Day 01 – Colombo
Arrive to Colombo international airport and welcome by Kalum Niriella or his associate then transfer to Negombo hotel. Overnight stay at Negombo.
Sunset on Sri Lanka
Day 02 – Negombo / Anuradapura
Visit ancient city Anuradapura, overnight stay at Anuradapura.
The city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the centre of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. The city lies 205 km north of the current capital Colombo in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. Founded in the 4th century BC it was the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom till the beginning of the 11th century AC. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of political power and urban life in South Asia. It was also a wealthy city which created a unique culture and a great civilization. Today this ancient city of Sri Lanka, which is sacred to the Buddhist world, which its surrounding monasteries covers an area of over sixteen square miles ( 40 km²) and is one of the world’s major archaeological sites.
Day 03 – Anuradapura / Mihintalaya / Ritigala
Overnight stay at Habarana
Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures. Eight miles east of Anuradhapura, close to the Anuradhapura – Trincomalee Road is situated the “Missaka Pabbata” which is 1,000 feet (300 m) in height and is one of the peaks of a mountainous range. Thera Mahinda came to Sri Lanka from India on the full moon day of the month of Poson (June) and met King Devanampiyatissa and the people, and preached the doctrine. The traditional spot where this meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. Therefore in the month of Poson, Buddhists make their pilgrimage to Anuradhapura and Mihintale. “Mahinda” was the son of Emperor Ashoka of India. King Ashoka embraced Buddhism after he was inspired by a very small monk named “Nigrodha.”
Ritigala mountain range consists of four peaks of which the main and the highest peak at the south of the range is named Ritigala Kanda. Ritigala mountain range, a 3776-acre (1582 ha) Strict Nature Reserve, in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. The climate at the summit is in sharp contrast to the climate at the foot; it is cooler in comparison to hot and dry climate of the region. Its rainfall records the highest in the whole of dry zone surrounding it by a good margin during the northeast monsoon of dry zone of the tropical island of Sri Lanka. The mist and cloud cover which encapsulate the summit during the south-west monsoon of Wet Zone of the island, results in high vapor condensation, in turn, turning the earth moist when the plains all around are in drought.
Day 04 – Habarana / Polonnaruwa
Elephant safari is optional, overnight stay at Habarana.
Polonnaruwa Gal Viharaya
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. While Vijayabahu’s victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real Polonnaruwa Hero of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. The city Polonnaruwa was also called as Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign. Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the kingdom’s first rulers.
Day 05 – Habarana / Sigiriya / Dambulla / Aluviharaya / Matale Hindu Temple
Overnight stay at Kandy
Sigiriya Ancient Kingdom
Sigiriya, considered by some as the eighth wonder of the world, consists of an ancient castle used by King Kasyapa of the 5th century AD. The Sigiriya site has the remains of an upper Sky Palace sited on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the Mirror Wall and the world famous Sigiriya Frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and gardens that extend for some hundreds of metres out from the base of the rock. The site is both a palace and fortress. Sufficient remains to provide the visitor with a stunning insight into the ingenuity and creativity of its builders. The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock that still retain water. The moats and walls that surround the lower palace are still exquisitely beautiful.
Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla Cave Temples
Dambulla Cave-kovil also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a world heritage site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km (92 mi) east of Colombo and 72 km (45 mi) north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m (525 ft) over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The later 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, god Vishnu and god Ganesh. The murals, covers an area of 2,100 square meters. Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha’s temptation by Mara (demon) and Buddha’s first sermon.
Aluviharaya – Temple
The Aluvihare Rock Temple (also called Matale Alu Viharaya) is a sacred Buddhist temple located in Aluvihare, Matale District of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by hills, the Aluvihara cave temple is situated 30 km north of Kandy on the Matale-Dambulla road. The history of Aluvihare Rock Temple is traced back to the 3rd Century B.C to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. It is believed that the King built the dagoba, planted the Bo sapling and founded the temple after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign. Aluvihare Rock Temple was the historic location where the Pāli Canon was first written down completely in text on ola (palm) leaves. Many monastery caves, some of which exhibit frescoes are situated near this temple.
