Sri Lanka Culture Tour
Day 01: Kandy
Welcome on arrival by eLand Holidays representative who will transfer you to Kandy. Amidst of undulating hills in the Kandy plateau, you will visit one of the most scenic cities of Sri Lanka, Kandy - the last capital of the primeval kings' epoch of Sri Lanka. It is also a UNESCO world heritage city. Present day Kandy is a significant religious centre of the Sinhalese and a highly revered pilgrimage center by Buddhists specifically those belonging to Theravada School. Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most esteemed places for the Buddhist society of Sri Lanka and all around the world, finds shelter in Kandy. The Royal Palace of Kandy is another popular tourist attraction of the region. Temple of the Tooth Relic was originally a part of this complex. Today it houses National Museum Kandy which exhibits an extensive assortment of objet d'art that belongs to the Kandy Kingdom and the British colonial rule.
Overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 02: Kandy - Anuradhapura En Route Pinnawala
After breakfast at the hotel you will proceed towards your next destination of the cultural tour in Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura. On your way, drop a visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Observe baby jumbos marveling around their restricted foster home being bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers. This orphanage was started in 1972 and shelters more than 60 elephant babies. Just in front of the orphanage at Ma Oya, sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm, these jumbos enjoy bathing and offer a visual pleasure to the visitors.
Later, continue your drive towards Anuradhapura another world heritage city of the country. It is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka which has gained worldwide recognition for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Lankan civilization. Located on the banks of the momentous Malvathu Oya, this ancient Sri Lankan city was the most stable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia during the time period of 4th century BC until the beginning of the 11th century AD. Highly venerated by the Buddhist all around the world, this ancient city at present is surrounded by monasteries expanded over a vast area of over sixteen square miles. Eight Great Places of Veneration in Anuradhapura - Atamasthana are Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanarama, Mirisaveti Stupa and Lankarama.
Overnight stay will be at the hotel in Anuradhapura.
Day 03: Anuradhapura - Polonnaruwa
After breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed to Polonnaruwa - the second most ancient city of Sri Lanka. En route, visit Mihintale and Arkana. Near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, Mihintale is a highly respected mountain peak which is believed by the natives to be the place of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa. This meeting launched the existence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. With several religious monuments and abandoned structures, this pilgrimage site attracts a lot of visitors every year.
Aukana, a small village in close proximity to ancient Kala Wewa rainwater reservoir, shelters the most faultlessly conserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka. The magnificent and elegant statue of standing Lord Buddha is 12m-high. It is respected all over the island to a great extent. Several full scale copies have been erected in the Colombo, Dondra, Ratnapura, and Trincomalee.
Later continue your drive towards Polonnaruwa - the first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I. on arrival check in at your pre booked hotel. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Polonnaruwa remains one of the best designed archeological artifact sites in the country. Besides being the 2nd largest city in north central province, it is also one of the cleaner and more beautiful cities of the country. The city attracts a lot of local as well as foreign tourist towards its green environment, amazing ancient constructions, attractive tourist hotels, Parakrama Samudraya (a beautiful lake built in 1200 A.D.) and most importantly, nice people with great hospitality.
Enjoy cycling in this cleaner greener environment of Polonnaruwa. Overnight will be at the hotel.
Day 04: Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya
After breakfast at the hotel you will leave for your next destination Sigiriya. On your way, you will visit Minneriya National Park. It was declared a protected area in 1938 as wildlife sanctuary to protect the catchment area of Minneriya tank and the flora and fauna of the adjacent area. On 12 August 1997, this wildlife sanctuary was given the status of National Park. Situated in dry zone of Sri Lanka, the tank fulfills its water requirement from diversion of Amban River and Elahera canal. During the dry season, large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants are fascinated towards grass fields on the boundaries of the reservoir. Several information sources report figure of elephants in the park to as high as 700. Enjoy a wildlife jeep safari in the dense jungles of the reserve.
From here, continue your drive towards Sigiriya. It is a primordial rock fortress and palace wreck surrounded by the relics of a far-reaching network of gardens, reservoirs, and other formations. Being one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is famous for its antique frescos, which are remindful of the Ajanta Caves of India. On arrival, check in at your pre booked hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure.
Overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 05: Excursion in Sigiriya
After morning breakfast, leave the hotel for a rejuvenating sightseeing tour of the region. Visit the Sigiriya Rock temple. You have to climb to reach the relics of an upper palace located on the flat surface of the rock. 4th century AD King Kasyapa used this ancient castle which at present is considered to be eighth wonder of the world. Besides the relics of the palace, this place exhibits the Lion Gate, the mirror wall, lower palace that adhere to the slopes below the rock and gardens which are expanded for some hundreds of meters.
Later enjoy bird watching and a Jungle ride on an Elephant.
Overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 06: Sigiriya - Yapahuwa
On the sixth day of your tour, you will visit the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka - Yapahuwa. Located amid Kurunagala and Anuradhapura, Yapahuwa was built around an enormous granite rock mounting abruptly approximately a hundred meters above the adjoining lowlands. Previously, this Buddhist heritage site was known as Yapawwa, the current name Yapahuwa is merely a deformation of its authentic etymological sense. Here you get the opportunity to trace relics of the ancient battle defenses. An ornamental stairway is the biggest showpiece of the region. At the rock-top, you will find several evidences which indicate that earlier this site was used as a Buddhist monastery for example there are the remains of a Stupa, a Bodhi tree area, and a rock cave used by Buddhist monks. In one of the many rock caves at the base, there is a holy place with Buddha images.
Come back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 07: Yapahuwa - Colombo
After Breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed to Colombo. On arrival, check in at your pre booked hotel. Colombo, the former capital of Sri Lanka, is the largest and the most vibrant city of the nation. Here you will notice a perfect blend of the modernity with the buildings and remnants of Colonial era. Districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara together define the Colombo Metropolitan Region. It possesses a large harbor which is strategically located along the East-West sea trade routes. With all credit to this harbor, Colombo was known to the ancient traders 2,000 years ago. After giving it up to the British Empire in 1815, Colombo became the capital and retained this status even after the independence until 1978 when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. Colombo then was selected as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
You will visit the old Parliament building which stands majestically in the Fort district. The Old Colombo Lighthouse is located in close proximity to old parliament building. Proceed to the famous Cargills & Millers complex in the Fort District which is conserved by special government law from demolition mainly to preserve the historic beauty of the Fort area.
Overnight stay will be in Colombo at the hotel.
Day 08: Departure for Onward Destination
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred by the eLand Holidays representative to the Colombo International airport. Catch flight for your onward destination bidding adieu to this wonderful tour!