Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.
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Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt. Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years. This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
FACTS & FIGURES:
Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Dimensions: 430km North to South, 225km East to West
Currency (code): Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Commercial Capital: Colombo
Climate: Sri Lanka is a round-the-year destination for the visitors who seek for sun and sea the best time to visit the island is from November to April. The Southwestern coastal area, where the most of the beach resorts are located. The central highlands are pleasantly cool and relatively dry from January to April. The peak season is mid December to mid January and March-April during Easter with a mini peak season in July and August when festivals and pageants are held through the country.
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Religion: Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)
International Dialing: +94
DAY 1: COLOMBO/AIRPORT (BIA)/PINNAWALA/KANDY
Arrival in Sri Lanka & Clients will be met by our representative on arrival and transferred to Pinnawala
Pinnawala - Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage : App. 90km away from Colombo. Off Colombo-Kandy road is Pinnawala, where an orphanage was started in 1975 to house the abandoned and the wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased now, including baby elephants brought from various parts, as well as the babies born, as a result of the captive breeding programs. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 0930-1000 hrs and 1330-1400 hrs and the bathing time from 1000-1230 hrs and 1400-1600 hrs when all the elephants are taken to the river close by.
Then proceed to Kandy
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 “Dalada Maligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (“Maha Wasala”), “Palle Wasala”- where the Queens stayed-now used for the National Museum, “Meda Wasala” 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 “Kiri samudraya” (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
Dinner & Over Night Stay in Kandy
DAY 2: KANDY
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning commence city tour of Kandy, including Upper Lake Drive, Market Square and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
Kandy - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa) : When King Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592-1604 A.D.) became King in Kandy, he searched for the Tooth Relic and the bowl Relic of the Buddha and found that it was kept at the Delgomuwa Buddhist Temple at Kuruwita, for more than 44 years, hidden in a grinding stone. The King had gone there personally and brought the Sacred Tooth Relic to Kandy in a procession accompanied by the King.The first Temple of the Tooth Relic was constructed by Wimaladharmasooriya I to house it next to the Royal Palace. The Portuguese burned down the 2-floored building and King Wimaladharma sooriya II (1687-1707) erected a 3-storied building to house the Sacred Tooth Relic. It was burnt down once again and a new 2-storied building was constructed by King Narendra singhe (1707-1739 A.D.) and what we see today may be the building constructed by him.The last King of Kandy Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe added the Pattirippuwa or the Octagon and it was not a a part of the Temple, but a resting place for the King.
Peradeniya - Royal Botanical Gardens: 147 acres in extent; Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy. There are more than 5,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular with tourists. There are 5 Palm Avenues beautifying the gardens, the earliest and tallest Palm Avenue (Royal Palm Avenue) was planted in 1905 and the Double Coconuts from the Seashells Island, with the largest seed of all plants in the world is one such avenue.
Kandy- Cultural Dancing : Kandyan dance takes its name from Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, which is situated about 120 kilometers from the modern capital at Colombo. This genre is today considered the classical dance of Sri Lanka. In Sanskrit terminology it is considered pure dance (nrtta); it features a highly developed system of "tala" (rhythm), provided by cymbals called "thalampataa". There are five distinct types; the ves, naiyandi, uddekki, pantheru, and vannams.
The three classical dance forms differ in their styles of body- movements and gestures, in the costumes worn by the performers, and in the shape and size of the drums used to provide rhythmic sound patterns to accompany the dancing.
The drum used in Kandyan dancing is known as the Geta Bera, the drum in Ruhunu dancing as the "Yak Bera", and drum in Sabaragamu dancing as the "Davula" (the word Bera or Bereya in Sinhale means "Drum") .
Dinner & Over Night Stay in Kandy
DAY 3: KANDY/NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya : The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coolest places in the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.
The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic and is also good for Birding as you get some rare birds in this Park.
Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom in the spring (March to May) and the fall (August and September). These are the “seasons” when low-country folk flock to Nuwara Eliya to escape the sea level heat and humidity.