Matale Hindu Temple
The main Hindu temple in Matale is dedicated to Muthumariamman. The goddess Mariamman (speak “Muri-um-man”) is very popular among Tamils in India and Sri Lanka. “Amman” The prefix “Muthu”, literally meaning “pearl”, is an honorific title, similar to “Sri”. The last part of the name, “Amman” simply means “mother”. “Mari” means “rain”. The name recalls that this deity was originally an ancient Tamil fertility goddess. For today’s devotees, Mariamman is as a helper against all febrile diseases. In particularin she is the smallpox goddess in southern India.
Day 06 – Kandy City Tour / Temple of Tooth / Botanical Garden / Culture Dancing Show
Kandy City Tour
Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
Sri Dalada Maligawa – Temple of Tooth
Kandy - Sacred Tooth Relic Of The Buddha
The “Sri Dalada Maligawa” or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the tooth relic of the Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists. The relic has played an important role in the local politics since ancient times, it’s believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, which caused the ancient kings to protect it with great effort. Kandy was the capital of the Sinhalese Kings from 1592 to 1815, fortified by the terrain of the mountains and the difficult approach. The city is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, in part due to the temple.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and attracts 2 million visitors annually. It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium of Sri Lanka. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall.
Culture Dancing Show
The Kandy Dance cultural show is one of the most famous evening events in this city of heritage, and is a major highlight of any trip. Starting in the evening, show captivates your ears and eyes with spectacular displays of local culture and art. Covering various aspects of Sri Lanka’s traditions, expect to see drummers, fire dancers, and more in a cultural spectacle that should not be missed.
Day 07 – Kandy / Nuwara-Eliya
Overnight stay at Nuwara-Eliya
Nuwara-Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its temperate, cool climate — the coolest area in Sri Lanka.
Day 08 – Nuwara-Eliya / Worlds End – Horton Plains / Train Journey
Overnight stay at Ella
Worlds End – Horton Plains
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. The vertebrate fauna of the region includes 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, nine species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians. At present, the largest and the most commonly seen mammal is the Sambar Deer. Some research findings estimate the population of Sambar Deer to be around 1500 to 2000, possibly more than the carrying capacity of the plains.
Ella Train Journey
Nuwara Eliya Train Ride
Colombo Fort to Badulla or Kandy to Ella is the most popular Railway track among the tourists as this goes through the Tea Plantation and most scenic landscapes in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. In this Railway line most people take Kandy to Ella station leg. In this railway line, train goes up to Peradeniya on Colombo Fort – Kandy line and from Peradeniya Station the train switches the tracks towards Badulla where you will pass Hatton, Thalawakale, Great Western, Nanu Oya(NuwaraEliya), Ambewela, Pattipola, Ohiya, Haputale, Diyatalawa, Bandarawela, Ella and Demodara stations through Tea Estates, Misty Mountains and Valleys. This is a very scenic Train Journeys in the world.
Day 09 – Ella / Yala
Afternoon safari in Yala national park, overnight stay at Yala or Tissa.
Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or ‘Yala East’ for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.
Day 10 – Tissa / Thangalle
Overnight stay Thangalla
Tangalla is the gateway to the wide-open spaces and wide-open beaches of southeast Sri Lanka. It’s the last town of any size before Hambantota and has some old world charm. But you’re really here to find your perfect beach and revel in it.
Day 11 – Relaxed on the beach
Day 12 – Thangalle / Galle
Overnight stay at Galle
Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
Day 13 – Galle / Colombo / Negombo
Overnight stay at Negombo
Galle Face Green is a ribbon of green space located in the heart of the city along the Indian Ocean coast, and is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. The Galle Face Hotel is a historic landmark on the southern edge of this promenade. Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The temple’s architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture. The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is an urban park located next to the National Museum of Colombo and the Town Hall. It is the oldest and largest park in Colombo and features a large Buddha statue.