Architectural Tour of Sri Lanka

11 Nights 12 Days
DAY 01

Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, clear immigration and passport control, collect your luggage and pass through customs. Meet and greet with the chauffeur guide and proceed on your tour of the island. Proceed to Negombo from Bandaranaike International Airport. Check in at the hotel in Negombo and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay in Negombo.
DAY 02

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed on a city tour in Negombo. Your city tour includes, Saint Stephen’s Church, Negombo Dutch Fort, Dutch Canal, St. Anne’s Church, Negombo lagoon and any other places of interest along the way.

After the city tour, proceed to Yapahuwa.

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress – Officially Sri Lanka’s 4th ancient kingdom, it is a royal residence of the 13th century built by King Buwanekabahu the First. Located in Kurunegala, it rises to a height of about 90 m and is a granite formation. The stone steps adorned with beautiful sculptures of graceful female figures, lions, elephants and musicians, the doorway to then Temple of the Tooth Relic and the caves on top make up for the brilliant architecture of the fortress.

After exploring Yapahuwa, enjoy your lunch and proceed to Dambulla. Check in at the hotel and relax the evening.

Overnight stay in Dambulla.
DAY 03

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, proceed to climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress – This UNESCO World Heritage site, a spectacular Rock Fortress and is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. A mighty 600 ft high rock-fortress of a 5th century King is famous for its entrancingly beautiful frescoes which are found in a sheltered pocket of the rock. One cannot fail to marvel at the masterful execution of the sinuous forms of these women (originally 500, of which only 19 remain today). The most impressive facets of the unique complex are the Water Gardens, the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti, the Lion platform and the Summit of 1.6 hectares, which was completely covered by buildings during the period of Sigiriya’s glory. The old stairway to the top led through the mouth of a huge crouching lion, carved from the rock- today only the paws remain. Remains of the handsome royal citadel are on the summit.

Visit Kandalama Hotel in the afternoon. In the evening visit Golden Cave Temple, Dambulla and return to your accommodation. Spend the evening at leisure.

The Kandalama Hotel, designed by Geoffrey Bawa, was constructed between 1992 and 1995 on the outskirts of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. The hotel was commissioned by the Aitken Spence Hotel Group to accommodate tourists visiting the nearby city of Sigiriya, a Sinhalese royal complex built in the fifth century A.D. around and atop the massive Sigiriya Rock.

Golden Cave Rock Temple, Dambulla – was built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. Dambulla is a world heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. The caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters.

Overnight stay in Dambulla.
DAY 04

Obtain a packed breakfast from the hotel and proceed to Anuradhapura.

Anuradhapura – Anuradhapura is Sri Lanka's ancient capital, (5th century B.C. - 9th century A.D.) and the centre of the island's Buddhist civilization. In antiquity and the interest, it is the equal of any ancient 'buried city'. The island's oldest Buddhist shrines - some dating back to 3rd century B.C. are found here. Impressive white 'dagabas' (relic chambers) and monuments, embellished with handsome stone carvings and sculpture, the oldest documented tree on earth - The Sri Maha Bodhi (over 2000 years old), pleasure gardens, beautifully executed stone baths and ponds, a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals are the attractions of Anuradhapura. Brazen palace (2nd cent. B.C.), Ruwanweli Seya (2nd cent. B.C), Samadhi Buddha Statue (3rd cent. B.C.), Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd cent. B.C.), Kuttam Pokuna – twin ponds (3rd cent. B.C.) and Thuparama Dagoba (3rd cent. B.C.) are few of the attractions in Anuradhapura.

Enjoy your lunch in Anuradhapura, proceed to Polonnaruwa.

Polonnaruwa – The Medieval capital of Polonnaruwa was built in the 11th and 12th century and was the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka. Today, it is one of the nine World Heritage sites that the island has to offer. You will have the opportunity to see the ruins of, The Royal Palace, Sacred Quadrangle, The Gal Viharaya, The audience hall and the lotus bath. A glimpse of Sri Lanka’s religious past can be seen in the ruins of famous places of worship such as, Shiva temple, The Lankatileka, The Watadage, The Galpotha, The Kiri Vihare Dagoba, The remains of a former Temple of the Tooth. After completing the tour in Medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, return to your accommodation in Dambulla.

Overnight stay in Dambulla.
DAY 05

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Kandy.

Kandy - Kandy a lovely city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings retains an aura of grandeur, which time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its center, it is the site of the renowned "Temple of the Tooth" and the Royal Botanical gardens home to one of the best collections of Orchids. Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the islands handicraft industry and its traditional dances are the most spectacular in the country. It is also the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and a world heritage site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1806.

Check in to your accommodation in Kandy and relax.

Overnight stay in Kandy.
DAY 06

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, proceed on a city tour in Kandy.

During the tour, visit, Kandy Lake, Embekke Devol, Lankathilaka Temple, Gadaladeniya Temple, Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Kandy View Point.

After a scrumptious lunch, visit Temple of the Tooth Relic in the evening.

Temple of the Tooth Relic - The Sacred Tooth Relic (Dālada) of the Buddha is the most venerated object of worship for Buddhists. Its present house, the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dālada Māligāwa) in Kandy is considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world. The relic is believed to gift governance of a country to the person who holds the relic.

Architecture of the Temple is comprised of the following parts.

