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Vedda Cultural Heritage Visit - 10 Days

Vedda Cultural Heritage Visit

Sri Lanka · Private Tour · 10 Days
j
Private Tour
e
culture
;
wildlife
B
beach

Conquer the heart of the island visiting heritage sites like Sigiriya and Dambulla, visit a traditional Vedda community, immerse in the raw nature of Wasgamuwa and Minneriya National Parks, and relax at the beaches of Trincomalee. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Colombo → Negombo
Day 2 - Negombo → Kandy
Day 3 - Kandy → Knuckles Range
Day 4 - Knuckles Range → Dambana
Day 5 - Dambana & Wasgamuwa
Day 6 - Dambana → Dambulla → Minneriya
Day 7 - Habarana → Sigiriya → Trincomalee
Day 8 - Trincomalee
Day 9 - Trincomalee → Negombo
Day 10 - Negombo → Colombo Airport

What is included

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking chauffeur guide
  • 6 nights accommodation at comfort hotels with breakfast
  • 3 nights accommodation at 1* hotels with breakfast at Dambana village and Knuckles Range
  • Meals as mentioned in this itinerary
  • Sightseeing as per the Itinerary
  • Entrance fees as per the sightseeing on the itinerary

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Compulsory New Year, Christmas, and peak season supplements
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Colombo → Negombo

Upon arrival to the airport, meet our representative and transfer to Negombo

Negombo is a historically interesting place with a beautiful beach strongly influenced by the Catholic Church and is often referred to as “Little Rome’. The city has a colourful past in that the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British all laid claim to it at different times. The town has several buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese Colonial days. 

The lagoon at Negombo is famous for its harvest of lobsters, crabs and prawns. Fish auctions regularly take place on the beach and are definitely worth a look, as are the many canals which meander through the area. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Colombo → Negombo39 km 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Negombo → Kandy

After the breakfast, transfer to Kandy. En route visit to Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Geragama Tea Factory.

The city of Kandy is well known as one of Sri Lanka’s best attractions among both local and international tourists. Strategically nestled amidst three mountain ranges and known as the gateway to the hill country, Kandy was initially built in this location as a natural fortress against attacks. Kandy was not an easy target for the foreign invaders who could gain the control of coastal areas of the island without too much loss. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Negombo → Kandy105 km
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
3
Kandy → Knuckles Range

After breakfast, we will make a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic

Famously known worldwide as the Temple of the Tooth, Sri Dalada Maligawa dates back to the 16th century, though most of the present buildings were built in the 19th century. Venerated as one of the most important objects in the Buddhist world, the Sacred Relic of the Tooth of Buddha is enshrined at this temple. 

Brought from India 2500 years ago, it is said that the possessor of the Relic had the right to rule the country. The Relic is kept in a gold casket and stored amidst great security in the inner chamber. The temple complex is made up of numerous buildings most of which are highly decorated with paintings and carvings depicting Buddha. 

Rich in history and tradition, the Sri Dalada Maligawa is a religious centre where daily worship is a colourful and joyful way of everyday life. At several times throughout the day different services are held and with the large numbers of worshippers present, it is clear to see why Buddhists are so piously devoted towards the Sacred Tooth Relic. Spine-tingling traditional drumming to be heard coming from the inner chamber, will signal that the ceremonial opening of the window for the public viewing of the casket with the Relic within, is just about to begin. 

After our visit, we will head for the Knuckles Range

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Kandy → Knuckles Range44 km 1h 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Sir John’s Bungalow

Knuckles Range

day
4
Knuckles Range → Dambana

Trekking in the Knuckles Range 

Breakfast at the hotel. The Knuckles mountain range is a vitally important conservation area and forms the backbone of the recently declared Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Named so because of the appearance of this mountain range resembling that of a set of knuckles in a closed fist, the region is famed for its unique landscape and spectacular natural beauty. The Knuckles forest covers an area of about 160 sq km and falls within the Kandy and Matale districts. It is the most scenic part of Sri Lanka’s highlands and contains some of the island’s most rugged, spectacular and breathtakingly mountain scenery. 

Another unique feature of the Knuckles is that it includes almost all major climatic zones in Sri Lanka, which is sure to arouse the interest of nature enthusiasts, botanists and researchers alike. 

