Arrival at Colombo International Airport. Here, you will be met by a designated chauffer guide from Lakpura Travels. After the formalities at the airport you will be escorted to your air conditioned Car and proceed to Negombo. (Travel Time - 20 to 30 mins)
Negombo is a modest beach town located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable (though polluted) beach, Negombo is a much easier place to get your Sri Lankan feet than Colombo. The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days. The busy centre of Negombo town lies to the west of the bus and train stations. Most places to stay, however, line the main road that heads north from the town centre, running almost parallel to the beach.
After having breakfast from the Hotel proceed to Anuradhapura.
On the way to Anuradhapura visit Yapahuwa one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka. The citadel of Yapahuwa lying midway between Kurunagala and Anuradhapura was built around a huge granite rock rising abruptly almost a hundred meters above the surrounding lowlands.
Then proceed to Anuradhapura
Although people may have lived in this area since as early as the 10th century BC, Anuradhapura became a great city after the arrival of a cutting from the Bodhi Tree ('tree of enlightenment'), the Buddha's fig tree, in the 3rd century BC. The sacred branch was brought to Sri Lanka by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura went on to become a Ceylonese political and religious capital (4th century BC) that flourished for 1,300 years. In its prime, Anuradhapura ranked alongside Nineveh and Babylon in its colossal proportions—its four walls, each 16 miles (26 km) long, enclosing an area of 256 square miles (663 km²)—in the number of its inhabitants, and the splendor of its shrines and public buildings. The city also had some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. Most of the great reservoir tanks still survive today, and some may be the oldest surviving reservoirs in the world.
The ruins of Anuradhapura are one of South Asia’s most evocative sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas, soaring brick towers, ancient pools and crumbling temples, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka. Today several of the sites remain in use as holy places and temples; frequent ceremonies give Anuradhapura a vibrancy that’s a sharp contrast to the ambience at Polonnaruwa. Current-day Anuradhapura is a rather pleasant albeit sprawling city. Mature trees shade the main guesthouse areas, and the main street is orderly compared to the ugly concrete agglomerations elsewhere.
Day 3 : Anuradhapura / Mihintale / Ritigala / Habarana
After having breakfast proceed to Habarana. Visit Mihintale Mountain a hisoricsal place, with the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka began to serve as a residential area for the venerable monks headed by Arahath Mahinda Mahathera. But soon, with the royal patronage, the sanctuary housed a multitude of with monastic buildings-stupas, uposathgharas, bodhigharas- to serve the monks. Sixty eight cave dwellings provided the monks shade and shelter. Mihintale, the sanctuary for many thousands of laymen as well as holy men, had all the facilities and amenities for basic living.
Continue to Habarana and check-in to the hotel. In the evening visit Sigiriya. One of Asia’s major archaeological sites, Sigiriya presents a unique concentration of fifth-century urban planning, architecture, gardening, engineering, hydraulic technology and art. Sigiriya was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
On completion of the journey, return to Habarana and spend the night in the hotel
Day 4 : Habarana / Polonnaruwa / Minneriya / Habarana
After having breakfast visit the ancient kingdom Pollanaruwa.
When early in the 11th century AD Anuradhapura suffered one of the worst of its many Indian invasions, Polonnaruwa became the next seat of rule. The city in its day was fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with parks and gardens and sanctified by many a shrine and sacred place. The city itself as well as the surrounding plain was watered by an irrigational network of man-made lakes and canals. One of the ancient reservoirs is so vast it was named Sea of Parakrama after the King Parakrambahu the great who built it. Today, while the buildings are preserved ruins, ancient reservoirs are renovated and made to re-irrigate the agricultural district of Polonnaruwa and surrounding areas as in the glorious days of Polonnaruwa. Then go to Minnneriya national park to do a safari. Minneriya National Park affords the opportunity to sight herds of Elephants throughout the year. Wild elephants from the surrounding wilderness, make their way to the shores of the Minneriya Reservoir adjoining the Minneriya National Park in search of food and water. Huge herd of elephants, sometimes numbering up to 300, converge together within a few square kilometers of the lake. This Elephant Gathering is a thrilling spectacle that would be remembered for rest of the life of all those who were fortunate to witness it.
After having breakfast visit the ancient city of Dambulla.
Dambulla Rock Temple is a magnificent Gallery of Buddha images and wall and ceiling paintings. It is a complex of five cave temples with its origin going back to the Anuradhapura period (1st century BC). Thereafter proceed to Kandy via Matale. Visit a Spice Garden in Matale to see many different spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from Kandy, the Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed.
Continue to Kandy. Kandy, a world heritage site, is home to numerous Buddhist temples including the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Set in a valley surrounded by rings of mountains, the city of Kandy is the gateway to the Salubrious hill country of Sri Lanka. In the evening enjoy a cultural show of Traditional Dances.
* transport cost may vary depending upon the no. of persons. * Mentioned prices may vary depending upon date of travel, hotel availability, surge pricing and seasonal rush.
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