Short Cultural Journey

7 Days FROM US$850 per person

ITINERARY

TOUR OVERVIEW
One wouldn’t imagine there is so much history and culture packed into this tiny Indian Ocean Island of Sri Lanka. The island’s documented history dates back to the 3rd century B.C. and was among most advanced and developed nations in the pre-modern world. and the seat of an important historical civilization in Asia.The gentle sway of Buddhism introduced in 247 c. B.C. transformed the Indo-Aryan Sinhalese to produce feats of architecture and construction, evocative sculpture and well laid out ancient cities.In spite of numerous Indian invasions and 450 years of foreign rule since 1505 Sri Lanka has managed to preserve her identity of a cultured nation. The plus point is her beautiful landscapes changing at every turn of your tour, exposing vistas of breathtaking scenery.
Day 1 - NEGOMBO
Arrival at the Katunayake International Airport and transfer to Negombo.
Ayubowan – may you be blessed with long life! With this beautiful traditional greeting we are welcomed to the jewel like island of Sri Lanka.

Check into the hotel.

We are in Negombo, close to the main city, Colombo and the International Airport. It is a characteristic fishing town, engulfed with the spirit of the sea and look forward to scrumptious seafood which Negombo is famous for. Apart from seafood, Negombo has a charm of its own with narrow streets and pretty Catholic churches dotting the area. It is a predominantly Catholic town.

A typical ‘Negombo style’ dinner and a taste of the local alcoholic drink ‘Arrack’!
Stay : Goldi Sands hotel or similar
Day 2 - ANURADHAPURA | DAMBULLA
After early breakfast, we leave for Anuradhapura. In the evening we tour the remains of a proud ancient kingdom. Anuradhapura was Sri Lanka’s first capital dating back to 5thc B.C. We visit the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi – the world’s oldest authenticated tree venerated by Buddhists as it was grown from a sapling of the tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment; Isurumuniya Viharaya with rock carvings, Ruwanweli Maha Saya – by far the most beautiful dagoba, its white dome shining like a pearl in the arid landscape, the Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns we see are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks and the Samadhi Buddha statue depicting the Buddha in a meditative pose capture us by its sheer beauty of serenity.We continue our Journey to Dambulla. Check into the hotel in Dambulla. Refreshments en route.
Stay : Kassapa Lion Rock or similar hotel
Day 3 - DAMBULLA | SIGIRIYA | MINNERIYA
Morning we visit Sigiriya (5thc.A.D) an impressive rock fortress, a royal citadel of a king for 18 years. A part from the great rock, the surroundings, just gets you…so green, so serene, and peaceful amidst hundreds of visitors every day. Exciting climb to the summit, an area of nearly one hc., to the site of the palace which commands a magnificent view of the royal water gardens, on par with the best of the ancient world. On the way up we encounter the famous Sigiriya frescoes, heavenly maidens painted on a rock pocket. Afterwards we are free to indulge in elephant rides at Habarana.

Late afternoon – Jeep safari to Minneriya National Park to see wild elephants. If we are in this area around August/September we are in for a treat! We are offered a delightful experience at Minneriya to watch ‘The Gathering’ an awesome wildlife spectacle. Over 150 elephants, young, old and babies converge to enjoy the lake with receding water levels to play, romance and have fun!
Stay : Kassapa Lion Rock or similar hotel
Day 4 - DAMBULLA | MATALE | KANDY
After early breakfast we leave for Kandy, Sri Lanka’s most beautiful and most visited historic, cultural city visiting Dambulla cave temples (1st c. B.C.). We see a collection of the largest number of Buddha statues in one place, largest is the colossal rock carved figure spanning 14 meters and a large sweep of colorful murals on the rock wall. A World Heritage Site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. We travel to Kandy via Matale on the aromatic spice route visiting Aluviharaya Temple and a spice garden.

The Aluvihare Temple is sacred to Buddhists as the Tripitakas (Buddhist Scriptures) were written down on ola leaves in Pali by a conclave of Buddhists monks of the Aluvihare Temple during the 1st c B.C. These Tripitakas originally had come down by mere word of mouth by being committed to memory by Buddhists monks at the time.
Stay : CItadel Kandy or similar hotel
Day 5 - KANDY
Early morning a visit to the Dalada Maligawa (temple of the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha). We observe the traditional Kandyan art and architecture and witness the morning ‘Pooja’ (offering) accompanied by Kandyan drumming. The sanctity enfolds us…Since ancient times, the Tooth Relic has played an important role in history as it was believed that whoever holds it in his custody rules the country. Kandy was the last independent kingdom of Sri Lanka which ceded to the British in 1815. Girdled by the Mahaweli river, green mountains and the tranquil Kandy lake in the centre, it is a most picturesque town. A short tour of the environs, including a drive around the lake, visiting Kandy market and curio and jewellery shops in narrow lanes. Kandy is the repository of traditional arts and crafts of unique character. Late evening, we enjoy a grand display of dancing and drumming.
Stay : CItadel Kandy or similar hotel
Day 6 - KANDY | COLOMBO
We leave for Colombo enroute visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya dating from the 14th century as it was built as a pleasure garden for the queen, later developed by the British and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to spend some delightful time with the pachyderms. We leave for Colombo.
Check in at The Kingsbury – 5* hotel or similar hotel.
Indulge in some last minute shopping and have a short sightseeing tour of the metropolis.
Stay : Mirage hotel or similar
Day 7 - COLOMBO
Departure
Stay :