This wonderful range covers almost every forest type found in Sri Lanka at elevations ranging between 250 and 4,000ft. From Illukkumbura you’ll experience dry forests and then traverse through wet forests, dry pathana, montane forest, and finally end up in the pygmy forest in Riverstone, whose windblown trees mark the highest point of the trek. 

A walk through the Pitawala Pathana –the island’s largest dry pathana plains- will let you glimpse the 1,500ft sheer drop to the Puwakpitiya valley below. Once we finish our trekking, we will head for Dambana

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Knuckles Range → Dambana 103 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tikiri Villa

Dambana

day
5
Dambana & Wasgamuwa

After breakfast, we will make a visit of a village in Dambana. 

Visit to a Vedda Community

The Veddas preserve a direct line of descent from the island's original Neolithic community dating back from at least 18,000 BC. Veddas were originally hunter-gatherers, with the women of the tribe staying at home to tend to the family. They used bows and arrows to hunt game, and also gathered wild plants and honey. But now they are being forced to do farming. 

The original dwellings of the Veddas consisted of caves and rock shelters. Many elaborate cave paintings have been discovered in Sri Lanka, painted mainly by the womenfolk whilst waiting for their men to return from the hunt. Joining the Veddas of Sri Lanka in their village gives visitors a unique opportunity to get a firsthand experience of the Vedda culture which remains relatively untarnished by modern technology and commercialization. 

The Veddas are devoted to their traditions and our guests get to meet with Uruwarige Wanniyalatto, Chief of the Veddas. According to tribe rules, visitors cannot participate in communal activities without his permission. Once it is granted, close observation of Vedda culture is possible, as is participation in some of their activities. One of their traditional forms of invoking the blessings of the gods is a famous dance called "Kiri Koraha".

The Vedda people present situation is even more demanding and arduous. On one hand they are fighting to keep their members from getting commercialized and on the other hand, the authorities blame them for getting commercialized and keep away from looking into their grievances. They are fighting a losing battle. 

In one recent interview, the Chief Uruwarige Wanniyalatto said that his greatest fear was that he will not be able to stop the death of the Vedda way of life. Since their livelihood is now changed completely, they depend more and more on earning money to sustain them. 

After our visit of this village, we will continue to Wasgamuwa National Park. 


Wasgamuwa National Park Evening Safari

Wasgamuwa National Park has a history of being the place to observe the Sri Lankan sloth bear (a recognized subspecies of the sloth bear). The name Wasgamuwa is derived from the Sinhalese 'walas gamuwa' where walaha is bear and gamuwa means 'the woods'. Due to the decline in population of the Sri Lankan sloth bear, the most commonly seen animal on safari today is the Sri Lankan elephant. 

After our visit we will return to Dambana. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Dambana → Wasgamuwa53 km 1h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Tikiri Villa

Dambana

day
6
Dambana → Dambulla → Minneriya

After breakfast, we will depart for Dambulla

Dambulla's Rock Cave Temple (known as “Golden Temple”) consists of the 5 caves, containing over 150 images of Buddha, goes back to 1st century BC when king Valagambahu took refuge here. The second cave, the most elaborate and most spectacular of the five, is the largest which is 170ft long, 75ft broad and 21ft high. There is a large reclining Buddha statue and statues of two kings namely, Valagambahu who took first took refuge there and did most of the constructions and Nissankamalla who later did more work. 

In the center of this cave is a large container to collect the water that drips from the rock ceiling even during the dry season. This place is worth visiting not only for the cave temple, but also for the beautiful view over the countryside we get from near the caves situated at around 150m above the road. 

After our visit, we will continue towards Minneriya National Park


Minneriya National Park Evening Safari

More spectacular than possibly any other wildlife event in Sri Lanka is what is known as the ‘The Gathering’. During the dry season (July to September) when water supplies start to diminish, more and more animals congregate around the Minneriya reservoir where grasses are rich and fertile. 

