12 days Cultural tour
Day 1 – Arrival and booking in to a hotel in Colombo.
You will arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport today in accordance with your 11-night and 12-day cultural tour. A representative of LANKA SAFE TOURS, following which you will board your car and go to your first destination, the City of Colombo, will receive you at the airport. You will spend the night and have supper at your hotel in Colombo.
Day 2 – Kelani and Gangarama Temples to Galle Fort
On day two, you will be heading to Galle. After your breakfast, we will be heading first to Gangaramaya Temple. One of the most significant temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Gangaramaya Temple combines contemporary design with traditional elements. It was finished in the late 19th century and is situated on the Beira Lake.
Afterward, we will be heading to the Kelaniya temple. A Buddhist temple may be found in Kelaniya called the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple. Buddhists hold that the temple was made holy during Buddha’s third and last trip to Sri Lanka, which occurred eight years after he attained enlightenment. Thus, it would have a history that predates 500 BCE. According to the Mahawansa, the Buddha lectured from a gem-encrusted seat that was housed in the original Kelaniya Stupa. The temple is renowned for its statue of the reclined Buddha as well as paintings by local artist Solias Mendis that portray significant occasions in the Buddha’s life.
Then, we’ll make our way to Balapitiya town to have a boat ride on the gorgeous Madu River. The neighboring creek creates a number of islands, and the area’s biological system also results in a gorgeous wetland. Our following excursion will be to See Turtle Hatchery Farm in Galle, which seeks to improve the toughness of the young turtles. A guide, who will meet you at the main entrance, will give you a tour of the institute. Because it is the end of the day, you will be transported to the hotel in Galle.
Day 3 – Galle to Yala
On the third day, you will go on an expedition to Yala National Park. On the Galle Coast, we’ll make a detour to visit the well-known Galle Fort. The Portuguese constructed it in 1588, and the Dutch refurbished it beginning in 1649. Even though it has been standing for more than 432 years, it still has a lovely appearance and is now regarded as a significant architectural landmark.
For your safari tour, we will next proceed directly to Yala National Park, the second largest in the country and one that is bordered by the Indian Ocean. The public has access to just two of the park’s five blocks, Ruhunu and Kumana national parks. Yala was established as an animal sanctuary around 1900. After the safari, you will be taken to the hotel for supper and a night’s stay.
Day 4 – Yala to Ella
On the fourth day, you’ll go on an expedition to the wonderful city of Ella. We’ll be heading to the Ravana Falls, also known as Ravana Ella and named for the legendary king Ravana, after breakfast. According to legend, Princess Sita was kidnapped by King Ravana and kept in a cave beneath the waterfall. It is the widest fall in the nation. In the rainier months, the waterfall resembles an Areca blossom.
The Nine Arch Bridge will be our next stop. You will have already seen it from the train, but it is still well worth a visit for its vistas and architecture. The Nine Arch Bridge is also known as The Bridge in the Sky. It is a Colonial-era construction with a viaduct bridge design. After that, we’ll head to Little Adam’s Peak. Little Adam’s Peak, also known as Mini Adam’s Peak, received the prestigious Adams Peak title as a result of the peaks’ similarity (Sri Pada). A magnificent mountain covered in tea plantations can be reached after a short ascent to Little Adams Peak, where you can see workers harvesting tea. The scene amid the dense bush is magnificent. This climb is one you won’t soon forget. Afterward, you will be taken to the hotel in Ella for the night.
Day 5 – Ella to Nuwara Eliya
On the fifth day, you’ll take the most amazing train trip to the lovely city of Nuwara Eliya. You will be taken there by car and then get on the train at Ella Railway Station. It is one of the most romantic rail journeys in Sri Lanka. Taking in the stunning vistas of Sri Lanka’s beautiful green tea farms, mountains, bridges, valleys, and dense wilderness is a must-do activity. It’s also the best way to learn about Sri Lankan culture. Chat with other commuters, wave to kids running by the tracks, and eat the hot delicacies sold by the vendors who board the train at each station. Your pickup will take place at the Nanu Oya station.
