Colombo- Habarana- Kandy- Nuwara Eliya- Colombo

Sri Lanka for long has been described by travelers as the “PEARL OF THE INDIAN OCEAN”. Seductive beaches, magnificent landscapes featuring lazy lagoons, fertile wetlands, imposing mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife, inspiring heritage sites from ancient cities to colonial forts, a vibrant culture including fine arts, crafts, grand festivals and people of diverse ethnicity. This tour concentrates on the most amazing architectural masterpieces of Sri Lanka. Visit Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s first capital, founded in the 5th century B.C., the sacred mountain of Mihintale, 600 ft high rock-fortress of Sigiriya, the 11th to 13th century capital of Polonnaruwa, much revered Temple of the Tooth relic in Kandy, tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya.

On arrival in Colombo, you will be met and continue on your drive to Habarana, a small village, centrally located for all the ancient city sites. One hour elephant back safari through the jungles of Habarana. Brief stop in the jungle and taste some delicious seasonal fruits served with mineral water or soft drinks. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning excursion to Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s first capital, founded in the 5th century B.C. Attractions worth seeing are:- The Sacred Bo Tree, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanaramaya, Brazen Palace, Thuparama Dagaba, Samadhi Buddha, Kuttam Pokuna and Mirisavati Dagaba. Afternoon visit Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Mihintale is the mountain from where the Aryan Sinhalese took flight to a still superior civilization by way of the gentle sway of Buddhism. The sacred mountain of Mihintale is considered the location where Buddhism was first introduced to the island of Sri Lanka. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya, a mighty 600 ft high rock-fortress of a 5th century King, famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes which are found in a sheltered pocket of the rock. Proceed to Polonnaruwa visiting en route a village house to witness the rural life style. Afternoon visit the 11th to 13th century capital of Polonnaruwa, with comparatively brief and uncomplicated history (two centuries and a dozen rulers, in contrast with 1,400 years and 123 kings of Anuradhapura). The age of the city’s foundation is not known with any certainty. Visit to Gal Vihara and the magnificent group of statues, built by king Parakramabahu (1153-1186). After the visit, transfer to Polonnaruwa Rest House which is located near the massive lake of “Parakarama Samudraya” for a lovely evening tea with cookies. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning depart for Kandy stopping en route in Matale. Visit a Spice Garden called “Ranweli Spice Garden” and learn about the spices. Enjoy a demonstration on how to prepare a traditional vegetable curry with spices. Savor rice and curry lunch in the spice garden. Brief visit to a Batik Factory to witness the fabulous hand work designs on batik fabrics. Tour of Kandy city in the evening including a visit to the Temple of the much revered Temple of the Tooth relic. Also witness a Cultural Performance. Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy is the most venerated place of worship for Buddhists throughout the world. Built in the 16th century this temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province in ancient India in the 4th century AD. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning drive to Nuwara Eliya visiting en route the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage in time to witness the bathing and bottle feeding of the baby elephants. This popular attraction, established as a sanctuary covering 25 acres of lush forest by the Sri Lankan Government in 1975, is unique. Its purpose is to feed, nurse and house young elephants lost or abandoned by their mothers. Recently the sanctuary has also started a breeding program. Continue the uphill drive to Nuwara Eliya visit en route Ramboda Falls. Stop at a tea factory and enjoy a demonstration on tea plucking. Afternoon tour of Nuwara Eliya. This town seems like a piece of English district. Tudor’s style and Victorian homes look across the blue lake. These buildings are the other architectural monuments to the English, the Post Office, the English country house like Hill Club with its hunting pictures, mounted hunting trophies and fish, Anglican Church and private residence. The Golf course here is one of the best in Asia. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Drive to Colombo airport and connect flight back home.

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