Departure from Negombo at 0600 hrs with breakfast packets. Drive to Kandy enroute visit an Elephants village for riding and and get pictures. Visit the Elephants bath and proceed to a spice garden for an orientation of spices, herbal medicine and taste a cup of spice tea of your flavor.
Proceed to a tea plantation, visit a Tea factory and get the opportunity to buy pure Ceylon tea. Drive to Peradeniya for a breath taking walk in the Royal botanical gardesn one of the best in Asia, extent 147 acre which has more than 4,000 species of rare and endemic trees, plants as well as flora of sri lanka. The Orchid House with hup to 300 varieties of exquisite orchid found in the region. The promenade where various state visitors have planted trees can be seen in the middle. The giant bamboos with a grows one foot a day is a an attraction. Proceed to the city center of Kandy and drive along the upper lake to get a Glimpse of the last Kingdom of sri lanka, After a lunch break visit a gem museum and the Temple of Tooth Relic. is the World Heritage Site that houses the sacred Tooth relic of Buddha.
Over night stay in Kandy
Day Two Departure to Habarana to visit the ancient ruined cities. En route viit the Golden Cave temple of Dambulla, and check in to the hotel. After lunch Jeep safri in the Sanctuary to see wild Elephants. Over night stay in Habarana.
Day three Departure to Sigiriya to climb the 5th Cent. rock fortress build King Kashapa who ruled from 459 a.d to 477 a.d. Climb 1200 steps-need about 2 hours up and down. Good foot work needed. Return back to Habarana for lunch and proceed to Polonnaruwa to for the city tour and back to Habarana for the over night stay.
Drive to the East coast city of Trincomalee passing Kantale tank build during the 3rd cent.a.d. Arrive in Trincomalee for Lunch and relax on the beautiful white sandy beach. Evening optional city tour to see the Koneswaram Hindu Temple built on the Swami rock.
Day five.Optional boat excursions for Whale/ Dolphin watching / swim with sharks.
After lunch departure to Anuradhapura to visit the Oldest Kingdom of Sri Lanka.
and drive to Negombo after lunch. Overnight stay in Negombo.
Depaerture after breakfast for a city tour of the commercial center of Colombo.
Drive passing the BMICH Bandaranayake Memorial international conference built by the Chines Government in early 1971 where the Non aligned nations conference was held.
Drive to the Independent square to get aa glimpse of the First sri Lankan parliament which is known as the independent hall
Independence Memorial Hall. Independence Memorial Hall (also Independence Commemoration Hall) is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lankafrom the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948.
Time for shopping – Handi crafts, souvenirs, gem stones etc.
Luch at the Grand oriental hotel which has a view of the Colomb harbor and the city.
After lunch visit the famous Galle face green and proceed to the Wolfandal Church built by the Dutch during the 7th Century.
Pay a brief visit to a Buddhist Temple (Gaangaramaya)
***************** Site under construction – feli
The United Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established in The Netherlands based on the charter issued by the States General in 1602. The birth of the ‘True Dutch Reformed Religion’ took place as a result of the National Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618/19. This reformed religion was considered the state protected religion in The Netherlands since 1619. At this time the Dutch East India Company was busy with gaining control over the spice trade in the East from the Portuguese. The crew of each of the Dutch voyage to the East accompanied several predicants for the purpose of performing religious rites on board and on land. They were hand-picked by the Board of Directors or the Heren XVII in Amsterdam and paid by the VOC itself.
The religion to the VOC was of secondary importance. Profit was its prime objective. Once a Dutch envoy speaking about religious liberty in The Netherlands in the presence of Charles X of Sweden, the king in reply pulled a rix-dollar from his pocket and said Voila vote religion. The policy of the VOC on religion was always defeated before the ‘love of gain’.
The charter of 1602 made no provisions for promotion and maintenance of religious institution in the East. The Company directors were not obliged to spread the light of the Christianity practised in The Netherlands. When the VOC established its administrative headquarters in the East in Batavia (present Jakarta) the policy adopted was well defined in the following statement of the Board of Directors dispatched to the then Governor General in Batavia, Joan Maetsuiker. It states ‘Nature of government is such that it cannot suffer two equally great controlling powers, any more than a body can endure two heads’. Similarly, the civil power always had full and unfettered control over the ecclesiastical. It was on this background the Dutch Reformed Church was introduced to Sri Lanka by the VOC with its first church ministrations held in Galle on 6th October, 1642, almost 370 years ago. Its consistory in Colombo was established in 1658 marking the beginning of protestant church or what they called ‘True Christian Reformed Church’ (Waare Christelijke Gereformeerde Kirk). Subsequently, church councils were formed in Colombo, Galle and Jaffna stationing several Dutch predicants to commence proselytizing activities.
