|Wonders of Asia-||Angkor Wat||Borobudur||Forbidden City||Great Wall of China||Meenakshi Temple||Petronas Towers||Taj Mahal|
Destination : Colombo - Polonnaruwa - Habarana - - Sigiriya & Dambulla Dambulla - Kandy - - Pinnawela - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Ratnapura - Colombo - Departure
Duration : 08 Days Tour
May You Have A Long & Healthy Life!
Day 01 : Arrival - Colombo
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car. Transfer to Galle Face Regency Hotel.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to Sri Lanka & thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Galle Face Regency Hotel is situated in the heart of the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. An oasis of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city by the side of the Indian Ocean. The Galle Face, hailed as a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, retains the dignified and polite atmosphere that gave it such fame in the colonial age. Sympathetic renovations and refurbishments are helping to protect its historic status in more demanding times. The Sea spray restaurant, specialising in fish, is blessed by an ocean frontage. There is nowhere better place to watch a Colombo sunset than from its immaculate terrace and gardens. Overnight at Galle Face Regency Hotel (Oceanic Deluxe)
Day 02 : Colombo
Following a leisurely breakfast we proceed on a sightseeing tour of Colombo. We drive through the commercial and city centre area known as the "Fort", built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. A highlight would be a visit to the bustling and colourful markets and bazaars of Pettah; the National Museum with its fine collection of lovely antiques and art of Sri Lanka. Drive past town hall, Independence square, the B.M.I.C.H (International Convention Centre) and Cinnamon gardens residential area. We also visit the Zoological gardens at Dehiwala and enroute to your hotel visit a Buddhist and a Hindu Temple.
Rest of the day is at leisure, you may choose to be at the beach or you could explore some of the shopping options. My suggestion would be the 'House Of fashion' where you could buy a wide range of outfits at a great price.
If you love eating, my suggestion would be to try out the hotel's fine dining restaurant called '1864'. This place has fine tuned dinning to an art with fish being imported as far off as from Australia. However, this is just a suggestion.
Evening you may wander along Galle Face. This is the sea front of Colombo where scores of middle class Sri Lankans arrive for a small picnic. They either bring their own food or could make inexpensive buys from the several inexpensive food stalls that dot the walkway along the shore. Little family's huddle in small groups, children fly kites or play soft football. The several inflatable toys add colour and atmosphere to the place. Of course the lovely sea breeze does relax one.
Overnight at Galle Face Regency Hotel (Oceanic Deluxe)
Day 03 : Colombo - Polonnaruwa - Habarana
This morning we drive to Habarana en route touring Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa is the glory of mediaeval Sri Lanka is seen at Polonnaruwa, the mediaeval capital of the Island. Polonnaruwa used by the Sri Lankan kings as a 'country residence' from the 7th century became the Island's capital in the 11th century AD. Within the ramparts of the Royal Citadel are the ruins of the King's palace,the Council Chamber and the Royal Bath.
The Buddha images at the Gal Vihara or the Rock Temple are masterpieces of stone sculpture. Parakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama is a giant man made irrigation reservoir. A visit to Polonnaruwa is incomplete without visiting the new archaeological museum opened by the Central Cultural Fund where the ancient glory of the city has been recreated in scale models.
Following the tour I suggest you to visit the very popular Lake View Restaurant for Lunch. Sitting across the tranquil lake you could have a nice grilled Seer fish (from the lake itself). Somehow the world seems to have stopped here with nothing modern in sight as you sit in peace and quite admiring nature.
Later we continue driving to Habarana. The latter half of the drive is along remote countryside where we will stop to interact with the locals as we stop to pick up some fruits from the farms or just walk into the villages.
Upon arrival, check into the exquisite Chaya Village (Formerly - Habarana Village). It is a village that lacks nothing of 21st century comforts; Chaya Village sits on a reservoir and is nestled under a canopy of ancient and magnificent tree cover. Deliberately designed into the environment, there's nothing lacking in terms of tree cover, bird life, and an aesthetic elegance that can only be obtained by those who recognise nature's ways and wisdom. There's much to feast the eyes on and many things to discover. At your own pace, as it slips into step with the relaxed and immemorial amble that is village life in Sri Lanka.
