With a wealth of experience more than 15 years, initiated and named after INPAC Japan Male, catering the most demanding and well verse travellers from Japan, in
2004 “Karusan Travels” established its corporate office in Sri Lanka with one branch office in Male.

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Sri Lanka Culture & Heritage

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Sri Lanka Culture & Heritage

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With a history expanding over 3000 years, Sri Lanka is home to some of world’s most renowned ancient cities which are full of archeological monuments. These include Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy and Dambulla among others. These cities yet houses the remnants of their once glorious palaces, temples, monasteries and work of art. Also Sri Lanka yet practices some of the cultural traditions handed down from one generation to the other, with the most famous being the Kandy Perehera, the world’s oldest, religious and cultural pageant.

 

Of all the ancient cities of Lanka, the most famed and most exquisite is the Kingdom of Anuradhapura, one of the most sacred cities for World Buddhists. It was the capital of Sri Lanka from the Fourth Century BC up to the turn of the eleventh Century. Sigiriya, a fifth century AD fortress and a water garden displays some of the most futuristic elements of landscaping and some of the oldest murals recorded in the country. Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient kingdom of the country boasts of Irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the present day.

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DAY 01: ARRIVAL COLOMBO | NEGOMBO
Upon arrival you will be met and assisted by local representatives in the arrival lounge holding a plaque card under your name followed by a transfer to your hotel. Check-in at the hotel *NEGOMBO* is a city on the west coast of Sri Lanka, north of the capital, Colombo. Near the waterfront, the remains of the 17th-century Dutch Fort now house a prison. Negombo Lagoon, lined with fishermen’s huts, feeds into the Dutch-era Hamilton Canal. The canal leads south to Colombo. Neoclassical St. Mary’s Church, completed in the 1920s, features a ceiling decorated with vivid religious paintings. Fish market which is very much active during the morning hours and the night bazar usually operates every Saturdays.. Overnight at NEGOMBO
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DAY 02: NEGOMBO | DAMBULLA
After breakfast at the hotel, travel to Dambulla. In the afternoon visit the World Heritage site of Dambulla Caves. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. *DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLES* - is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Here is found the famous RockTemple dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island.In the first Cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the Rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they are over painted in the Kandy period.In the Second Cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people. Overnight at DAMBULLA
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DAY 03: DAMBULLA | ANURADHAPURA | DAMBULLA
After breakfast at the hotel, leave for Anuradhapura and commence sightseeing at the historical city. *ANURADHAPURA* a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north-central part of the Island was the first capital (5th century BC - 9th century AD), the centre of the island's Buddhist civilization and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka.  In antiquity and the interest, it is the equal of any ancient 'buried city' in the world. The oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old) - The Sri Maha Bodhi, brought as a sampling of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, and the island's oldest Buddhist shrines - some dating back to the 3rd century BC, impressive white 'dagabas' (relic chambers) and monuments embellished with handsome stone carvings or sculpture, pleasure gardens, beautifully executed stone baths and ponds and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals are the main attractions of Anuradhapura. Visit Mihintale on your way back to the hotel. Overnight at DAMBULLA
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DAY 04: DAMBULLA | POLONNARUWA | MINNERIYA | DAMBULLA
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Polonnaruwa the ancient capital of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon proceed for a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park, showcasing a large number of wild elephant families and wild species of birds and reptiles. *POLONNARUWA* - The history of Polonnaruwa shines a dazzling light on the history of Sri Lanka. And ancient ruins and latter-day aging rock-stars underscore why this World Heritage Site lies at the centre of our sacred cultural firmament. In 1982, chart-topping British rock band Duran came to this tropical island paradise to make their music video Save a Prayer, and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa formed a perfect backdrop. In fact, ancient and modern coexist in perfect harmony in what was once not only Sri Lanka’s capital city, but also juxtaposed traditional Buddhist introspection with a far-sighted commitment to the science and technology of the day. The city’s Golden Age began nearly 1,000 years ago in the reign of Parakramabahu I. Trade and agriculture flourished thanks to a magnificent system of irrigation and water management that even today is the backbone of the region’s staple rice production. The Sea of Parakrama, an enormous man-made reservoir that encircles the city, was also a defensive moat that safeguarded the tombs and temples, statues and stupas that are the heart and soul of the ruins of Polonnaruwa.Another major attraction are the toque macaque monkeys. For centuries, they lived and thrived in the city, and are now the stars of the film Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom Polonnaruwa, which has proved a box-office hit worldwide. * MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK * - This National Park 8889 hectares in extent is famous for its large population of Elephants in herds of 100 to 150 roaming in the jungle and seen in the catchment area of the lake. Entrance is at Ambagaswewa about 6 km from Habarana on the main HabaranaPolonnaruwa road. Office is by the side of the main road. Elephants, about 300 wild Elephants, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear, Sambhur, Leopards, Crocodiles, Jackals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fishes, 78 varieties of butterflies are recorded from the Minneriya National Park. Overnight at DAMBULLA
