Day One - Anuradhapura > Day Two – Sigiriya and Dambulla > Day Three - Polonnaruwa and Minnariya National Park > Day Four - Kandy > Day Five - Airport drop
The representative of Chiara Tours Srilanka is always at the Colombo airport to warmly welcome you with paging your names in the paging area at the Colombo airport inner lobby. According to our plan we are heading to Anuradhapura, the ancient city in Srilanka. The distance between Airports to Anuradhapura is 197km and 04 hours drive by an a/c car. Chiara Tours Srilanka is owning well experienced linguistic chauffeur guide and he will drive to Anuradhapura with in Four hours and on the way we pass Negombo city , Hindu temples at Chilaw ,Puttalam lagoon ,salutary farm and Wipattu national park. Anuradhapura is situated in dry zone in Srilanka where we can see monuments and ruins which are belongs to 4th century BC to 10th century AD, during that period, Brief information about Anuradhapura by Chiara Tours
Ruler the King
It was a monarchy, the king came from a royal family, the king ship went to brother to brother or father to son. Everything were belongs to the King. When some one had done a great services to the king or the country, he was given some lands for him self called Nindagam,Viharagam or Dawalagm for his Nobel task.
The life was very simple. They need Sault for their consumption. There was domestic as well as international trade, especially for jams and species.
The people much depend on agriculture especially on rice cultivation. Anuradhapura is situated in dry zone in Srilanka.So only North East monsoon rain brings water to the harvest only from May to September. The brave Four fathers made tanks to bank sheet of water for their future consumption. They are called Mahavapi,digavpi and gamvapi tanks according its size.
264 BC Monk Aarahath Mahinda brought Buddhism to Srilanka during the period of Anuradhapura. There were no much powerful religion in Anuradhapura and royal family embraced Buddhism and sponsored. Nun Sangamittha Thera brought sacred Bo Tree (ficas Relijos) strengthened Buddhism in Anuradhapura. The Buddhism simply asks people to do wholesome things, not to do unwholesome things, mind cleanness through mediation.
The Senpathi was the commander in chief of army. He had the power on peace, order, defense and battle under the instruction of the King. The cast system was always in the mind of the people.
History of Anuradhapura by Chiara Tours Srilanka
In 6 century BC, The Prince Vijay arrived to southwest of Srilanka from India with his 5000 followers placed called Thambapanni. This was the beginning of civilization in Srilanka. One of his minister call Anuradha ruled a village called Anurdha gramya or Anuradha village became Anuradhapura kingdom when it came to 4 century BC. The king Pandukabaya was the first king in Anuradhapura had the throne after great battle with his uncles (killing 8 uncles out of 9 uncles).He was the one who end the battle between Natives and Arians. He made Abaya wawa presently it is called Bswakkulama tank to feed the people. When it came to 3 century BC, the king Davanampiyathissa changed the whole life style of the Srilankan people by embracing Buddhism. He made Thuparamya stupa and warmly welcome to sapling of scared Bo tree to Anuradhpura which sheltered Buddha to be enlightened and making Thissa wewa were the great work of king Davanampiythssa.In 2 century BC one of brave king called King Dutugmunu came to power by defeating a powerful Indian king Elara.The battle was a great one and still the people are speaking about it. The king Dutugmunu fought not to make comfort himself but to feed the people,potect them and strengthen Buddhism in a greater level. He strengthened Buddhism by making Ruwanmalisaya stupa,Miriswatiya dagaba and Brazen palace.
In 1 century BC king Walgamba came to power and at that time there were Choler invaders continually attacked Anuradhapura and the king had flew to Dambulla, 64 km away from Anuradhapura to protect himself and to make powerful army to go against Choler invades. After getting back to Anuradhapura, the great King converted the Dambulla natural caves as Buddhist temple as well as Abayagiriya stupa and monastery. (The large brick building in the world) During the period of king Kithsirimagawan in 303 century AD, the sacred tooth relic of Buddha was bought to Anuradhapura. The king was thrilled and made sacred tooth relic temple and worshipped by providing offerings and organizing annual processing.
