09 days from £799 pp Exc Int'l flight
Day 01 : AIRPORT / PINNAWELA / HABARANA
AM: Arrival at the Katunayake International Airport early morning. Welcome with flower garlanding on arrival & assistance by a representative of Lumle Holidays. Immediate transfer to Hotel in Habarana.
PM: Visit Elephant Orphanage.
Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The Orphanage was established to feed, nurse and house young elephants abandoned by their mothers, displaced from their natural environment by development projects. Most of the orphans cannot be introduced back into the wild, as other elephant family groups will not accept them. They enjoy a good life with their human parents, and many find good foster homes in zoos around the world. It is more interesting to visit an Orphanage at feeding or bathing time. Feeding time: 09:15′, 13:15′, 17:00′/Bathing time: 10:00′, 12:00′, 14:00′, 16:00′.
Thereafter continue the tour to Habarana.
Day 02 : HABARANA / POLONNARUWA / HABARANA
AM: Leave for visit Polonnaruwa.
(approx 16kms sightseeing/ suggest comfortable cotton clothing shorts/ t shirts, sandals/ walking shoes & sun hats recommended)
Polonnaruwa is one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capital cities (and part of the famous ‘Cultural Triangle’). Although King Vijayabahu 1 was the first to claim the city as his capital, it was King Parakramabahu who made it what it is today, with its massive buildings, ornate parks and the ‘pièce de resistance’ – a 2500 hectare tank called ‘Parakrama Samudra’ (‘ Sea of Parakrama ‘).
The city itself is divided into new and old town with the impressively preserved ruins split into five main areas, including ‘The Quadrangle’ (‘Terrace of the Tooth Relic’), the Northern City group and the Rest House group (with the royal palace ruins of ‘Nissanka Malla’).
Thereafter return to Habarana.
Day 03 : HABARANA / SIGIRIYA / HABARANA
After breakfast checkout from the hotel and leave for Climb Sigiriya Rock fortress. Also view the ancient paintings “The Maidens of Sigiriya”
Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, which is a World Heritage Site, Built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub Jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 Hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive Gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered Pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway.
These Frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. (30 minutes drives from hotel soft climbing approx 1000 steps suggest comfortable cotton clothing shorts/ t shirts, sandals/ walking shoes & sun hats, bottle of water recommended).
Day 04 : HABARANA / DAMBULLA / KANDY
AM: After breakfast checkout from the hotel and leave for Kandy.
Visit Dambulla Rock Cave Temple.
Dambulla cave temple is located at an elevation of 1118 feet from the sea level rises a massive rock from the surrounding plains of Dambulla of 600 feet high and over 2000 feet in length. It is home to the World’s most acclaimed Cave complex of magnificent Buddha Images and Rock Paintings of vivid colors and shapes constructed and painted from around 2nd Century BC (Anuradhapura era ) and continued up to the Kandyan era of the 18th Century. Sinhalese people call it as ‘ Dambulu Gala’ ( Dambulla Rock) and the Temple is called as the ‘Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya’ (Golden Rock Dambulla Temple) it is of impressive to closely see each statues in the vicinity see how detail oriented Sri Lankan carvers had been in Ancient Lanka.
PM: Visit to Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple.
Known as the Temple of Tooth’. Brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th century A.D, the sacred relic has ever since been the symbol of sovereignty for its rulers and always enshrined in great splendor. Kandy’s Dalada Maligawa is a magnificent shrine, with decorative walls, and its 16th – 19th century ambience vividly alive. Three religious services (Pooja) with traditional music, held daily at dawn, midday and in the evening, can be viewed by visitors.
Evening proceed to witness a traditional Cultural Show in a local theatre.
Local dancers and drummers performing unique styles of Sri Lankan dance performances and drum beats last for over an hour. Dance & costumes changes from up country, to lower country to east west and south. Animating different animals and birds movements that had been existing for thousands of years Fire dancing and fire walking show toward the end of the show.
