Tours - Excursions
Raja Maha Viharaya
is an important Buddhist temple and a half-day tour.
It is located about 7 miles from Colombo.
The temple dates back to more than 2,500 years. It is believed that Buddha
visited here and preached from a jeweled chair to warring factions
on the futility of war. The original dagoba is believed to have
enshrined the chair but was later demolished by South Indian invaders.
The 2 major statues here are the reclining Buddha and the Buddha in
meditative pose; however, it is probable to spend hours studying the
frescoes describing the life of the Buddha and notable events in
the island's history.
There is the story of King Kelanitissa who apparently
boiled an alive Buddhist monk in oil as he believed that the monk
tried to pass a love letter to the Queen. The angry gods produced
tidal waves and the King was told that the only way to pacify the
gods was to sacrifice his daughter to the sea. The King obeyed the
wishes; the seas calmed and the daughter who was swept out to sea
on a boat landed at Kirinda. King Kavantissa of
the south married her and she became the mother of the best known
of the island's kings, Dutugemunnu.
On the full moon of January, when hundreds of elephants and thousands of dancers parade the streets, there are many activities to enjoy and try at the temple
during the Duruthun Perehera
Sri Lanka's hill capital was the stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, is regarded by most Sri Lankans as the country's
most beautiful town.
It is 488 metres above sea level and is built around a lake and
set in a picturesque natural arena.
A day’s tour to the Royal City encircled in the hills,
visiting the unique elephant orphanage at Pinnawela en route. Kandy,
famed for the Sacred Temple of the Tooth
Relic of the Buddha is the home of arts and crafts offering
extensive chances for sightseeing.
is an excellent place for shopping for souvenirs in wood, copper,
silver, brass, ebony and bronze. Ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms,
batiks, jewellery and rush and reed-ware are also available.
The highlight of the year is the Esala Perahera,
when a replica of the relic casket is taken in procession by exotically
costumed dancers, drummers and about 80 to 100 elephants during
ten glittering nights in July and August. There are a number of
shrines and temples in and around Kandy, where you will see rare
paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings.
The Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya is
a great place of outstanding beauty. The journey to Kandy is through
picturesque rural Sri Lanka along a road, which is rich in history.
The fishing town north of Colombo has golden beaches and catamarans
with billowing sails bringing the catch home. It is a town of
churches and quaint streets
in a picture book setting. Plenty of swimming and exotic seafood
can be found here.
Ratnapura is known as the City of Gems. Visit a gem mine, gem
museum and the cutting and polishing centre. A scenic drive will take you to Ratnapura. Travellers from
all over the world have been attracted by the gems here. Even King Solomon
sent his galleons to Sri Lanka to bring the gems with which he
wooed the Queen of Sheba.
The scenic south coast road is covered with coconut plantations and
golden beaches leading to Galle.
Galle is an old Dutch town with a well-conserved fort. On the way you
can tour the Bentota National Holiday Resort
and the mask makers of Ambalangoda. It is
known for its beautiful hand made lace. En route to Galle there are
numerous seaside accommodations with great amenities and delicious