Tour Name

CULTURAL ESCAPES

Days

05 DAYS TOUR

Highlights of This Itinerary

 

Overview: Sri Lanka is a country in south Asia, which boasts of a rich cultural heritage spanning over 2500 years. This had been enriched by much other culture, especially from India. Many a kingdom that was established in ancient Sri Lanka, along with various cultural influxes from India has influenced in shaping the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Inarguably the factor, which has played the lead part in contributing to the culture along with everything traditional, is the presence of Buddhism. Ancient rulers of Sri Lanka built monuments established institutions to honor the philosophy of Buddhism. In turn this led to lesser folks following the principles advocated by Buddhism en masse. This could be described as a way of life, a pattern of thinking, which led to a self-sufficient society that engaged in agriculture as the means of living.



DAY 1: ARRIVE / SIGIRIYA

On arrival at the Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted by your very own chauffeur guide and transferred to Sigiriya (Approx. 4 hours & 15 minutes drive). On arrival in the hotel, spend the day at leisure relaxing and enjoying the hotel facilities. 

 

Spend overnight at Aliya Resort & Spa. Accommodation is in a Deluxe room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed & breakfast basis.

 

DAY 2: SIGIRIYA / POLONNARUWA / SIGIRIYA

After breakfast we drive to Polonnaruwa and visit the ancient city Polonnaruwa (approx 2 hrs drive) - The ancient heart of Sri Lanka. An important royal capital with its well-preserved 12th century ruins & impressive stone culture recalls an inspired past. Although nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow.

 

Transfer from Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya

 

Spend the afternoon visiting the spectacular Sigiriya rock fortress (15 minutes/5 km), with its rocky abode & water gardens.  Sigiriya is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century King Kashyapa domesticated the Lions Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history.


Spend overnight at Aliya Resort & Spa. Accommodation is in a Deluxe room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed & breakfast basis

DAY 3: SIGIRIYA /DAMBULLA / KANDY

After breakfast we drive to Kandy, en route visit the Cave temple of Dambulla (approx. 2 ½ hrs drive) - The Dambulla rock temple was built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. and 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.

 

Arrive Kandy and check in at Elephant Stables


late afternoon, you can do a city tour of Kandy including visits to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, upper lake drive, market square, gem lapidary, etc…

 

KANDY – the hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “DaladaMaligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (“MahaWasala”), “PalleWasala”- where the Queens stayed-now used for the National Museum, “MedaWasala” where other close relatives lived, Audience Hall, Natha Devala and Vishnu Devala are situated close by. The Bathing Pavilion (“Ulpenge”) is by the Lake and in the Center of the lake is the Island called “KiriSamudraya” (Milk white ocean) used by the kings as the summerhouse. Today it is the center of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture. Visitors can see these Dance & Music at the daily Cultural Performances held at several places in the city.


Spend overnight at Elephant Stables. Accommodation is in Deluxe rooms with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed & breakfast basis.

DAY 4: KANDY / PINNAWALA / KANDY

After breakfast drive to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (approx. 1 ½ hrs)- The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage provides visitors with the best chance of seeing a large number of elephants at close quarters. The orphanage was established in 1975 and commenced with seven orphaned elephants. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their calfs born in the same location. Assisted by local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawala commenced a successful captive breeding program and the first baby elephant was born in 1984. It is most interesting to visit at feeding time to see the baby elephants being bottle fed and the entire herd taken for a bath thereafter to the river near by.

 

Spend overnight at Elephant Stables. Accommodation is in a Deluxe roomwith ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed & breakfast basis.

DAY 5: KANDY / AIRPORT

Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Airport for departure.  (Approx 03 hours drive)


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