When it came to 5 century AD, king Dathusana came to power and did great things by making kala wewa tank, Awkana Buddha statue and brought water from kala wewa tank to Anuradhapura using Yoda ela tank to feed more than 100 village tanks by using high engineering power. During this period, king Kassapa got the throne by killing his father King Dathusana and chasing his bother prince Mugalan to India. The king Kassapa wanted to find well protected place to secure himself, so he found Sigiriya and build his palace on the Sigiriya rock which is 200m high. But after 18 years, his brother Mugalan came back from India with great army and took back kingdom to Anuradhapura again. During this period it was very difficult to protect Anuradhapura from Choler invaders from India. When it came to 10 century AD, the capital moves to Polonnaruwa from Anuradhapura due to protect themselves from invaders as well as there were so many tanks in Polonnaruwa.So they had the ability to feed the people and secure them self. Anuradhapura Highlights Chiara Tours
As we all know the sacred stupa Ruwanwalisaya dagaba is the second worshipping place in Anuradhapura. It was build by king Dutugmunu after defeating the Chloe king Elara in 2 century BC. The stupa is 180 feet height and 370 circumferences. The foundation goes 17.5 deep under the ground. It was mention in our great chronicles that more than 100 tamed elephant had used to crush the foundation rocks and the elephants legs were covered by carpet cover. On the crushed rock, they had applied butter clay then iron plate. The beautiful sacred stupa was built on the strong foundation. It is believed that Buddha’s sacred bowl of relic had enshrined in the doom of the stupa. The great stupa is located very close to the Sacred Bor tree and this is one of eighth Buddhist worshipping places in Anuradhapura, Srilanka.
Sacred Bo Tree in Anuradhapura (Ficus religiosa)
Anuradhapura sacred Bo Tree is the right side sapling of original Bo Tree which was sheltered Buddha to attain supreme enlightment at Buddha Gaya, Northern India. This is the oldest tree in the world which was in written and brought to Srilanka on 264 BC during the period of king Davanampiyathissa (2277 years ago).After arrival of Buddhism to Srilanka in 267 BC, Nun Sangamiththa Thera came from India with sacred sapling of Bo Tree with eighteen groups of people and landed to Dambakolapatuna, presently called it as Jaffna and brought to Anuradhapura with great procession. One group out of eighteen had the great responsibility towards the Bo Tree to protect and care it. Still their generation can be seen today. Everyday thousands of people visit this Anuradhapura for worshipping and get blessing from it.
Brazen Palace (Lovamahapaya)
After arrival Of Buddhism to Srilanka there were a lots of monks imaged from the society. They were so powerful and the king too sponsored them, feed them and built their living places in Anuradhapura. The Brazen Palace was a living places for the monks and there were more than thousands monks were living in Mahamauna garden built by King Davanampiyathissa. From the beginning the Palace was nine story building and the roof was made out of copper. The nine stories were placed on the stone pillars because of the termite attack and there were more then thousands rooms could be seen in the Palace with balconies. The Palace was made out of wooden and it was decorated with using silver bells and lauters flowers. The senior monks were living in the upper stories and junior monks lived in the down floors. The sacred Bor Tree and the Ruwanwalisaya Stupa were placed next to the Brazen Palace. The palace was got fire during the Polonnaruwa period and rebuilt it again as a seven story building on 1600 stone pillars using Palmira loges, fish tail palm tree loges and it was a well painted one as a living place for the Buddhist monks. Presently we can see the strong stone pillars and a replica of Borazon Palace.
Samadhi Buddha’s Statue
The Samadhi Buddha’s Statue is the most attractive statue in Anuradhapura which is 7.3 feet height and placed next to Abayagiriya Stupa. The great person’s statue is with deep meditation posture, right leg is on the left leg, right hand is on the left hand, half close eye with tight lips and precious blue sappier gem stones were placed in the eyes of the Buddha’s statue but they can’t be seen presently. The statue was found during the excavation in Anuradhapura in 1866 and the statue is carved out o f Dolomite. The ancient architecture had given live to the natural dolomite rock and the facial expression of Buddha is unbelievable. Indian Priminister Jawaharlal Nauru had written a letter to his daughter that he had got peace of mind at looking at the Samadhi Buddha’s Statue when he was in prison with depression. On Vessak full moon poya day people gather here with white clothes to meditate in front of the Statue to get peace of mind.
