the Demodara loop of the railway line and spans nearly 300 ft. long and 78 ft high. The bridge is a very picturesque spot located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting, especially when the train is passing. Built without the use of steel, it's one of the iconic bridges and engineering marvels of the world! The legend goes that when this bridge was being planned, World War I broke out, and the steel consignment was diverted to the weapon factories, and so the engineers came up with the plan to build the bridge with brick and cement only!
Today, transfer by surface to Yala National park.En-route visit famous Ella gap and enjoy the most beautiful sceneries in the Sri Lanka highlands.
Yala National Park offers the greatest diversity of animal and birdlife in the country. The habitats found in the park are wide-ranging, from freshwater lakes to beaches, rocky outcrops to green plains and jungle.
Participate in afternoon jeep safari at Yala National Park- Park is approximately 1,259 sq. kms in extent and is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is located in the south eastern corner of the island and it has the added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. The park is the home for wild elephants, wild boars, wild buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer and crocodiles. Large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds are also found here.
Today, transfer by road to Galle. En route visit Ahangama Village - A unique attraction in Sri Lanka is the sight of the stilt fishermen. Arrive Galle & check in at hotel.
Aftenoon visit Old Galle a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galle Fort itselfisstill a living monument with a bustling community within the greatramparts, massive bastions, pepper pot towers, while narrow streets display its Dutch heritage with beckoning pillared verandas and fretwork facades
Walking aroundis best soyou can peep through frangipani filled courtyards at houses, galleries or shops selling antiques, spices, pictures, nouveau-boule and hand-woven sarongs. Boutique hotels in Galle incongruously cheek by jowlwith postage-stamp size cafes, soyou are never far from a perfectsun-downer.Ariyapalamask workshop and museum in Ambalangoda – Mask makers on the island.
Morning take History and architecture walk around Galle Fort- The history of the iconic Galle ort dates back many centuries and was a well-known natural harbor used by Persian, Arab, Greek and Roman traders, among others long before it was discovered by the Portuguese in the 1500s. Through historic trading, European colonization,
Then drive to Bentota, arrive & check in at Hotel
Spend the day at leisure in the coastal town of Bentota. Enjoy time at the famous beach, step into the sun sand and sea and wrap yourself with the warmth of tropical beaches of Southern Sri Lanka! You may visit the Turtle Hatchery Project that gathers turtle eggs and safeguard them until they hatch. After hatching, the babies are then safely released to the ocean. This increases their chance of survival.
Day at leisure on the beach.
After breakfast, drive to Colombo & take a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. Also visit the BMICH, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and Independence Square.
Shopping- visit Mlesna exquisite tea boutique, cashew nut shop, ready made garments and all sorts at Majestic City. Visit the Lanka Ceramics Centre, a place where you can buy “NORITAKE SET” or other ceramic items, visit the ‘ODEL SHOP’ at Lipton Place. Visit ’BAREFOOT’, ’HOUSE OF FASHION’ and 'BEVERLY STREET' – 24 hours shopping arcade (garments only) at Kollupitya.
Thereafter transfer to Airport to connect the departure flight.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for total 11 nights on Bed & Breakfast basis.
- All meals at Yala National park & extra dinner at Ella
- Transfers, sightseeing and excursions as per the program by air-conditioned Vehicle.
- English speaking Chauffeur guide as per program.
- All entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the program.
- Fishing Village walking tour in Negombo.
- Boat ride on Dutch Canal in Negombo.
- Enjoy the Ayurveda massage at Spice Garden in Matale.
- Witness Kandyan Cultural Dance in Kandy.
- Historical and architecture walk in Galle
- Visit Yala National Park & drive up Harton Plain by 4 x 4 jeep Safari.
- One jeep safari to visit Minneriya national park
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes including the GST charges levied recently by the Government.
- Mineral water during sightseeing and excursion
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International Airfare / Departure taxes
- Visa fees
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges
- Meals not mentioned
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Excess baggage fees
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or
- misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other items not specified
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