At 5500 feet up in the sky, the land below is picture-perfect. The lush green mountains and tiered paddy lands are interspersed by the snaking black- tarred roads, chock-full of loaded busses and honking cars creating the ever-present traffic snarl-ups. Next to it, you see the Mahaweli River flowing calmly in all her majesty. But all too soon, you have reached your destination. And step out into another adventure. This is how your journey begins…
On arrival at Colombo’s International Airport or Colombo City (Waters Edge, Kotte) you will be met by our representatives and transferred to the Cinnamon Air Domestic terminal at Colombo’s International Airport or the check-in area at Colombo City (Waters Edge, Kotte) in time for your flight to Kandy. In approximately, 25 minutes, the flight will reach Kandy’s Polgolla Reservoir and you will be driven to your Hotel.
After check-in at your hotel it is time to give yourself a memorable holiday. Your afternoon will include a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens and a drive around the Kandy Lake.
Imagine yourself in Kandy: A city with a history that is as intriguing as it is enthralling. Once a bastion of the last Sinhala king, the history of this great city dates back to the 4th century with enough relics and remnants to keep you charmed during this memorable holiday. And this is just the beginning…
The Royal Botanical Gardens dates as far back as 1371 when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli River. Later, in the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1780) this was made a Royal Garden and from 1780 – 1798 King Rajadhi Rajasinghe resided there. Today, this beautiful 147 acre pleasure garden of the kings boasts of over 5000 species of trees and plants, some of which are rare and endemic to the tropical world.
The Kandy Lake: Located in the heart of the hill city of Kandy, this lake was built in 1807 by King Sri Vikrama Rajasingha of Sri Lanka next to the Temple of the Tooth. Over the years, it was reduced in size. There are many legends and folklore regarding the lake. One such is that the small island at its center was used by the king's helm for bathing and was connected to the palace by secret tunnel.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the bustling market place and bazaar areas with your guide. The evening ends with a cultural performance of traditional Kandyan dancing and reverberating drums.
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An Evening of Contemporary Art with Rahju: Rahju is a half-Norwegian, half-Sri Lankan artist who has been living and working in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years. Living a reclusive and alternate life on his hilltop cottage overlooking the Hunas mountain range, he spends his time painting in his private studio. Rahju’s lifestyle brings to mind his great predecessor and friend, George Keyt, also of mixed South Asian and European background. Keyt shocked the Colombo society of the 1930’s when he forsook the city’s pleasures in order to live as a villager in the Kandyan countryside. After you meet Rahju and have tea with him, his artist daughter, Rudrani, will show you around their house, share interesting facts about their cottage, and show you her original paintings. They will then take you down to the studio and Rahju will share his paintings and discuss them individually.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the bustling market place and bazaar areas. The evening ends with a cultural performance of traditional Kandyan dancing and reverberating drums.
Overnight stay - Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy or similar in the area
Cinnamon Citadel: www.cinnamonhotels.com/CinnamonCitadelKandy.htm
After breakfast visit the Temple of the Tooth.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic: The Temple is among the most sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world. Walk through the magnificent Royal Palace that was built by Vikramabahu 3rd (r. 1356-1374) and Senasammatha Vikramabâhu (r. 1469-1511). Take in the grandeur of the Audience Hall, built during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1797-1814) where the Kandyan kings held their royal court. Visit the Mahamaluwa and see relics and statues of Madduma Bandara, princess Hemamali and Prince Danthe and the skull of Keppetipola Disawa and much much more.
After a leisurely lunch, proceed by road to Sigiriya. En route stop in Matale to visit a Spice Garden.
In early historical times, Sri Lanka was renowned for its abundant spices and verdant spice gardens drawing the attention of the Greeks, Romans and Arabs who maintained a thriving spice trade. Today, these spice gardens dot the landscape along the Matale road and give an interesting insight into the production of spices in Sri Lanka. A ‘must-see’ for anyone passing this way.
In the evening, take a tour of the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Imagine yourself at this spectacular Rock Fortress: This World Heritage site is one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive attractions. British Explorer John Still, who discovered this amazing site exclaimed, “The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery…the largest in the world perhaps”. Walk through ruins of an ancient palace built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495AD). Enjoy the artistry of the Frescoes of 500 ladies, the complexities of the Water Gardens, the beauty of the Mirror wall, and walk through the Lion platform and drink in the exhilarating vistas from the summit of this massive rock fortress.
Overnight stay - Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana or similar in the area
Cinnamon Lodge: www.cinnamonhotels.com/CinnamonLodgeHabarana.htm
Early wake up and drive to Hiriwaduna, for an optional trek through a village that lies sprawled around a reservoir located off the main Habarana road.
Hiriwaduna trek - Walk through shaded paths and across reservoir bunds. Step into water or step over grasslands. Enjoy a picnic breakfast under the trees. Cross the gently waters of the reservoir in the traditional ‘oruwa’ or small raft. Visit the local ‘chena’ farmer and enjoy his hospitality. Take a ride in a bullock cart though rice fields and shrub forests. Take in the simplicity and surroundings of a typical village day.
Transfer to the Sigiriya Domestic Airport for your departure flight to Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo).
Kandy, the last Kingdom of our island and an iconic citadel in its own right, where once great kings ruled and where nature, art and flourished. This is the Capital of the hill country steeped in cultural heritage and natural beauty, set amidst historic monuments, enchanting forests, great rivers and breath-taking vistas of picturesque mountains and valleys.Visit Hotel
Sprawled over 27 acres of lush forested land, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana, is an exclusive hideaway for the entire family. Rooting over 1700 trees, time stands still enabling guests to experience serenity and tranquillity while walking along the paths that lead up to the chalet-type rooms. The architect of the property derived inspiration from the glorious remains of Ritigala - A monastery that dates back to the 6th Century.Visit Hotel