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Gain insights into the island’s culture, history and traditions as you enjoy a charming Sri Lanka heritage tour that focuses on architectural fusion. Let us take you to some of the island’s most prominent landmarks that attest to the grandeur of the past and showcase distinctive style and design.
|Day 01||Arrival and transfer to Anamaduwa||One night in Anamaduwa||The Mud House|
|Day 02||Anamaduwa to Dambulla||Two nights in Dambulla||Wild Grass Nature Resort|
|Day 03||Dambulla||Last night in Dambulla||Wild Grass Nature Resort|
|Day 04||Dambulla to Kandy||One night in Kandy||Helga’s Folly|
|Day 05||Kandy to Galle||One night in Galle||The Galle Fort Hotel|
|Day 06||Galle to Bentota||One night in Bentota||The Lunuganga Estate|
|Day 07 Departure|
The Kandy Esela Perahera, which is also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a unique religious and cultural event that takes place every year in July. The procession features many dancers, drummers and elephants, who parade through the streets paying homage to the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha which is housed in the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic, which is known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa is in the sacred city of Kandy. It houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha and is an important shrine of Buddhist worship. The annual procession known as the Kandy Esala Perahera marks an important day in the Sri Lankan calendar.
Galle Dutch Fort is a proud structure that still stands tall and mighty in southern Sri Lanka. Built by the Portuguese over 400 years ago, the fort was fortified by the Dutch, upon their invasion of the island. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visited and admired by many, all through the year.
The Dambulla Cave Temple is known to be the best-preserved and largest cave temple complex that is found in Sri Lanka. With over 80 documented caves spread across the vicinity, the Dambulla Cave Temple has rightfully earned its name as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 153 statues of Lord Buddha can be found in this temple which is also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla.
Visit the Suriyakantha Centre for Art and Culture, and delve deep into the fascinating annals of European and Sri Lankan history. Housed in the Naranwala Walawwa, an 18th century Dutch-style colonial manor house, the centre represents a unique effort between a Frenchman and Sri Lankan, to showcase talent from eras past.
Explore the vast repository of local and European works over the course of two to three hours and understand the richness of Kandyan culture. Observe the various manuscripts, furniture, handicrafts, artworks and photographs on display. Located near the town of Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, Suriyakantha is open to visits between 08:00am and 04:00pm, throughout the year.
Discover the rich architectural heritage of Kandy, the last Sri Lankan Kingdom to fall to the invading British. Today, it is one of the island’s major cities and home to an array of renowned attractions such as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Royal Palace and National Museum.
Begin your tour at the lively town centre, and observe the diverse mix of neo-colonial and colonial-style buildings. Enjoy quality time with celebrated architect Ruchira Wickremasinghe, a recipient of the Geoffrey Bawa Travel Award, as she walks you through the intricacies of Kandy’s architectural landscape. The 2.5 hour tour can begin at any time; however, the late hours of the afternoon are ideal.
Spend half a day exploring four of Kandy’s famed medieval temples. Join your personal archaeologist on an informative, 3.5 hour coach tour of the Degaldoruwa, Embekka, Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya Buddhist temples. Feast your eyes on the magnificent Kandyan murals on the ceiling of Degaldoruwa Temple. Witness the wonderful fusion of Buddhist and Hindu culture at Gadaladeniya Temple.
Take in the exquisite craftsmanship of the woodwork at Embekka Temple. Observe the traditional Sinhalese design of the Lankatilaka Temple, and discover the inscriptions carved into the rocks. Setting off in the morning is ideal, as the tour involves approximately 1.5 hours of travel to / from your hotel.
A warm welcome to Sri Lanka! Your chauffeur from Holidays by Design will be present at the arrivals lounge to greet you and assist you to your vehicle.
You could change your currency before departing the airport as this may come in handy during your holiday.
A short drive from the airport will take you to The Mudhouse in Anamaduwa (two and a half hours).
Providing a distinctive and traditional stay experience, The Mudhouse offers a private escape tucked away amidst a lush forest, on the outskirts of a rustic village. Featuring eco-friendly huts that come with cosy comforts, this unique property lets you gain an insight into rural life. The nearby lake and the surrounding landscapes are teeming with wildlife and birdlife making it an ideal place for nature lovers too.
Settle into your hotel and unwind after your journey.
