BUDDHIST TOUR - 2 (6 Nights - 7 Days)
Day 01: AIRPORT-COLOMBO
Arrive in Sri Lanka. Clients will be welcomed by representatives of Asian Escapes & transferred to Colombo.
Visit Kelaniya Temple.
Kelaniya Temple - Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. According to the chronicles the Stupa at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.
The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and paintings which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales.
Proceed to Colombo.
Colombo – is the business and commercial center and the new capital is Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte, which is only a few miles away. Colombo was only a small seaport, which came into prominence in the 16th Century with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 and the development of it as a major Harbour during the British period and became the capital in 1815 after Kandy was ceded to the British.
The remains of the buildings during the period and the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule are found in every area of the city. None of the Portuguese & Dutch fortifications are found today but some of their buildings and churches could be seen in the Fort & Pettah areas.
Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area where there is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Kaymans Gate with the Belfry at the original gate to enter the Fort, the Dutch Church of Wolfendhaal dating back to 1749, Davatagaha Mosque, Colombo Museum and the Natural History Museum are some of the sites to be visited. Also visit the BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall), see the replica of Avukana Buddha and the Independence Square.
Overnight stay at hotel in Colombo.
Day 02: COLOMBO-ADAMS PEAK-NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast proceed to Adams peak
Since the peak is crowned by the impression of a gigantic footprint, which is venerated by pilgrims of all religions. Buddhists pay homage to it as that of Lord Buddha, made during his third visit to the island. NB* The season for the Adam’s Peak climb is Full Moon day of December till full moon day in May. If you are travelling in the off season, the climb will be a day climb and return to Dalhousie on the day. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya Nuwara Eliya – The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island, but is really just like an England spring day although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence. Houses are like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions. Overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.
Day 03: NUWARA ELIYA - KANDY
After breakfast leave for Kandy
Visit Tea Plantation & Tea Factory
*Tea Factory & *Tea Plantation - Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, when a few plants were brought from China. More were introduced from Assam in 1839. In 1867 a Scottish Planter named James Taylor planted tea seedlings on an 8 hectares of forest land, in the Loolcondura Estate. In 1873, the tea export industry of Sri Lanka began with a modest 23lbs being shipped to London. Tea will grow well only on rolling terrain and is classified be elevation into low grown, medium grown, high grown, into 3 main groups. In 1996 Sri Lanka has produced 258 million kgs. of tea and has earned Rs. 34,068 million by exporting 244 million kgs. of tea.
Do city tour of Kandy, including Upper Lake Drive, Market Square, Arts & Crafts Centre, Gem Museum. *Kandy - the hill capital, venue of the annual Perahera. The last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Kandy is an example of the Buddhism's influence in Sri Lanka today. Temple's shrines and monasteries keeping alive Buddhist traditions are everywhere.
Visit *Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha's Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess' hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka's most prized possession.
Overnight stay at a HOTEL IN KANDY
Day 04: KANDY-SIGIRIYA
After breakfast proceed to Sigiriya
Visit Dambulla cave temple - Dambulla is famous for the five caves Temple on a rock. The first 03 caves are better, older and larger than the other two. Some caves dates to 1st C.B.C. All the 5 cave walls and ceilings are covered with Buddhist murals and there are more than 130 Buddha statues, statues of Gods and Kings are also found here.
Proceed to Sigiriya rock fortress
Sigiriya - King Kassapa ( 477-495 A.D) who shifted the Capital from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya made a fortress to surround his palace, which was constructed on the summit of a 500ft high rock, with necessary facilities. The Palace was surrounded by an outer-moat and wall and Inner - moat and wall pleasure garden, Mirror-wall, light coloured and dark coloured damsel’s frescoes, to cover the western wall and a beautiful staircase through the body of a Crouching Lion are some of the attractions here.
Overnight stay at a HOTEL IN SIGIRIYA
Day 05: SIGIRIYA-POLONNARUWA-ANURADHAPURA
After breakfast proceed to Polonnaruwa.
Polonnaruwa – another “World Heritage Site” was the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th - 13th Centuries, contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihare - a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues, two seated, one standing and one reclining and Parakrama Bahu statue are examples of Sinhalese stone carver. The Vata-da-ge is a unique creation of the Sri Lankan artists. The medieval capital was fortified with inner & outer moats and inner & outer walls. The Parakrama Samudra is on the western side of the city. The Royal Palace, Audience Hall and other buildings in the inner city were enclosed by another tall.
Proceed to Anuradhapura Anuradhapura - This “City of Ruins” and home for the “Tree of Enlightenment”, popularly known as “The Sri Maha Bodhi”, is not only one of the most sacred places for the Buddhists but also a great Tourist destination. This city has so much to offer to the Pilgrims and Tourists alike. Among the important sites are the great white and fine Ruvanweli Seya (Dagoba / Stupa), the small but important Thupārama Dagoba, Huge 75m high Abhayagiri Dagoba, 70m high Jetavanarama Dagoba, the Brazen Palace which had been a nine story building of which the roof was bronze built on 1600 stone pillars (now only the stone pillars are to be seen) etc. This vast area that has been hidden away in the thick jungle for a long time and now turned into one large garden has ruins of so many Temples, Palaces, Monasteries, Monuments and other important places of interest to be seen.
Overnight stay at a HOTEL IN ANURADHAPURA
Day 06: ANURADHAPURA - NEGOMBO
After breakfast proceed to Negombo.
Leisure at the hotel in Negombo.
Overnight stay at hotel in Negombo.
Day 07: NEGOMBO-AIRPORT
After breakfast & transfer to the Bandaranayke International Airport for the flight back.