Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka has an amazing diversity of culture, natural beauty and a history that dates back to over 2500 years. With its stunning temples, local markets, intriguing history, lively cities and amazing beaches Sri Lanka offers a great variety to its tourists. Sri Lanka holds great importance in the Hindu epic Ramayana, as it was the kingdom of demon king Ravana. In this tour, the tourists would be covering Colombo, Kandy, Negambo and NuwaraEliya in Sri Lanka during a 5 nights and 6 days trip.
Below are the few highlights of the tour
On arrival in Sri Lanka the tourists will be welcomed and will procced from the airport to the city of Kandy. In the evening the tourists would witness an amazing cultural show that offers a glimpse in to the culture and heritage of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is one of the biggest cities in Sri Lanka. It has earned the tag of a world heritage site as there are many historical temples present in the city. It also happens to be the last capital of the kingdoms ruled by Sri Lankan kings. Kandy is actually set on a plateau and is surrounded by majestic mountains which are home to the famous tea plantations and rainforests of Sri Lanka which are rich in bio-diversity. Kandy is known for its legends, traditions and folklore and the tourists would be able to enjoy them from close quarters. The tourists would enjoy a pleasant drive around the famous Kandy Lake, which was built in 1978 by Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last Sinhala king. The tourists would then visit the Kandy town, markets, and the arts and craft centres. As Sri Lanka is famous for gems tourists would visit the gem museum and a lapidary (a person who cuts, polishes, engraves or deals in gems) as well. Then the tourists would go to the temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, which has been constructed in the Royal Palace Complex. It is a Buddhist temple and got its name as it houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The relic also holds significance in the local political circle as there is a popular belief that whosoever holds the relic, will be able to rule the country.
The tourists would procced to NuwaraEliya. Enroute the tourists would visit the Anjaneyar temple and a tea factory. Pussellawa is the home of the 18’ statute of Anjaneyar at the famous Anjaneyar temple. The temple offers picturesque views as it is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Kotmale reservoir area. Thousands of devotees from Sri Lanka and India come to pay their respects to Lord Anjaneyar at this famous temple.
The tourists would then visit the first temple built by Gayathri Amman in Sri Lanka Gayathripeedam. Gayathripeedam holds great significance in Ramayana. It is believed to be the place where Meghanath, son of demon king Ravana, placated Lord Shiva with atonement and prayers. As he was able to placate Lord Shiva, her was granted various powers by Lord Shiva that were supernatural in nature. It is believed that the holy Shiva Lingam present in the temple compound was brought from the holy Indian river Narmada. The tourists would stay overnight at the Hotel in NuwaraEliya.
After breakfast the tourist would start from NuwaraEliya. First, tourists will visit the revered SitaAman Temple. The SitaAman Temple is located along the NuwaraEliya Badulla road and falls enroute the Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Its majestic architecture will captivate your imagination. According to legends, the stream that runs downhill, catered to the daily requirements of Goddess Sita during her captivity at the Ashok Vatika. About one hundred years ago, three idols were recovered from the river, out of which one belonged to Goddess Sita. As a result, a temple was constructed on the banks of the stream dedicated to Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Goddess Sita and Lord Hanuman. Ove the years, the temple underwent several upgrades and today is a modern structure that is adorned with various paintings, statues and murals describing the story of Ramayana. Towards the rear side of the temple lies the stream while from the front side you can catch a glimpse of the Hakgala mountains.
After spending some time at the temple, the tourists would then proceed towards the historical Hakgala Botanical Gardens, which also played a crucial part in the Ramayana. It is believed that Demon King Ravana abducted Goddess Sita and kept her captive in these gardens. He coerced her to marry him but Goddess Sita refused to comply with his wishes. While she was held captive in these gardens, Lord Hanuman visited her with a ring and message from Lord Rama. He asked Goddess Sita to sit on his back, so that he can take her to Lord Rama. But she refused by saying that this would be an insult to the bravery and valour of Lord Rama. Some historical parts of the garden exist to date. The gardens underwent massive expansion under the British rule and today are home to unique and beautiful flowers.
Thereafter tourists would proceed towards Welimada and visit the famous Divurumpola temple. Divurmpola means a’place of oath’. This is the place where Goddess Sita underwent the ‘Agni Pariksha’(fire test) to prove her purity and piousness. He emerged unscathed from the fire and proved herself to be as pure and pious as she was with Lord Rama. Presently, this temple is famous with the devotees and holds great significance in the culture of Sri Lanka. As a matter of fact, an oath taken at this temple holds valid in the legal system of the country and is popularly used to settle petty disputes between different parties.
Then the tourists would procced to Bandarawela. In the afternoon, the tourists will visit Ella, a small mountain near Banderawela. It is famous for three locations linked to Ramayana.
The Bandarawela Hotel is an extremely charming and massive heritage hotel which was built during the colonial era. This elegant hotel’s illustrious life began as a European’s only tea planters club. Though it is not too far from the city, but its ample garden and foliage secludes it from the city. Enjoy overnight stay here.
Tourists will enjoy the breakfast at the Hotel and would then proceed to the capital city of Colombo via Ratnapura and Sitawaka, Avissawella.
Ratnapura is a popular city of Sri Lanka which is famous for its gems. Its name means “City of Gems’. In Ratnapura prospecting and mining of gems is a major activity. The tourists will be taken to a gem mine and a museum and if they like they can take home some beautiful gems by striking a bargain at any of the numerous shops.
Sitawaka, is another popular city which is situated near Avissawella on the banks of a tributary of the Kelani Ganga river. It derives its name from Goddess Sita, who was kidnapped by Ravana and kept near a grove here.
Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and is metropolitan city. Today the skyline is marked by various skyscrapers that give the city its modern look. But still in some parts, the old-world charm of Sri Lanka can still be observed. For example, there is a hundred-year old clock tower and several British era colonial buildings still there. For shopping the tourists can visit the Model shopping mall, house of fashion and not to miss the famous Noritake Ceramic Showroom if they have a thing for crockery. Some places of interest in Colombo that you can visit are several Hindu and Buddhist temples, residential complexes where the tourists will find the stately homes of the elite class of Sri Lanka, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference hall(BMICH).
Stay overnight in Colombo.
After breakfast in the hotel, the tourists would leave for Kelaniya where they would visit the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, which is a temple built in the 3rd century. It is one of the places visited by Buddha when he visited Sri Lanka. It is the home of the famous traditional Sinhala pottery. Tourists will then visit the famous Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya Temple where there is a special shrine dedicated to Vibhishana, who was younger brother of demon king Ravana but took side with Lord Rama in his struggle to rescue Sita.
Transfer from Kelaniya to Chilsaw.
On arriving in Chilsaw the tourists would go to Munesshwaram which is important as at this place Lord Shiva blessed Lord Ram and advised him to install four lingams.
Then the tourists would visit Manavari which is the first place where Lord Ram installed the Shiva lingams and prayed after the end of his war with Ravana.
Then the tourists would be transferred from Chilaw to Negombo/Seeduwa where they would stay overnight.
After breakfast at proceed to Airport for departure in time for the flight.