You could either spend this evening at leisure or set off on a tuk tuk ride to the Paramakanda Temple.
Located only two kilometres from The Mudhouse, this temple can be found atop an imposing rocky outcrop. There are captivating shrine rooms under the shadow of the overhanging rock, while one can also see intricate paintings and frescoes from days of old, showcasing a variety of Buddhist teachings. Head up a stone staircase that takes you to the rock’s summit where breathtaking 360-degree panoramas await.
Dinner will be served at the restaurant this evening.
The Mudhouse | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
This morning a picnic breakfast will be served on the banks of the lake. Hammocks, picnic kits, mats, kayaks and cushions are provided to ensure your maximum comfort and enjoyment at the different scenic spots.
A few fascinating fishing communities live on the banks of some of these lakes – you may interact with them for a better understanding of their life.
Heading back to the property you will then set off to your next stop, Sigiriya (three hours).
Check-in to your hotel, Wild Grass, late afternoon.
Cocooned in pure tranquillity, Wild Grass is a nature resort that lies nestled amidst the jungles of the Kandalama hills bordering a lake. Ideally situated in between Dambulla and Sigiriya in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, it offers guests a chance to get away from it all, while experiencing luxurious living and nature’s serenity.
You may opt to spend the evening at leisure or visit the Golden Temple in Dambulla (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Wild Grass | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
This morning you will have an early start to make the most of your day. An early breakfast at the hotel or a picnic could be arranged.
Your first stop will be the Kaludiya Pokuna (30 minutes)
Wild Grass | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
This morning after breakfast, set out on an exhilarating climb up Sigiriya - an ancient palace fortress, which sits atop a granite outcrop. It is arguably the most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka’s medieval capitals dating back to the fifth century. Coconut water and cold towels will be provided for you on your return.
Helga’s Folly | Meals: Breakfast
Breakfast will be served on the veranda this morning.
You have two options for travel to your next destination.
Take the domestic flight to Koggala (one and a half hours) - recommended
Drive to Galle (six hours)
Check-in to Galle Fort Hotel
Once a Dutch mansion and warehouse, the property which houses the Galle Fort Hotel offers a fascinating perspective of colonial times. Featuring well preserved doors and windows originating in the 18th century, the building also has a regency top floor which dates back to the era of the British. With its ceremonial entrance arch and Palladian colonnade, the hotel offers a unique stay experience.
Afternoon - stroll through the busy streets of the Galle Dutch Fort with your chauffeur guide, absorbing its history.
Galle Fort Hotel | Meals: Breakfast
After breakfast, proceed to Bentota (one hour). En route you will visit the Virgin White Tea Factory. They produce a special brand of tea that is untouched by human hands. You may taste the teas at the end of your tour.
Continue on and settle into architect Geoffrey Bawa’s country estate – Lunuganga. Rest and relax this afternoon.
A stay at the Lunuganga Estate offers one a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the design and architectural elements of the country’s most celebrated architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The five distinctive suites feature both antiques as well as contemporary and traditional works of art. Additional highlights include the Garden Room and the Sitting Room while amongst the Lunuganga Estate’s other well known attractions are its idyllic gardens along with the Blue Pavilion and the Roman Pavilion.
In the evening you will be touring the Lunuganga Gardens.
The Lunuganga Country Estate | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
We will take you to the airport on the expressway or along the old route to arrive two to three hours before your flight.
If time permits, we recommend a massage; either ayurvedic or another type of spa massage – a perfect finale to your holiday before your flight!
A list of a few activities you may want to add to your experience.
In and around Negombo & Colombo – Visit the Fish Market or the Lellama (where the fishing boats come ashore for the auction) / lagoon fishing / tea tasting in Colombo / night cycle tour of the city with a street food dinner / diving to explore shipwrecks in Mount Lavinia.
In and around Dambulla – A safari at the Minneriya National Park / visit Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site / visit the Monkey Kingdom / visit the Ritigala Forest Monastery on foot.
In and around Kandy – Visit a spice garden / visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens / a hike at the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary / experience the temple loop / visit the Garrison Cemetery / Knuckles Mountain trek / cookery experience.
In and around Galle – Mask making at the Art Village / a hike in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve / Rumassala walk / visit a turtle hatchery / cycling.