Day 01: London to Colombo:
Depart from London Heathrow and arrive in Colombo.
Arrival at Colombo airport., welcome by a representative of Lanka and transfer to Hotel
Colombo…. is a fascinating city, not only for its comfortable blend of East and West, but also for its cosy mixture of the past and present. It is the Commercial Capital of the country and is only 35km south of the country’s only International Airport. Many attractions, opportunities for shopping, availability of tasting a multitude of cuisine etc. makes it an interesting city
In the afternoon undertake a City Tour of Colombo including the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Dutch Wolvendhal Church, a Hindu Temple, Town Hall, BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall), Cinnamon Gardens – Prime residential area etc.
Shopping at ODEL & House of Fashion
Overnight stay in Colombo.
After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura – the first Capital – 5th Century BC via Puttlam (north of Negombo)
Anuradhapura … the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities dating back to the 5th Century BC which formed the foundation for a magnificent civilization spanning over a few centuries. According to the Mahavamsa – the great Sinhala Chronicle, this was a model of planning with precincts set aside for different vocations as well as for foreigners. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels and hospitals and water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs. Its greatest treasures are its dagabos constructed of small sun-dried bricks and are hemispherical in shape two of which have been identified by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The reservoirs used for storage of water formed the basis of the hydraulic civilization which later spread to the entire island.
Visit the Sacred City of Anuradhapura
Visit many sites of the City of archaeological and historical interest including Isurumuniya – the first temple to be built in the island, Sri Maha Bodhi Tree- with an authenticated history of more than 2300 years which has been planted from a sapling from the original tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment , Ruwanveliseya – the largest stupa in the island , Jethawanaramaya and Abhayagiriya – which in their original form have been equivalent in size to the Great Pyramids in Giza and have thus been declared as World Heritage Sites , Eth Pokuna (Size is 06 times larger than Olympic swimming pool) Twin Ponds, Thuparamaya- the first Stupa to be built in Sri Lanka enshrining the left collar bone of the Buddha, the Samadhi Statue – meditating posture etc.
Lunch in a Restaurant
Proceed to Dambulla
Dambulla… a collection of five caves of different sizes declared a World Heritage Site. Initial authorship is attributed to King Valagambahu who took refuge here after being driven out of Anuradhapura by invading armies, although the works span over all periods since then to the late Kandy Period in the 18th Century
En route visit the Dambulla Cave Temple considered to be the largest painted caves in the world with more than 22,000 sq. ft. of painted surfaces with many paintings, sculptures, statues of Lord Buddha, his disciples, Kings, Gods etc./ Dambulla Golden Temple
Overnight stay and dinner at Dambulla
After breakfast leave for Sigiriya
Sigiriya… a Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD – stark and forbidding, haunted by an epic story of murder and betrayal is attributed to King Kasyapa who found hiding here after killing his father more fruitful than meeting the wrath of the people who loved King Dhatusena much more before meeting his rival – Prince Mugalan who had fled to India seeking reinforcements of his Army. This unique Rock Fortress or “castle in the sky” – a massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft above ground, derived the name “Lion Rock” as the entrance to the climb to the summit is reached between the paws of a lion.
Climb the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya , a Royal Citadel for 20 years in the 5th Century AD built by King Kasyapa ,contemporary with the paintings of Ajantha and Ellora Caves in India , highlights being the Frescoes , Mirror Wall and the Lion’s Paw, considered as the 8th Wonder of the modern world , thought to be equivalent to the “Alakamanda” – Celestial Palace of God Kuvera.
Continue to Kandy – “The Hill Capital”
Kandy…literally the “City on the Hills” so named as it was protected by the nature – water, rocks and jungles. The last capital of the Sri Lankan kings before falling to the British in 1815AD which is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures vision of splendour of magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The centre of attraction is the golden roofed Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Kandy Lake built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 holds a prominent view of the City. It is a City for arts and crafts as well culture and history
Walk in to a Spice Garden and take part in a conducted tour to get some knowledge about the growth and use of spices in the day to day life
Undertake a City Tour including the Upper Lake Drive – a place where one could have a bird’s eye view of the city below, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha – by far the most important place of worship for Buddhists world over ,the Royal Botanical Gardens – one of the best of its kind in Asia with more than 5000 species of different varieties of flora which incidentally was the Headquarters of Lord Louise Mountbatten – the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the 2nd World War.
