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Pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka - 7 Days

Pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka · Private Tour · 7 Days
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Private Tour
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religious
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culture

Embark on a pilgrimage to the sacred sites of Buddhism in Sri Lanka for 7 days. Explore the most revered Buddhist temples, dagobas, Buddha statues, ancient ruins and holy relics all over Sri Lanka. 

Immerse in the oasis of devotion of Gangaramaya and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temples in hectic Colombo, pay homage to the stupas of Anuradhapura before you meditate under the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, unearth the rich history of Mihintale, considered the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, climb your way up to the ancient sites of Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, discover the Buddhist frescoes that depict the story of Sakyamuni in Dambulla's Cave Temple, pray at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth Relic, and venture further east to the pilgrimage sites of Buduruwagala, Maligawila and Kataragama.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Colombo
Day 2 - Colombo → Anuradhapura → Mihintale → Habarana
Day 3 - Habarana → Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa → Habarana
Day 4 - Habarana → Dambulla → Kandy
Day 5 - Kandy → Buduruwagala → Maligawila → Kataragama
Day 6 - Kataragama → Colombo
Day 7 - Colombo

What is included

  • Meet and assist on arrival and departure
  • Private air conditioning car with an English speaking chauffeur guide
  • 6 nights accommodation at 3* and 4* hotels with breakfast

What is NOT included

  • International flight
  • Entrance fees for visiting sites (Approx. $ 165)
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Tips
  • Porterage at the airport and at all hotels
  • Christmas and New year supplement at hotels
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Colombo

On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met and assisted by our airport representative, who will direct you to your very own chauffeur that will transfer you to Colombo, the commercial capital of the country. 

Once you check in at your hotel relax and recover from any jet lag. If you have spare time your chauffer will introduce you to the sights and sounds of Colombo. 

Visit to Gangaramaya Temple. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Mirage Hotel

Standard Colombo

day
2
Colombo → Anuradhapura → Mihintale → Habarana

After breakfast set off to Anuradhapura, visit the sacred ancient city of Anuradhapura founded in the 4th century B.C., a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. It has the largest number of ancient monuments of the great Sinhala civilization which flourished in this region. 

You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest stupas of Sri Lanka and the ruins of ancient royal palaces. Another amazing site is the Sri Maha Bodhi or the sacred Bo tree which is over 2,200 years old, grown from a branch of the very tree under which The Buddha attained enlightenment – the oldest historically documented tree in the world. 

Afterwards, leave for Mihintale. Visit the ancient remains of Mihintale, a sacred place which is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps made of granite slabs, 5 meters wide leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside. 

After sightseeing leave for Habarana, a small village with excellent hotel accommodation, a central location for all the ancient city sites. Check in at your hotel on arrival and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Colombo → Anuradhapura205 km 3h 45min
Q
Anuradhapura → Mihintale14 km 15min
Q
Mihintale → Habarana69 km 1h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Kassapa Lions Rock

Standard Habarana

day
3
Habarana → Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa → Habarana

After breakfast leave for Sigiriya. Begin the morning by climbing the rock fortress of Sigiriya - a 5th Century Fortress in the Sky. Built by King Kassapa the fortress was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years. The lion rock (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit. See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10 foot high Mirror Wall. 

Then continue to one of the ruins of ancient Ceylon - the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa, which was the Capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to 13th century. A well-planned medieval city defended by enclosing walls (around 5 km. which still remain), graced by palaces, shrines, monasteries, pavilions, parks, ponds and irrigation lakes. Polonnaruwa is strewn with ruins in a resplendent state of preservation. 

The Gal Vihara which consists of statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha have been cut from a single granite wall and rank among the true masterpieces of Sri Lankan Art. Return to Habarana. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Habarana → Sigiriya14 km 20min
Q
Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa55 km 1h 15min
Q
Polonnaruwa → Habarana45 km 1h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Kassapa Lions Rock

Standard Habarana

day
4
Habarana → Dambulla → Kandy

After breakfast head for Dambulla and explore the famous Golden Rock cave temple which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, a vast isolated rock mass with its five caverns is the largest best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. 

The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. meters) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha. 

Continue on to Kandy. En route you will visit a spice garden in Matale. You will check in at your hotel on arrival and once you are rested, continue on to your tour of Kandy! 

Kandy, the bustling hill country capital is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for the pink painted Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, the tooth of the Buddha, the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town.