Twin Pounds in Anuradhapura
When we pass the Samadhi Buddha’s Statue, we meet the Two pounds that were made out of natural granite rock in different styles and in different times in 6 century AD. These pounds were made in the purposes of bathing for the Abayagiriya monks in a comfortable manner and to make the atmosphere cold and beauty. Abayagiriya monks can’t swim in the water and they have to fail water using a pot according to the rules and regulation that were given to the monks in Anuradhapura. The water had taken from the nearest lake to the pounds and it was filtered and sheltered using unbelievable engineering work before drop in to the pounds. The ancient Srilankan engineers had used terracotta cordite pipes for this marvelous work. They have carved dragon mouth out of natural granite rock and Five headed cobra hood for the protection of the pounds, mythically believe that they have the ability to provide water to the pounds. Carvings of fish, crab, shell and dancing woman have carved out of natural rocks symbolize the protection. There are flight of steps for the bottom of the pounds and the ancient technology and power of architecture is proved from these pounds.
Abayagioriya Stupa and Monastery
The Abayagiriya Stupa is the Fourth largest brick building in the world and second biggest Stupa in Srilanka.It was built in 1st century by king Walagamba in the shape of mouth of grain and it was renovated in 12th century AD by king Parakramabahu.Fa-hsien said that the stupa was built on the spot where Buddha set His foot print on the ground. The Buddha’s foot prints were enshrined in the Stupa .Presently the stupa is 246 feet high and the diameter of the lofty terrace is 355 feet long. The stupa has been built after filling a mixer of pebbles, quartz and rubbles on the top of the bed rock and hardening it by pressing. The stupa is 14 acres of land. Abayagiriya was a monastery where more than 1000 of Darma Ruchi sect monks were living, following Buddhism and other subjects. There are Elephant pound, refectories, faculties, sauna bath and hot bath places which were used by the monks still can be seen. The elephant pound is Five times bigger than Olympic swimming pool. It is a great example for the oldest Buddhist monastery.
This is a Buddhist temple by the side of Thissa weva tank and its history goes back to pre Christian era. When the sacred tooth relic was brought to Anuradhapura it was placed in this Buddhist temple and it was called Meghagiri vihara in the 4th C.AD. It is believed that the people worshiped rainy gods-Parjanya in this temple because they need much water for their rice cultivation. We can see Two different styles of sculptures with man, horse and playing elephant in the water have done very effective manner. When we climb the rock to see the Buddha’s foot print it provides a bird’s eye view of Anuradhapura with Thissa weva tank, village, stupa, rice fields and Buddhist temples. The sculptures of Issurumuniya lovers and the royal family are very attractive and they are considered as genius work of ancient Srilankans.
Jethavanarama Stupa is the center piece of Jethavanarama Monastry.This was third largest building in the world and it was only smaller than Two pyramids in Luxor in Egypt in 3rd C AD. Jethavanarama Stupa is the largest brick building in the world and Emerson Tenant; a British engineer had related that the bricks which were used to build the Jethavanarama Stupa have the ability to build a wall with 3 feet high and 1 foot width from London to Edinburgh. Originally the Stupa was 400 feet high, diameter was 367 feet and the foundation is 28 feet deep. There are Four entrances for the Stupa, one is 28 feet width. A gold plate was found in reason excavating and the Mahayana Sutra or philosophical teaching of Buddha was written in the gold plate. This plate can be seen in Colombo museum presently.
After visiting all the sight seen of Anuradhapura, we are going to the hotel after having a great experience about Srilankan history and Buddhism.
