TOUCH OF ANCIENT KINGDOM (06 DAYS - 05 NIGHTS)

TOUR ITINERARY

Day 01: AIRPORT - NEGOMBO

Arrive in Sri Lanka. Clients will be welcomed by representatives of Asian Escapes & transferred to Negombo.
Overnight stay at a HOTEL IN NEGOMBO

Day 02: NEGOMBO-SIGIRIYA

After breakfast leave for Sigiriya.
En route visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage - App. 55 miles from Colombo, off the Colombo - Kandy road is Pinnawela, where an orphanage was started in 1975 to house the abandoned and the wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased to more than 85 now; including Baby Elephants brought from various parts, as well as the 23 babies born, as a result of the captive breeding programme. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 0930-1000 hrs and 1330-1400 hrs and the bathing time from 1000-1030 hrs and 1400-1430 hrs when all the elephants are taken to the river close by.
Thereafter leave for Sigiriya & climb 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 03: SIGIRIYA-POLONNARUWA-SIGIRIYA

After breakfast proceed to Polonnaruwa & commence a sightseeing tour.
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 wall.
Evening proceed to Sigiriya.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya

Day 04: SIGIRIYA-KANDY

Optional: Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air ballooning program:
5.00 - 5.30am : Pick up from the Meeting Point and transport provided to take off point.
5.45am : Meet the pilot, Balloon Prep, Safety Briefing, Inflation
6.00am : Board the Hot Air Balloon for a magical balloon flight for approximately 1 hr.
6.45 am to 7.20am :Pilot lands the balloon in an appropriate place.
7.20am to 8.00am : Crew packs balloon away while you the passengers enjoy a Champagne/Sparkling Wine Toast and Fruit Juice.Pilot issues your very own Flight Certificates.
8.30am - 9.00am : Return to the points that you were picked up from with the The Perfect Gift, The Perfect Adventure!
After breakfast at the hotel leave for Dambulla & visit Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla - Dambulla is famous for the five cave Temples 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.
Thereafter leave for Kandy via Matale by visiting Spice Garden
Spice Gardens at Matale – You will see many spice gardens at Matale and in Mawanella on the Colombo-Kandy road where Cinnamon, Cardamom, Pepper Creepers and all other spice trees, plants and creepers are planted for visitors to see them. Spice products are also available for those who would like to buy them. At all Spice Gardens visitors are taken round explaining each tree and plant and at the end explaining the use of them food preparations.
On arrival, commence a city tour in Kandy. Evening witness a Cultural Dance.
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.
To Buddhist of Sri Lanka and the world, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the ‘Dalada Maligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
Overnight stay at a Hotel in Kandy

Day 05: KANDY - COLOMBO

After breakfast leave for Colombo
En route visit a Tea Factory to see the process of making the world best Ceylon Tea
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.
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 06: COLOMBO-AIRPORT

After breakfast & transfer to the Bandaranayke International Airport for the flight back.

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