After that, we immediately travel to Lake Gregory in the city of Nuwara Eliya. The lake, which is on the town’s southern boundary, offers a tranquil setting and beautiful views. It was given Sir William Gregory’s name in 1873; it is a distinctive tourist destination. Visitors may take horseback rides, boat tours, leisurely strolls along the paths, or they may enjoy picnics in the lake park. The Nuwara Eliya post office is the next rather peculiar tourist destination. The city’s core is where the post office is situated. One of Sri Lanka’s oldest post offices is what makes the post office special. The edifice, which was built by the British in 1894, is a two-story redbrick structure in the Tudor style with a clock steeple. A hotel is located on the post office’s top level.
The Sita Amman Temple, which is the penultimate stop before getting to Kandy, lies in Sita Eliya, about 10 minutes from Nuwara Eliya. It is the sole Hindu temple in Sri Lanka dedicated to Princess Sita. It is among the most significant Ramayana locations in Sri Lanka. It is claimed that Lord Hanuman burned this place before leaving Sri Lanka since the soil in the area’s immediate vicinity is black in color. One may still see Lord Hanuman’s footprint in a nearby creek. It’s a really intriguing place to go. We’ll then make our way to the hotel to spend the night.
Day 6 – Nuwara Eliya to Ramboda and Kandy
On the sixth day, we will go to Kandy. The first place we will stop en route is the Ramboda falls, which are close to the Nuwara Eliya highway and rush down a cliff with a tiered granite face. The Ramboda Falls, which drops from a height of 358 feet, is the eleventh-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka (109m). A river called Panna Oya, a tributary of Kothmale Oya, is responsible for creating the waterfall. This is wonderful because an emerald forest frames it, giving it a breathtaking appearance.
The next stop is the Damro Labookellie Tea Centre and Tea Garden. One of the tea facilities we pass on the way to Nuwara Eliya is the Damro tea facility. It was once known as the Mackwoods and is now Sri Lanka’s oldest teashop. A massive 5000 hectares of opulent tea plantations are there. Since each type of tea has a unique production procedure, you will get the opportunity to learn about both black and white tea manufacturing. A complimentary taste of tea is offered at the conclusion of the factory tour. The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 4,000 varieties of flora, from flowers to palm trees, is the final stunning location before the tour ends. From Kandy city, it is around 5.5 kilometers away. The Mahaweli River, Sri Lanka’s greatest river, borders the botanical park. It is a stunning 147 acres in size. The day finally concludes back at the Kandy hotel.
Day 7 – Kandy City Tour
On your seventh day of the trip, you will get a chance to explore the gorgeous city of Kandy, and we’ll take you to a few surrounding destinations as well. Our car will pick you up at the hotel after breakfast. The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of Sri Lanka’s most well-known tourist destinations, is among the locations we will visit. For all Buddhists across the world, it is a very important and cherished place. It is the temple where the left canine tooth of the Buddha is honored. In 1988, UNESCO declared it a treasure of world culture. Your next stop will be the Bahirawakanda Temple on Bahirawakanda Hill, a well-liked tourist destination known for its spectacular Buddha sculpture. We’ll eventually make our way to the Kandy viewpoint, which provides a comprehensive perspective of the city. The next stop is the nearby market, where you may purchase a variety of items, including organic foods and gifts. After spending the whole day discovering each destination, you will be driven back to your accommodation in the late afternoon.
Day 8 – Kandy to Sigiriya through Matale
Day eight will see us traveling to Sigiriya. We’ll stop at the Matale Hindu temple en route. The name “Muthumariamman Temple” for the Hindu temple in Matale is a combination of the names “Muthu” for “pearl,” “Mari” for “rain,” and “Amman” for “mother.” The goddess Mariamman, regarded as the patroness of rain and fertility, is the subject of the temple that was constructed in her honor. Both Buddhists and Hindus visit this temple, and Hindu wedding ceremonies frequently take place in the temple’s wedding hall. The chariot festival, which is celebrated in March and is a tremendously lively event to watch, is the biggest religious celebration in the temple.
