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The culture and history tour in Sri Lanka is a journey back in time across Sri Lanka’s diverse culture, rich written history and the Island’s Culinary adventures. Sri Lanka’s culture & history tour is expertly guided by a full-time guide and specialist village-based guides when taking on local community hosted experiences. Most visited historical sites of Sri Lanka, some less visited yet important historical sites, authentic off the beaten cultural experiences and unique culinary experiences are included in this culture tour in Sri Lanka to offer a well-rounded cultural and history experience in Sri Lanka.
Our chauffeur and guide will pick you from Colombo to start the culture tour in Sri Lanka and transfer you to a Yapahuwa, which is approximately 3 hours’ drive. After lunch at the hotel, in the late afternoon visit and explore the lost Kingdom of Yapahuwa, which served as the capital of Sri Lanka in the period of 1273–1284, latter part of the 13th century. Built on a 90-meter-high rock boulder, Yapahuwa was a palace and military stronghold against foreign invaders.
Yapahuwa Palace and Fortress were built by King Buvanekabahu I in the year 1273. Many hints of ancient battle defenses can still be seen, while a decorative stairway, is the biggest showpiece of Yapahuwa. There are remains of a stupa, a Bodhi tree enclosure, and a rock cave used by Buddhist monks at the summit of Yapahuwa Rock, indicating that earlier this site was used as a Buddhist monastery. Yapahuwa was once the home for the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, before it was carried away to South India by the Pandyas. Tooth Relic was later recovered in 1288 by King Parakkramabahu III of Sri Lanka.
Yapahuwa can be explored without a touristy atmosphere. If you are looking for key historical attractions that are not overcrowded, Yapahuwa is an ideal historical attraction to explore during this culture and history tour in Sri Lanka. You will be staying in a comfortable hotel or a guest house in Yapauwa on this first night of your culture and history tour of Sri Lanka.
On your way to Anuradhapura, visit well-preserved Aukana Buddha Statue. With the sheer size of the Aukana Buddha statue’s splendor is not only its size but its beauty and its technical excellence. Aukana is a masterpiece of fine art skill and talent of the artists of ancient Sri Lanka.
Check-in to a guest house in Anuradhapura and after some relaxation, late afternoon visit to Mihintale, the place where Monk Mahinda and his delegates from India presented Buddhism to Sri Lanka by preaching it to King Dewanam Piya Thissa in 236 B.C. He preached the Buddhist doctrine at Mihintale, the traditional spot where this meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka.
You will be staying two nights in Anuradhapura, at a small guest house owned by a local family during this culture tour in Sri Lanka.
On day two, you will be exploring world heritage site Anuradhapura, which was the capitol of Sinhala Kings of Sri Lanka from 4th century BC and lasted for 1300 years. Anuradhapura also had some of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient era. Most of the great reservoir tanks survive to date, and some may be the oldest surviving reservoirs in the world.
In the first half of the day, visit to observe the centuries old rituals of Buddhist pilgrims at Sri Maha Bodhiya, perhaps the oldest living tree in the world. It is a historical sacred tree (Ficus religiosa) believed to be a tree grown from a cutting of the southern branch from the historical sacred Bo tree in India, under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
Later the day, we will guide you across major historical palaces, monasteries and Buddhist monuments of Anuradhapura during this culture tour in Sri Lanka.
Leave for Jaffna, northern capitol of Sri Lanka, approximately four hours drive where you would be able to witness a unique culture and food of Tamil people of Sri Lanka.
A friendly villager in Jaffna will take you for Tuk Tuk Tour in Jaffna which includes sites such as Nallur Hindu Temple which is the most venerated Hindu Temple of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Markets in Jaffna are key attractions during this Tuk Tuk tour in Jaffna and you would be able to taste some unique Jaffna food at some local restaurants in the area during the culture and history tour in Sri Lanka. Our village guide will host you for a home cooked Jaffna style Crab Curry and Rice lunch at a village home in Jaffna during this culture tour in Sri Lanka.
You will be staying at a boutique hotel in Jaffna.