In the evening watch a Cultural Performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers and Drummers including devotional “Fire Walking”
Overnight stay at Kandy
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya – “The Little England”
Nuwara Eliya… nestled in a wooded basin at the foot of Mount Pidurutalagala Sri Lanka’s highest peak, this region at 6,183ft above sea-level Has a cool, crisp climate unknown elsewhere in Sri Lanka. A serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, the town seems like a piece of the English Lake District. Unusual plants, birds and animals thrive here besides natural feature like waterfalls and caves. Tea, the glistening green leaves of this lovely shrub, along with neat rows of green, cloak ridges and valleys providing a lasting impression of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. The golf course – one of the finest and picturesque in Asia – the serene Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, beautiful parks and well-kept lawns and hedges give the place an air of nostalgia.
Visit the Sri Baktha Hanuman Temple which has Hanuman as the presiding deity where rituals are made on full moon days. This is thought to be the place where Hanuman was searching for Sita Devi.
Break journey to enjoy the beauty of the Ramboda Water Falls
Lunch in the Restaurant
Also visit a Tea Factory and a Plantation to witness the manufacturing process of world famous “Ceylon Tea” and to taste a pure unblended cup of factory fresh tea before being sent to the Tea Auctions in Colombo leading to Export.
Continue and visit the Sita Amman Temple – which is dedicated to all major characters Sita, Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman where the differently sized foot marks prove the immense powers of Hanuman passing through Sita Eliya where she was allowed to live a free life.
Proceed to visit and witness the beauty of the St. Clairs and Devon Water Falls
Time permitting visit the Gayathri Pedam, the first and foremost Temple devoted to Gayathri Amman in Sri Lanka built enshrining a lingam brought from River Narmada built at the place believed to be where Meghanath – King Rawana’s son was blessed by God Shiva
Return to Hotel
Overnight stay at Kandy
After breakfast leave for Colombo – “The Commercial Capital”
En route visit the Elephant Orphanage to see the world’s largest herd of domestic Elephants including babies
Elephant Orphanage… established in 1975 as an effort towards education and conservation by way of scientific captive breeding. Located on the banks of the Maha Oya, the Elephant Orphanage provides shelter to house young elephants who find themselves displaced and lost from their natural habitats for various reasons such as environmental changes due to development projects, being abandoned by their parents when they fall into pits and ravines, etc.
Lunch in a restaurant
Visit the Vibishana Temple at Kelaniya
Day 07: Colombo – Trivandrum:
Early morning (Packed Breakfast) depart to airport for flight to Trivandrum. Arrival, Pickup and transfer for half day Sightseeing. Check-in at hotel. Overnight Stay.
Day 08: Kovalam:
After breakfast, morning free for leisure. Afternoon half day Guided tour of Kovalam Padmanabha Swami Temple, Kuthiramalika, Napier Museum, Art Gallery. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09: Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
After breakfast day excursion to Kanyakumari. Full day Guided tour, visiting Kumari Amman Temple, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Vivekandha Rock. You will enjoy a short excursion to the famous Old Palace of the Rajas of Travancore at Padamnabhapura, their former capital. Visit the beautiful palace, displaying the fine craftsmanship, especially in woodwork characteristic of Kerala’s art and architecture. Later back to Trivandrum, arrival by approx. 7p.m. Overnight stay.
Day 10 Trivandrum to Kumarakom/Allepey
After breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Kumarakom. Afternoon enjoy Backwaters in Houseboat with Coffee / Tea and Biscuits. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 11 Allepey/Kumarakom to Thekkady
Today your journey continues from the land of tea plantains to the spice land of Thekkady, the Heart of God’s own country. On arrival, check into your hotel, late afternoon enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Periyar, the watering hole within the sanctuary and spot wildlife in their natural environment. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12 Thekkedy to Munnar:
After breakfast drive to Munnar, on arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight stay
Day 13: Munnar
Full day Munnar Sightseeing.
Day 14 Munnar to Cochin:
After breakfast drive to Cochin. Half day guided tour, visit the Chinese Fishing Nets, the St. Frances Church, Mattencherry Palace, built by the Portuguese and walk through the narrow cobbled streets, lined with antique & handicraft shops of the Jew Town to the Jewish Synagogue, the oldest living synagogue in the world. Transfer to hotel. Check-in. Overnight Stay.
Day 15 Cochin – London:
After breakfast, check-out and transfer to airport for flight back to London.
- International Economy Class air ticket
- Domestic Economy class air ticket
- Accommodation in good 3/4star hotels in standard room on twin / double / triple sharing basis (Wherever available, If not, best possible option. Triple room will have Mattresses for third person)
- Daily Breakfast and Dinner
- All sightseeing as per Itinerary by Private A/c Vehicle basis (A/c will be turned off on hilly areas)
- All intercity transfer by private Vehicle Basis
- Services of Tour Manager /Local Guide
- Visa Fee
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone bills, drinks etc.
- Any transfers not mentioned
- Any items not mentioned
- Tips and Porterage
- Any monument Entrance Tickets
- Camera Fee / Monument Charges
- Single Supplement £575