Arrival to Sri Lanka (FLT No.) at (0000hrs) and you will be met by the Green Voyages Representative or Respective Language Speaking Guide at the Arrival Lounge. Thereafter you will be assisted to the car park to begin your selected journey.
Afterwards you will be transferred to Dambulla via Pinnawala.
*Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage -App. 55 miles from Colombo, off the Colombo - Kandy road is Pinnawala, where an orphanage was started in 1975 to house the abandoned and the wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased to more than 65 now; including Baby Elephants brought from various parts, as well as some of the more than 25 babies born, as a result of the captive breeding programme. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 0915-0945 hrs and 1415-1445 hrs and the bathing time from 1000-11.00 hrs and 1500-1600 hrs when all the elephants are taken to the river close by. (Approx – 1 ½ Hrs)
*Dambulla -App. 80 miles from the Airport, Dambulla is famous for the five cave temples on a rock. The first 3 caves are better, older and larger than the other 2. Some caves dates to 1st C.B.C. All the 5 cave walls and ceilings are covered with Buddhist murals and there are more than 130 Buddha statutes, Statues of Gods and kings are also found here. (Approx - 04½ Hrs)
Dinner & overnight stay at a Hotel in DAMBULLA*
After breakfast visit & climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress (Approx - 15 mins from the Hotel)
* Sigiriya Rock Fortress -is a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” and the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot high rock. On its summit are the foundations of the Royal Palace, Water Tanks to supply water and all other buildings and at the edges the guardhouses. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of Frescoes of 21 life sized damsels still shining in their original colors. The Water Gardens, Fountain Garden, Summerhouses, Boulder Gardens and the Caves within the enclosed area should not be missed. (Approx – 2 Hrs. climb up & return)
Thereafter proceed to Kandy en route visiting Dambulla Cave Temples, Batik Factory and a spice Garden in Matale (Approx - 01 ½ Hrs. to reach spice Garden and Batik Factory )
* Dambulla Cave Temples - is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Here is found the famous Rock Temple dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island. In the first Cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the Rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they are over painted in the Kandy period. In the Second Cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people.
(Approx - 01 – 1 ½ Hrs. to climb up and return)
Afterwards visit a Batik Factory where you can see the manufacture of beautiful Batik prints. The shop contains a wide variety of Batik items.
A spice Garden, Spice Garden at Matale and see the luscious Cinnamons, Cardamoms, Pepper plants etc. You can also purchase your requirements of spices.
To reach Kandy from Matale (Approx - 01 ½ Hrs)
Evening commence short city tour of Kandy. It includes Upper Lake Drive, Market Square & Temple of the Tooth Relic. (Approx - 02 Hrs)
* Kandy -the hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “DaladaMaligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (“MahaWasala”), “PalleWasala”- where the Queens stayed-now used for the National Museum, “MedaWasala” where other close relatives lived, Audience Hall, Natha Devala and Vishnu Devala are situated close by. The Bathing Pavilion (“Ulpenge”) is by the Lake and in the Center of the lake is the Island called “Kirisamudraya” (Milk White Ocean) used by the kings as the summerhouse. Today it is the center of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture. Visitors can see these Dance & Music at the daily Cultural Performances held at several places in the city.
*Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - Ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha's Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess' hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka's most prized possession. (Approx - 45 mins)
Evening Witness a Kandyan Cultural Show (Approx - 01Hr)
Dinner & overnight stay at a Hotel in KANDY*
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya en-route visit Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya and Gem Museum
*Royal Botanical Garden-147 acres in extent; Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy. There are more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular with tourists.
There are 5 Palm Avenues beautifying the gardens, the earliest and tallest Palm Avenue (Royal Palm Avenue) was planted in 1905 and the Double Coconuts from the Seashells Island, with the largest seed of all plants in the world are one such avenue. (Approx – 01Hr)
Visit Gem Museum (Approx - 45 mins)
Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya visiting a tea estate & factory en route. (Approx - 03 – 3 ½ Hrs to reach Nuwara Eliya)
Evening commence city tour in Nuwara Eliya.
