The Classical Tour captures the true essence Sri Lanka can offer in the spheres of heritage and nature. The journey begins with the exploration of the UNESCO protected cultural Triangle which is the best way to know the ancient civilization of Sri Lanka dating back to the 5th century B.C. After which the journey takes you to the misty hills of the island and then to the spectacular golden coasts of the south
Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and sea-port is a blend of old and new. This is a city, which has many reminders of its European colonial past. Bustling bazaars, Buddhist and Hindu Temples and Muslim Mosques contrast with, smart modern Shopping Malls and multi-national chain hotels. Sightseeing highlights include the old parliament houses, Buddhist Temple, Town Hall, and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
Here you will find elephants of all ages, which were abandoned or orphaned. They are been looked after with loving care until such time they are ready to be freed back to the wild. The unique feature of this place is that visitors can feed the baby elephants with bottles of milk during the feeding times. Proceed to Sigiriya.
A massive monolith of red stone rises 600 feet from the green scrub jungle to accentuate the lucid blue of the sky. How overpowering this rock fortress of Sigiriya must have been when a palace crowned it 15 centuries ago. At the brief height of its glory, a flowering of only 18 years in the late 5th Century, it was one of the loveliest royal cities that ever graced the earth. And today, it is perhaps the single most remarkable memory for visitors to Sri Lanka.
The largest and oldest of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities, Anuradhapura is a fitting climax to any tour of the Cultural Triangle. Arguably, it takes a bit more effort to imagine it as it was 2000 years ago, with palaces and huge dagobas standing up to nine floors high, a main processional avenue 24km (16 miles) long and the richly decorated, ostentatious mansions of Sinhalese nobles and wealthy foreign merchants.
The Avukana statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil.
Located in the North Central province, was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century A.D. Along with Anuradhapura and Kandy, this ancient city forms one of the points of the “cultural triangle” of Sri Lanka, and contains a wealth of remarkable sites and monuments. Once a favorite country retreat of the royalty of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa was a key settlement even before the medieval period, largely due to its strategic location near the river crossings of the Mahaweli river.
This World Heritage Site is one of the foremost centers of Buddhist pilgrimage as well as one of the largest cave temple complexes in South Asia. It is a major attraction for tourists and locals, who flock to see the dazzling and numerous rocks and wall paintings of Lord Buddha.
The last capital of the Sri Lankan kings is 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 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary.
The botanical gardens in Peradeniya. The Botanical Garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Nuwara-eliya is a cool green mountain valley, the heart of Sri Lankan hill country boasts rolling hills interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. It is also acclaimed for its golf courses and amazing tea plantations.
Horton Plains National Park is in the highlands of the country belonging to the central province. This is the highest plateau in the country. This was declared as a National Park in 1988. The park area is 3160 hectares. The second & third highest mountain of the country namely Kirigalpotta & Thotupola respectively are found within the borders of the park. The park receives rainfall from both northeast & southwest monsoons as well as inter-monsoonal rains.
Sri Lanka’s best known national park is popular for Elephants, Leopards, Bears, Crocodiles and Wild Boar. Three times larger than Udawalawe at 97,800 hectares, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Its open, undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but the park is also now famed for its Leopard population due to publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project.
Galle the capital of southern Sri Lanka in 1587, the Portuguese annexed Galle from its Singhalese kings and built its first fortress naming it “Santacrusz”. Its old world charm appeals as a tourist destination. To this day it looks back to 500 years of nurture under Singhalese, Portuguese, Dutch and British stewardship. The influence of the Dutch on the people of the city architecture and especially the dress code is evident today.