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Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sinharaja rainforest is located in the southwest corner of the island. It is a biodiversity hotspot and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO & a Biosphere Reserve.

This ancient rainforest is teeming with many endemic species of trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Sinharaja Rainforest is the last surviving stretch of virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka.

Trekking through this forest could be compared to taking journey back in time and reconnecting with nature. The cacophony of sound created by gushing waterfalls, gurgling streams, ants marching, and leaves rustling creates a distinct atmosphere.

Sinharaja is renowned for endemic birds. There are 140 bird species seen here during a calendar year including 34 out of 37 species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Cost per person – US$45 per person onwards…

Dambulla cave temple

Dambulla cave temple

Anuradhapura ancient city

Cycle past water buffalo wandering the crevices of once magnificent ancient guardstone temples as you venture around the sacred ruinous city of Anuradhapura. Your driver guide can accompany you on a leisurely 2-3 hour route which sees you stop off regularly after 10 to 15 minutes of peddling. Glide past villagers washing by the ancient tanks and head for the enormous Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba. Wander through gardens where monkeys make mischief and monks preach to small groups before you reach the Sri Maha Bodhi tree; grown from a splice of the very tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment. Continue to the oldest visible stupa in the world – Thuparama Dagoba, then cycle north up to the monastic ruins at Abhayagiri Dagoba and around the citadel towards the old twin baths. Loop down to the Jetavanarama Dagoba’s massive 3rd century dome and cruise on back for a well-earned drink

Cost per person – US$40 per prson (included the bike and entry ticket)

Polonnaruwa ancient city

THE MAJESTIC HISTORICAL CITY OF POLONNARUWA

Polonnaruwa became Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073 and remained Sri Lanka’s capital until the late 13th century. King Vijayabahu the 1st followed by Parakramabahu the 1st were the main driving force behind the city’s development. The remains of the Polonnaruwa kingdom include an entire city of palaces, monasteries, and temples that are fine examples of the island’s heritage architecture. The famous sculptures of Lord Buddha at the Gal Vihara date back to the middle of the 12C. The entire sculpture consists of four colossal statues of Buddha cut into rock – a Samadhi image in meditation posture; a seated Buddha image inside a cave; a standing Buddha image which is 23 ft in height; and recumbent Buddha image measuring 46 ft depicting the passing away. Polonnaruwa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prior to visiting the ruins, it is recommended that you visit the Polonnaruwa Archeological Museum which provides a clear explanation of the Polonnaruwa kingdom. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and on public holidays. One can either drive through the sites or hire a bike and cycling through it which is highly recommended.

Cost per person – US$40 per person onwards…

Ritigala Monastery

ADVENTURE AWAITS

Prepare for adventure as you take a short trek deep inside the Ritigala Mountain to discover 2500 year-old traces of a jungle monastery. The Dagobas and statuary of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are entirely absent here: instead, discover Ritigala’s quirky open-plan ruins that host numerous ancient palaces, stone baths and meditation platforms and Ayurveda hospital. Follow the route that scales large boulder masses and steep rock precipices, around extraordinary phallic trees, through thriving undergrowth and over burbling streams. Over the course of history, this mountain outcrop has afforded natural sheltered habitation for aboriginal tribes, religious devotees, and royal fugitive war-mongers alike. Local conservation laws forbid tourist access into the jungle beyond a certain point short of the 60 to 70 ancient meditation coves. Some parts of the restricted forest area houses many medicinal plants found nowhere else in the island. The trek will take no longer than an hour and a half but one can take your time and enjoy the birds and butterflies found in this dry zone forest as well.

Cost per person – US$25 per person onwards…

Pidurangala ancient Rock

Pidurangala Rock is nearby to Sigiriya Rock. Popular spot in Sigiriya to view the Sunrise and Sunset. You can enjoy the view of Sigiriya Rock and also enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding. The hike is through the Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya and will take about 45 minutes. There is an old reclining Buddha statue about halfway to the top. There are steps to climb and boulders to pass in some places and there is tricky scramble over boulders at the end the path. Even though the hike is challenging, the view from the top is spectacular.

Cost per person – US$ 5 per person

Buduruwagala temple

Buduruwagala temple

A must see location for any traveler to Sri Lanka. These are some ancient Buddhist rock carvings about 8KM from Wellawaya enroute to Yala, Udawalawe and the South coast. There are 7 visible sculptures carved on the Rock which dates back to the 10th Century. The height of the largest Buddha statue is about 51 feet.  Budu=Buddha , Ruwa=Image, Gala=Stone gives the meaning “Buduruwagala”.  After visiting the Rock Carvings, on the way back you can stop at the Buduruwagala Reservoir and spend some time enjoying the scenic surrounding. This area is still surrounded by jungle and is an excellent place for bird watching as well. We recommend an early morning visit to get the best of the wildlife around the area and to avoid the heat of the day.

Cost per person – US$ 5 per person

Dova ancient rock temple in Ella

This ancient Buddhist Temple is about 2000 years old and said to be built by King Walagamba. Ancient legends reveal this cave as a secret hiding places for the king during attacks from the enemy. Later he instructed a person called “Kumbaltissa” to construct a temple here as a Buddhist monastery. There is a large unfinished image of the Buddha carved into a rock within the temple. The shrine room is decorated with beautiful paintings which were done in more recent times. This temple can be easily reached as it’s on the main road to Badulla. The tranquil Badulu oya (river) flows past the temple.

Cost per person – US$ 5 per person

Heritage tour of Jaffna

Heritage tour of Jaffna

Galle Fort & Heritage

A WALK THROUGH HISTORY AT THE GALLE FORT.

Join a local resident whose family has lived and worked in Galle for generations, on a guided walk through Galle’s historic 17C Dutch Fort – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle’s natural harbour has long been a hub of trade dating back to ancient times. The accidental arrival of the Portuguese Lorenzo de Almeida in 1505, when his fleet of ships steered off course following a storm at sea, changed the history of this island nation. The Portuguese were followed by the Dutch and then the British in 1796. With each occupation, Galle’s landscape changed and the cultural influences remained. Galle Fort covers nearly four sq. kms and is protected by 12 bastions and connecting ramparts. Wonder the maze of narrow cobblestone paved roadways lined with colonial period buildings still in use and old merchant houses where generations of Moorish families still live. Take a walk along the sturdy ramparts looking out to sea and visit colonial period churches, the lighthouse and museums. Along the way, stop by for a cup of Ceylon Tea or fresh king coconut. This fascinating excursion will give you a memorable glimpse into life within Galle Fort – one of the best preserved Colonial Fort’s in Asia.

Cost per person – US$35 per person onwards…

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