*Nuwara Eliya -The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coolest places in the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions. The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic and is also good for Birding as you get some rare birds in this Park. Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom in the spring (March to May) and the fall (August and September). These are the “seasons” when low-country folk flock to Nuwara Eliya to escape the sea level heat and humidity. (Approx – 01Hr)
Dinner & overnight stay at a Hotel in NUWARA ELIYA*
After breakfast leave for Yala, (Approx - 05 – 5 ½ Hrs)
Afternoon Safari at Yala National Park by jeeps (Approx - 02 – 2 ½ Hrs)
*Yala National park- the Ruhunu National Park covers 126,786 hectares, Including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I (14,101 hectares) and this block was established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of Elephants, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded which includes the resident and winter visitors. There are 7 Bungalows inside the Park with few Camp Sites.
Dinner & overnight stay at a Hotel in YALA*
After breakfast transfer to the Bentota en-route visiting Galle Dutch Fort (Approx – 05 Hrs to reach Galle)
*Galle - Sri Lanka’s most historically interesting town is Galle. It was a major port until about 100 years, but today still handles shipping and sailing boats in the natural harbour. Stroll around the lighthouse and harbour or visit the old town where you can see the traditional lace makers and wood carvers and purchase some the finest souvenirs.
*GalleDutch Fort-The South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive Portuguese and Dutch Fort which is a “World Heritage Site” in which the central city is contained. But the city may be much older. Some scholars believe it to be the “Tarshish” of the Old Testament, to which King Solomon sent his merchant vessels, and to which Jonah fled from the Lord. Today, the 90-acre Galle Fort shows no evidence of the Portuguese founders. The Dutch incorporated the Portuguese northern wall in a great rampart in 1663. A second, taller wall was built inside of it. Between the two walls, a covered passage connected the central bastion with the Fort’s two half bastion’s overlooking the sea. The Dutch also installed a sophisticated drainage system, complete with brick-lined underground sewers that were flushed twice a day by the high and low tides. The original gate to the fort was by the harbour. It is still there, marked by the British Coat-of-arms on the front and the Dutch V.O.C. (Vereenigde OostIndische Compagnie) with the Coat-of-arms with a rooster crest, is on the inner side of the Fort. (Approx - 01 – 1 ½ Hrs to visit)
*Bentota – It is the city for water sports and is set in a romantic rendezvous of river and sea with several hotels , railway station, post office, shopping arcade, cafeteria and open air theater showing folk and mask dancing with clusters of palms overlooking everything . Interesting boat trips to the hamlets bordering the river and the Methiyagoda Moonstone Mines nearby.
Dinner & overnight stay at a Hotel in BENTOTA*
After breakfast transfer to Colombo en-route visit Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.
Afterwards commence a city tour of Colombo (Approx -02 – 2 ½ Hrs)
*Colombo - is the business and commercial center while the new capital is Sri Jayewardenepura - Kotte, only a few miles away. Colombo was only a small seaport, which came into prominence in the 16th Century with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 and the development of it as a major Harbour took place during the British period. Colombo became the capital of Sri Lanka in 1815 after Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to the British.
The remains of the buildings during the period of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule are found in every area of the city. None of the Portuguese & Dutch fortifications are found today but some of their buildings and churches could be seen in the Fort & Pettah areas.
Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area where there is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Kayman’s Gate with the Belfry at the original gate to enter the Fort, the Dutch Church of Wolfendhaal dating back to 1749, Kelaniya Buddhist Temple dating to 6th C.B.C., Davatagaha Mosque, Colombo Museum and the Natural History Museum are some of the sites to be visited. Also visit the BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall), see the replica of Avukana Buddha in front and the Independence Memorial.
Afterwards leave the hotel to the Airport to get connected to departure flight.
Mr. Rakesh Kumar Bhandari