7-Day Tour of Sri Lanka

Pinnawella/Dambulla/Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa/
Anuradhapura/Nuwara Eliya/Yale/ Kataragama/Matara/Galle

With this trip we would like to bring you a little bit closer to the country, where relaxation should not be missed.
Day 1
After breakfast, you will be picked up from our guide in the air-conditioned car and we will go to Kandy. Our first stop in Pinnawela is the Elephant Swans House. It is the home of some 60 elephants, many of which were abandoned in the baby age or orphaned in the wilderness. They are fed, fed and trained here by the forestry authorities. The best time to visit the orphanage is during the feeding times when the elephant babies "get the bottle". Afterwards the elephants with their carers go to the nearby river and take their daily bath. A show you should not miss, because when you have the opportunity to see 30 elephants or more.
Afterwards we will arrive at the guest house in Dambulla, where you can relax and enjoy your dinner.
 
Day 2
The next day, when it is cool, we climb Sigiriya, the 8th world wonder with the cloud girls! A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE !!!
 
Sigiriyais a rock that stretches over 200 meters out of the jungle. The world-famous Sigiriya frescoes are of extraordinary beauty, they are representations of girls, nymphs or heavenly beings, painted with tone colors on the mirror-rocky rock. At half height of the rock, a steep staircase leads to a gallery, from which a spiral staircase leads to world-famous frescoes. Insurgents indicate that the original existence of more than 500 such portraits can be assumed. Only 19 are left today.
 
On the north-western side of the rock, a path leads from the gallery to the summit. This path is protected by a wall that is covered by such a high-polish plaster which can be mirrored almost in spite of centuries of weather. Along the path you can see Sigiriyagraffiti, signatures and rhymes engraved by pilgrims.
The top of the rock has a surface area of ​​over 12000 square meters. An outer wall of the palace was built at the extreme end of the slope. The pleasure garden on the west side of the rock is decorated with lakes, small islands, walks and pavilions.
 
After returning we will visit the temple complex Dambulla, which is reached by a small walk. On the way there are wild monkeys, which are nice to look at, but you should avoid to stroke them, as there are no tame animals. In the complex itself, you will be able to visit five caves, all of which can be visited by monks in a period of 2000 years, decorated with 154 Buddhist statues. The oldest works of art date back to pre-Christian times, the most recent from the 20th century.
 
In the first cave is a 14 meter long, lying Buddha, beaten from a granite rock .... The feet artfully painted with henna. Steingravierungen and frescos, which arouse the religious and historical interest, are numerous in the caves. The frescoes were built between the 15th and 18th centuries. In one of the caves, the largest and most beautiful, there are no less than 150 large statues of gods. Numerous scenes from the Buddhaleben are painted in bright colors. The view from the summit is breathtaking.
Now we will return to the guesthouse in Dambulla, where you can have the impressions of the trip to the rest of the day.
 
Day 3
Today we go to the old royal town Polonnaruwa.
 
It is the second most important royal city on the island. In the 11th century, the capital of Anuradhapura was transferred to Polonnaruwa, hoping that the new residence of the Sinhalese kings would be better protected against the notorious attacks from the Indian mainland in this difficult area. As a result, Polonnaruwa developed into a splendid residence and under the famous King Parakrama Pahu the Great (1153 - 1186) and his successor Nissanka Malla (1187 - 1196), the Sinhala kingdom reached its last high bloom, whose magnificent buildings and irrigation systems with imposing reservoirs A strong testimony. As in Anuradhapura, the ruins and monuments lie scattered in a lovely tropical landscape surrounded by rice fields and jungles. The buildings of true monumental and imposing Dagobas are missing, with the exception of Gal Vihara, a group of monumental statues of Buddha, which are among the highlights of the Sinhala stonemasonry. Many buildings and facilities are better preserved.
Afterwards we continue to Anuradhapura, where we will visit and spend the night.
 
