Places Visited: Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Habarana, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya N.P, Chilaw
Experience the wonders of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle on this varied ten-day tour, specially devised to coincide with the spectacular Esala Perahera festival. Offering superb value for money, with a dedicated air-conditioned car, your own driver-guide and high-quality accommodation throughout, it takes in the cream of the island’s historic monuments, tea plantations and scenery.
As the full moon phase of Esala approaches, preparations gather pace in the Sri Lankan hill town of Kandy ahead of ‘Esala Perahera’ – the most exuberant festival in the South Asian religious calendar. A riotous homage to the island’s revered ‘Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha’, the event centres on a series of spectacular processions featuring lavishly decorated elephants, dancers, musicians, drummers, fire juggling monks, whip crackers and stilt walkers, all decked out in traditional Kandyan costume. Cascades of fairy lights adorn the trees and temples lining the route of the parades, which take place after dark to create a fabulously exotic spectacle.
Our tour coincides with the peak of the festivities and you’ll get to experience at least two processions. And because no journey to Sri Lanka is complete without seeing the island’s famous historic sites, the trip also includes visits to the archaeological treasures of the so-called ‘Cultural Triangle’. Marvel at the expansive views over the palm canopy from the hilltop ruins of Sigiriya, experience the mystical atmosphere of the Dambulla cave monasteries, and wonder at the giant Buddhas and whitewashed stupas of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, where the ‘Tooth Relic’ was originally enshrined.
Other highlights of this attraction-packed itinerary include visits to spice and tea plantations, and to a wildlife reserve where you’ll see wild elephants. A day on a powder soft, golden-sand beach rounds off your holiday on a relaxing high.