The trip next takes you to the spice garden in Matale, which is a lovely location to stroll among the fragrant foliage and learn some important information about spices and how they can be used to improve food, cosmetics, and medicine. The Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Dambulla Golden Temple, which has been a revered pilgrimage site for more than 22 centuries, will be reached after that. It is thought to be Sri Lanka’s largest and best-preserved cave temple. There are 157 different murals, totaling up to 2100 m2, that are painted on the walls. Five caverns make up the cave. The caverns are constructed beneath a 150-meter-tall hanging rock. The cave temple is an amazing piece of geology. Following the restoration project, a 15-meter-tall monument and pagoda were constructed in 1982. In order to preserve the temple, UNESCO recognized it as a historic site.
The Sigiriya rock is the following stop. King Kashyapa chose the historic remains of a castle known as Sigiriya (Lion Rock) to serve as his new capital. The 180 m-tall rock is located close to Dambulla city. Then, Kashyapa erected an entrance halfway up King that had the appearance of a huge lion; this construction gave the big rock its name. Sigiriya is a UNESCO-listed world historical site. After the king’s death, the palace was abandoned and then utilized as a Buddhist monastery until the fourteenth century. Afterward, we will head to the hotel for the night.
Day 9 – Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa and Back
On the ninth day of your journey, you will be taken to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The second-oldest kingdom in Sri Lanka is Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa served as Sri Lanka’s second capital following the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It also features the beautiful remnants of Parakramabahu’s exquisite garden city, which was built in the 12th century, together with the Brahmanic temples built by the Cholas. The city is home to several archaeological treasures, including temples, shrines, castles, and ruins. Learn about the palace of King Parakramabahu I. (1153–1186). There are still intact walls in the 50-room structure, which was formerly rather huge. The walls of the king’s audience chamber are flanked by intricately carved stone elephants, while lion statues keep guard. There are enormous freshwater-spitting crocodile mouth statues in the king’s bathing pool. The Shiva Devale No. 2 is a stone structure that is tucked away in a little woodland. It is Polonnaruwa’s second-oldest Hindu temple.
After touring the historic city of Polonnaruwa, we are moving toward the Minneriya National Park. This wildlife reserve attracts many visitors who want to see Sri Lankan elephants. Some 150–300 wild elephants may congregate near Minneriya Tank during the dry season. Numerous wild creatures, including the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, buffalo, and indigenous monkeys, call the 888.4-hectare Minneriya National Park home. Then we will head back to Sigiriya and, on the way, we will visit Hiriwadunna Village, a stunning, modest rural village that is close to Habarana Town. It is an interesting way to see the normal village life in Sri Lanka because it only has a population of roughly 2500 people. A tasty traditional Sri Lankan meal is also available, in addition to a bullock cart and boat trips. With birds chirping and cool breezes blowing across the rice fields, the community is relaxed and serene. Then we will head back to the hotel, which concludes the trip.
Day 10 – Sigiriya to Anuradhapura
On day ten, we’ll visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura. A significant city in Sri Lanka is Anuradhapura. It serves as both the provincial and district seat of Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. One of Sri Lanka’s former capitals was Anuradhapura. Once we reach Anuradhapura, we shall proceed to the hotel.
