Soul of Sri Lanka with Traditional Perahara (Festival)
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Travel with Original World on a Sri Lanka tour journeying through history from delightful Colombo, with its contemporary cafes and art galleries, to Anuradhapura, the first capital of Sri Lanka from the 3rd century BC. Our small group tour visits the enchanting medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, Sigirya, a 5th century palatial complex of caved temples and Asia's oldest surviving landscaped gardens.
Kandy, a World Heritage City which is surrounded by mountains, green velvet tea plantations and the Mahaweli River, is a fascinating city rich in cultural heritage, arts and crafts, music, and dance. Enjoy the beauty of Kandy's historic architecture, including ancient religious monuments still in use.
In Kandy, visit revered sites such as the Sri Maha Boddhi, the oldest historically documented tree in the world, dating back over 2000 years. We attend the tradition al puja at Dalada Maligawa, where the Tooth Relic of the Buddha is displayed.
Our tour continues to the hill country of Nuwara Eliya and then travels into rural villages Ella, Wellawaya and Yala with wildlife safari. The tour culminates at the southern tip of Sri Lanka, the historic town of Galle.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Rates based on double occupancy. We can match you will room share if available. Otherwise single room supplement applies, $1270.
Day 1: Arrival In ColomboColombo, Sri Lanka
You will be met on arrival by our airport staff and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Tour Colombo & Attend FestivalColombo, Sri Lanka
Visit the Gangaramaya Temple Number 11”, the former residence and now Bagatale Road Bawa Museum, to view the work of Legendary Sri Lankan Architect Jeoffry Bawa.
This evening we attend the Kelaniya Duruthu Maha Perahera, an authentic Buddhist celebration with some 3,000 participants and 50 elephants.
Day 3: Tour ColomboColombo, Sri Lanka
We visit the Fort area, Pettah Market, Cinnamon Gardens, and several art galleries.
Day 4: Tour AnuradhapuraAnuradhapura, Sri Lanka
We drive to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. We visit Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site, the first capital of Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC.
The influence of Buddhism which transformed this island, has produced magnificent architecture as seen in the massive Dagobas, the ornate pleasure gardens and palaces decorated with excellent sculptures, monasteries and temples.
A major pilgrimage site and one of the most important places of worship here is the Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest historically-documented tree in the world, dating back to over 2000 years. This Bodhi tree was grown from the same tree under which Prince Sidhharth meditated in Bodh Gaya India where he attained enlightenment and became known as The Buddha.
This evening we are invited to a private village party of local food, song and dance – in Singhalease.
Day 5: Visit Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya + Elephant BathingPolonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
We first visit the medieval city of Polonnaruwa, capital between the 11th and 13th century. Built alongside a large ancient artificial lake there are well-preserved ruins of palaces, bathing pools, stupas and exquisite rock sculptures of the Buddha. Today the visible remains are those of a Buddhist monastic congregation, which practiced meditation in total austerity. Rarely visited by tourists, this mystical place is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled with shady forests filled with streams, pools and granite boulders and ancient elegant stone pathways, which wind through the forest to the ruins of the various meditation platforms.
Next, we drive to Sigiriya, a massive rock fortress rising 183 meters above the surrounding green scrub jungle. A UNESCO site, it is perhaps the most memorable place for visitors to Sri Lanka. It was built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century on the top of a vast 200m granite rock.
Later, the elephants’ mahouts invite us to join them in washing the elephants using coconut husks.
Day 6: Visit Dambulla & MataleDambulla, Sri Lanka
We tour the Dambulla Golden Temple and its' richly painted cave temples. Lunch at a private Spice Garden, visit a Batik studio and drive to Kandy.
This evening we attend the puja (chanting/music) at the Dalada Maligawa Temple, which houses the Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha is exhibited during the ceremony.
Day 7: Tour KandyKandy, Sri Lanka
Kandy, a UNESCO city, lies in a triangular valley surrounded by mountains, green-velvet tea plantation covered hills, and the river Mahaweli. Kandy is a fascinating city, rich in cultural heritage - arts and crafts, music, and dance.
We visit we visit Kandy’s three main temples; attend a pooja ceremony with the monks; and a demonstration of Kandyan Dance.
Enjoy an exclusive private lunch at the home of Jacques Soulie, Professor of Psychology and French at the Peradeniya University. Jacques lives in an amazingly restored 18th century Dutch mansion that belonged to the Village Chief. He has transformed this into a functional art center, along with a vast collection of old books, furniture, manuscripts and photographs. Jacques tells us of his research on the Kandyan and Gampola kingdoms.
Day 8: Tour KandyKandy, Sri Lanka
Some free time to explore Kandy independently.
Experience an exclusive meeting with a local artist who lives a kind of hermit life in a rural place close to Kandy. In addition to painting, he is passionate about music as well as meditation.
Day 9: Travel To Nuwara EliyaNuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
We travel to Nuwara Eliya, in the hill country, an important tea production region.
Day 10: Tour Ella & WellawayaWellawaya, Sri Lanka
Today includes a short, scenic train ride to the quiet town of Ella. Just before arrival, we can see Ella’s Gap with some time to browse here.
Continue to the charming village of Wellawaya, rich with history, unique local culture and predominantly agro-based economy.
Day 11: Tour WellawayaWellawaya, Sri Lanka
Visit the Buduruwagala Buddha statue. Seven figures are carved in this rock with a massive 51-foot Buddha statue in the Abhaya Mudra gesture at the center. The rock itself has shape of a kneeling elephant with its head own. Although there is no documented information about this site in the ancient scriptures, different historians have dated these statues from the 6th century to late Anuradhapura period. (between 8 – 10th century).
Day 12: Safari In Yala National ParkYala National Park, Sri Lanka
We drive to Yala, a rural outback in the deep south of the country. As part of the ancient kingdom, it has many archaeological sites from Buddhist temples, to ruin palaces and forest monasteries.
This afternoon we embark on a safari at Ruhunu National Park, a section of Yala National Park.
Day 13: 2nd Safari & Tour GalleGalle, Sri Lanka
An early morning second safari at Yala National Park.
Later, depart to Galle.
En-route visit to the excellent Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum, in the village of Koggala.
Day 14: Tour GalleGalle, Sri Lanka
Historically, this World Heritage fortified township was an essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Javanese and Sumatrans came later followed by Marco Polo in 1299 AD.
We visit the Galle Fort, one of Asia’s most well-preserved Dutch forts.
Day 15: Tour Turtle Hatchery-Bawa EstateNegombo, Sri Lanka
We tour the Turtle Hatchery, launched to conserve the population of turtles that are reaching extinction along the southern coast of Sri Lanka where turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
Continue to the Lunuganga Estate, the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. We enjoy a private tour and lunch at the estate.
Onward to Negombo, a seaside town close to the airport.
Day 16: DepartNegombo, Sri Lanka
Transfer to the airport.
Five and 4 star hotels.
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