Nuwara Eliya - Sita Amman Kovil - According to the Indian Epic Ramayanaya and the legends, the area where Sita, Queen of King Rama of Ayodhya in India, who was abducted by Ravana the King of Sri Lanka, was kept in hiding and the area she roamed is in the hill country of Sri Lanka. In Nuwara Eliya is the "Sita Amman Kovil" - a quaint little Kovil, with the statues of Rama, Sita, Hanuman, Lakshmana and Sugriva.
This is supposed to be the only Kovil in the entire World dedicated to Sita. The stream by the side of the Temple is a famous spot where she went for bathing. Out of the 13 Palaces of Ravana, two caves in the Strict Nature Reserve of Hakgala, starting from Temple land and the cave at Ella close to the waterfall "Ravana-Ella" (1080ft. high) where Ravana went for bathing, are supposed to be three Palaces Sita was kept in hiding.
The Hakgala Gardens may be the "Ashok Vanaya" of Ramayana where Rhododendrons identified as Ashok Flowers in the epic, are found in bloom throughout the year.
Dinner & Over Night Stay in Nuwara Eliya
DAY 4: NUWARA ELIYA/BENTOTA
After breakfast leave for Bentota
Bentota - is the first National Holiday Resort developed by the Ceylon Tourist Board as a planned resort. There are 6 tourist hotels in the beach span of 5 miles with all the facilities a resort would require. Water sports facilities are available as in the Beruwela Resort. Many interesting sightseeing tours are possible from here, such as the Turtle Hatchery, Boat trips on Bentota River etc.
Kosgoda - Turtle Hatchery : Where you can see five species of turtles-Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).
The eggs collected by the Villagers and Fishermen are purchased by the Kosgoda Hatchery and kept in sandy pens until they are hatched. The newly hatched ones are kept in seawater tanks and released to the sea in the night. This Hatchery alone has released more then 1,750,000 young turtles to the sea. An endowment by the Hasselblad Estate was responsible for the establishment of this hatchery.
Dinner & Over Night Stay in Bentota
DAY 5: BENTOTA/COLOMBO
After breakfast leave for Colombo
Colombo - is the business and commercial center and the new capital is Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte, only a few miles away. Colombo was only a small seaport, which came into prominence in the 16th Century with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 and the development of it as a major Harbour took place during the British period. Colombo became the capital of Sri Lanka in 1815 after Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to the British. The remains of the buildings during the period of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule are found in every area of the city. None of the Portuguese & Dutch fortifications are found today but some of their buildings and churches could be seen in the Fort & Pettah areas. 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 there is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Kayman’s Gate with the Belfry at the original gate to enter the Fort.
Colombo – Shopping : There are many places to find bargains in Colombo! Modern shopping malls and specialty stores carry high quality goods at very affordable prices. If you are looking for an even greater bargain, without the surroundings, try your bargaining with the many street vendors and outdoor markets (such as in the Pettah area and across from the Fort Railway Station). Products that are worth buying in Sri Lanka include world famous Ceylon tea, clothing (many designer clothes are manufactured in Sri Lanka and you can buy them here for a fraction of the cost elsewhere) and jewelry (including the Sri Lankan blue saphire). Quality is generally assured at the higher end stores, if purchasing at other locations, use your judgment when buying expensive items. Designer clothing stores such as ODEL & Kelly Felder are some shops that may merit a visit.
Dinner at outside restaurant & Over Night Stay in Colombo
DAY 6: COLOMBO/AIRPORT (BIA)
Breakfast at the hotel
Departure to the airport to connect with departure flight.
INCLUSIONS:- Accommodation at the above mentioned Hotels or similar.
- 05 breakfast & 05 dinners.
- Transport in an A/C Car / Micro van / Mini Coach / Coach with the service of an English-speaking chauffeur / National Guide.
- Sightseeing as mentioned above.
- Entrance Fees to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, Peradeniya Botanikal Garden, Cultural Dance & Turtle Farm in Bentota.
- Value added tax.
- Meeting and Assistance at the airport.
EXCLUSIONS:- International & Domestic Airfare
- Any entrance fees not mentioned above.
- Early check in & late check out.
- Lunch on Tour.
- Camera & video permit.
- Visa & other charges
- Any expenses of a personal nature.
- Any other expenses not mentioned above.
- Tips & Portages