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Pick up (06:30am) at hotel booked independent to this trip (hotel in Colombo TBA). This morning we leave for Anuradhapura. En route visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple to climb up to the temple, which was donated by king Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 square meters of painted walls and the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters.
We enjoy a sightseeing tour of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Sri Lanka, it is the home of two World Heritage sites. Many places of historical and archaeological interest could be visited. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree), At Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C), Samadhi' Buddha statue (4th century AD), Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C), Kuttam Pokuna – twin ponds (6th century AD) and Thuparama Dagoba (3rd century B.C).
Driving to Sigiriya today we climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. Thereafter proceed to Matale to see the different spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for. Overnight Kandy - Days Inn 'Rest House' (Standard Room)
Morning proceed to visit the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. Return to Kandy, en-route visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and a lapidary. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today, we leave for Yala National Park. Rest of the day at leisure.
Proceed on a jeep safari to visit the Yala National Park. This park is famous for its high density of leopards, perhaps the highest in the world. You are also sure to see elephants. Sloth bears are also a big draw. You will also see mammal such as wild boars, several species of deer and wild buffalo. There is a plethora of reptilian species and platoons of crocodiles. As is common in Sri Lanka there is a huge diversity of stunning birdlife including migratory species such as the flamingo. It is also one of the few places in the world where the severely endangered black necked stork can still be seen.
Leave for Galle. The Galle fort was built first by the Portuguese, and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Even today, after 400 years of existence, it looks new and polished with reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. Today Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world. Overnight Galle - Cantaloupe Aqua 4 Star 9 Aqua Zen Room)
Day at leisure.
We leave for Colombo today. Rest of the day at leisure.
Two people departure transfer to the airport. Two people have own arrangements from today onwards.