Cultural Highlights of Srilanka
DAY 1 : Arrive Colombo
You will be met upon arrival by TNW Travels representative and chauffeured to your hotel.
DAY 2 : Drive from Colombo to Pinnawala and onward to Sigiriya
Breakfast at hotel and transfer from Colombo to Pinnawala to experience the activities of Elephants.
As you enter the 25 acre coconut property, do not be surprised to witness baby elephants being bottle fed or moving around freely causing absolutely no harm to anyone. It is rightly a sincere sight to observe how these gentle giants – orphaned and sometimes three-legged – are taken care of since 1975 at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Up to date, over 20 calves have been born here, and it is surprising to hear that some of its inmates have even seen their grand children during the past few decades! Watch as they feed at 9:15 am, 1:15 pm & 5:00 pm and take a river bath twice a day at 10:00 am & 2:00 pm respectively for an experience that could never be felt anywhere else on earth!
The 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site – Sigiriya Rock– doesn’t only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering & urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art & culture. Step through the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ – overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below – to comprehend the absolute splendor that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts & moats the Lion Rock – resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’ – is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent ‘mirror wall’ embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti. Wander into the well-fabricated museum downstairs for an epic journey of yesteryears to realize how the citadel floated ab
ove citizens with the castle, ponds and irrigation systems that pumped water right onto its summit with an ingenious hydraulic system describing a colossal masterpiece of the great king which remained a wonder in Asia for centuries.
Overnight Stay at Hotel.
DAY 3 : Sigiriya to Habarana-Matale-Kandy
Breakfast at Hotel and later transfer from Sigiriya to Habarana
Morning Hiriwaduna village Trek (Bullock cart and village activity)
Guests leave early morning with a packed breakfast for Hiriwaduna for a 03 hour trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village. The trek begins with a scenic walk along a bund of a Wewa (man-made reservoir). The amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of the trek. Sight the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Initially one wades through a shallow stream and thereafter crosses a wider tributary in a catamaran of an obliging farmer to inspect Chena cultivation (slash and burn agriculture).
Later transfer to Matale
An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden – into which you will be most welcome – and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend sometime idling on the hardened streets if you mean a real town adventure filled with voices and colors.
Lunch at Local Restaurant and drive to Kandy.
Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts centre, as well as a gem museum & lapidary.walk in color as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market. Fine tube your evening by stepping to the beat of traditional music & drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka.
Overnight Stay at Hotel.
DAY 4 : Drive from Kandy-Tea Plantation-Nuwaraeliya
Breakfast at hotel and later transfer to Tea Plantation.
Sri Lanka, Tea and Tourism are words which cannot be separated. Take a tour to the cold & misty hills that take pride of an ultimate tea tour, covering lush green blankets of tea plantations. Or just step into a tea factory processing the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea, to observe a rich tradition kept alive up to date. As you observe the hissing and swishing of machines, inhaling the heavenly scent arising from these facilities, make sure to end your day in style over a perfectly blended cup of pure Ceylon Tea.
Transfer from Tea Plantation to Nuwara Eliya Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breathtaking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet. Drive through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright-colored saris. Or rent a bike for a gentle ride along the banks splashed by the waters of Lake Gregory.
Lunch at Local Restaurant
Overnight Stay at hotel
DAY 5 : Nuwaraeliya to Kitulgala – Koggala
Breakfast at hotel and later transfer from Nuwara Eliya to Kitulgala (Water Rafting activity)
Showered by two monsoons each year, Kitulgala – the destination of ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ – marks an important landmark in many calendars as one of the wettest places in Sri Lanka. If adventure close to Colombo is your pick, then Kitulgala is your bliss! Grab your gear and toss into the wild rapids for a seamless rafting challenge on white water, thundering downstream throwing rafters far & wide. Hop from rock to rock upstream for a mind-blowing waterfall jump that should strain your voice to the core or slide down to the darkest depths of caves haunted by millions of bats. If hardcore adventurism is not for you, then simply trek along the beaten track to admire the immaculate beauty of the wilderness.
Transfer from Kitulgala to Koggala
Koggala an unexplored piece of haven with so much has the benefit of both the ocean and the lake. Located in the south coast, Koggala Lake is the biggest in the island. Surrounded by thick mangroves and speckled with rocky islands, its a paradise for bird watchers. The sands are more welcoming to turtles and even have a turtle hatchery. An opportunity to release new born turtles back in to the ocean might be yours. Apart from these activities, a visit to the famed Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum is a must to any traveller in Koggala.
Lunch at Local Restaurant
Overnight Stay at hotel
DAY 6 : Koggala to Galle and onward to Colombo Airport
Breakfast at hotel and later, transfer from Koggala to Galle
Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries. Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. Hop into the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex to be mesmerized by an array of souvenir selections. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!
Transfer from Galle to Colombo
The throbbing metropolis, Colombo – located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City – an offshore city – featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards ‘Arcade’ facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the ‘walk-over fish tank’, have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka. Have a chilled beer at the Dutch Hospital while gazing through fancy windows showcasing best fashion, jewelry & handicraft brands. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo’s night life spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you’re lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!
Transfer from Colombo to Airport for your onward flight home.
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