4 day tour - Summer 2012

Day 01

Arrive and pick up from Negombo, transfer to hotel in Sigiriya. Depending on time of arrival, stop en route at Anuradhapura the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities.  The city’s greatest treasures are its dagabas constructed of small sun-dried bricks, hemispherical in shape.

The most notable of these dagabas is the Ruvanveli, 300 ft in diameter anddates back to the 2nd Century BC. There  is also the 370 ft  Jetawanarama and the Thuparama which enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo-Tree which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historic tree in the world.Dinner & Overnight  Sigiriya

 

Day 02

After breakfast proceed to Polonnaruwa, another “World Heritage Site” was the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th - 13th Centuries, contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihare - a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues, two seated, one standing and one reclining and Parakrama Bahu statue are examples of Sinhalese stone carver. The Vata-da-ge is a unique creation of Sri Lankan artists.

 

Before transferring back to the hotel, enjoy a 4X4 Jeep Safari in the Minneriya National Park.  Dinner & Overnight  Sigiriya


Day 03

After breakfast enjoy a tour of Sigiriya home to the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” 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-moat defence the huge  rock rises almost  to a sheer height of 500ft.  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 is  the only known surviving ancient work of Sinhala secular paintings, in the form of Frescoes, of life sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original colour.

  

Transfer back to hotel.  In the evening enjoy an Elephant Back Ride in Habarana and experience the feeling of stepping back in time, a time when kings rode on the backs of these magnificent mammals.  The tour will take you along the forest trail, across the river, through the village and back to your lodging.  

Dinner & Overnight Sigiriya 

 
Day 04

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport, en route visit Dambulla Cave Temples a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Here lies the famous Rock Temple dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island.

 

In the first Cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the Rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they are over painted in the Kandy period.

 

In the Second Cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people.

 

End of Service 

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