Pick-up you from the hotel in Colombo and proceed to Sinharaja and check-in to the hotel which is located near Sinharaja Rainforest.
In the evening proceed to sinharaja rainforest
Sinharaja Rain Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the last viable remnant of Sri Lanka’s tropical lowland rainforest spanning an area of 18900 acres is located within Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces of the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is bounded by rivers on three sides. On the north, Sinharaja is bounded by the Napola Dola and Koskulana Ganga. On the south and south-west are the rivers Maha Dola and Gin Ganga. On the west are the river Kalukandawa Ela and river Kudawa Ganga. To the east of Sinharaja is an ancient footpath near Beverley Tea Estate and by the Denuwa Kanda. Sinharaja Forest reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.
Meteorological records gathered from in and around Sinharaja over the last 60 years reveal the annual rainfall of Sinharaja Forest has ranged between 3614mm to 5006mm and temperatures from 19°C to 34°C. The high rainfall is owing to two monsoons: south-west monsoons during May-July and the north-east monsoons during November-January
After breakfast on this day, proceed to Udawalawe that morning and check in to the hotel.
Later that evening go on jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park.
Udawalawe National Park is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco-tourism destination in Sri Lanka. The 30,821 hectares dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4°C. It is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants– feeding or bathing and playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.
After visiting the Udawalawe National Park proceed back to the hotel and relax.
Nuwara Eliya is set in the heart of tea-country is a beautiful town where the British succeeded in creating a replica of the English countryside, with homes in styles from Georgian to Queen Anne. Well-kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican church, a famous golf course and beautiful parks give the place an air of nostalgia. Situated 6,200 feet above sea level, the air is cool and fresh – a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city life. On completion, return to the hotel.
After an early breakfast, visit Horton Plains in the morning.
Horton Plains is a beautiful, silent, strange world with some excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second- and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m). The ‘plains’ themselves form an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife. The plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. Unless you get there early the view from World’s End is often obscured by mist, particularly during the rainy season from April to September. The early morning (between 6am and 10am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in. That’s when you’ll spy toy-town tea plantation villages in the valley below, and an unencumbered view south towards the coast. In the evening and early morning you’ll need long trousers and a sweater, but the plains warm up quickly, so take a hat for sun protection.
After Horton plains, proceed back to the hotel and relax. Later that evening go on sightseeing tour in Nuwara Eliya.
After the breakfast proceed to Kandy. En-route visit to tea factory. There are many factories open for visitors which also have tea sales outlets.
Visit a Tea Factory and a plantation where you would see how the world’s famous “Ceylon Tea” is manufactured. In 1824 a tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from China and was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya for non-commercial purposes. James Taylor was a British citizen who introduced commercial tea plantation in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). He arrived to Sri Lanka in 1852 and settled down in Loolecondera estate in Kandy. Today even people who have never heard of Sri Lanka are familiar with Ceylon tea, which is known for its quality.
On completion proceed to Kandy,go on a city and shopping tour and then visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic
Temple of the Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the City of Kandy. It is considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist World. According to legend, the tooth was taken from the Buddha as he lay on his funeral pyre. It immediately became an object of great reverence and was enshrined in a series of nested jeweled reliquaries. On the outside, the temple buildings are not magnificent or elaborately decorated. While with red roofs, they cluster around Kandy Lake. In striking contrast to the plain exterior, the interiors of the temple buildings are richly carved and decorated with inlaid woods, ivory and lacquer. The relic of the tooth is kept in a two story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks.
After visiting the Temple of the Tooth Relic, proceed to enjoy the Cultural Dance Show.
Cultural Dance Show – Be escorted to a performance of the traditional Kandyan dance, accompanied by tumultuous drumming. Dances include the cobra dance, mask dance, the Ginisila, showing power over fire. The entire frenetic and colourful spectacle climaxes with the amazing fire-walking act
Royal botanical garden of Peradeniya, renowned for its variety of plants which are, ornamental, decorative, useful & medicinal. More than 4000 species include indigenous and introduced plants. This garden is best known for its collection of orchids which is the largest in Asia.
Thereafter proceed to Pinnawala Elephant Orphange.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is the home for young Elephants who have been displaced or lost from their natural habitat, located at Pinnawala village in Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is the best place for an up close and personal experience with the world’s largest land mammals! Today with 70 elephants herein, Pinnawela has become the home to the largest captive group of elephants in the world.
Feeding time at 9:15 am.
Euphoria Spice and Herbal is located 12 km away from Matale (The spice capital of Sri Lanka). Enriched with herbs, spice groves and plants with fragrant greenery shading from the tropical trees that enlightens the unique aroma of each spice and herb. We give the opportunity for our visitors to explore and gain knowledge on Sri Lankan spices, herbs and the benefits of Ayurveda. The tropical climate in which our plants and herbs are grown helps them preserve its ancient originality. The educational tour around the garden, which we call “The Spice Tour”, let the visitors feel the sensation of the Sri Lankan spices and herbs which is demonstrated in different foreign languages to suit our customer need.
On completion proceed to Dambulla.
Dambulla Cave Temple is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that king Valagambahu took refuge in the 01st century B.C. He later turned the caves into a rock temple. Dambulla is a world heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and ceiling found here are over 2000 years old and is the largest area of painting found in the world. The caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters. After visiting the Dambulla cave Temple.
Day 8 : Habarana / Sigiriya / Minneriya / Habarana
After breakfast proceed to Sigiriya.
Sigiriya - Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you'll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way you'll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and quiet shrines – and the excellent site museum, only add to Sigiriya's rock-star appeal.
On completion return to the hotel and relax.
Later that evening go on a lovely jeep safari at Minneriya National Park.
Minneriya National Park - This national park is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants, which are often present in huge numbers, and wading birds. Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, the park has plenty of scrub, forest and wetlands in its 88.9 sq km to also provide shelter for toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo, crocodiles and leopards (the latter are very rarely seen however). The dry season, from May to September, is reckoned to be the best time to visit (as by then water in the tank has dried up, exposing grasses and shoots to grazing animals). Elephants, which can number 200 or more, come to feed and bathe during what is known as ‘the Gathering’; and flocks of birds, such as little cormorants, painted storks, herons and large pelicans all fish in the shallow waters.
Mihinatale - This somnolent village and temple complex, 13km east of Anuradhapura, holds a special place in the annals of Sri Lankan lore. In 247 BC King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura was hunting a stag on Mihintale Hill when he was approached by Mahinda, son of the great Indian Buddhist emperor, Ashoka. Mahinda tested the king’s wisdom and, considering him to be a worthy disciple, promptly converted the king on the spot. Mihintale has since been associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
Thereafter 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.
After breakfast proceed to Wilpattu to do a jeep safari.
Wilpattu National Park, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka span an area of no less than 131,693 hectares which is situated in the dry zone, and is unlike any other wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka. A unique complex of over 50 wetlands called “Villu” is the most prominent topographical feature of the national park. Wilpattu National Park is located 25km north of Puttalam or 30km west of Anurdhapura. The park that lies on the northwest coast spans the border between North Central Province and North Western Province of Sri Lanka.
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