EXPLORE SRI LANKA TOUR (11 NIGHTS / 12 DAYS)

DAY 01 (Airport - Dambulla)

Arrival at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka, the tropical paradise, will be met and assisted by representative of Crystal Holidays and transfer to Dambulla.
In the evening climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress the world Heritage Site and see the famous decorated its sides with colorful frescoes.

Dinner & overnight stay in Dambulla / Habarana or Sigiriya

Dambulla - Dambulla is famous for the five cave temples on a rock. The first three caves are better, older and larger than the other two. Some caves date back to the 1st century BC. All the five 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.

Sigiriya - Home to the 5th century ‘Fortress in the Sky’ built by King Kasyapa which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defence, the huge rock rises to a sheer height of almost 500 feet. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. On one of the stairways, the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survives in the form of frescoes of life-sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original colours.

DAY 02 (Dambulla - Habarana - Dambulla)

After breakfast, leave for Habarana for Sri Lankan traditional cooking lesson
Thereafter Scenic village tour of Hiriwadunna

Evening free for optional Ayurveda Treatments at the hotel

Dinner & overnight stay in Dambulla / Habarana or Sigiriya

Habarana – A small city in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka. Habarana is a popular tourist destination for safari lovers as it is the starting point for safaris in the nearby jungle and the Minneriya National Park which is heavily populated by elephants. Elephant back riding is also an attraction in this small city. Habarana is situated on the main road from Colombo to Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa, closer to the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya.

Hiriwadunna Village Tour - it’s an unpaved gravel paths and humble village folk. Shaded on either side by dry zone shrub forest, the dusty gravel path and subsequently the red soil of the tank bund will lead the visitors to an indigo reservoir which sets a stunning contrast of colours. A line of cormorants flying in formation will eventually stop to rest on a cormorant tree and the butterflies and dragonflies found at the edge of the shrubs create a kaleidoscope of colour that rivals the equally vibrant wild flowers.

Bullock Cart Rides is one thing that a visitor to Sri Lanka must not miss out on as it provides an exhilarating experience to both young and old alike. The bullock cart, which at one time was the main mode of transportation for the rich in Sri Lanka, although the ride covers only a short distance in the surrounding areas, it nevertheless is an experience not to be missed by all.

Ayurveda Treatment [Chikitsa] - does not mean suppressing the main symptoms and creating some new ones as side effects of the main treatment. It is to remove the root cause and give permanent relief. There are four main classifications of management of disease in Ayurveda: shodan, or cleansing; shaman or palliation; rasayana, or rejuvenation; and satvajaya, or mental hygiene. The treatment mainly comprises of powders, tablets, decoctions, medicated oils etc. prepared from natural herbs, plants and minerals. Because the medicines are from natural sources and not synthetic, they are accepted and assimilated in the body without creating any side effects and on the other hand, there may be some side benefits.

DAY 03 (Dambulla Polonnaruwa - Dambulla)

After breakfast excursion to World Heritage Site Polonnaruwa, home to some of medieval Sri Lanka’s finest art and architecture, including the giant Buddha statues of the Gal Vihara.

Visit the wonderful ancient relics at Polonnaruwa
Thereafter leave for CIC Agri Farm in Hingurakgoda
Return to Dambulla

Dinner & overnight stay in Dambulla / Habarana or Sigiriya

Polonnaruwa – A ‘World Heritage Site’, Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th century AD. Great revival was achieved in the country, politically, economically and socially during the periods of kings Vijayabahu 1, Parakramabahu 1 and Nissankamalla. The monuments here are better preserved than at Anuradhapura - the previous capital. Parakrama statue, royal palaces, audience halls, Vata-da-ge, Thuparama, Rankoth Vehera, Kiri Vehera, Gal Vihara, Lankathilaka & Thivanka Image House are some of the interesting monuments here.

