Day 1: Colombo
On arrival meet your tour guide displaying a signboard with your name. Assistance & transfer to your hotel.
Later commence a city tour of Colombo. A drive through the city will take you to the Fort and Pettah - the commercial area of the city and tree-lined Cinnamon Gardens. The Hindu Temple at Sea Street, lined with goldsmith's shops, the Dutch Church at Wolfendhal, 100 year old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings. The Independence Hall, B.M.I.C.H, see the replica of Avukana Buddha, the Independence Square & Gangarama Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Colombo - Anuradhapura (206kms)
Breakfast at the hotel drive to Anuradhapura, check in at the hotel.
Later visit the sacred ancient city founded in the 04th century B.C a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. Visit tallest dagobas of Sri Lanka, Ruwanweliseya dagoba, 2nd century BC with its famous elephant walls and the 3rd century BC Thuparama dagoba. Ruins of ancient royal palaces specially the pillars of the Brazen Palace, which once had nine storey’s, temples, the image of the Samadhi Buddha one of the finest pieces of Buddhist sculpture, monasteries, the twin ponds, guard stones and the moonstone. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ or the sacred Bo tree is over 2200 years old grown from a branch of the very tree under which “The Buddha” attained enlightenment – the oldest historically documented tree in the world. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Anuradhapura - Mihintale - Aukana - Habarana (125kms)
Breakfast at hoted drive toward Habarana via visiting Mihintale & Aukana.
Visit the ancient remains of Mihintale, a sacred place which is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps made of granite slabs, 5 meters wide leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
Afterwards proceed to Aukana to see the statue of the Aukana Buddha, undoubtedly the most magnificent undamaged ancient image in the island. The 5th century statue ascribed to King Dhatusena is 13 meters high standing beneath a recently constructed brick shelter. Aukana means ‘sun eating’ and is best viewed when the sun rises.
Continue drive to Habarana check in at hotel. Rest time to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Habarana - Sigiriya (21kms) & Polonnaruwa (65kms)
Breakfast at the hotel leave for Sigiriya and climb the Rock Fortress (a UNESCO World Heritage site) built by King Kassapa in the 05th century A.D. which was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The lion rock is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 foot high Mirror Wall.
On completion leave to Polonnaruwa a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century, a well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km. which still remain),graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. Of these the ‘Vatadage’ and the ‘Thuparama Image house’ are the most spectacular. The ‘Gal Vihara’ which consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha have been cut from a single granite wall and rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art.
Return to Habarana for overnight.
Day 5: Habarana - Dambulla - Kandy (95kms)
Breakfast at the hotel, leave for Dambulla visit the famous Golden Rock cave temple which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, a vast isolated rock mass with its five caverns is the largest best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka.
Thereafter leave for Kandy en route visit a Spice garden in Matale. On arrival check in at the hotel.
Later city tour of Kandy the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the pink painted Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha. In the Evening visit the sacred Temple. Thereafter enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Kandy - Pinnawela - Nuwara Eliya (140kms)
Breakfast at hotel proceed to Pinnawala and visit the Elephant Orphanage. This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild. Witness the feeding of the elephants. The baby elephants being bottle fed with milk is a heartwarming sight. (Open from 8.30am. to 5.00pm Daily feeding times- 9.15am, 1.15pm. 5.00pm. Bathing times – 10.00am, 2.00pm, 4.00pm).
Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya (130km, approx. 4 ½ hour drive). En route visit a tea plantation and a tea factory. At the tea factory witness the process of manufacture of tea from plucking of the green leaves to packeting of the processed tea. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya commence a sightseeing tour in the city. Visit the Nuwara Eliya Town, Market place, Golf Course, (one of the finest 18 holes Golf Courses in Asia) the Hill Club, and drive around this hill station viewing Lake Gregory. Sri Lanka's highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 ft) is located here. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park (170kms)
Breakfast at hotel proceed to Yala. En route visit Rawana Waterfalls, a sight to behold with a scenic backdrop of mountains and valleys. It is featured in the Rawana mythology, where Sita is said to have bathed from this waterfall while she was in captivity.
On arrival in Yala, check in at the hotel. In the afternoon commence a jeep safari in the Yala National Park by private jeep accompanied by a tracker. Yala National park one of Sri Lanka’s premier eco tourist destinations and is renowned for its variety of wildlife notably its many elephants. It is also home to the spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, mongoose and crocodiles. The peacock is easily the most famous of the birds in this park. Yala has a high concentration of Leopards although seeing these nocturnal carnivores still requires some luck. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Yala - Bentota (221kms)
Breakfast at the hotel leave for Bentota a tourist resort in the south with the most beautiful, wide and sandy beaches. Spend the rest of your day relaxing on the beach. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Bentota - Colombo airport (100kms)
Breakfast at hotel transfer to Colombo airport to board flight for onward destination.
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