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Culture & Heritage - 2

Duration : 5 Nights / 6 Days

These tours take you to all parts of the country combining culture, history, religion, nature and beach, for those of you who want to see everything, even if it means relinquishing some of your creature comforts for a visit to an untouched, authentic part of Sri Lanka.


Ayubowan! A warm welcome to our Island Nation!!!

On arrival at the Colombo Airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Sigiriya (Approx. 5 Hrs drive).

Evening at leisure! Overnight in Sigiriya


Visit Anuradhapura (Approx. 1.5 Hrs drive).

Possibly the most celebrated ancient capital of Sri Lanka that remained in that position for nearly 1500 years from the 4th century BC to the 1st century AD. Anuradhapura is most notable for its Hydraulic Technology. Though it stands in ruins today, the ultimate structures still stand tall. Second only to the pyramids in Giza, the dagobas, are an amazing work of architecture in honor of Buddhism. The Jetavana dagoba is the most spectacular of them all. The sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura is an extension of the sacred Bo tree in India (related to Lord Buddha attaining enlightenment). It is also the oldest recorded tree in the world (2,250 years). The Anuradhapura Archeological Museum, the Abhayagiri and the Jetavanarama Museums are worth a visit.

Drive on to Mihintale (15 minutes)

Famous Mihintale, better known as the cradle of Buddhism, because it was here that Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka in 247 BC, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tisse (250-210 BC).

Mihintale is one of Sri Lanka’s foremost pilgrimage sites during Poson Poya, which falls in the month of June, to commemorate the introduction of Buddhism. Legend has it that when the King was out hunting in its hills chasing a stag, he was confronted by Mahinda, the son or perhaps Brother, of Emperor Asoka of India who was sent to introduce the chosen faith to the people of Sri Lanka. According to the Buddhist scripture the Mahavamsa, the King and his 40,000 attendants were all converted to Buddhism. Mahinda was gifted a Royal Park in Anuradhapura by the grateful King, today a key centre for Buddhism.

Its beautiful tranquil setting created with its frangipani tree lined flights of steps, 1850 in number, linking its many ruins, rocky hills & dagobas are awe inspiring. The oldest recorded nature sanctuary is located here.

Evening at leisure! Overnight in Sigiriya


An exciting day awaits you.

You will first climb the famous Rock Fortress at Sigiriya.

The shortest lived but the most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka’s medieval capitals, declared a world heritage site, this ancient ruin was once the Capital of Kind Kasapa1. A lover of beauty, he ruled Sigiriya for 18 years, transforming the surroundings of his historical palace into a thing of beauty. Only 19 of the original 500 immortal frescoes, representing celestial maidens remain today. Its extensive network of beautifully laid out gardens; reservoirs and other structures including its unique plumbing system stand witness to the grandeur of its architecture, during its day.

It can be a hard 200m climb to the top, but once there, the view is magnificent.

Continue on to Polonnaruwa (1.5 hours).

one of the island’s two great ruined cities (the other being Anuradhapura) and a UNESCO World Heritage site blending both culture and religion is the 2nd recorded ancient kingdom that many visitors find the time or the archeological enthusiasm to visit. But as the two are significantly different it is difficult to call decisively in favour of either. The ruins at Polonnaruwa cover a smaller area, are better preserved and offer a more digestible and satisfied bite of ancient Sinhalese culture and there is nowhere at Anuradhapura to match the artistry of the Quadrangle and Gal Vihara. Polonnaruwa rose to prominence between the 11th and 13th Centuries AD and peaked during the reign of its famous monarch, King Parakramabahu the Great.

One of the best planned archaeological relic sites, it is famous for its reservoir the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) the best example of the advanced irrigation engineering and construction prevalent during ancient times that has stood the test of time and remains operational even today.

Evening at leisure! Overnight in Sigiriya


Set off to Dambulla (Approx. 2 Hrs drive) en route to Kandy. Remember you need to wear clothing that covers your knees and no bare shoulders permitted in order to visit the Temple.

At the heart of the cultural triangle, so called because it encloses some of the most ancient of historical sites and cities - chiefly Anuradhapura, Polannaruwa and Sigiriya, lies Dambulla known for its famous Golden Rock Temple, a most impressive cave monastery and one of the largest in South Asia.