The Wolfendhal Church is the oldest Protestant Church in use in Sri Lanka. It celebrates its 263rd anniversary this year. The name of the church derived from the place name Wolfendhal. When the Dutch took over the administration of Colombo and suburbs, the surroundings of the church came to be known as Wolfendhal (Valley of Wolves) John Penry Lewis in his work List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon (1913) explains, ‘ A marsh or a swamp frequented by jackals.
The hill on which the church stands must have taken its name from the surrounding ground. Several variations of the name Wolfendhal had been used in the British times including Wolfendhal and Wolfendhal. The Wolfendhal Church is situated on a higher elevation with a panoramic view, overlooking the Colombo harbour and the fort.
The Dutch chose to erect this magnificent church in Wolfendhal to replace the old Roman-Catholic church, the Church of St. Francis, located in the former Gordon Gardens (in the present Republic Square) in the Colombo Fort. Construction of the church started in 1749 during the tenure of Governor Julius Valentijn Stein Van Gollenesse (1743-51). His initials J.V.S.V.G. are placed in the front light, perhaps to remember his contribution to the building. The style of the building is Doric and the foundation takes the shape of a cross. The Church, therefore, is referred to as the Kruiskerk in Dutch.
The high roof in the middle of the building resembles a dome resting on strong walls of approximately five feet thickness built of Kabook of unusually large size with coral and lime plaster. The original dome with its covering of blue Bangor slates had to be replaced due to the destruction that occurred in 1856 as a result of lightning. Later the slates were replaced with an iron covering. The iron covering, however, needs frequent repairs probably due to the salty sea breeze.
The Wolfendhal Church is a living edifice of the Dutch colonial architecture and a monument of the Dutch Christian zeal. It has been constructed with local material utilizing predominantly local labour, certainly with technical skills of the Dutch construction engineers at the time. It is, therefore, a national monument of dual parentage and outstanding example of combination of two cultures and traditions, the Dutch and the Sri Lankan.
Drive back to Colombo
Return to Negombo Hotel for Dinner.
Arrival to Sri Lanka, Travels Road chauffeur/ guide will meet you at the airport, and drive you to Dambulla, in the North Central plains of Sri Lanka, En route visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.Providing a caring home for abandoned and wounded elephants, it is a much loved destination for tourists and locals alike. Here, adults and baby elephants from around Sri Lanka thrive, and a captive breeding program is also proving to be highly successful. The feeding and bathing time generally the ideal times to visit when you can observe these gentle giants at their best.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT DAMBULLA.
After breakfast, set off to discover the 8th wonder of the world – the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. dating back to the 5th century A.D, this astounding ‘city’ on the summit of a high outcrop was the royal citadel of King Kassapa for over 18 years. A miraculous feat of artistry and engineering, its unique features and exquisite frescoes continue to amaze all who visit it, even today.
Afternoon, enjoy an exciting safari at Minneriya National Park where you can watch elephants in their rightful home – in the wilds. One of the most spectacular wildlife events in Sri Lanka is ‘The Gathering’, where hundreds of elephants arrive by the herd from the surrounding areas to the Minneriya reservoir. As the water level recedes at the height of the dry season, they gather to feast on the lush grass, and quench their thirst for water and play.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT HABARANA.
Morning, Take to the skies on an exciting Hot Air Ballooning adventure at Dambulla (Optional). Float with the winds and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking scenery from up high – from around 500 to 2000 feet. Drift above it all – forests, lakes and rivers, famous landmarks such as Sigiriya rock fortress,ancient ruins and of course wild life too. A magical sensation that is often described as ‘surreal and peaceful’ by many, it’s a journey you will treasure. (The exact route cannot be predicted as the balloon follows wind direction. The entire experience lasts around 2 ½ hours from preparations to take off. Stringent safety procedures are always followed and a support vehicle follows the flight at all times.)
