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Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport and transferred your hotel.
En-route visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The orphanage is the home to roughly 89 elephants, out of which some are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. They are being cared for, fed and trained by the wild life authorities. We continue to you hotel (booked independently to this program) in Kandy. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Day at leisure.
Leave for Sigiriya, en route visit a spice garden in Matale, to see the different spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. This afternoon visit Dambulla Cave Temples 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. With over 2000sqm of painted walls and ceilings, this is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14m. Continue to Sigiriya.
We head inland to Polonnaruwa. This fascinating 11th century city is home to many interesting ruins and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and the Gal Vihara. Polonnaruwa was once the capital and is also the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon visit Sigiriya and the famous ‘Lion Rock’ fortress. Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 meters high in the middle of verdant jungle and was an important stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. It can be viewed from miles around and is definitely one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic and famous sites.
Today, we visit Anuradhapura, the fascinating ancient city and one of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites. It contains vast artificial lakes, temples, statues including the Samadhi Buddha, dagobas (solid hemispheres topped with spires), royal baths and museums. We also visit the holy Sri Maha Bodhi tree under which Prince Siddharta attained enlightenment. It is also the oldest historically documented tree on earth.
Drive back to Colombo. Rest of the day at leisure.
Our tour comes to an end this morning, with a transfer back to Colombo airport for your flight home.