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Glimpses of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a stunning beautiful 270 mile long tear drop shaped island, hanging from the southern tip of Indian subcontinent amidst the waters of Indian ocean.
Sri Lanka presents a fascinating insight into a civilization with over 2000 years of recorded history. With no less than seven UNESCO Heritage sites, a cultural tour from the impressive cave temples of Dambulla Rock to the moats and ramparts of the 5th Century rock-top palace complex at Sigiriya is mesmerising.
Sri Lanka, once known as Serendib Taprobane is now also known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. This paradise isle, which is indeed shaped like a pearl, offers pristine beaches, lush tea estates, more waterfalls perhaps than any other country- a staggering 350 that cascade dramatically down rolling hillsides and mist-shrouded mountains, and a culture that reaches back over 2,500 years. Famous for its spices and spice plantations, Sri Lanka was described by a renowned botanist as simply one big botanical garden.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo
On arrival at the Colombo airport, meet and greet, transfer to Hotel in Colombo (Wattala).Check in at hotel.Day at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel in Colombo (Wattala).

Day 2: Pinnawela
After breakfast leave for visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela. Pinnawela elephant orphanage established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location.Leave for Habarana.Overnight stay at hotel in Habarana.

Day 3: Sigiriya
After breakfast leave for visit the Sigiriya.Sigiriya Rock Fortress is UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world. A mythical past of feuding dynasties suits Sigiriya’s striking setting- it was built in 5th century AD by king, Kasyapa, as a fortress-palace. The palace complex at the foot of the rock still has the remains of four indoor swimming pools where the king’s 500 concubines bathed. The palace structure was built with complex water arteries in the walls that provided natural air conditioning in the hot climate. On the summit,reached with the help of metal staircases and ladders, you can see the remains of the palace walls, gardens and ponds.The mirror walls of the Sigiriya rock still retain the world-famous frescoes of the king’s concubines, who originated from all parts of the world.Afternoon visit the Polonnaruwa.Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital and a World Heritage Site. This second capital city of Sri Lanka was built in the 11th and 12th centuries. See the ruins of the Royal Palace, Lotus Bath and Polonnaruwa Statue and visit the Gal Vihare which is splendid statues of the Buddha carved out of rock.

Overnight stay at hotel in Habarana.

Day 4: Dambulla
Breakfast at hotel.Leave for visit Dambulla.Visit Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. The largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the rock from which the caves were carved towers 160 meters (520 ft) over the surrounding plains. A total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses also stand in the site.Leave for Kandy.En route in Matale visit a spice garden to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous 3 for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger. It grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand.In the evening enjoy a cultural dance show.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

Day 5:Peradeniya
Breakfast at hotel.Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, at Peradeniya, which is about 5.5 km before the city of Kandy and attracts over 2 million visitors annually, consisting of both locals as and tourists. It’s renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids and over 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. 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. Make a sightseeing tour of Kandy. Visit the upper lake, an arts and crafts work shop, oriental market place, a bazaar and a gem lapidary where you can see how rough gems (particularly the famous Blue & Star sapphires) are mined cut and polished using traditional methods.Late afternoon visit the Temple of tooth relic, for the evening ceremony, the stunning 17th century Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha himself. This precious relic attracts white-clad pilgrims, bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani, every day.Overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

Day 6: Nuwara eliya
Breakfast at hotel.Leave for Nuwara eliya, known as “Little England”. En route see the mountains covered with tea bushes and cascading waterfalls.En route visit a tea plantation and a tea factory. Where the best tea in the world is produced.Watch the tea pluckers pick two leaves and a bud with deft hands. Then to the factory where the all-important conversion to “made” black tea happens. The machinery used is of very traditional British design, some as old as 100 years. The process is a very artisanal one,unchanged for a century. Observe the process of manufacturing tea, tea grading and taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea.

Overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 7: Yala
Breakfast at hotel. Leave for Yala.En route visit Rawana Ella Water Fall.Visit spectacular Ella gap in the southern mountain wall where the land falls away in a dizzy drop of 3000 ft (915m), to the southern plains and the sea, which is visible in the far distance on a clear day.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kataragama / Yala.

Day 8: Yala
Breakfast at hotel. Morning at leisure. Afternoon make a jeep safari at the Yala National Park to see the wild life. Yala is the largest in Sri Lanka and is home to wild elephants, wild boars, wild buffaloes,leopards, bears, deer and crocodiles. Large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds are also found here.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kataragama /Yala.

Day 9:
After breakfast leave for Beach Hotel.Travel through Tangalle and Matara.At Koggala see the stilt fishermen, fishing seated on poles mounted.Check in at hotel.Visit the Galle Fort.Galle Fort is the finest and most intact fortified city build by the former European colonial powers in Asia. The narrow streets of Galle Fort are lined with Dutch merchant villas,pillared verandas, carved doors and windows. British and Dutch period offices are still in use. This is a living world heritage city with residents walking the 300 year old ramparts at sunset. Strolling along the high rampart walls you will see the Old Dutch and English churches, the Governor's house, the massive VOC warehouses, the Square of Courts, the elegant pillared facade of the Old Dutch hospital, the Portuguese Black Fort,the lighthouse, the Clock Tower and much more.

Overnight stay at Beach Hotel in Bentota Area.

Day 10 - 13: Bentota Area
Breakfast at hotel.Day at leisure.Overnight stay at Beach Hotel in Bentota Area.

Day 14: Depart
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Colombo airport for onward flight.