For several months of this drought season different herds of wild elephants gather at the reservoir. They come from the areas beyond Minneriya, and at any one time it is possible to witness up to 300-400 elephants. They are not migrating, they simply ‘gather’, to socialize, bathe, feed and possibly mate. It is a unique phenomenon and only seen in Minneriya National Park. Recently, this amazing Gathering was listed as Number 6 in the Lonely Planet’s Guide to Natural Wildlife Spectacles of the World. 

Minneriya National Park is also home to Sri Lankan Elephants and Sri Lankan Sloth Bears. It is listed as one of the important bird areas in Sri Lanka. The wildlife here comprises of 26 species of mammals, 160 species of bird, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish and 75 species of butterfly. 

Finally, we will continue to our hotel in nearby Habarana

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Dambana → Dambulla101 km 2h 20min
Q
Dambulla → Minneriya32 km 35min
Q
Minneriya → Habarana9 km 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
7
Habarana → Sigiriya → Trincomalee

After breakfast, visit of Sigiriya's Lion Rock Fortress

Appropriately named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigiriya is one of the most outstanding of architectural wonders in Sri Lanka. Rising nearly 700 feet above one of Asia’s most well-preserved ancient landscaped gardens, the rock fortress of Sigiriya, a giant granite monolith, is an unforgettable site. 

The fortress was built in the shape of a lion, hence the name Lion’s Rock. Giant lions paws and intricate surrounding brickwork are all that remain of the forbidding entrance to the Upper Palace. Stretching across nearly 3.5 acres, the Palace on the flat plateau summit was home to King Kasyapa for over 20 years. The floor plan of the palace is still clearly visible, as is the King’s throne and his own personal bathing pool. 

On the way to the summit, you must pass the famous Sigiriya Frescoes dating back to the 5th century. ‘Apsaras,’ or celestial nymphs adorn the indentations of one of the walls and speculation is that they represent the concubines of King Kasyapa. As visitors over the centuries have admired these delicate maidens, they have written their love poems on what is known as the ‘Mirrored Wall’. This ‘graffitti’ has been dated back to between the 6th and 14th centuries, and many have been translated revealing genuine feelings of emotion on seeing the Apsaras ethereal beauty. 

Once we finish with our visit, we will depart towards Trincomalee

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Habarana → Sigiriya14 km 20min
Q
Sigiriya → Trincomalee101 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Nilaveli Beach Hotel

Trincomalee

day
8
Trincomalee

Breakfast at the hotel, rest of the day at leisure

Trincomalee known as “Trinco” has a natural harbor reported to be one of the world’s best. The harbor is vast in size, stretching over an expanse of approximately 2,000 hectare situated in the northeast of Sri Lanka. 

Trincomalee boasts of some of the country’s finest beaches at Uppuveli and Nilaveli. Pigeon Island closer to Trinco offers water sport activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. 

Away from the beaches, Trincomalee town has one of the most interesting and complex colonial histories in Sri Lanka, with its ownership changing between the Kings of Kandy, the Dutch, the British and even the French at times throughout the history. Evidence of colonial times exists in examples of architecture in Trincomalee town. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Nilaveli Beach Hotel

Trincomalee

day
9
Trincomalee → Negombo

After breakfast, morning at leisure. In the afternoon, transfer to Negombo

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Trincomalee → Negombo242 km 4h 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
10
Negombo → Colombo Airport

After breakfast, transfer to Colombo Airport for your flight back home. 

Q
Negombo → Colombo Airport11 km 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Negombo
]

Goldi Sands Hotel

Kandy
]

Thilanka Hotel

Knuckles Range
]

Sir John’s Bungalow

Dambana
]

Tikiri Villa

Habarana
]

Sorowwa Resort and Spa

Trincomalee
]

Nilaveli Beach Hotel

Price for comfort experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
3-4 pax
Double Sharing
5-7 pax
Double Sharing
1 Nov 2018 - 31 Aug 2019$1354$1237$1161

Photos

Veddha Community, Dambana
Temple of Tooth, Kandy
Lion Rock, Sigiriya
Nilaveli Beach, Trincomalee
Negombo Beach
Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Kandy
Knuckles Mountain Range
Wasgamuwa National Park
Cave Temple, Dambulla
Minneriya National Park
Trincomalee Town
Nilaveli Beach, Trincomalee

Map

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