Of the 157 Buddha statues found in the five dimly lit grottos, 73 were gold plated at the behest of King Nissanka Malla, the 12-century monarch. Its walls decorated with some of the finest murals in the country are a showcase of sacred Buddhist art at its finest. A sacred pilgrimage site for nearly 22 centuries, it has been declared a world heritage site. Its spectacular setting on a massive rock overlooking the plains of Kurunegala, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Ritigala mountain range, is truly awe-inspiring.

Drive south to Kandy, (3 hours), en-route you will pass through the town of Matale.

a region famous for its spices, the city lies in the heart of the island in a broad fertile valley at an elevation of 300m. The road north of town is lined with dozens of spice plantations, (which welcome visitors) where vanilla, cinchona, jackfruit, cocoa and cardamom thrive. The area is also famous for kohila (a type of watercress) and small mild chilies.

The Hill Capital of Sri Lanka (the last Kingdom of the Sri Lankan Kings) nestled in a valley in the Highlands and locally referred to, as "Nuwara" meaning The Great City, a picturesque town by the side of a miniature lake. Visit one of the only natural reserves within city limits, the beautiful Udawatta Kele famous for its avifauna.

Dalada Maligawa, The Temple of the Tooth one of the most sacred & famous Buddhist sites, not just in Sri Lanka but also in the religion worldwide, is host to one of Asia’s most celebrated festivals, The "Esala" procession, held during the month of July/August around the Full Moon. The temple took nearly a hundred years to construct from 1687 to 1782 and houses the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha. Rituals are performed daily at 04:30, 10:30 and 6:30 p.m. The sacred square and old city centre within the temple complex contain the four shrines of the Gods Vishnu, Natha, Kataragama and the Goddess Pattini and many historical buildings and museums.

The pageant features over a 100 elephants in elaborate and colourful dress, accompanied by traditional dancers, drummers and torchbearers.

A hive of activity during the day with shops displaying, handicrafts, colorful batiks in cotton and local silk, antique & skillfully crafted jewelry, semi precious and precious stones, it quietens down at dusk. Add flavor to your visit by trying out the local cuisine! Don’t forget to sample the 'short eats’ (snacks) as its popularly known.

Evening at leisure! Overnight in Kandy

Day 5 - KANDY

This morning we take you on a tour to view unique pieces of craftsmanship in three of the oldest temples in Kandy, evidence of ancient Kandyan temple architecture to be seen at the Embekke Devale (an ancient Hindu temple), Lankatilleke and Gadaladeniya

Commissioned in the 14th century 1371AD, once a 3-storied structure, the Embekke Devale is famed for its elaborate woodcarvings, pillars and other structures located in Udu Nuwara 8 miles from Kandy. Built on the crest of a large rock overlooking the Hantane mountain range, the majestic Lankatilake Raja Maha Vihara believed to be one of the most magnificent architectural edifices in the Gampola Kingdom that dates back to the 14th century. Walk past rice paddies to the Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Vihara, an ancient monastery built by King Buwanekabahu IV in 1344. The chief architect was from south India and the temple is essentially a south Indian design.

at one time these beautiful botanical gardens were reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty. Its 147 acres of garden make it the largest and most impressive botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The many highlights include a fine collection of orchids and a stately avenue of royal palms, the giant Java fig tree on the great lawn, covering 2500 sq. meters, its like a giant, living geodesic dome. Yet the most recognized, is a tree planted in 1901 by King George-V and Queen Mary, referred to as the Cannon Ball tree due to the unique fruit it bears.

Evening at leisure! Overnight in Kandy


Depending on your time of departure, you will be transferred to the Colombo Airport for your return flight home.

If time permits a visit to the PInnawala Elephant Orphanage is a fitting finale to your island holiday.

Safe journey!

Price includes

  • Accommodation at star category hotels
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking Chauffeur Guide
  • Local government taxes & service charges
  • Meals: Breakfast at Hotels
  • Price excludes

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes
  • Camera & video permits at the Cultural sites
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Tips and porterage
  • Toll Fees
  • All entrance fees to attractions
  • Lunch & Dinner on Tour

  • Highlights

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Anuradhapura Tour
  • Mihintale Cutural Visit
  • Polonnaruwa Cultural Tour
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Matale Spice Garden
  • Kandy City Tour

  • Optional Tours

  • Hot Air Balloon Rides
  • Temple of the Tooth Relic
  • Royal Botanical Garden
  • 3 Temple Loop
  • Monks Alms Giving Ceremony
  • Spice Identification Contest
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

  • Your Route