Day 05 : KANDY / GADALADENIYA /LANKATILAKE / EMBEKKE / KANDY (Three temples in Kandy)
After breakfast leave for visit three temples in Kandy. Gadaladeniya temple, Lankathilaka and Embekke temple are three important attractions in the city of Kandy. All these temples were originated during the Gampola period of ancient Sri Lanka. These temples supposed to demonstrate the highly developed construction abilities of Sri Lankan craftsman. The Paintings and wood carvings of these three temples considered being masterpieces of ancient artisans of the island.
Conveniently, three of the most ancient and interesting temples in the central highlands are within easy walking distance of one another, southwest of Kandy. Even if the temples themselves weren’t fascinating, and they are, the seven-kilometer path which connects Embekke, Lankathilake and Gadaladeniya leads past rice fields and through small towns, and would be worth walking in its own right.
You could also be attending to the Pooja ceremony at Embekke temple. It will be held by around 11.30 a.m.
Gadaladeniaya Temple was built by king Wickramabahu in 1344 during the Gampola Kingdom time.
At the entrance you can see the Dageba (pagoda) by your right hand side. Actually this consists of one main Dageba and four small ones. The main Dageba is covered with a roof. There are four small shrine rooms around it with small dageba located top of each.
The temple has the same name as the well-known construction of Parakramabahu I at Polonnaruwa. This is a religious devotion of SenalanKadhikara, a minister of Bhuvanaikabahu IV of Gampola in 1344 CE. Further establishments in the form of stucco work carried out by the King, Parakramabahu VI of Kotte (1412-1467 CE). The building was four storied during its glorious days. However, today there is only the ground floor and a part of the first floor.
Embekke Devalaya is the best place in Sri Lanka, may be in the world to see the finest wood carving work. This Devalaya is dedicated to the god Kataragama. Embekke Devalaya was built. In around year 1370′s. This period is belonging to Gampola regime time the king Wickramabahu 11 was ruling Sri Lanka. According to the historical information, this temple was done by Queen Henakanda Bisobandara. The drummer from the nearby village call Rangama was also involved.
Thereafter visit brass Factory. The villagers around the area continue to specialize in the craft of working wood, brass and silver as they have done for centuries.
PM: Return to Kandy and do a brief City Tour in Kandy. With including view point of the city, the Lake, the central market place and visit a Gemological Museum & factory to learn about precious and semi-precious gems. That has served celebrities to Royal Families of the world. Legend says that King Solomon in Biblical times wooed the Queen of Sheba with precious stones from this ‘Paradise Isle’. Soloman has sent his emissaries to the City of Gems in the orient (Ratnapura in Sri Lanka) to procure the gems that won him the hand and then heart of the Queen. Large blue sapphire head stone on Queen Elisabeth’s throne to Lady Diana’s engagement ring, today worn by the royal couple of the millennium ‘Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Day 06 : KANDY / GAMPOLA / NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast leave for Kandy Railway Station to board the ordinary Train and travel to Gampola.
A short journey to experience and indulge with local community. You can enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Sri Lanka throughout the journey.
Meet your chauffer/guide at Gampola station and drive to Nuwara Eliya via green velvety blanket of world famous Ceylon tea fields. Soothing views of miles and miles of green fields and regular site of local workers plucking tea leaves to process the Champagne tea that has led in number one in world tea market.
En route visit to a St.Pedro Tea plantation & a Factory where the entire process for planting to packing stage will be explained to you in addition to how tea is graded and tasted.
Established in 1885, it remained under British ownership until being nationalized in 1975 (it was re-privatized in 1985) – its factory is still home to a few impressive pieces of old British machinery, some still in operation.
The company now employs around a thousand workers and its plantations sprawl for miles over the surrounding hillsides.
After which you can enjoy a cup of the local unblended brew at the attractive cafe overlooking the plantations.
Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya City known as little England. Once ruled British Empire and its representation enjoyed the English weather without flying back home here on mountain, incorporating Scottish architecture to enjoy home ambiance.
Day 07 : NUWARA ELIYA / BENTOTA
After breakfast leave for Bentota.
PM at Leisure by the Beach in Bentota.
Day 08 : BENTOTA
Full Day at leisure in Bentota.
Day 09 : BENTOTA / COLOMBO / AIRPORT (OR OPTIONAL BEACH STAY)
AM Leave for airport & connect with the departure flight.
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