CIC Seed Farm - The biggest seed paddy production farm in Sri Lanka located at Hingurakgoda in Polonnaruwa District. Hingurakgoda is the famous paddy cultivation area in the country. CIC acquired the Hingurakgoda farm from the government on a long term lease agreement in 1998. The total extent of the farm is 1,300 acres out of which 700 acres are under paddy. The farm receives irrigation water from the Minneriya reservoir to produce high quality seed paddy. The highland area of the farm is utilized for the production of perennial crops and livestock.

DAY 04 (Dambulla - Kandy)

After breakfast, leave for Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka is a World Heritage Site and has number of tourist attractions.
En route visit Dambulla Rock Cave Temple crammed with Buddhist statues and decorated with Sri Lanka’s finest murals & Spice Garden in Matale to see different Spices for which Sri Lanka is famous

Afterwards visit a Batik factory where you can see the manufacture of beautiful Batik prints and also purchase a wide variety of Batik items.

Dinner & overnight stay at Kandy.

Kandy - The hill capital; venue of the annual Esala Perahera (Local festival in Kandy); the last stronghold of the Sinhala kings, was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Surrounded by hills, the Mahaweli River and the virgin forest, it is the center of Buddhism, arts, crafts and culture in Sri Lanka. Kandy is an example of Buddhism’s influence in Sri Lanka today. Temples, shrines and monasteries keep Buddhist traditions alive. To Buddhists 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. One would always return a second time to this beautiful city.

Spice Gardens at Matale - Visit a spice garden in Matale to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Just 25 km from the hill capital of Kandy, the Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices and you will also be able to purchase spices. Gardens are open to visitors, a delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger. It grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand.Visitors may buy spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics, taste an herbal brew and in some venues, enjoy the full flavors of Sri Lankan spices over lunch or an Ayurveda massage based on natural products from the garden.

DAY 05 (Kandy)

After breakfast, visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage to watch baby elephants being fed and over 40 elephants being bathed in the nearby river
Thereafter start Sightseeing tour in Kandy, visit upper lake, Market, Gem Museum & Shopping etc.
Visit wonderful Buddhist Temple of the Tooth Relic in the evening.
Return to hotel

Dinner & overnight stay at Kandy.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage - Off Colombo-Kandy road is Pinnawela, where an orphanage was started in 1975 to house abandoned and wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased to more than 65 now, including baby elephants brought from various parts of the Island as well as those born as a result of the captive breeding programme. The best times to visit is the feeding time and bathing time - when all the elephants are taken to the river close by.

Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa) – According to legend, the tooth was taken from the Buddha as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was smuggled to Sri Lanka in 313 AD, hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled the Hindu armies besieging her father's kingdom in India. The temple was originally built under Kandyan kings between 1687 and 1707, but later severely damaged during the 18th-century colonial wars against the Portugese and Dutch. After the wars, the original wooden structures were restored in stone.

DAY 06 (Kandy - Nuwaraeliya)

After breakfast, visit Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya which is a paradise for nature lovers
Thereafter leave for Nuwara Eliya, is one of the most scenic city & Little England of Sri Lanka
On the way visit a working Tea factory and drive up through the hills through lush and green Tea plantations
Leave for Ambewela Farm a farm of a famous brand in Sri Lanka

Dinner & overnight stay at Nuwara Eliya

Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya – Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the kings of Kandy, 147 acres in extent, it has more than 4,000 species of rare and endemic trees and plants as well as flora from the tropical world. This is a haven not only for scientists but to every nature lover too. The Spice Garden and Orchid House within the Gardens are popular with tourists.

Nuwara Eliya - The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations and is 6,200 feet above sea level. In 1826 some British Officers out on shooting, chanced on Nuwara Eliya plains, and Sir Edward Barnes investigated on it. In 1828 a road was constructed over the ridge at Ramboda Pass and a station for convalescent soldiers was established. It was Sir Samuel Baker who fell under the spell of Nuwara Eliya, brought hounds, horses, cattle, sheep etc. and started a typical English farm here. Flowers and vegetable were brought from England and planted. 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. The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic. Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom during spring (March to May) and the fall (August and September).

