12 DAYS TOUR
Day 1 – Arrival and booking into a hotel in Negombo
A representative from our company will be waiting for you at Bandaranaike International Airport when you arrive for your 12-day Sri Lanka sightseeing trip. You will then be driven to your hotel in the delightful beach town of Negombo, where you may relax for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2 – Negombo to Anuradhapura and Mihintale
On day two, we will go to Anuradhapura. First, we’ll travel to Mihintale, a city famed for its religious diversity, monarchy, war, and military history. Mihintale is 12 kilometers from Anuradhapura. Mahinda’s hill is the Sinhalese name for Mihintale, a Buddhist monk who flourished in the eleventh century. This city has been classified as a wildlife sanctuary for more than 2,200 years, making it the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the whole world. Sri Lankans highly revere this landmark as the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa, which formally founded Buddhism in Sri Lanka. After that, we’ll go to the Atamasthana, also known as the “Eight Sacred Places,” which the Buddha visited during his three journeys around 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 introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 250 BC, Asoka the Great of India sent his daughter Theri Sangha Mitta to the island with a branch of the Sacred Bodhi, which was taken from the main stem of the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, under which Buddha attained enlightenment. King Tissa got the sapling and planted it where it is today in 249 BC.
Ruwanweli Maha Seya– The legendary 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 venerated Buddhist site in Anuradhapura. Buddhists hold Ruwanweli Maha Seya in higher regard than any other significant stupa, despite the fact that it is not the largest nor the oldest of the stupas constructed in Anuradhapura. On the island, it has the biggest collection of Gautama Buddha artifacts ever kept in a Dagaba.
Thuparamaya: This is the first stupa to be built in Sri Lanka as a result of the introduction of Buddhism. This complex, which was created during the rule of King Devanampiyatissa (250 BC–210 BC), included both a stupa and an aramic building (monastery). The complex’s remnants still occupy more than 3 1/2 acres. Thero, who brought Buddhism to the island, issued the command to build the stupa to hold the right collarbone of Lord Buddha.
Lovamahapaya– Between Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanweli Seya lies a place called Lovamahapaya. It is also referred to as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because of its bronze-tiled roof. King Dutugamunu initially built it more than 2000 years ago, but over the ages, it underwent many restorations, each time with a less sumptuous style. Only the remnants of 1600 columns remain from this magnificent palace, which, according to archeological evidence, had nine levels and could house roughly 1000 monks and attendants.
Abhayagiri Dagaba– It was built during the reign of King Wattagamini Abhaya (commonly known as King Valagamba). It is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage city and one of the biggest archaeological sites in the entire globe. It was formerly a major monastic city and a royal capital, with stunning monasteries rising to many floors with roofs constructed of burnt clay tiles with beautifully colored glazes or gilded metal.
Jetavanaramaya– The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa that may be seen among the remains of the Jetavana Monastery in the renowned Sri Lankan city of Anuradhapura, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. King Mahasena (273–301 AD) started construction on the stupa when Mahavihara fell, and his son Meghavanna finished it.  It is said that the relic stored here is a fragment of a belt or sash on which the Buddha tied.
Mirisaveti Stupa– The Mirisaveti Stupa was built by King Dutugamunu after his victory against King Elara. After placing the Buddha relics within the sceptre, he left them behind and went to Tisawewa to take a bath. After having a bath, he returned to where the sceptre was placed, but it is said that it remained immobile. The sceptre’s former location was replaced by a stupa. According to reports, he recalled eating a hot meal without sharing any with the sangha. He constructed the Mirisavetiya Dagaba as retribution.
Lankarama– In the old Sri Lankan kingdom of Anuradhapura, King Valagamba constructed the stupa known as Lankarama on the historic site of Galhebakada. Unknown is the stupa’s original form before it was rebuilt. Rows of stone pillars may be seen in the remnants, and it is clear that a structure was constructed to enclose and cover the stupa (vatadage).
The sacred city of Anuradhapura made a substantial contribution to the nation’s architectural development for many years. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
Upon leaving the Atamasthana, a driver will take you to your Anuradhapura hotel.
Day 3 – Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa and Minneriya and back to Sigiriya
On the third day of your journey, you will be escorted to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. The second-oldest kingdom in Sri Lanka is Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa served as Sri Lanka’s second capital after Anuradhapura was destroyed in 993. It also features the spectacular remnants of Parakramabahu’s exquisite garden city, which was created in the 12th century, together with the Chola-built Brahmanic monuments. The city is teeming with archaeological treasures, including temples, shrines, castles, and ruins. Discover the royal house of King Parakramabahu I (1153–1186). The 50-room, once-massive edifice still has sturdy walls. Intricately carved stone elephants flank the walls of the king’s audience chamber, while lion statues keep guard. There are enormous fresh-water-spitting crocodile-mouth statues in the king’s bathing pool. The Shiva Devale No. 2, the second-oldest Hindu temple in Polonnaruwa, is constructed of stone and is tucked away in a little wooded area.