After breakfast, drive down to the Central province of Sri Lanka for one night stay in Sigiriya, where you will be staying in a Tree House near Sigiriya Rock Fortress during the culture tour in Sri Lanka.
In the late afternoon, climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sigiriya Rock Fortress referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress compound has archaeological significance and attracts many of tourists every year, hence the most visited tourist attraction of Sri Lanka. The fortress complex includes miscellany of a ruined palace, surrounded by a widespread network of fortifications, enormous gardens, ponds, canals and fountains. Since 3rd century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century King Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here. Though Sigiriya is a very touristy attraction, it is a masterpiece of history and architecture, so a visit here is a must during your culture tour in Sri Lanka.
On this day you will be visiting the World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa before heading to the eastern coast town of Batticaloa on this culture tour in Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa, was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. It comprises, besides the Brahminic monuments built by the Cholas dynasty, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by great King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. The glory of the bygone era can be found in the archaeological treasures that still give a good idea of how the city looked in its glory days.
Your stay in Batticaloa is special. You will be staying with a Tamil family in their home in this night where they will cook and serve you dinner, breakfast and lunch. An ideal way to understand their culture, beliefs and way of living.
A well-deserved 3 nights stay in a secluded and eco styled beach lodge in the east coast beach of Passikudah is about to happen during your culture and history tour in Sri Lanka.
Before hitting the beach, you will be taking on a local community hosted experience by cycles to explore the culture, history, food and villages of Batticaloa where Muslim community lives. You will be guided by a local by cycles to see the markets, handloom weavers who make Sarongs and Sarees, local businesses and also visiting an Islamic Mosque to share their culture. And not to forget, a home cooked lunch by a Muslim family awaits you.
A three-night stay by the beach in a secluded eco lodge is for you to enjoy a relaxing time during Sri Lanka culture tour.
After a relaxing beach at Passikudah, transfer to Mahiyanganaya Indigenous Tribal village of Veddha’s in Sri Lanka for a night stay at their traditional village. This is a 2 ½ hours drive up in to the mountains of Uva province.
This is not a staged experience, but an observation and experience of Vedda’s real lifestyle experience as you stay in a traditional dwelling in their village learning and witnessing their way of life. You will be taking a forest walk with Vedda folks where they will show their hunting skills, Bee honey harvesting and all their day to day living habits. With the Vedda village stay experience, you have completed four different cultural experiences during your Sri Lanka culture tour.
After breakfast at Vedda village, you will be transferred to Kandy, 3 hours’ drive approximately. You will be staying in a small guest house owned by a local family, closer to the heart of Kandy town. In these two nights stay in Kandy during culture and history tour in Sri Lanka, you will be guided by a local villager for a city tour in Kandy visiting interesting historical buildings and monuments which includes Kandy Temple of Tooth Relic.
On the second day in Kandy, you will be guided by a lady in Kandy for a very interesting food and cultural experience in her village near Kandy. She will be taking you for a market visit where you would be able to bargain with the local shop owners like locals do to buy vegetables, fish and meat. Coming to her home after market visit, you will be able to learn to cook an authentic Sri Lankan meal and enjoy that with her family.
In the afternoon, take a guided walk to experience the Kandyan way of living by visiting neighboring homes, agricultural farm, village boutiques and cottage industries and even visit a local bakery to make your own bread.
The end of your experiential culture and history tour in Sri Lanka where you have interreacted with four different communities of Sri Lanka, enjoyed many local cuisines, witnessed a rich history and interacted with local community.
Before being transferred to Colombo, visit a historical Buddhist Temple in Kandy to meet a Buddhist Monk to learn about the principles of Buddhism.
You will be transferred to Colombo by mid-day to end the culture tour in Sri Lanka.
Starting price would be US$ 1940 per person based on double sharing basis, which includes accommodation, mentioned activities & experiences and Private transfers. The tour could be 100% customised to suite your budget. You may pick and choose excursions/experiences to your preference.
In Small Hotels with a character, Home Stays, Eco Lodges and Boutique Hotels with daily breakfasts.
Private transfers throughout the trip with an English-speaking chauffeur.
Expert local guides from the village community who are experts in their respective fields.