This itinerary, one of our special Sri Lanka tour packages from Colombo, combines the very best of Sri Lanka World heritage sites with a real Sri Lanka safari adventure. Specially designed for those with limited holiday time, the itinerary takes you to some of the most important archaeological and sacred sites of the country and also gives you an opportunity to discover another treasure of Sri Lanka ? its incredible wildlife.
Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka, among the most advanced of the ancient world, then hop on board for an unforgettable safari ride through Minneriya National Park, home of the largest elephant gathering in the world.
Begin this exciting itinerary of excursions and tours in Sri Lanka from Colombo, where our company representative will pick you up from your hotel or Colombo airport for transfer to Sigiriya, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. After hotel check-in, our Sri Lanka adventure begins with a visit to the great rocky plateau of Sigiriya which soars nearly 200 meters high over its surroundings. This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts an incredibly long and fascinating history going as far back as the 3rd century BC when it was inhabited by monks. Then in the 5th century, it was transformed into a royal residence by Sinhalese king Kashyapa I (477–495). After the king’s death it became a monastery once again and pilgrimage site, as the 8th-century graffiti on the Mirror Wall attest. Today visitors can admire the ruins of the ancient palace complex, a true feat of ancient Sri Lankan engineering. Walk through the monumental Lion Gate and admire the beautiful frescoes depicting graceful singers and dancers. After the climb up the rock summit of Sigiriya enjoys some rest and relaxation at Sigiriya hotel.
After breakfast, our Sri Lanka adventure continues with a visit to Polonnaruwa. This ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, became the residence of Sri Lankan kings in the 4th century. After the decline of the capital at Anuradhapura the in the 11th century, Polonnaruwa became the new capital city. The ancient reservoir built at Polonnaruwa, Parakrama Samudraya, is a testament to the technological advancements made by Sri Lankan civilization, one of the most developed of the ancient world. The city witnessed its golden age in the 12th century under the reign of King Parakramabahu who expanded the reservoir and built a monumental garden-city. The archaeological park with its numerous tombs, temples, stone carvings, and dagobas make it one of the top tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Next stop on the itinerary is Minneriya National Park, home of elephant tours in Sri Lanka. Experience the thrill of a real Sri Lanka safari taking a Jeep ride through the 8,890 hectares of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas. The park hosts an incredible diversity of wildlife, besides the elephants, the park is home to deer, leopards, and over 150 species of birds, some of which are found only in Sri Lanka. At the end of the day return to Sigiriya hotel.
After breakfast and check-out, depart from Sigiriya and head south to Dambulla. The Golden Temple of Dambulla, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the most remarkable places to visit in Sri Lanka. In the 1st century, BC King Valagam Bahu took refuge in the caves in Dambulla during his 14-year exile from Anuradhapura. The caves were later converted into a rock temple and adorned with scenes of Buddhist mythology and tales. The cave temple is a sacred pilgrimage site and is also home to the largest collection of Buddha statues gathered in one place. After the tour in Dambulla, return to Colombo for hotel or airport transfer.
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