Flavors of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, a tear-drop shaped island nation is a paradise defined by beautiful vistas, spotless beaches and rich cultural heritage; traits that have been running perennial in its character since ancient age. Despite modern times, the country dons a colonial charm, which is clearly a ramification of playing a host to the Portuguese, Dutch and the British in the past. All said and done! Sri Lanka mixes its flavors with a pinch of history, drops of natural beauty, local palates and everything sacred under the sun. Relish these exotic delights of Sri Lanka with our blended package of world heritage sites, colonial walks, natural luxury and of course, tantalizing cuisines.
Itinerary idea in details
Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport where you will be met by our tour representative who will escort you to the spectacular Cinnamom Lakeside hotel. Relax and unwind in the comforts of your luxurious room. Late evening, meander through the bustling streets of Colombo to Galle Face Green and witness a duet of the sound of the crashing sea waves and the clank of the metal pots and the street food vendors’ voices raising to a crescendo. Famous for its authentic street food, Galle Face Green not only tingles your taste buds but also your senses. The combination of the smoky air with the sea breeze and the aroma of the spices is heady enough for anybody.
‘The garden city of the East’, Colombo recalls its legacies as something to startle for the cosmopolitan. The dynamic capital boasts of an interesting mix of colonial heritage and modern chic, the kind of which will be served the best to you as you kick-start your day with a visit to Colombo’s signatory racecourse, that has been adding oodles of charm to the country’s heritage since colonial times. It started as a fully functional horse riding club, served as an air-strip in the Second World War then got dumped in the aftermath; only to see getting itself layers of renovation for something as magnificent as a colossal grand stand that has lavish boutiques and stores to speak for its suave transformation.
The Asian anarchy at this throbbing metropolis also lists the traditional floating markets among its prime offerings and to have a taste of it, you will be transferred to the sloppy neighborhood of Pettah; a waterfront region of cafes, shops and stalls. Heritage in Colombo finds its mention in every nook and corner and for that matter, a walk past the historic complexes of Bauddhaloka Mawatha will be the next in the schedule. Though the locales house masterpieces from colonial times, the city’s urbane character also made spaces here for trendy shopping stopovers and hangout zones.
Cultural vibrancy being a true trait of Colombo gets multiplied when dusk sets it. Jazz up in the flavor of it through its innumerable night clubs and casinos. If this intoxicating glamour is not your cup of tea, head to hotel Mount Lavina, for a culinary date with our veteran Sri Lankan chef Publis Silva in the evening.
Day 3 and 4
Religiously beautiful and local
Away from the modern hustle and bustle of Colombo, lies the sacred town of Dambulla, the one which has the iconic Sri Lankan Buddha image to swagger upon. Dambulla’s spotlight falls at the centre of it, which houses the World heritage Golden Temple renowned for exquisite cave paintings and majestic statues of Lord Buddha, glittered in shiny gold.
Only a sneeze away is Dambulla’s dramatic twin, Sirigiya, which other than the magnificent heritage, imposes a mysterious charm of its ancient civilization. Believed to have served as a royal residence of the 3rd century Kasyapa ruler, this rock fortress complex is a blissful fabrication of human and nature’s imagination that overlooks the panoramic mist-covered forests and contains specimens of architectural splendor.
After all that serious insight on heritage, bail out for some fun in the wild. Just a couple of minutes drive and you will be in the territory of the big jumbos (elephants). Hop on one of them and catch the exquisite wild beauty in your camera. Watch out for those prowling leopards as they make their run for the hunt, or that perfect shot of pelicans and herons flapping away for a quick flight.
Also, experience the simple pleasures of village life with culinary delights, straight from a farmer’s kitchen. Take a stroll across the woods, or board a bullock cart, while you explore the different frames of the local village.
In the evening, arrive at hotel Heritance Kandalama for an overnight stay.
Day 5 to 9
Sri Lanka’s true flavors mixed in history and culture
As far as local flavors are concerned, Sri Lanka endorses its scented spice plantations like no other. To experience the best of it head to the fertile valley of Matale, roads of which are outlined by dozens of plantations of cocoa, cardamom, tea, rubber and vanilla. Make a halt and savor the aromatic flavors as you sip the herbal tea, first through its smell.
Reach Kandy and explore its religion and heritage in sparkling cultural lights. Start with the very sacred, Buddha’s Temple of Tooth, the exteriors of which are imbibed in striking colonial architecture infused in the ages old cultural portion. Kandy in all its sheen, donning a halo whimsically projects its ancient aristocratic traditions involving music, dance and artifacts in the scenic colors of a twisted topography. Fine tune your evening tip-tapping to the beats of traditional drums in one of the many regular cultural extravaganzas here, until you retire in the comforts of Earls Regency Hotel in Kandy.
Little away from the blissful chaos of Kandy are the cool environs of Nuwara Eliya, where a tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens would be arranged for you. Later, go for a short stroll of the town and spend your night at the Grand Hotel.
Next day, head to Ahungalla via train, credited primarily for its tea plantations and the vintage themed outstations. Over here, indulge in the first hand experience of tea cultivation, harvesting and manufacturing all using traditional methods. Post that, make a check-in at the Heritance Ahungalla.
Here’s from the last of Sri Lanka’s wonderful offerings – The historic port city of Galle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site the essence of which still flaunts the impressions of the colonial Dutch. Best begin your exploration of the bygones with the prominent 17th century Galle fort, beautifully surrounded by ocean on three sides.