After breakfast leave for the hill capital of Kandy, visiting the historic Dambulla Cave Temple en route. Famed for their exquisite painted ceilings and statues – over 130 of them, the temple complex comprises five caves, some dating back to the 1st century B.C.
Afterwards, leave for the hill capital of Kandy, visiting a spice garden at Matale on the way. Our spices have been sought after for centuries, and continue to be a celebrated export, even today.
Afternoon, Enjoy a city tour of Kandy – the last kingdom of the Sinhalese, taking in the sights of Upper Lake Drive and the Market Square on the way to pay homage to one of the most sacred religious sites Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa is believed to house the ‘tooth relic’ of the Lord Buddha.
A walk around the town will let you indulge in some souvenir hunting with intricate treasures in wood, copper, silver, brass, ebony, bronze, ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, jewelry and reed-ware to choose from.
Evening,Round off your day with a cultural show, where the vibrant costumes and pulsating rhythms of traditional dance forms from centuries old rituals will enthrall you.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT KANDY.
After breakfast, head ‘up country’ and the city of Numara Eliya, stopping by at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens enroute. 147 acres of lushness with over 5000 species of trees and plants many of which are rare or endemic; a spice garden and an Orchid house are yours to explore. Continue to Nuwara Eliya, visiting the Ramboda waterfalls and a tea factory along the way.
Afternoon, The old colonial outpost still referred to as ‘Little England’ Nuwara Eliya certainly lives up to its name. Perched 6200 feet above sea level, the climate too, adds to the illusion of one stepping into an old English town, where neat hedges, quaint cottages and beautiful old buildings stand as serene as they did well over a century ago – the magnificent Grand Hotel presiding over them all. There is, of course, an old golf course as well as horse racing events to complete the picture.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NUWARA ELIYA.
Morning, Leave early for an excursion to Horton Plains National Park (OPTIONAL) (Van / Jeep must be hired separately to visit Horton Plains). At a level of over 7000 ft above sea level, Horton Plains is the highest plateau in the country and its unique landscape and wilderness draws visitors from near and far. The vast Patna rises from the marshland on the lower slopes and spreads up to the tree line – trees which are stunted by the winds, covered in ‘Spagnum moss ‘ or old man’s beard. The swirling mist envelops it all. In the lush jungle rare and endemic trees and plants flourish – the ‘Niloo’ flowers bloom once in 12 years. Sambur leopard and other mammals as well as many species of birds and butterflies are also found here
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NUWARA ELIYA.
After breakfast head to the resort town of Galle via Kithulgala. If you feel adventurous, the incredible experience of White Water Rafting awaits you at Kitulgala. The 5km on the picturesque Kelani River run covers 5 major rapids and 4 minor ones. You will be in good hands with safety gear, modern rafts, and a comprehensive safety briefing given by our white water rafting instructors beforehand. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry can take it easy, relax and admire the beautiful views.
Travel to the south coast and the golden sands of Galle.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT GALLE.
Morning, After breakfast leave for an excursion to the Heritage city of Galle. For centuries Galle has stood strong against invasions – from colonial powers and nature’s volatile outbursts. The famous Dutch Fort was first built by the Portuguese, fortified by the Dutch and preserved by the British. Battered daily for over 400 years by the ocean it even survived the onslaught of a tsunami and is enjoyed today by residents and visitors alike. The colonial architecture of the walled city too has resisted the advance of modernity and holds tightly to its past glory.
Afternoon, Continue the journey along the west coast to Negombo , taking in the unique sight of Stilt Fishing along the shores of Ahangama. An iconic image of Sri Lanka, Stilt Fishing is a skill handed down from one generation to the next: an ancient tradition that is sadly on the decline. Further along the coast, you will visit the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda – a successful conservation effort established to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction.
OVER NIGHT STAY AT NEGOMBO.
After breakfast, leave to the airport for your departure flight; depending on your flight time, you can enjoy a quick tour of Colombo en route.
Take in the sights and sounds of the capital city from the busy commercial hub to the tree-lined suburbs. Here, colonial architecture vies with glass skyscrapers and the past comes alive in buildings that have withstood great winds of change. There are bargains to find, history to discover and much to explore.
END OF PROGRAM.
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