Sigiriya and Dambulla
After breakfast we are heading to Sigiriya from Anuradhapura which is very famous as Lion’s Rock Fortress and the distance between Anuradhapura to Sigiriya is about 70 kilometers and one and half drive. On the way with many sceneries and experiencing the rice fields and man made lakes we are reaching to the Lions Rock, the most spectacular rock fortress in the world.
It was a city, palace and garden complex and most of the people believe it as an 8th wonder of the world. The Lion’s Rock or Sigiriya rock is Srilankan most recognizable landmark and not only natives but also many tourists daily visit the world famous rock fortress because it is a World Heritage site published in 1982 by UNSCO. The Sigiriya was built by king Kashapa in 5th Century AD to protect himself from his brother Mugalan who lived India at that time. He was a ‘lover of nature’ and wanted to make Sigiriya as a heaven in all comfort. When we are entering in to the site we pass Two moats and Three ramparts to safe guard the king’s life from enemies. There were many dangerous crocodiles could be seen in these moats. The water garden, terrace garden and boulder garden tells the story that the King had admired the nature in great manner; still the fountains are working during the rainy season. The Lion’s Rock is 200 meters high and half way to the Rock the visitor has the ability to see the world famous 5th century AD Frescoes. They are half naked woman was drawn by the great ancient artist using natural paint and they are still alive. There were more than 500 paintings could be seen but unfortunately they were washed out and only 22 painting can be seen now.
The mirror wall is built to protect to the staircase walkers who are climbing to the summit and the wall was converted as a mirror using well polished natural granite. So that, when the visitor is going through the mirror wall the Frescos could be seen from the mirror.
After 5th century AD, there were many people came to see the miracle of the rock and the well preserved urban planning. They wrote their ideas, thoughts and feelings in the mirror wall about their experiences in Sigiriya. There were more than 1000 grafties can be seen but 687 grafties have read and understood in present. After Lion’s paw we reach the summit where we experience the ruins of the palace and the pool where it gives bird’s eye view of the surrounding.
After Lion’s Rock you are free to ride on elephant and to have aruvadic harbel massage from government approved places.
We are going to Dambulla Golden cave temple which is 18 km away from Sigiriya Lion’s Rock. It is a cultural triangle declared by UNSCO where there are Five natural caves converted as Buddhist temple in 1st Century BC by the great king Valagamba.It was a good protecting places to him to safeguard his life from invaders and Buddhist monks too helped him during his difficult situation. The king converted these natural caves as Buddhist temple after winning the battle in Anuradhapura as a gratitude to the Buddhist monks. It is a well painted cave temple where different postures of Buddha’s statues can be seen and they are made out of natural rock, plaster, and granite or wooden with well painted very colorful ones. Dambulla cave temple is unique and important site because of the amalgamation of the material from many eras.Over night at Sigiriya hotel.
After breakfast at approximately 0800 am we are heading to Polonnaruwa which was the second capital and ancient city as well as a World Heritage Sight in Srilanka. The Distance between Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa is 30KMs and half and hours drive by a car. Polonnaruwa was the second kingdom in Srilanka where you can experience the ancient monuments which are belongs to 11 C AD to 13 C AD and hormone of Buddhism and Hinduism were shown in all the religious places in Polonnaruwa. Mainly Four kings have ruled the kingdom of Polonnaruwa and it was a well self sufficient kingdom and had export rice to other countries in greater manner. The 11 Century AD creation ability of art and architectures are shown in polonnaruwa, especially huge Buddha’s statues mode out of natural rock, man made tanks, Buddhist Stupas, sacred tooth relic temples, Buddhist worshipping places, ancient Hindu temples and royal palaces are the great places to visit in Polonnaruwa. After successful Four decades the kingdom was changed to Dambadaniya due to Kalinga Maga invention from south India.
The Places to visit in Polonnaruwa
Gal viharaya (uttrarama)
This is the most well known and popular site among the pilgrims and visitors all over the world. There are Four well preserved Buddha’s Statues can be seen. They are the master pieces in Polonnaruwa and Buddhist iconography. This is the great example for the science of carving statue out of natural rock in ancient can be experienced in this site. The great deep meditation posture of Buddha’s statue on a throne decorated lions and thunder bolts and halo is behind the head of the statue. The next Buddha’s statue is kept in a cave where the natural rock was carved inside and the gold glided deep meditation Buddha’s statue depict the story of preaching in heaven. The inscription which was written in the rock says the agreements between the monks and the king in Polonnaruwa.It is called as Polonnaruwa kathikawatha where the king urged the monks to be united and some monks were disrobed who went against the agreements. The standing posture of Buddha’s statue with cross hands is 23 feet (7 meters) high is very rare statue in Srilanka.The passing away of Buddha’s statue is 46 feet long (14 meters)and the last moment of the great person is depict by this statue. These statues are the most admirable statues where the facial expression and the great qualities of Buddha as equinity, compassion, love and kindness and rejoice when others are happy are shown through these statues.
King Parakramabahu statue
This is unique statue in Polonnaruwa because no king’s statue can be seen in this area. The statue shows the mysterious carving ability of ancient people in Srilanka. This is a king statue where he stands as a sage and farmer because the sage and the farmers are very popular during these period. The statue is situated in the bank of the Parakramabahu man made tank. The Three bends of the statue shows the natural way of standing of a man. This is considered as the master piece of Srilankan art.
Poth Gul Vehara
This is the ancient library during 11 Century AD. It is a Buddhist religious place where Four attending stupas in Four corners as well monks’ cells too can be in this area. This was a popular place and the chronicles say that the royal family and nobles had come here to refer Buddhist texts especially chanting gathas and read fifty Five jathaka stories (Buddha’s life stories). It was fired during the attack from Kalinga and Maga from south India. This is the most ancient library in Srilanka.
There are seven Hindu temples were built during the Cholas period in Polonnaruwa. They are the oldest sites found in this area. The Hindu temples were built during the Cholas period for the religious worshipping purposes in Polonnaruwa. The ‘Lingam and Yoni’ are the symbol of worship. The ancient south Indian architectures are shown from these Hindu temples. They are built with using granite slabs and no plasters of bounding agent had been used for these temples. They muter and peg system had applies to built these worshipping places. Still the people gather Three times per week for Hindu worshipping.
Circular Relic chamber (Vatadage)
This is one of the most beautiful buildings in Polonnaruwa and it was built to protect the Stupa where the sacred relics were enshrined. The unique Srilankan architectural style is used in a greater manner. The conical roof was supported by the strong stone pillars around the stupa. There are Three levels where the first and second levels are traditional entrances consist of moonstone, guard stone, balustrade and flight of steps. The third level is well painted decorated wall with Four Buddha’s statue in Four cardinal points around the Stupa which were made out of different natural granite stones. The well preserved and the best moonstone can be seen here but the bull was taken out from the moonstone and had given a prominent place because of Hinduism in Polonnaruwa.
Thuparamaya image house
This was built for the worshipping of Buddha image and it is specialized in power of architecture during 11 Century in Polonnaruwa. There was a seated Buddha’s image and some several Buddha’s statue are around the place which were belongs to Anuradhapura period. The eyes of seated Buddha’s statue was studded with blue sapphire and when the sun lights comes through the hole above the other statues are shining due to reflection from the blue sapphire. The statues are carved out of natural rock called mica and they are glittering when they get lights from the blue sapphire.
King Parakramabahu palaces
The inscription which was in the left and the chronicles describes it as a palace in heaven. The Palace was named as ‘Weijayantha pasada’ because it was a seven story building decorated with golden bells, flags, flower pots and lions. The fragrant flowers were placed to provide good smell to the rooms instead of perfume. The seven story building was built using bricks and wooden and the down flow was used as a warehouse, lobby and security purposes. The staircase is made out of natural granite stones and the well painted walls are very thick due to shorten foundation. They had used thick plaster by mixing sea shells, glue of a tree, termite earth hill and ground sand, still we can experience the miracles. Unfortunately the Palace was burn due to Cola invention from India and still we can see the burn bricks around the Palace.
