Anuradhapura – Trincomalee – Sigiriya – Dambulla – Polonnaruwa – Kandy – Pinnawela – Colombo
Day 01 – Anuradhapura
Arrive at Colombo International Airport. Here, you will be met by a designated chauffeur guide from SHA Tours. After the formalities at the airport you will be escorted to your air-conditioned vehicle and proceed to Anuradhapura.
Anuradhapura – The capital of Sri Lanka from the 05th Century B.C. to the end of the 10th Century A.D. was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas constructed of bricks and are hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagobas are the Ruvanveliseya dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. and is 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and the Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. Anuradhapura is a “World Heritage Site”.
Mihintale – is 140 miles from Colombo, 8 miles from Anuradhapura. Mihintale is called the “Cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka”- it was here that the Buddhist doctrine was first preached in here by the monk ‘Mahinda’, son of Asoka, Emperor of India, to King Devanampiyatissa more than 2000 years ago. Mihintale – ‘the hill of Mahinda’ is approached by a magnificent, wide, ancient stone stairway of 1,840 steps. This is the World’s first declared sanctuary from 247 B.C. and continues to be one up to this day.
Overnight stay at hotel in Anuradhapura
Day 02 Trincomalee
After breakfast proceed to Trincomalee. Visit Thirukoneswaram Temple. Proven historical evidence shows that it’s at least 3000 years old; legends speak of it having an age of over 5,000 years. You will be able to view the fascinating architecture; which is more recent due to the temple having been rebuilt after its destruction during the Portuguese era. There is also an exciting little rocky path that leads to a secretive cave where you will be able to see the primitive and ancient shrine that the temple started from.
Overnight stay at hotel in Trincomalee / Nilaveli
Day 03 Trincomalee
After breakfast visit Pigeon Island. (entry fee $10 + boat $10) There are local boats that will take you to this island. Snorkeling is great with an abundant sea life. If interested we can arrange scuba diving, fishing and whale watching (seasonal activity).
Overnight stay at hotel in Trincomalee /Nilaveli
Day 04 – Polonnaruwa – Minneriya Safari
After breakfast proceed Sigiriya.
Visit Polonnaruwa, the second capital of Sri Lanka in the 11th and 12th centuries. You will visit the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Vihare, three splendid statues of the Buddha in upright, sedan and recumbent postures carved out of a large rock. Other interesting sights are the Lotus Bath, Tivanke Image House with the best known Buddhist frescoes of Sri Lanka, and man-made Parakarama Samudra built by Parakarama Bahu the great. (entrance fees USD 25 pp)
Evening safari at Minneriya National Park. (Per Person USD 41) or Habarana
Minneriya National Park is a haven for wild elephants and a jeep safari here will bring you close to the large herds as they come to the water to drink. Bird life in the park is excellent with the Ceylon fish owl and sea eagle among the species you may see.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Sigiriya
DAY 05 : Sigiriya
After breakfast proceed on an excursion to see the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. (Per Person USD 30)
Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock fortress which is a UNESCO world heritage site and was built by King Kashyapa (477-495). The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains of the dry zone. It is a remarkable archaeological site made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. The rock was the innermost stronghold of a 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.
Drive by a Safari jeep to Village, a beautiful rural area in Sigiriya city. Tour start with a Bullock cart ride near to the village pond & at there you will experience a boat ride to the next side of the rural village. After short walk within the paddy fields & vegetable cultivation you can reach village house. At the village house you can relax & taste a delicious Sri Lankan Lunch or Snacks. Then take a Tuk Tuk ride to tour start point. (Per Person USD 20)
Overnight stay at Hotel in Sigiriya
Day 06 Dambulla – Kandy
After breakfast visit Dambulla Cave Temple. There after drive to Kandy, visit a Spice garden en route.
Dambulla Caves – Dating back to the 1st century BC, this is the most impressive cave temple in Asia. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 the architecture was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock. There are images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses.