After touring historic Polonnaruwa, We are moving toward the Minneriya National Park. Many people visit this wildlife refuge to see Sri Lankan elephants. You may see 150–300 wild elephants congregating near Minneriya Tank during the dry season. Wild species including the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Buffalo, and indigenous monkeys may be found in the 888.4-hectare Minneriya National Park. Afterward, you will be driven to Sigiriya for your overnight stay.
Day 4 – Sigiriya to Kandy through Matale
On day four, before traveling to Kandy, known for its rock stronghold, Sigiriya, you will get the opportunity to partake in some climbing sports. King Kashyapa used the Sigiriya, sometimes referred to as the “lion rock,” as his capital and fortress. The 180-meter-high rock According to the mythology behind the name Sigiriya, King Kashyapa built a gateway in the form of a huge lion halfway up a cliff. Because of its shape, it was referred to as the “lion rock” (Sigiriya). The king’s death caused the castle to be abandoned. Up to the 14th century, it was still in use as a Buddhist monastery. The fortress’s ruins are still standing today and have been recognized by UNESCO as a world-historic site.
After that, we will be moving in the direction of Kandy. Our final objective, the Dambulla Golden Temple, also known as the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple, will be our first stop along the journey. The complex, which consists of five chambers, is the biggest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. Murals are painted on a 2100 m2 area of the walls. The temple contains 157 sculptures in all. The massive 150m-tall rock that serves as the temple’s ceiling makes its presence a natural wonder. The enormous, 15-meter-tall golden statue and pagoda were built after extensive restoration work. Additionally, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Spice Garden, a unique location full of fragrances and greenery, will be our next stop. You will also get the chance to learn about the various uses of spices in food and medicine. The Matale Muthumariamman Temple is our next stop. The words Muthu, which means pearl, Mari, which means rain, and Amman, which means mother, are combined to form the name Muthumariamman. It is a shrine to Mariamman, the Hindu deity of rain and fertility. It is a pleasure to visit the temple. The temple receives many visitors for religious purposes and marriages. The main religious celebration in the temple during the month of March is the chariot festival, which is a joyful celebration. After that, we will head straight to Kandy so that you can dine and spend the night.
Day 5 – Kandy City Tour
On day five of your trip, you may explore the gorgeous Kandy city; we will also take you to a few surrounding places. Our vehicle will pick you up at the hotel following breakfast. One of the locations we will see is the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of Sri Lanka’s most well-known tourist destinations. It is a very important and highly hallowed place for every Buddhist on earth. It is the temple where the left canine tooth of the Buddha is honored. In 1988, UNESCO designated it as a cultural asset of the world. The Bahirawakanda Temple, a well-liked tourist destination on the Bahirawakanda hill that is famed for its spectacular Buddha sculpture, will be your next stop.
Later on, we will make our way to the Kandy viewpoint, which provides a thorough panorama of the city. The next stop is the nearby market, where you may purchase a variety of items, including organic products and gifts. Our next trip will be to the National Gems and Gemmological Museum, a museum where you can learn about the gems in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, it offers in-depth information about Sri Lanka’s ancient past, which stretches back to 4.6 billion years ago. The exhibit area also includes some of the most amazing minerals in existence. After that, we will head over to the Kandy Cultural Dance Show. The dancing, expression, and cultural legacy of Sri Lanka are on full display in this amazing performance. Since the dancers from the Kandy Lake club have been hosting it since approximately 1982, you should not miss it. Its major objective is to present every Sri Lankan dance on a single stage. The final stop is the shopping center in Kandy. You would spend the entire day seeing each place, and in the evening, you would be dropped off at your hotel.
Day 6 – Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
On day six, you will go to Nuwara Eliya, a magical city located in the Central Province’s highland area. Kandy is 76 kilometers away from the “city of lights,” Nuwara Eliya. The trip through the highlands is magnificent, with mountains, waterfalls, and stunning flora all along the way. You will stop at a few locations en route, such as the 109-meter-tall Ramboda Falls, the 11th-tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka (358 ft). The oldest tea institution in Sri Lanka, Damro Labookellie Tea Centre and Tea Garden, will be our next stop. A free factory tour and tea sampling are available. Once we arrive in the wonderful town of Nuwara Eliya, we will stop by a few well-known places, such as Gregory Lake, where you can have a quiet lunch and a pony ride. After that, we will go to the Nuwara Eliya post office. One of Sri Lanka’s oldest post offices, it has a distinctive design. Following your visit to these places, you will be taken to your hotel room for the night.
