Transfer via: Private Vehicle
Meal plan: XXX
Travel time: Approximately 2.5 hours
After the breakfast proceeding to Kandy. Once in the Dambulla we will visit Famous Dambulla Cave Temple. Dambulla, a vast isolated rock mass, is known for its richly painted cave temples. It was here that king ValagamBahu took refuge from invasions in the 1st century B.C., later turning the caves into a rock temple. Some of its frescoes are over 2000 years old. Another highlight is a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the living rock, some 15 meters long. The caves have a mixture of religious and secular paintings and sculptures with ceiling frescoes depicting scenes from Buddha’s life and Sinhalese history. Dambulla Golden Temple The temple was a monastic settlement as early as the 2nd century BC and is now among the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. The rock rises over 400 ft. above its surroundings and consists of 5 cave temples spread out of about 50 acres. Here one can see one of the richest collections of 154 Sri Lankan sculptures in the form of Buddha images in standing, seated & recumbent postures as well as a few outstanding figures of gods. Well preserved massive wall and ceiling paintings covering 22,000 sq. ft. has made this temple complex more important to the world.
We continue driving about 1 hour to a private Spice Garden in Matale. This garden is on a 3 acre plot and opens only by advanced appointment. Though you may have seen plenty in various countries on past trips, this is a delightful stop. For centuries spices have been one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated exports. Spices such as such as cinnamon (you will be given more details about cinnamon- Cinnamon was first discovered in Sri Lanka by the Portuguese. They identified it as a wild tree, researching its benefits and designing a method to cultivate and harvest it. In time, cinnamon cultivation and export became one of Sri Lanka’s prime assets as Sri Lanka produces 90% of the world’s supply of high quality cinnamon., Also ginger, vanilla, pepper, cardamom are grown in home gardens as home industry and used not only to flavor food, but also as home remedies. A visit to the Spice Gardens is a wonderfully relaxing experience.
There is a lovely batik factory nearby we can visit. Batik has been an ancient procedure of painting cloth and today Sri Lanka is among the world leaders in the design of batik. You see the various phases of batik manufacture and witness truly quality design, artistry and workmanship.
Continue to “Senkadagalapura” today known as Kandy. Transfer to hotel. We plan to arrive between 2-3 pm. The rest of this afternoon is at leisure.
Kandy, was the last bastion of Buddhist political power against colonial invasion. This hill station is remarkable for the natural beauty of its setting in a peaceful wooded valley overlooking a vast artificial lake. The palace, shrines and British period buildings give it a special character, while Buddha’s Tooth Relic lends a religious importance to the historic highland capital.
We shall depart the hotel at 5 pm and have some time to explore the temple before the puja. We walk to the Royal Palace complex Raja Wasala, Council Chamber known as “MagulMaduwa” an unique wooden pillared hall dated from 1784 and Devale complex.
We’ll attend the puja (chanting/music) 630 – 7 pm, at the “DaladaMaligawa.” The octagonal-shaped building is a national palladium for it houses the Tooth Relic of the Buddha, an object of veneration to Buddhists all over the world. According to tradition, the tooth was rescued at the cremation of Gautama Buddha in India in 543 BC and brought to the island in the 4th century AD. The relic is encased in seven caskets, one kept inside the other, the outermost of which has a shape of a stupa, adorned in gold. The Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha is exhibited during the ceremony. This is undoubtedly the greatest attraction of the city. It is one of the most sacred places for Buddhists all over the world.
This visit requires you to be attired in clothing that covers both your knees and elbows.
Later return to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay