You will be picked up in Colombo by our chauffeur and will be driven to Anuradhapura, the heritage capitol of Sri Lanka which is five hours away from capitol Colombo. Upon arrival in Anuradhapura, Check in to the bungalow, situated on the shores of the Tissawewa, set in a large tree-filled garden, is a small elegantly simple bungalow that reflects the serenity of the Great ancient Stupas that can be seen, day and night, across the water.
Anuradhapura is the first capital of Sri Lanka located in north central province of Sri Lanka. It is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka which was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. Due to its ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization UNESCO named it as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 under the name of Sacred City of Anuradhapura.
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 (brick stupas), 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 museum-like ambience at Polonnaruwa.
Current-day Anuradhapura is a pleasant albeit sprawling city; a small town that feels more like a large village. There`s loads of good budget accommodation, easy bike hire and a relaxed pace, making it a good place to spend an extra day.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Anuradhapuara
Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka.The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination.The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains.The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years. Since 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery.
In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here.The main entrance is located in the northern side of the rock. It was designed in the form of a huge stone lion, whose feet have survived up to today but the upper parts of the body were destroyed.The western wall of Sigiriya was almost entirely covered by frescoes, created during the reign of Kasyapa. Eighteen frescoes have survived to this day.The frescoes are depicting nude females and are considered to be either the portraits of Kasyapa`s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals. Despite the unknown identity of the females depicted in the frescoes, these unique ancient paintings are celebrating female beauty and have incredible historical significance.One of the most striking features of Sigiriya is its Mirror wall. In the old days it was polished so thoroughly that the king could see his reflection in it. The Mirror wall is painted with inscriptions and poems written by the visitors of Sigiriya.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya
After breakfast, you will depart to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa.
Sri Lanka`s second most ancient kingdom, Polonnaruwa, became the capital of Sri Lanka following the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993 AD. Built by King Parakramabahu I, this urban green city has seen numerous civilisations journeying through this kingdom including the Cholas, South Indian Hindu and Buddhist Sinhalese, between the 12th and 13th centuries.Brimming with archeologically treasures, the city is dotted with temples, shrines, palaces and ruins. Explore the royal palace from the period of King Parakramabahu I (1153 – 1186). Once a massive structure with 50 rooms, today impressive walls still stand strong.
Lion sculptures guard the stairs to the king`s audience hall, where intricately carved stone elephants line the walls and the king`s swimming pool with large crocodile mouth statues spout fresh water. Built of stone, Shiva Devale No.2, the oldest Hindu temple in Polonnaruwa is tucked away in a small forest clearing.
An impressive collection of ruins forms the sacred quadrangle and in the middle is the vatadage with four entrances leading to the place where the Sacred Tooth Relic was once housed. Explore the large stupa Rankot Vihara and the monks’ quarters. A tribute built to the king`s queen, Dagaba Kiri Vihara is a perfectly preserved dagaba, lovingly repainted by devotees prior to the Vesak Poya every year Marvel at the massive 17m (55ft) Buddha statue at Lankatilaka and end your explorations in front of four Buddha figures at Gal Vihara, cut from one slab of granite.
Overnight stay at Polonnaruwa.
Today you will drive towards to visit the Dambulla cave temples en route.The Buddhist temple complex of Dambulla consists of five cave temples carved under a very large overhanging rock. The temples were carved out over several centuries, but the oldest dates back to the 1st century B.C.E. The temples include numerous carved statues of Buddha, and his faithful disciple Ananda, as well as Hindu deities.
The vast internal spaces of the cave shrines are not compartmentalized, but are spatially differentiated by a deliberate and subtle arrangement of polychrome sculpture of exceptional craftsmanship and decorated with brilliant compositions of mural paintings.
Next You will arrive in Kandy. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a world-renowned place of worship, where the left Canine tooth of Gautama Buddha is enshrined. The temple which is venerated by thousands of local & foreign devotees and tourists daily was named as a world heritage by UNESCO in 1988.
The temple which carries a lot of value to Buddhists all over the world also has immense cultural value. The architecture is of unique Kandyan architectural style with a combination of the unique style used to build “Dalada Mandira” the shrines which housed the Sacred Tooth Relic previously in other kingdoms.
The temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is built in the city of Kandy near the ancient Royal Palace which is situated to the North of the temple and the forest reserve called “Udawaththa Kelaya” to the East. The famous Kandy Lake also known as “Kiri Muhuda” to the South and “Natha & Paththini Devala” on the West. The temple is adorned with intricate carvings using gold, silver, bronze and ivory.
After Enjoying the tour your guide will take you back to the international airport for a safe journey. We hope and wish that you will visit this beautiful country again