Day 7 – Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains
On the seventh day of your tour, you will travel to the astonishing Ella city. In the morning, we will be visiting the Horton Plains, National Park. In 1988, Horton Plains National Park was established as a national park in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. It includes cloud forest and montane grassland. It has a diverse animal and plant population, and many of the species are local endemics. It is located 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Nuwara Eliya and is a well-liked tourist attraction. Three significant Sri Lankan rivers—the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe—have their origins on the Horton Plains. Here, stone artifacts from the Balangoda civilization have been discovered.
The grasslands and montane forests that make up the vegetation of the plains are abundant in endemic woody species. The Sambar deer from Sri Lanka is the park’s primary mammal. It is also an important bird area, with a variety of species that are both endemic to Sri Lanka and unique to the Horton Plains. Afterward, we drive directly to Ella for the night.
Day 8 – Ella to Yala through Tissamaharama
On day eight, we will go to Yala, stopping at a few places along the route, including Little Adam’s Peak. Little Adam’s Peak, also known as Mini Adam’s Peak, was given the famed Adams Peak designation due to the similarity between the two peaks (Sri Pada). A magnificent mountain covered in tea plantations is reached by a straightforward ascent to Little Adams Peak, where you can see workers plucking tea. The scenery found in dense rainforests is magnificent. You are not going to forget this climb.
The Nine Arch Bridge is the next stop; it’s worth seeing to admire the beauty and engineering of the bridge. The Nine Arch Bridge is also known as The Bridge in the Sky. It is a Colonial-era building with a viaduct bridge under construction. Ravana Ella is another beautiful waterfall that you can observe during your visit to Tissamaharama. It is considered as one of the widest waterfalls in the country, with a height of around 25m. The waterfall is connected with the epic tale of Ramanaya. The myth says that King Ravana kidnapped Princess Sitha and hid her in a cave around this waterfall. This has given this waterfall this name. After viewing the waterfalls, you will be taken directly to the Tissamaharama.
The safari adventure will thereafter take place at Yala National Park, the second-largest park in the country and one that is bounded 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 dinner and a night’s stay.
Day 9 – Yala to Mirissa
On day nine, you will be taken directly to Mirissa. As soon as you get to Mirissa, we’ll head to Coconut Tree Hill. Most likely, it is Mirissa’s most well-known location. There is a mineralized headland adjacent to the Indian Ocean near Mirissa. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes to walk along the beach from the street. When you reach the top, which provides a breathtaking view of the beach and Mirissa Bay, you must snap a photo in this amazing frame. Before settling into your lodging for the evening, you might then wander the town.
Day 10 – Whale Watching Tour
On the tenth day, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe whales since we have scheduled a whale-watching cruise for the morning. You may get very close to these lovely animals. One of Sri Lanka’s most exciting water activities is whale and dolphin watching, which can be done at Mirissa. Blue whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, fin whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and occasionally killer whales may be seen in the warm seas of Sri Lanka. Also seen are striped dolphins, spinner dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins. When the waters are warm and quiet, the whale-watching season begins in November and concludes in April. After the whale watching tour, you will get to spend the rest of the day at the beach hotel.
Day 11 – Mirissa to Bentota through Galle
On day eleven, we will be heading to Bentota. On the way to Bentota, we will pass via Galle and make a stop to view the well-known Galle Fort, which is situated on the Galle Coast. It was constructed by the Portuguese in 1588, and beginning in 1649, the Dutch improved it. It has an exquisite appearance despite being over 432 years old and is now acknowledged as an architectural historical landmark.
The See Turtle Hatchery Farm in Galle, which tries to improve the toughness of juvenile turtles, will be our next stop. A guide, beginning from the front entrance, will give you a tour of the structure. Then, in the village of Balapitiya, we’ll make our way to the magnificent Madu River for a boat ride. The creek that flows through the area creates several islands; also, the biological system creates a magnificent wetland. We have reached the end of the day; you will be driven to the hotel.
Day 12 – Departure
Our guide will pick you up at the hotel and bring you back to the airport in enough time for your flight on day twelve, the final day of your amazing 12-day Sri Lanka Sightseeing Tour. Your amazing and beautiful 12-day Sri Lanka sightseeing tour will be completed by Lanka Safe Tours.