Tea Plantations - Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Royal Botanical Gardens in 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 in 8 hectares of forestland in the Loolkondura Estate. In 1873, the tea export industry of Sri Lanka began with a modest 23 lbs. being shipped to London. Today more than 200,000 hectares in highlands and other areas are under tea and around 300 million kilograms (25% of world tea exports) are exported by Sri Lanka as the world’s largest tea exporter. Tea grows only on rolling terrain and is classified by elevation into Low Grown, Medi um grown & High Grown.

Ambewela Farm - Ambewela. Wonderful scenic views of the beautiful hills in Nuwara Eliya - as you walk towards the farm. You'd probably spend an hour or so (with a stop at the cafe), but can easily cover the farm in less time. Ambewela farms are made up of two farms, Ambewela Farm and New Zealand Farm. Because of the perfect climate in the hill country, it boasts its superior breed of cattle, modern technology and top quality pastures where cattle graze freely. In order to maintain the quality of milk from the cows, the farm management takes great care to provide them with a balanced diet and sterilized water. They are also given excellent healthcare on a 24-hour basis. The largest grasslands of Sri Lanka are also a part of the Ambewela farms. In addition to the cattle, it has rabbits, pigs and goats. You can have a glass of fresh milk in the Ambewela café in the middle of the farm.

DAY 07 (Nuwaraeliya - Tissamaharama)

After breakfast leave for Tissamaharama
In the evening go for the jeep safari at Yala National park where you might be lucky to see leopards but will definitely see crocodiles, elephants and many rare species of bird.

Dinner & overnight stay at Tissamaharama

Yala National Park - Yala National Park is famous for big herds of elephants, large number of leopards, spotted deer, sambar, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boars, wild buffaloes and many other animals. More than 130 bird species have been recorded which include the resident birds and winter visitors. The common birds found here are spot-billed pelicans, cormorants, egrets, spoonbills, herons, storks, ibises, bitterns, Indian moorhens, white-breasted water hens.

DAY 08 (Tissamaharama - Ratnapura - Bentota)

After breakfast, leave for Ratnapura the Gem Capital of Sri Lanka
Witness a Gem Mines and explore the procedure of traditional Gem Mining in Sri Lanka
Thereafter leave for beach stay in Bentota / Beruwala

Dinner & overnight stay in Bentota / Beruwala

Ratnapura – Ratnapura literally means ‘city of gems’ and is set like a gem itself in a panorama of glorious scenery. Most of the gem miners still rely on ‘Lady Luck’ to guide them through their digging, sifting washing and sorting of the stones. In the private gem museums, collections from all over the world can be seen alongside gem stones found in Sri Lanka and some pre-historic relics collected from the gem pits of the Ratnapura district.

Gem Mines - There are many gem mines around the area, especially in paddy fields on lower ground, which are deep around 10m to 50m.Portable hand operating tools use for mining process such as shovel, picks, pans (specially made from bamboo) and cradles. Once soil lifts out from the mine, with the use of water, the dirt and mud wash out using pans and thus if there any gemstone, which heavier than normal stones, remains at the bottom of the pan as mud wash away.

Bentota – The first National Holiday Resort developed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board as a planned resort. There are more than 6 tourist hotels on the beach span of 5 miles with all the facilities a resort would require. Water sports facilities are also available.

DAY 09 - 11 (Kandy - Bentota)

After breakfast, free for optional water sport activities, a full day to enjoy the beach sunbathing, pleasant time of swimming

Take Yoga Lessons in the evening

Dinner & overnight stay in Bentota / Beruwala

DAY 12 (Bentota - Airport)

After breakfast, proceed to Airport in time to check in for your departure flight.

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