Arrival at the Colombo Airport. You will be met by our Driver/Guide and Airport Staff and offer assistance. Thereafter Leave to Habarana with a comfort stop en route. Habarana. This small village is a central location for all the ancient city sites.
P.M. at leisure Or optional elephant back safari through the jungles of Habarana Or Jeep safari to Mineriya National Park to witness the Wild Elephants.
After breakfast excursion to Anuradhapura.
Anuradapura. Sri Lanka's first capital, founded in the 5th century B.C. is situated 206 km. from Colombo. Attractions worth seeing are:- The Sacred Bo Tree, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanaramaya, Brazen Palace, Thuparama Dagaba, Samadhi Buddha, Kuttam Pokuna and Mirisavati Dagaba.
Thereafter visit Mihintale.
Mihintale The temple of Mihintale is where Thero Mahinda, the son of Great Indian Emperor Asoka introduced Buddihism to the king of Sri Lanka Thissa. Mahinda´s sister Theri Sangamitta carried a off shoot of the holy Bo tree that gave shelter to Buddha to attain Nibbana. Sri Maha Bodhi' The Bo tree was planted at Anuradhapura, where it still grows as the oldest tree with a recorded history in the world.
After breakfast excursion to Polonnaruwa.
Polonaruwa. The island´s medieval capital is situated 216 km. from Colombo and rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura. There is the largest of the man made reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra. See also the ruins of the King´s Council Chamber, the Royal Citadel, the Kumara Pokuna, Royal Pavilion, the Vatadage Relic House , Kiri Vehera - the best preserved of all Sri Lanka´s un-restored dagabas; Gal Vihare - the most impresive sculptures are the colossal Buddha images.
P.M. excursion to Ritigala.
Ritigala Sri Lanka has many varied sites of historical and cultural importance. While the ruins of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa have a grandeur that is hard to surpass, there are lesser-known sites with an ambience all of their own. One such site is the monastic complex on the lower slopes of Ritigalakanda the Ritigala mountain-situated 40 Kilometers south-east of the ancient city of Anuradhapura. These ruins are some of the most distinctive Sri Lanka has to offer. Here at Ritigala you will not find the Buddhist dagobas (domed relic chambers) of the sanctuary of Anuradhapura and elsewhere. Instead the monastery at Ritigala largely consists of meditation platforms and walkways that are in perfect harmony with the huge boulders, trees and streams of the sylvan environment. The Ritigala summit-which has an unusual mini plateau –possesses a pocket of vegetation that is distinct from the dry zone flora of the lower slopes and surrounding plain.
After breakfast excursion to Sigiriya.
Climb the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya.
Sigiriya, a massive monolith of red stone rises 600 feet from the green scrub jungle to accentuate the lucid blue of the sky. How overpowering, then, this rock fortress of Sigiriya must have been when a palace crowned it 15 centuries ago. Sigiriya (say see-gih-REE-yah) was no gloomy and forbidding fortification, as many other citadels are. At the brief height of its glory, a flowering of only 18 years in the late 5th Century, it was one of the loveliest royal cities that ever graced the earth.
P.M. at Leisure by the pool.
After breakfast proceed to Colombo while visiting the Dambulla Rock Caves Temple en route.
Dambulla, the greatest of Sri Lanka´s cave temples, dates from the first century BC and contains over 150 Buddha images, subtly lit for maximum atmosphere. Actually a series of five caves, the temple is called Raja Maha Vihara by locals, but known simply as Dambulla to visitors. The entrance is marked by a large white dagoba along a long sloping rock face, from where there are views of the rock fortress of Sigiriya, about 20km away. Most of the caves were carved out by hand and some of the amazing arrays of Buddha statues are still attached to the wall.
P.M. city tour of Colombo including last minute shopping.
After breakfast transfer to the Airport for the connecting Flight. (Departure)
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