The hospitality and personalization of service would be specially noted here. A sincere and an honest effort would be made to know you and serve you individually. They attempt to make you feel wanted.Overnight at Chaya Village
Day 04 : Habarana - Sigiriya & Dambulla Dambulla - Kandy
This morning we drive to Sigiriya, which is a glowing tribute to the vision of King Kashyapa who created this 'Palace in the Sky' in the 5th century AD. On the summit of the Sigiriya rock (meaning the 'Lion Rock') that is over 1.5 hectares in extent is the remains of a large palace, the earliest surviving royal palace in Sri Lanka, with several chambers and a bathing pond. In a sheltered pocket of the giant rock are the celebrated paintings of 5th century AD, a few which is remaining from around 500 paintings that once covered the rock surface. Meticulously planned water gardens at the foot of the rock are the earliest such gardens found in Asia. The boulder gardens are a fine example of landscaping while conserving the environment. The Mirror Wall, which had been exposed to elements for over fifteen centuries still carry some of the original sheen that has given it the name. This archaeological site unparalleled in South Asia has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Later we drive to Dambulla. Upon arrival we tour the Dambulla Rock Temple, which is a magnificent gallery of Buddha images and wall and ceiling paintings not seen anywhere else in the Island. It is a complex of five cave temples with its origin going back to the Anuradhapura period (1st century BC). However due to additions and restorations done by various rulers over the past two thousand years what now remains are mostly the works of the Kandyan period (18th century).
During our journey out of Dambulla we will also have a chance to visit the wholesale vegetable market just outside the town. The hustle and bustle here would be a fascinating sight as traders and retailers bargain over prices and quality. We will also have an opportunity to stop at a fruit farm where you may taste farm fresh fruit juices - mango, Pineapple, avocado etc.
Following the tour we drive to Kandy. On our way, we would have an opportunity to witness typical Sri Lankan crafts. The art of batik printing can be seen as we visit a batik factory. Woodcarving is also a major art of Sri lanka and we would witness the performance of this art in our visit to a wood carving center.
As we ride on, we would also have an opportunity to tour a Spice garden. The air is rendered with the incredible aroma of a variety of spices. You would have an opportunity to witness not only spice farming undertaken by traditional tools and implements, but. Would have an opportunity to buy garden fresh spices at good prices. There are also massage oils available for body and joint pains. You could have an impromptu massage to check out the efficiency of the oil.
A highlight of our tour of Sri Lanka would be the witnessing of the Kandiyan dances this evening at an auditorium. The spectacular display of a wide range of dances is spell bounding. The colour, the vigour and the grace are amazing. Several martial dances too are performed. The highlight of course is the fire dance where dancers swallow fire, walk on fire and rub fire sticks on their body.Upon arrival check into Mahaweli Reach . Overnight at Hotel Mahaweli Reach
Day 05 : Kandy - Pinnawela - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of Kandy. The Hill Capital of Kandy was the last bastion of the Sinhala kings and is a charming city offering a living record of a magnificent past. Center of attraction in Kandy is the Dalada Maligawa, the temple housing the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. Kandy Lake enhances the charm of the City. Kandy is a romantic city any time of the year. We also visit to the Market Place, an art & crafts show room. Following this, we drive along the Upper lake road to get a panoramic view of the Kandy Lake and its environs. We continue driving to Peradeniya and visit the Botanical Gardens, where you can view a rare collection of tropical exotic and indigenous flora can be viewed and also famous Orchid House.
Following the tour of Kandy we drive to Nuwara Eliya en route we visit Pinnawela
Pinnawela is an interesting and amusing elephant orphanage. Pinnawela is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors are harmless.
Sri Lanka is the only country in the world to open elephant orphanages to protect the destitute young wild elephants. Young elephants left in the jungle without care are brought to this orphanage and tendered till they reach maturity. Interesting time to visit the orphanage is at the bathing time when the herd is brought to a river flowing close by or at feeding time to see the babies being bottle-fed.
From here we ride through incredible natural scenery to Nuwara-Eliya. As we gain elevation the vegetation of the region too changes as also the driving. Tea Gardens begin to appear on the slopes and waterfalls of various strengths appear frequently. The road to clings to the mountains as it twists and turn climbing all the way. The scenes of Terrace cultivation of tea and occasionally of Paddy are a very fascinating sight.