Thivanka Image House
This is a brick Buddhist building and the Buddha’s statue too was made out of bricks. The Thivanka Buddha’s statue is the tallest bricks build Buddha’s statue with Three bending. The posture of Buddha’s statue is Thivanka; it means Three times bend from knees, waist and shoulder of the body. The facilities were given to worshippers for head, feet and circumbulance worshipping. The murals or painting too can be seen here and Buddha’s past birth and some incidents were depicting in these murals. Outer walls were decorated with bricks and stucco plaster with various images and erotic figures too can be experience here.
After experiencing these ancient Buddhist monuments, we are heading back towards Minnariya National Park for jungle Safari. In the evening we go jungle Safari at Minneriya National park where you can see more than 200 elephants in a row with baby elephants. Not only elephants but also mammals, reptiles, and birds too can be seen.
Late in the evening we are going to hotel at Sigiriya.
After breakfast we are heading towards to Kandy where you can visit the Sacred Tooth relic temple of Buddha with Chiara Tours Chauffeur guild.
Sacred Tooth Relic Temple of Buddha - Kandy
Kandy is most attractive and famous city not only among natives but also among foreign people because of its beauty. UNESCO did not had Two minds to declare it as living World Heritage Site in 1988.It is the second largest city in Srilanka and 465 feet above the sea level. The surrounding mountain range, geographical setting and artificial lake bring much beauty to the city. A British Governor loved Kandy so much and he has experienced that Kandy is the most beautiful city among other cities in the world. The king’s palace and the British period buildings give us unique mixer of cultural new experience to the visitor. Kandy is home for the Sacred Tooth Relics of Buddha and it is the most venerable worshipping Relics to every Srilankan.It is the last capital for kings era and mainly Three kings have ruled Kandy kingdom in 15 century AD. So, the Kandy is politically and religiously well known place in Srilanka.
History of Sacred Tooth Relic
The Sacred Tooth Relic was introduced to Srilanka from India in 4 century AD for the protection from enemies during the king’s era .The Tooth Relic has become the Palladian of the royalty, that means nobody become the king without having the Sacred Tooth Relic in his hand. So it had played a great role in Srilankan history. When you reach the temple your heart and eyes might be rejoicing with experiencing sound and meal offering of Sacred Tooth Relic. Who ever come to this place, use to offer some fragrant flowers and light lamps to Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha in religious manner to get peace of mind and get better life in next life. You are too welcome to offer some flowers Buddha to get peace of mind and happiness in your life.
Over night we stay at Kandy hotel after magnificent cultural dancing show.
After breakfast we visit following places
Gem Museum , Herbal Massage Places , Batik Shop , Wood Carving
After kandy city tour we are going to Paradaniya Royal Botanical garden and it is very famous for collection of different kind of beautiful orchids. It includes more than 1000 plants flowering trees, spices aruvadic medical plants and palm trees. After Royal Botanical garden, you are accompanied to pineapple garden (Ananas comosus) where you can taste fresh ripe pineapple and it is edible multiple fruit in Srilanka. It is consumed fresh, cooked, juice, jam or desert and it takes six months to grow. The pineapple crown is used for next cultivation. Not only pineapple garden but also crane handicraft places, cashew nut village, rubber estates, (where we make natural rubber cutting the bark of the tree as a major export item) are some places where you get memorable experience.
On the way back to Airport or to Negombo we are going to Pinnawela elephant orphanage to see the elephant.
Pinnawela elephant orphanage is another attractive place among the tourist who can visit, feed fruits or bottle milk to baby elephants or travel on elephant are available and they make much happiness. The department of wildlife reservation set foundation to take care, medicine and nutrition the orphanage elephants which are found in jungle wounded of helpless. Presently, there are more than 84 elephants and 24 baby elephants can be seen, you are able to feed milk to these baby elephants with milk bottles. The elephants are taking to the Two times a day (10 am and 2 pm) to Maha Oya River to bath, so the tourists too have the opportunity to walk with the elephant to the river to experience the elephant that are playing with the water. After unforgettable times with the elephant, we are heading towards Colombo airport