If you are an enthusiastic traveler wanting to truly gain deep insights into local history and Buddhism and how it is linked with Sri Lanka culture, these “Cultural Tours” are the perfect choice. Explore the most renowned sacred cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Yapahuwa & Kandy with us & take the Buddhist teaching with you…… You are sure to be enlightened!!!
The package is originally designed for 07 nights/08 days. But we are always happy to cater to our valuable clients requirements and therefore, it can be customized for different durations as per request.
Day 01 – Arrival / Negombo
After arrival, an Travel TRANSASIA representative will welcome you at the airport and proceed to Negombo. Relax after checking in to the hotel.
Evening visit to Negombo city while seeing different historical places such as Angurukaramulla Temple, Dutch Canal and some old churches such as St. Mary’s Church. You are welcome to go for a boat ride along the Dutch Canal and if you are interested visit the fish market to experience the livelihood of a traditional fishing community in Sri Lanka.
Overnight stay at a beach hotel in Negombo.
Day 02 – Negombo / Anuradhapura
After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura is one of main ancient kingdoms in Sri Lanka which goes back to the 5th century B.C. Visit all the ruins of the kingdom and sites of special interest including the sacred Sri Maha Bodiya and Isurumuniya Temple.
This sacred city was established around a cutting from the ‘Tree of Enlightenment’, the Buddha’s fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns.
Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993 AD. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Anuradhapura.
Day 03 – Anuradhapura / Mihinthale / Habarana
After breakfast proceed to Mihintale.
Mihintale is where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. Mihintale is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is home to many shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1,840 steps made out of granite slabs 15” wide leads to the summit from where one could get a splendid view of the surrounding countryside. On the way to Habarana visit Dambulla Cave Temple.
On the way to Habarana visit Dambulla Cave Temple. Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass 500ft high and a mile around the base. Here is found the famous Rock Temple dating to the First century BC. The caves of Dambulla sheltered the King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of rock temples to be found on the island.
Proceed to Habarana and overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana.
Day 04 – Habarana / Polonnaruwa / Habarana
After breakfast enjoy an elephant back ride in Habarana. Then proceed to Polonnaruwa, one of the main ancient kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Visit Polonnaruwa, which was the second capital of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a World Heritage Site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya with 4 four splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent” postures carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the statue of King Parakramabahu, and the Parakrama Samudraya – a lake built by King Parakramabahu the Great.
Visit Polonnaruwa, which was the second capital of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a World Heritage Site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya with 4 four splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent” postures carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, the statue of King Parakramabahu, and the Parakrama Samudraya – a lake built by King Parakramabahu the Great.
Proceed to Habarana for overnight stay.
Day 05 – Habarana / Sigiraya / Matale / Kandy
Proceed to Sigiriya Rock fortress after breakfast.
Sigiriya the magnificent 5th century A.D. rock-fortress citadel of a fugitive king, where history merges with melodrama. A gallery of frescoes of shapely be-jewelled maidens still glows with vibrant colour. It is believed these paintings depict the “apsaras” or goddesses and some say it represents the lightning and clouds. Another distinctive feature of Sigiriya is the Mirror Wall which is located just below the paintings. The surface of this wall is well polished and covered with writings known as “Sigiri Graffiti” which are a form of poems. The Lion Staircase leads to the summit and the special feature of this is the massive Lion Paw which is carved out of rock. The brick wall is still preserved in its original form. Sigiriya is being currently excavated and restored by UNESCO under the Cultural Triangle Project and according to sources is most likely to be declared as a Wonder of the World.
Then visit Kandy via Matale where you can find spice gardens. Visit a spice garden in Matale to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, the Matale spice gardens are among the best on in the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed.
Visit the Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic in the evening. Kandy ‘s main attraction is the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. This sacred relic has ever since been the symbol of sovereignty for its rulers and is always enshrined in great splendour. If you are visiting Kandy during July-August, a definite must see is the Esala Perahera, known to be one of the most popular Sri Lankan events. Termed as Asia’s grandest pageant, this spectacular annual event is held to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha and to obtain blessings of the guardian deities of Sri Lanka.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Kandy.
Day 06 – Temples (Gadaladeniya, Ambekke & Lankathilake)
After breakfast visit Gadaladeniya, Embekka and Lankathilake temples.
In the evening do a city tour in Kandy and visit the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Royal Botanical Gardens, Six kilometres from Kandy, at Peradeniya, the magnificent 57 hectare Royal Botanical Gardens, laid out in 1832, are among the finest in the world. Its treasures of tropical flora include fine collections of orchids, aromatic spices, medicinal herbs, palms and rare, endangered plant species.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Kandy.
Day 07 – Kandy / Colombo
After breakfast in Kandy proceed to Colombo. On the way to Colombo visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location.
The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but it soon became a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawala started a scientific captive-breeding program for elephants.
Check in to a hotel in Colombo.
Evening visit Kelaniya Temple and Gangarama Temple with Colombo city tour.
Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, biggest city and major port, draws together all the colors and cultures that make up this island nation, condenses them into a patchwork of markets, gardens and buildings both humble and grand, and knocks them against a narrow slab of beachfront.
Many visitors will appreciate Colombo’s colonial heritage, its fine dining and shopping opportunities, and the dash of urban buzz in an overwhelmingly rural country. Others will tire quickly of the diesel fumes and the modern buildings on Galle Rd, the city’s main artery. If you’re only on a short trip to Sri Lanka, you may wish to pass by Colombo, but if you have the time – say at least two days – there are plenty of cultural and historical attractions.
Colombo is the political, economic and cultural center of Sri Lanka, so if you need to extend your visa or buy a plane ticket, you’ll find yourself here. The city was the scene of quite a few bombings during the war years, but security has been relaxed since a cease-fire was declared and peace talks began. It will be the best place to do all your last minute shopping as at some famous shopping arcades and showrooms. Odel unlimited, Liberty plaza complex, Majestic city complex, The house of Fashions, Beverly street, Gem Museum, Laksala hand craft shop, Barefoot, cotton collection, crescent boulevard, are some of the very famous shopping places in Colombo.
Thereafter check in to the booked hotel in Colombo and evening you can spend time leisurely doing your own activities.
Day 08 – Departure
After breakfast proceed to the airport for departure.
End of the tour
This is all the beauty very much unique to the little pearl in the Indian Ocean that diversified landscapes, climates and on top of everything the amazing hospitality from its people, the every single person you happened to meet during your tour, probably never encounter anywhere around the globe! As this tiny Island fades away on your flight back, we hope you carry lasting memories and relish in them until we meet again with your next tour with us. As we, TRANSASIA Silk Road Travel Partner are in the quest of being your exclusive Travel Partner along the Silk Road, inclined to Sri Lanka, earnestly waiting to see your writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org your suggestions, if any shortcoming had you ever had during your tour with us that will enable us to improve our service exclusively to your fellow travelers and amaze you that we had paid attention to every detail, every single word and letter you shared with us when we welcome you again not as travelers but as old friends.