Glimpses of Sri Lanka
Route : Colombo Anuradhapura Habarana Dambulla Matale Kandy Pinnawela Colombo
Arrive Colombo; Day in Colombo
Upon your arrival at Colombo airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel
Today take a city tour of Colombo driving past Independence Memorial Hall, built in 1948 to mark the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule. Visit National Museum of Colombo, one of the largest museums in Sri Lanka. Then visit the Gangaramaya temple, one the best Buddhist temples to see in Colombo. Within the temple complex is a museum housing a wide collection of antique artifacts, a library, an open air meditation hall, Bodhi tree and a large collection of Buddhist sculptures and statues. There is also a small Hindu temple within the premises. A short drive away from the temple is Seema Malaka, set along the Beira Lake. This is one of Colombo’s most restful and tranquil meditation venue with beautiful statues of Lord Buddha surrounding the main hall, an iconic shot of Colombo. Later drive along Galle Face Green, driving past the old Parliament of Srilanka and visit the old Dutch hospital, one of the oldest building in Colombo Fort area, now renovated beautifully and housing an eclectic collection of some of Colombo’s finest restaurants and shops.
If you are interested in shopping, Sri Lanka is renowned for its tea, gems, ceramics and handicrafts. There are numerous Noritake outlets in Colombo for a wonderful ceramic collection. To shop where the locals shop, head to Odel shopping centre. For a quirky collection of artifacts, you may visit Barefoot.
Overnight stay at hotel in Colombo.
Drive Colombo – Anuradhapura - Habarana (285 Kms / 7 Hrs)
After breakfast embark on your drive to Habarana in north central Sri Lanka. Enroute visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya River. Anuradhapura, an ancient city founded in the 05th century B.C., is home to the largest number of monuments of the great Sinhala civilization. Visit the ancient royal palaces, shrines, dagobas and Sri Mahabodhi. Also visit the “Bodhi tree” which is over 2200 years old, grown from a branch of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
Continue your drive to Habarana.
Upon arrival in Habarana, check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay
Day Excursion to Sigirya (16 Kms / 30 Mins one way) & Polonnaruwa (55 Kms / 1.5 Hr one way)
After breakfast visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya Rock, built by King Kassapa in the 5th century AD. Today the rock is a treasure trove of rare art. In a pocket of the giant rock are the famous frescoes of the heavenly maidens of Sigiriya. Also called ‘the Lion Rock’ or the ‘Rock Fortress’ this citadel rises more than 1000 ft from the jungles below. If you wish to climb Sigiriya Rock, there are approx. 1200 steps and on an average it takes approx. 1.5 hrs to climb the rock (actual time varies from person to person).
Later embark on your scenic drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital of Sinhala kings dating back to 11th & 12th century A.D. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the ‘Parakrama Samudra’. Numerous monuments are found in this city & ‘Gal Vihara’ complex is one of the best among them with fine sculptures of standing and seated Buddha. Also visit the Polonnaruwa museum here.
Return back to Habarana for overnight stay.
Drive Habarana – Dambulla – Kandy (120 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast, embark on your drive to Kandy.
Enroute visit another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the first century BC. The temple consists of a series of 5 caves of statues and paintings, including a 47 ft. long statue of Lord Buddha. This is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. (approx. 27 Kms / 45 Mins from Habarana)
Continue drive to Kandy, en-route visiting the Spice Garden at Matale.
Upon arrival in Kandy, check in at your hotel for overnight stay.
Day in Kandy
After breakfast, explore the sacred city of Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s 8 UNESCO World Heritage site.
Today we will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic of Buddha, located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Visitors are not allowed inside the inner chambers and cannot see the tooth relic.
Enjoy the afternoon strolling around the lake in Kandy.
This evening enjoy a cultural dance show to see the popular Kandyan dancing and drumming of Sri Lanka.
Drive Kandy – Pinnawela - Colombo (120 kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast embark on a drive to Colombo.
En-route to Colombo, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, which are spread over 67 hectares of exquisite beauty and contain more than 4000 species of flora, a haven for Scientists and nature lovers.
Drive further to visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, set up by the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. Spend some time at the orphanage, seeing elephants being fed and bathed by the orphanage staff (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m daily. Feeding times - 9.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.).
Upon arrival in Colombo, check in at your hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight back home