Day 11 – Anuradhapura City and Mihintale
We’ll visit Mihintale on day eleven, a city known for its multi-religious population, monarchy, history of conflict, and military might, as part of our city tour of Anuradhapura. Mihintale is located 12 kilometers from Anuradhapura. Mihintale, a Buddhist monk who flourished in the eleventh century, was referred to in Sinhalese as Mahinda’s Hill. This city, which has been recognized as a wildlife refuge for more than 2,200 years, is home to the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the whole world. Sri Lankans highly esteem this monument as the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa, which formally founded Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Atamasthana, popularly known as the “Eight Sacred Places,” is the next destination. The Buddha visited this location during his three travels throughout Sri Lanka. Among the sacred locations are Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanarama, Mirisaveti Stupa, and Lankarama. They are situated in Anuradhapura, the former capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya: After Mahinda Thero brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 250 BC, Asoka the Great of India sent his daughter Theri Sangha Mitta to the island with a branch from the Sacred Bodhi, which was cut from the main stem of the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, beneath which Buddha attained enlightenment. King Tissa moved the sapling to its current location around 249 BC.
Ruwanwelisaya: The well-known king Dutugamunu, who reigned from Anuradhapura from 137 BC to 119 BC, built Ruwanwelisaya. Second only to Sri Maha Bodhi, the Ruwanweli Seya temple is the most revered Buddhist temple in Anuradhapura. Buddhists regard Ruwanweli Maha Seya more than any other significant stupa, despite the fact that it is not the largest nor the oldest of the Anuradhapura stupas. The island is home to the biggest Gautama Buddha collection ever kept in a Dagaba.
Thuparamaya– This is the first stupa to have been built in Sri Lanka since Buddhism was introduced. This complex was constructed during the rule of King Devanampiyatissa (250 BC–210 BC), and it had both a stupa and an aramid building (monastery). The complex’s remains still cover more than 3 1/2 acres. The command to build the stupa to contain Lord Buddha’s right collarbone was given by Thero, who brought Buddhism to the island.
Lovamahapaya– between Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanweli Seya lies a site called Lovamahapaya. It is also referred to as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because of its bronze-tiled roof. More than 2000 years ago, King Dutugamunu built it, but throughout the years, it underwent several repairs, each with a less opulent style. According to archeological findings, only 1600 of the exquisite columns from this great palace, which had nine stories and could hold roughly 1000 monks and attendants, are still standing.
Abhayagiri Dagaba – It was built during the reign of King Wattagamini Abhaya (commonly known as King Valagamba). It is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage location as well as one of the biggest archaeological sites in the world. With beautiful monasteries rising to many storeys and roofs built of burned clay tiles decorated with brilliant glazes or gilded metal, it was once a prominent monastic center and the seat of the monarchy.
The Jetavanaramaya– A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jetavanaramaya stupa is situated among the remains of the Jetavana Monastery in the old Sri Lankan city of Anuradhapura. King Mahasena (273–301 AD) started construction on the stupa when Mahavihara fell, and his son Meghavanna finished it. The relic that is stored here, according to mythology, is a portion of a belt or sash to which the Buddha attached himself.
Mirisaveti Stupa– The Mirisaveti Stupa was built by King Dutugamunu after he overcame King Elara. After putting the Buddha treasures inside the sceptre, he left them there and went to Tisawewa to bathe. He returned to the sceptre’s place after taking a bath, but it is said that it remained still. The sceptre has been replaced by a stupa. He reportedly enjoyed a hot supper but did not share it with the sangha. He constructed the Mirisavetiya Dagaba in retaliation.
Lankarama– King Valagamba of the old Sri Lankan kingdom of Anuradhapura constructed the stupa known as Lankarama on the ancient site of Galhebakada. It is unknown what the stupa looked like before it was rebuilt. The remains show rows of stone pillars, proving that a structure was constructed to surround and cover the stupa (vatadage).
The sacred city of Anuradhapura had a long-standing impact on the development of the nation’s architecture. The town was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1982. After that, you’ll be taken to the hotel.
12th Day – Anuradhapura to Colombo AirPort
On the 12th and last day of your incredible trip, your always kind and polite driver will take you back to the airport safely, bringing an excellent tour of this beautiful island to a conclusion.