In the evening enjoy the Kandyan Cultural show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Habarana → Dambulla24 km 30min
Q
Dambulla → Kandy72 km 1h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Thilanka Hotel

Deluxe Kandy

day
5
Kandy → Buduruwagala → Maligawila → Kataragama

After an early breakfast leave for Budurwagala, Buduruwagala is an ancient buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The complex consists of seven statues and belongs to the Mahayana school of thought. The statues date back to the 10th century. The gigantic Buddha statue still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly 

painted. The central of the three figures to the Buddha's right is thought to be the Buddhist mythological figure-the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. To the left of this white painted figure is a female figure in the thrice-bent posture, which is thought to be his consort-Tara. 

On completion leave for Maligawila, The Maligawila Buddha statue is a standing figure of the Buddha in Sri Lanka, which has been carved out of a large limestone rock during the 7th century by a prince named Aggabodhi. It is the tallest free-standing ancient statue of the Buddha found in the country. It had been broken into several pieces by the time it was found in 1951. The statue was reconstructed and raised again in 1980 

On completion continue to Kataragama, in the evening visit to Kiri Vehera and Kataragama Devol

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Kandy → Buduruwagala171 km 3h
Q
Buduruwagala → Maligawila38 km 45min
Q
Maligawila → Kataragama62 km 1h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Mandara Rosen

Standard Kataragama

day
6
Kataragama → Colombo

After breakfast, morning visit to Kiri Viharya and leave for Colombo, on arrival check in at the hotel, late afternoon leave for Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent (Chief Priest) is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera. Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Kataragama → Colombo238 km 4h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Mirage Hotel

Standard Colombo

day
7
Colombo

Now that you are at the end of your journey with us, after breakfast your chauffeur will comfortably take you to the international airport in time for your departure flight. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Colombo
]

Mirage Hotel

Standard
Habarana
]

Kassapa Lions Rock

Standard
Kandy
]

Thilanka Hotel

Deluxe
Kataragama
]

Mandara Rosen

Standard

Price for standard experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
3 pax
Triple Sharing
4 pax
Double Sharing
1 Dec 2016 - 30 Apr 2017$662$541$534

Photos

Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
Gal Vihara
Dambulla Cave Temple
Mirisavatiya Dagoba Stupa, Anuradhapura
Sigiriya
Watadage Ancient Ruins, Polonnaruwa
Ancient Stone Stairways, Mihintale
Mihintale
Offering Lights in Oil Lamps
Buddhist Shrine, Kataragama
Gangarama Buddhist Temple, Colombo
Tuk Tuk, Colombo

Map

What travelers say

  • Mrs. Kristina E. & Family
    Jun 2015

    Thank you so much for everything you have done for us, giving us the opportunity to experience Sri Lanka, the extraordinary hospitality and wonderful hotels.

  • Susan B. from Australia
    Apr 2015

    The service you have provided has been first class. The driver has been wonderful and I always felt well cared for, (travelling on my own). The tour program was excellent. I have been most impressed with your services. With thanks + gratitude.

  • Monica R. from Brazil
    May 2015

    Very comfortable Car. Driver amazingly safe and excellent customer service. Our guide Shantha is very knowledgeable of Sri Lanka culture and about the country geography. Gave us lot of amazing information and drove us around beautiful places. His English is perfect and very helpful. Very Very Happy 100%.

    Our guide made a very important and special difference on our journey. Will definitely recommend him and your company to our friends in future. Thank you very much.

  • Mr. Sean C. from Qatar
    May 2015

    Our Chauffeur provided excellent service. Safe driving, knowledgeable, punctual, good humour, polite. Would advise friends to use.

  • Rachael T. from UK
    Apr 2015

    Pradeep was an excellent host and chauffer. Very easy going and great sense of humour! Fantastic guy, extremely knowledgeable wherever he went – a fantastic guide!

    We have had a fabulous holiday. I think Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a lot to offer its visitors.

    Pradeep has been fantastic and went the extra mile to make our holiday so enjoyable!

  • Chris Y. from Dubai
    Jul 2015

    Rathna was very friendly, a good safe driver and we enjoyed spending two weeks with him.

  • Andreanne D. from Canada
    Jun 2015

    Very comfortable vehicle. Very good driver, and very pleasant. We would ask for him again if we return.

    We had several guides at several locations. All were courteous, knowledgeable and their English was good (except the safari guide/ driver).

    We were very pleased with our experience. Our tour was packed with interesting things to see. Very pleased with the restaurants, etc our driver took us to. Impressed with the quality of accommodations for the price of our tour. A very good value, especially since some dinners were included as well.

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