We would also stop at St. Clair Tea estate's restaurant for a 'garden fresh' cup of tea. You may choose from the various brands of flavour teas - we recommend 'Broken Orange Pekoe' for its flavour and body.
Upon arrival we check into your Golf Wing room of the Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel has a heritage exceeding a 100 years. The former residence of Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Sri Lanka from 1830 to 1850, and the Grand Hotel is an excellent example of a mansion from the Elizabethan era. It retains the stateliness and grandeur of a Colonial Mansion and rightfully claims its place as one of the best hill country hotels in Asia. Like a misplaced bit of Europe set in the centre of a tropical island, the hill country resort town of Nuwara Eliya nestles in a cradle formed by three mountains at an elevation of 6,182 feet (1,884 meters) above sea level
Rest of the evening is at leisure for your independent activities. You may choose to eat at the Continental restaurant in the basement or at the Indian restaurant across the Driveway. Overnight at Grand Hotel (Golf Wing)
Day 06 : Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Ratnapura
Early this morning with packed breakfast we drive to Hortan Plains.
Early this morning a 4WD takes you to Horton Plain. The drive is spectacular and the views on a clear day of the various terrace farms, meadows, and animal farms are spectacular. Once we reach Horton Plains we have two options. The first is driving back. On our way back we would stop at Ambewela farms for a wander to enjoy the breathtaking scenes. The farm has the finest of everything from their cattle to their pastures and technology. These Farms are set in lush green hills and blessed with cool climes and a pristine environment off Nuwara-Eliya. We would get back to Nuwara Eliya by lunchtime and have the afternoon at leisure with us for visits to markets or for nature walks.
The second option would be that you stay back at Horton Plains for an exciting 8 Kms trek. In case some members wish to trek they can do so, the rest could choose the first option. The trekkers would trek through the jungle and, with our expert advice, sample edible jungle berries. This wild, yet scenic landscape includes wild orchids, scarlet rhododendron, stunted trees with 'old man's beard' moss, dwarf marsh bamboo, stobilanthes, which bloom once every ten years, tree ferns, and many rare and endemic species of butterflies. Birds include jungle fowl, babblers, magpies, the Ceylon hill muniya, bull-blue flycatcher, pied bush chat, and the Sri Lanka whistling thrush.
This national park is the only one in Sri Lanka where walking is permitted. You may see sambar deer (more than 3000 live on Horton Plains), and monkeys, squirrels, wild cats and wild boar.
Sample the famous view at 'World's End' where the escarpment drops 3000 ft. to the 'Nagrak' tea estate and take a look at Bakers Waterfall.
Later in the afternoon, drive to the town of Ratnapura in the heart of the island's gem-mining region.Overnight In Ratnapura Hotel
Day 07 - 08 : Ratnapura
These two days are set aside for exploring Sinharaja and other rain forest sites in the heart of the wet zone. Because our hotel, which is the nearest suitable accommodation, is some distance away from Sinharaja, we'll need to make early starts to reach the forest for first light. The park's extensive birdlist includes all but one of the country's endemics and we have a good chance of seeing the majority of them, although some are easier to find than others. The ground-dwelling Sri Lanka Spurfowl require stealth and sharp eyes, whereas roving flocks of Ashy-headed Laughingthrushes and Orange-billed Babblers are much more obliging. Sri Lanka Mynas call loudly and clearly from exposed positions while Sri Lanka Hanging Parrots shriek past.
The exquisite Sri Lanka Magpie is a real gem, and with luck several will be seen here, and we'll also be keeping a sharp eye open for Red-faced Malkoha cavorting around the tangled vines and creepers. White-faced Starling may appear high up in the trees and the very elusive Chestnut-backed Owlet haunts the dense canopy. Multicoloured butterflies the size of saucers float in and out of the warm humid forest, which at times echoes to the excited calls of mixed-species bird flocks. Sinharaja will undoubtedly be a rewarding experience and possibly the highlight of the tour. Overnight at Hotel In Ratnapura
Day 08 : Ratnapura - Colombo - Departure
Following a leisurely breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight back home.
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We do hope the flavor of Sri Lanka will remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"