Spice Garden : See why Sri Lanka became a globally popular country for its herbs and spices. The environment possesses excellent conditions for growing cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, peppercorn, and other flavorful delights. Learn about the process of growing these natural products using ecologically friendly methods. At the end of your visit, stop in the souvenir shop to purchase some exotic spices from the source. The attraction offers free transport wherever needed between the city and the estate. Note that the law strictly forbids harming cinnamon trees.
Thereafter, continue to Kandy and check-in to hotel and relax rest till the evening. Later that evening, go on technical tour related to the arts such as gem crafting, woodcarving and batiks. And watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colorful traditional dances and delightful music. (Per Person USD 5)
The Kandy Cultural Show gives an opportunity to experience some of the traditions of Sri Lanka. Enjoy this hour-long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Be wowed by fire dancers and sword dancers. Watch the colorful Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming primal beat of the drums. On completion, return to the hotel.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy
Day 07 Kandy
After breakfast visit Botanical Garden Peradeniya and city tour in Kandy.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden – This is a much visited and acclaimed botanical garden, which is also good for birds. It is bounded on three sides by the Mahaveli River, which I snakes around the 60- hectare gardens. Before its use as Botanical gardens it had served as a royal pleasure garden. Peradeniya is the second largest botanical garden in Asia.
Kandy city – Kandy is the English name for the city of Maha Nuvara (Senkadagalapura) in the centre of Sri Lanka. It lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an administrative and religious city.
On completion visit the famous Kandy Temple of the Tooth Relic. Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic. (Per Person USD 8.00)
Temple of the Tooth Relic : The Temple of the Sacred Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) was originally built by the Kandyan Kings in 1595, to house and honor the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. Attracting crowds of white-clad pilgrims bearing lotus flowers for means of worship, the Maligawa features a myriad of intricate carvings that speak volumes of the architectural values of Kandy. Today the City of Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in part because of the Temple of the tooth relic.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy
Day 08 Kandy
After breakfast visit the Udawattakele sanctuary (USD 3 Per person). Udawatta Kele Sanctuary or the Royal Forest Park of Kandy is siuated on the hillside behind the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic. The forest is rich with vegetation consisting with canopy, sub canopy and an underground layer. The dense plant life restricts sunlight reaching the ground soil surface. The underground layer mostly consists of the seedlings of the canopy layer species and creepers that reaches to the top of caopy layer trees. There is a giant 200 to 300 years old “Pus Wela” or ‘Entada pusaetha’ liana in the forest.
After brakfast visit tea plantations and tea factory where you will get to see the process of manufacturing tea. We’ll be stopping to get a closer look and learn the art of tea picking (and brewing) from local pickers.
Go to the devil’s hill in the evening to see the gigantic Buddha statue with a view of the beautiful Kandy town from the top.
Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy
Day 09 Pinnawela Elephant orphanage
After breakfast leave for Negombo. Visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage at Kagalle. (entrance fees USD 5 pp)
A visit to this fantastic Elephant orphanage near Kegalle is a must! 20 km (12 miles) west of Kandy on the Colombo Highway, this is where young orphaned or abandoned elephants are cared for. The herd numbers are usually around 50, from tiny infants (tiny in elephant terms, that is) to hefty adolescents and young adults.
Evening watch the sunset from the beach and enjoy the seaside breeze.
Overnight stay at hotel in Negombo
Day 10 Colombo
After breakfast go on a City & Shopping tour in Colombo.
Colombo City & Shopping Tour : Take a fascinating journey in the capital of the isle paradise to taste its cultural texture, witness its bustling streets, visit bargain markets, and also relax while watching the uprising urban lifestyle of the capital. This commercial and administrative hub of the country proves to be a blend of cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes. Your city tour will cover the following: Gangaramaya Seema Malakaya, National Museum, Old Parliament, Independence Memorial Arcade & Independence Square, Beire Lake, Odel shopping, Cinnamon gardens, Shopping at Laksala state owned Handicrafts emporium, Lighthouse and Clock tower & Colombo Harbor.
On completion, return to the hotel or drop off to the airport for departure flight.
Transportation by private AC car
English speaking chauffeur guide
You can request to customize itinerary where you may choose transport, stay & sightseeing as per your taste & comfort.