LK10080200: Culture and Heritage (9 Days)
Visit the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya and discover its marvels. Explore the Golden Temple of Dambulla long with its five main caves dedicated to Buddha and Buddhism. See the many pagodas, monasteries and palatial buildings of Polonnaruwa. Visit the highlands of Kandy, the place of the last majestic Kingdom of Sri Lanka. Walk through the streets of Nuwara Eliya with its picturesque colonial architecture and plenty of holiday activities to do. Long relaxing beach stay in Hikkaduwa where the golden sand, bright blue sea and swaying palms bask in the sunlight.
During your time in Dambulla, you can engage in the following activities
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is the home for young Elephants who have been displaced or lost from their natural habitat, located at Pinnawala village in Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is the best place for an up close and personal experience with the world’s largest land mammals! Today with 70 elephants herein, Pinnawela has become the home to the largest captive group of elephants in the world.
Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex.
Visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was the second major capital of Sri Lanka. Walk through the ruins of the city that flourished between the 10th to the 13th century AD. View important monuments such as Gal Vihara, Vatadage, the lotus bath, Lankathilaka Temple and the statue of King Parakramabahu whose reign was considered the golden age of Polonnaruwa. Get to know more about Sri Lanka’s ancient history.
This three-hour safari takes you on a ride through the Minneriya National Park. Enjoy the sight of over 150 elephants congregating in one place during the famous Great Elephant Gathering, which happens in the dry season between May to October. In addition to elephants, get a chance to also see many mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in the scrublands, forests and other areas.
Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where the King Kasyapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, ‘ the Lion Rock’. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.
Local Village Experience in Sigiriya
Get a chance to go on an oxen cart ride, and experience the world from the view of a village farmer. Have a relaxing catamaran safari through a calm lake. Walk through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Watch an enjoyable traditional cooking demonstration that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. Delight your taste buds with a home-cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays. Enjoy the life of a Sri Lankan villager, just this day.
During your time in Kandy, you can engage in the following activities.
Matale Spice Gardens
Do a guided tour of a spice and herbal garden, where you learn about spices, such as coriander, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg; and their uses. Take part in a traditional cooking demonstration that shows you how to make Sri Lankan cuisine while making full use of spices. Learn to make roti or create curry powder from scratch in one of the workshops.
Go on technical tours related to arts such as gem crafting, woodcarving and batiks. And watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colorful traditional dances and delightful music.
The Kandy Cultural Show gives an opportunity to experience some of the traditions of Sri Lanka. Enjoy this hour long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Get wowed by fire dancers and sword dancers. Watch the colorful Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming primal beat of the drums.
During your time in Nuwara Eliya, you can engage in the following activities.
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborately painted halls, done in red, cream and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and get amazed by the beautiful golden statues. Get an unforgettable experience of history and art.
Ramboda Falls is the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and located by the Pussellawa. Ramboda falls consists of three sections. You will get a good view of the middle section of the A5 highway, just above the bridge. This is very small in size with compared to other parts. You can get a far view of the top part from the main road, but not the complete view of the fall. You need to climb up to see the top part of the Ramboda falls and there is a pathway just before the bridge. You may find the climbing bit difficult, but you will be compensated with the great view of the top fall and the surrounding.
Tea Factory Visit
Learn how tea is manufactured in Sri Lanka. You can observe the tea pickers, locally known as ‘tea pluckers’ as they move between the lush green rows along the mountains with their large baskets.Thereafter you will be given a guided tour explaining fermentation, rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and the grading of tea. Finish with a tea tasting process and learn of the history, and why Ceylon Tea is considered among the best in the world.
Visit the highland city that was the premium holiday resort town of the British in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy walking through the streets with their pretty little cottages, quaint villas and beautiful mansions. Make a memory in the old red-bricked post-office as you purchase an inexpensive and colourful postcard to take home or send to your friends. Relax at Queen Victoria Park or on the shores of Lake Gregory.
During your time in Bentota, you can engage in the following activities.
Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Learn more about the five endangered sea turtle species that come to the shores of Sri Lanka to nest. Learn how the Kosgoda Turtle Care Program helps protect the nests until they hatch and increases the chances of survival for the babies. Get a chance to see, touch and feed baby turtles; or even injured adult turtles that the Turtle Hatchery cares for.
Madu River Boat Safari
Go on a wonderful two hour boat ride down the Madu River with its flourishing ecosystem. Pass through the secretive passages created by the mangroves. See the basking crocodiles and water monitors. Visit one of the small islands with its cinnamon harvesting natives. Enjoy the restorative qualities of the famous fish massage. Observe the waterbirds in their natural habitats.
Old Colonial City of Galle
Discover the city of Galle, where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters, and its secrets. Visit the Galle Fort which is one of the best preserved fortifications in Asia. View the Maritime Museum, Galle National Museum and the lighthouse. Walk through the cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names as you learn more about their histories.
During your time in Colombo, you can engage in the following activities.
Colombo City Tour
Experience the colorful lights and bright life of Colombo, the capital City of Sri Lanka. Visit historic monuments such as the Old Lighthouse, the Old Parliament, Galle Face Hotel, Galle Face Green, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum and more. Enjoy the malls of Independence Square or the Race Course. Visit boutique shops and designer stores.
After the breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to airport after spending a memorable time in this island.
Economy (3 Star)
Standard (4 Star)