BUDDHISM & ANCIENT KINGDOMS
Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C and continues to play a central role in the lives of the majority of Sri Lankans. This journey gives you an insight into the Buddhist heritage and ancient kingdoms of this island. Your final days here will be spent on the sandy beaches of the south west where a relaxing beach holiday is blended with holistic wellness including Ayurveda, yoga and meditation.
15 NIGHTS / 16 DAYS
Arrive. Transfer to Negombo on the north-west Coast, about minutes from the airport. Take a short ferry ride across a scenic river which takes you to your hotel – the Ranweli Holiday Village. Relax after your long fight surrounded by rivers, a lagoon and the Indian Ocean.
Explore the ruins of Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s first capital, which was the greatest monastic city of the ancient world and was ruled from the 4thcentury B.C. to 11th century A.D. by more than 100 Sri Lankan kings. Visit the many temples, the sacred Bo Tree – a sapling of the original sacred tree in Budda Gaya under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment — and Mihintale where Buddhism originated on the island in 247 BC. Stay at Palm Garden Village, the most tranquil hotel in the region.
Head to Polonnaruwa, the famous medieval capital. After visiting the museum here, explore the impressive ancient sculptures of Lord Buddha at the Gal Viahara, ruins of palaces and monasteries. Travel on to Sigiriya. Check-in to Sigiriya Village, situated at the base of the Sigiriya rock fortress. Rise early and climb the magnificent rock fortress. Dambulla Cave Temple is also a must-see with its rock ceiling covered in one large sweep of colourful frescoes and scores of ancient Buddha statues.
Head to the central hills. En route, visit Matale’s Aluvihara rock temple where the oral teachings of the Buddha were committed to writing for the first time in 3rd century AD. Once in Kandy, check-in to Tree Of Life, a haven of solitude amidst sprawling gardens. Visit the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha’s is enshrined. Travel in August and experience one of Asia’s finest cultural pageants – the magnificent Kandy Perehara when a tooth relic of Lord Buddha encased in a golden casket, is taken in procession along the streets of Kandy along with scores of elephants dressed in glittering cloaks, Kandyan chiefs in their traditional royal attire, thousands of dancers, and drummers.
Enjoy the southern highlands – a stirring land of lush tea plantations, majestic peaks and rushing waterfalls. Stay at Kelburne Mountain View Cottages where the spectacular views extend over five provinces. Stroll along the tea estate; visit the tea factory, and several waterfalls that surround this area.
Journey to the sacred town of Kataragama in the southeast. Check-in to Mandara Rosen, a convenient base for visiting the sights. Experience Kataragama’s Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian shrines and catch a mesmerizing pooja with the air of burning incense, oil lamps and clanging bells. Visit the tranquil temples of Tissamaharama. Consider a wildlife safari into nearby Yala National Park.
Your final days on the island will be spent on the South West Coast beaches. Stay at Muthumuni Ayurveda Beach Resort, a small wellness resort on the beach. Immerse yourself in holistic wellness and balance of body and mind through the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation and Buddhist discussions. Transfer directly to the airport to catch your flight home.
- 15 night’s BB accommodation on twin-sharing basis.
- A/c car and English-speaking driver for tour and transfers.
- Entrance fees: Anuradhapura ancient sites.
- Visit to ancient Bo tree temple.
- Dambulla Cave Temples.
- Sigiriya Rock, Polonnaruwa.
- Temple of the Tooth.
- Aluvihara temple in Matale, Yapahuwa.