Day 4
Anuradhapura - Whoever did not visit the first capital of Sri Lanka (5th century BC - 10th century AD) was not actually on Sri Lanka - the Sinhalese (and South Indian) kings dominated the island from here for about 1400 years! Also, Anuradhapura is one of the most sacred places for Buddhists in the country, if not Asia. In addition to the still visible backdrops, the imposing Dagobas, now under the jungle, but now freed, the Sri Maha Bodhi Temple attracts the believing Buddhists and pilgrims. A so-called Bodhi tree has been standing here for almost 2300 years - an offshoot of the tree under which Buddha attained his enlightenment. We visit the remaining sanctuaries, palace ruins and ruins, were built by the far-sighted kings, and since then the land has been fertile in the central dry zone.
After lunch we continue to Kandy, the picturesque capital of the highlands.
Kandy is surrounded by tea and spice gardens, 490 meters above sea level, where we stop at the hotel. On the way we visit a herb garden and the Mathale temple. It is the largest Hindu temple in Sri Lanka.
The next stop is the cave temple of Aluvihara, through the magnificent gate in the original white wall, filled with numerous black elephant figures, we enter the temple area, which is located in a landscape marked by rugged granite rocks. The Aluvihara is one of the most important sites of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. In 80th year, , About 500 Buddhist monks from all over the world gathered here to record the teachings of Buddha, which had previously been handed down to them, for the first time on palm leaves, the so-called olas.
After a short break, head to Dalada Maligawa, the temple of the Sacred Teeth of the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The sacred relic, which was brought to Sri Lanka in the fourth century AD, has since been a symbol of the sovereignty of its rulers, and has always been preserved with great splendor as a sanctuary. The tooth temple, as it is commonly called, is a magnificent shrine, with decorative walls, moat, turrets, golden roof and fine carving, and has kept its ambiance from times past alive. Every day, three religious services are held at daybreak, noon, and in the evening, which may be visited by you.
Before you can visit the Kandy Temple dancers performing their traditional Buddhist dances.
In the evening we go back to the hotel where you will end the day with dinner.
Day 5
After breakfast we go to the center of Kandy, where you can make a shopping trip, which is very entertaining and exciting, after consultation with the tour guide. Boutiques, shops and arts and crafts centers offer many exotic goods. Among the bargains are authentic Highland artisan products made of silver, brass, wood and lacquer. Others include jewelery, batiks, dumbara mats, precious stones, spices, tea, hand-woven textiles, ready-made designer clothes and fresh tropical fruits. The main attraction is the covered and multi-storey shopping center in the center of Kandy.
Afterwards we visit the Botanical Garden in Peradeniya. Far-traveled plant-lovers hold this park, by the way in 1824 by the British on the place of former royal pleasure gardens, for the most beautiful botanical garden in the world. The most impressive is the huge Ficcus Javanicus, which is planted in 1861 and whose roof covers an area of ​​2,400 square meters. You will be totally shocked by the highest bamboo in the world, which rises 30 to 40 meters into the sky and reaches 30 cm per day. The candle tree and orchid house are also worth a visit. One of the top attractions of the complex is a large number of palm trees that are normally found in the Seychelles, the Coco de Mer. Many years ago, they were flushed once to the beach. Except in the Seychelles, where they come from, powerful mahogany trees show us how small and lost man is. There is plenty to see on this wonderful spot.
Now we are on the way to the highlands, past the beautiful tea plantations, where you can observe the tea-pickers in their daily work. There we visit one of the typical tea plantations with their tea factory, where you can enjoy the famous tea of ​​Sri Lanka. Next we drive to Nuwara Eliya. It is the highest region of the island state. Endless tea plantations, impassable mountains and numerous waterfalls characterize this region. Historic hotels, a golf club, a quaint post office building made of pink brick, old villas with gabled lounges and the elite "Hill Club" - some corners in Nuwara Eliya still breathe the spirit of British Governor Edward Barnes.
This was at the heyday of the British Empire when Sri Lanka still bore the name of Ceylon.
Day 6
After breakfast, drive to Yala.
Afterwards we visit the Yala National Park. This is one of the oldest and most famous in Sri Lanka. It occupies an area of ​​1,572 square kilometers and forms the largest connected area of ​​protected nature in Sri Lanka. The diverse ecosystems range from monsoon forests to the dry zone. Deciduous forests, thorns, freshwater, seawaters and sandy beaches are home to a variety of important plant species and animals. We go on an extensive safari with a Landrover. In the park live 32 different species of mammals and 142 bird species, of which 5 belong to the endangered species.
Afterwards we will return to our hotel, where you will end the day with a dinner.
Day 7
In the morning after breakfast we will go to Kataragama. It is one of the oldest settlement areas of Sri Lanka (since about 3C BC) and one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in Southeast Asia. In the small village, the Hindu and war god Scanda is revered. Legend has it that Prince Skanda from South India defeated the giant Taraka and fell in love with a pretty girl from the people of the Veddha, the indigenous people of Sri Lanka. He took it to the consort and moved to the hill of Kataragama, where today the Maha Devale, which is consecrated to him, welcomes the faithful: in the comparatively unadorned temple, sacrifices and donations are made with much incense. Thousands of pilgrims - Hindus - Muslims - ask for the fulfillment of their desires or forgiveness of their sins. Dagoba Kin Vihara is also located behind the temple, where flowers and fruit are laid down. To Esala Perahera (pilgrimage in July / August) the place looks like a fairground with countless market stalls, snack bars and picnic large families from all parts of the country. In the evening, the river shines in the glow of thousands of small tea and oil lights.
Now we go to one of the most beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka in Unawatuna, where you can eat in one of the small beach restaurants and also, if the sea is not too stormy, the famous stilt fisherman watching.
Afterwards we will go to the old colonial town of Galle in the south of Sri Lanka. There we visit the fortress built in 1663 by the Dutch. It belongs to the world cultural heritage. It is the largest preserved fortress in South Asia and shows an interaction between European and Asian architecture. Prior to colonialization, Galle was a major seaport. Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malayans, and Indians drove brisk trade here. In 1640 the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch, who made Galle the seat of the governor of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), and thus became the capital of Dutch - Ceylon.
The British, who took over the country from the Dutch in 1796, use the fort as a local administrative center. In Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, they established a larger seaport, which left the port of Galle its outstanding importance. After consultation with the tour guide, you can discover Galle on your own.
Afterwards we return to our guest house Pahalage in Beruwala, where we have a stop at a turtle farm.