The entire temple complex, from peaked tiled roofs to white walls with large airy windows, is built using classical Kandyan architecture. The main shrine has two floors. There are various chambers in the floors including the one where the tooth relic is kept known as ‘Handun kunama’. The door to that chamber is carved in ivory and inside the tooth rests on seven gemstone-studded golden caskets. In addition to the main shrine there are other attractions such as the Royal Palace that now spends its days as an archeological museum, the Audience Chamber which now doubles as a chamber for ceremonies, and various other associated structures.

You can also witness the Kandyan cultural dance within the temple premises, which is a distinct and significant part of many local Buddhist festivals.

Overnight stay in Kandy.
DAY 07
Nuwara Eliya

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Nuwara Eliya.

Upon arrival in Nuwara Eliya, enjoy a city tour in Sri Lanka’s very own ‘Little England’.

Nuwara Eliya - Nuwara Eliya is the heart of Sri Lankan hill country. It is the home of the famous Ceylon Tea and the rolling mountains are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. The salubrious climate, misty glens and the decidedly British character make Nuwara Eliya a must on any Sri Lankan travel itinerary. Also visit places of architectural importance such as, Nuwara Eliya post office, The Grand Hotel, The Hill Club, St. Xavier’s Church and Queen’s Cottage

After a scrumptious lunch, proceed to Ella. Upon arrival in Ella, check in at the hotel and relax.

Overnight stay in Ella.
DAY 08
9 arches bridge

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, visit the 9 arches bridge.

Nine arches bridge - The Nine Arch Bridge (also called the Bridge in the Sky) is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country. The construction of the bridge is generally attributed to a local Ceylonese builder, P. K. Appuhami, in consultation with British engineers. The chief designer and project manager of the 'upcountry railway line of Ceylon' project was D. J. Wimalasurendra, a distinguished Ceylonese engineer and inventor. The designer of the viaduct was Harold Cuthbert Marwood of Railway Construction Department of Ceylon Government Railway.

Enjoy lunch in Ella, check out and proceed to Matara. Upon arrival in Matara, check in at the hotel and relax.

Overnight stay in Matara.
DAY 09

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, visit the Star Fort in Matara.

Star Fort, Matara - After the Rebellion at Matara in 1761 A.D. the Matara Fort was occupied by the Sinhalese. Then again, the Dutch took possession of the fort in 1762 A.D. and had converted it into a protective structure constructing it to have the shape of a star. The Star Fort which was started to be built in 1763 A.D. had been completed in 1765 A.D. A person named Orukema Muhandiram was in charge of the construction work under Governor Van Reek. The Star Fort had been used to deploy small defensive troops of the Dutch Army. Round the Fort a moat and a drawbridge with arches at the main gate have been built. After the main gate there are two similar gates and two inner rooms. In the middle of the Fort a well had been built. Star Fort came under the British rule in 1796 A.D. It had been declared an Archaeological Reserve by the Archaeological Department in 1980.

Enjoy your lunch in Matara. Return to the hotel, refresh, check out and proceed to Galle. Upon arrival in Galle, check in at the hotel. Spend the evening at leisure.

Overnight stay in Galle.
DAY 10

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, visit the Galle Dutch Fort.

Galle Dutch Fort - Galle, said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible is the Port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka. Fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Old Dutch Churches and monuments with armorial bearings, well preserved Fort and ramparts, imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dated 1669, many well preserved old Dutch houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names. As for souvenirs, one may make a pick of exquisite hand-made lace, Ivory carvings, moonstone jewellery and beautiful translucent tortoise shell ware, including bracelets, trinket boxes, combs - sometimes inlaid with silver.

Also proceed on a city tour in Galle, with visits to the Galle International Cricket Stadium, Dutch Hospital and the Lighthouse Hotel, Galle. In the evening, return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight stay in Galle.
DAY 11

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to Bentota. While in Bentota, visit Lunuganga Garden. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch in Bentota. Afterwards, proceed to Beruwala. While in Beruwala, visit the Brief Garden. After exploring the Brief Garden, continue journey to Colombo. Upon arrival in Colombo, check in at the hotel and relax. Overnight stay in Colombo.

DAY 12

After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, proceed on a city tour in Colombo.

Colombo - Sri Lanka's capital up to recent times, Colombo is a fascinating city with a cozy mixture of the past and present. It is still the commercial centre of the country. The original trading settlers - the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankan.

Colombo is home to many impressive architectural attractions - some of which date back to the colonial architecture of Portuguese, Dutch and British and also some with the more modern architecture of the recent times. After enjoying your city tour in Colombo, return to the hotel and refresh. Check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport, on time for your flight.

Sigiriya – The Rock Fortress
Polonnaruwa – Sri Lankas Medieval Capital
Nuwara Eliya – Little England in Sri Lanka
Negombo – A Quaint Fishing Village
Matara – Enhancing the South
Kandy – Cultural Center of Sri Lanka
Ella – Sri Lankas Southern Hill Country
With a simple lifestyle lay back in the village the people here make their living mainly from tourism. If you fancy a relaxing stay with a little adventure, Ella should be at the top of the list.
Dambulla – Fascinating Buddhist Architecture
According to chronicles, Dambulla was initially referred to as Jambukola or Jambukolalena. The most significant area of the city are the Dambulla Caves.
Colombo – Sri Lankas Commercial Capital