Architectural Tour of Sri Lanka

Be inspired by Sri Lanka’s mix of architecture, influenced by a rich history spanning over two and a half millennia. Take a look at the below tour which includes the best of Sri Lanka’s ancient and modern architecture.

11 Nights 12 Days
DAY 01
Fishing Boats in Negombo Beach
Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, meet and greet with the chauffeur guide and proceed to Negombo. Upon arrival in Negombo, check in to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay in Negombo.
DAY 02
Fishing Boats in Negombo Beach
After breakfast, 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 is 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 to the hotel and relax in the evening.

Overnight stay in Dambulla.
DAY 03
Sigiriya - Dambulla Cave Temple
Sigiriya from the Entrance Road
After breakfast, proceed to climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a spectacular Rock Fortress and is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. It is a mighty 600 ft high rock-fortress of a 5th century King and 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.

Golden Cave 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 a colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters,

Overnight stay in Dambulla.
DAY 04
Anuradhapura - Polonnaruwa
Ruwanwelimaha Stupa in Anuradhapura
Obtain packed breakfast from the hotel and proceed to 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 must see 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 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 and 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
Temple of Tooth Relic Kandy
After breakfast, check out and proceed to Kandy. Kandy is a lovely city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings. It retains an aura of grandeur, which time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its center, Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the island's handicraft industry and its traditional dances are the most spectacular in the country.

Upon arrival in Kandy, check in to your accommodation and spend the evening at leisure.

Overnight stay in Kandy.
DAY 06
Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy
After breakfast, 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. 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.

Overnight stay in Kandy.
DAY 07
Nuwara Eliya - Ella
Landscape View in Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, 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 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
Nine Arches Bridge Ella
After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, visit the 9 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 breakfast, 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. 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
Lighthouse in Galle Fort
After breakfast, visit the Galle Dutch Fort.

Galle Dutch Fort - 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.

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
Bentota - Beruwala
After breakfast, 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
Night View of the Colombo City
After breakfast, proceed on a city tour in Colombo.

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 from the Pidurangala
Ancient Ruins in Polonnaruwa
Bakers Falls in Horton Place
Nuwara Eliya
Fishing Boats in Negombo Beach
Lighthouse in Dondra
Temple of Tooth Relic Kandy
Women Dressed in Traditional Kandyan Saree
Temple of the Tooth
The Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a temple in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. It was built within the royal palace complex which houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, a tooth, which is venerated by Buddhists.
Boasting of an accessible position in the district of Anuradhapura, Habarana provides to be the ideal base for your excursions.
Lighthouse in Dondra
A Hiker in Ella
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.