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DAY 05: DAMBULLA | SIGIRIYA | MATALE | KANDY
After breakfast at the hotel, check-out and travel to Kandy, en-route visit the 5th century old Sigiriya Rock Fortress and spice garden at Matale to see varieties of spice plantation and purchase as a locally grown souvenir. * SIGIRIYA *is a “World Heritage Site” and the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot high rock. On its summit are the foundations of the Royal Palace, Water Tanks to supply water and all other buildings and at the edges the guardhouses. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of Frescoes of 21 life sized damsels still shining in their original colors. The Water Gardens, Fountain Garden, Summerhouses, Boulder Gardens and the Caves within the enclosed area should not be missed. Check-in at the hotel, Overnight at KANDY
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DAY 06: KANDY
After breakfast at the hotel, explore the town and visit three iconic temples namely Gadaladeniya, Embekke & Lankathilake. Also visit Temple of the tooth relic and Gem museum in the afternoon. Evening enjoy upper Lake drive and watch a cultural show before finishing your day. *KANDY* the hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “DaladaMaligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Close by are the remains of the Royal Palace (“MahaWasala”), “PalleWasala”- where the Queens stayed-now used for the National Museum, “MedaWasala” where other close relatives lived, Audience Hall, NathaDevala and Vishnu Devala are situated close by. The Bathing Pavilion (“Ulpenge”) is by the Lake and in the Center of the lake is the Island called “Kiri samudraya” (Milk white ocean) used by the kings as the summerhouse. Today it is the center of Buddhism, Arts, Crafts, Dancing, Music and Culture. Visitors can see these Dance & Music at the daily Cultural Performances held at several places in the city. Overnight at KANDY
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DAY 07: KANDY | SCENIC TRAIN | NUWARA ELIYA
After breakfast at the hotel, travel to Peradeniya to experience a short train journey through Ceylon tea plantation. Disembark in Nanu Oya and travel by road to Nuwara Eliya, home of the famous Ceylon Tea with rolling mountains that forms a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. Rest of the Afternoon is free to stroll around this beautiful Tea state, with breathtaking views of the valley, meadows, mountains and greenery in salubrious climate. * NUWARA ELIYA * - The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coolest places in the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic and is also good for Birding as you get some rare birds in this Park. Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom in the spring (March to May) and the fall (August and September). These are the “seasons” when low-country folk flock to Nuwara Eliya to escape the sea level heat and humidity. Check-in at the hotel, Overnight at NUWARA ELIYA
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DAY 08: NUWARA ELIYA | HORTON PLAINS | NUWARA ELIYA
With packed breakfast, leave for Horton Plains and enjoy a trekking tour at Horton Plains National Park. (The walking would be about 09Km) *HORTON PLAINS* is the coldest and windiest location in the country. It consists of ecosystems such as Montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystem. At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, Horton Plains spreads across over 3,169 hectares of the highest tableland of the island. In view of the large number of endemic flora and fauna species, Horton Plains was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 30th July 2010. The gently rolling plateau of Horton Plains at the southern end of the central Montane massif of Sri Lanka is interspersed with network of streams and channels. The Montane forest is also the source of three major rivers of Sri Lanka: River Mahaweli-the longest river of Sri Lanka, River Walave and River Kelani. Still more, Horton Plains is bounded by the country’s second and third highest mountain peaks of Sri Lanka: Mount Kirigalpotta Kanda (2389 m) and Mount Thotupola Kanda (2357 m). The escarpment with a depth of 900 meters called World’s End and Baker’s Falls is one of the highlights of the Horton Plains. Later back to hotel and rest of the day at leisure OR nice city walk in this beautiful, cozy city of Nuwara Eliya. Overnight at NUWARA ELIYA
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DAY 09: NUWARA ELIYA | SOUTH COAST
After breakfast at the hotel, travel to south coast which is the best costal belt during the winter season. Check-in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at your PREFFERED BEACH RESORT
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DAY 10: VISIT GALLE
After breakfast at the hotel, leave for Galle the heritage city and commence the city tour of Galle including the visit of the Dutch Fort. *GALLE* this was the most ancient and important harbour of the country, until the Colombo harbour was established. Galle is identified as the ‘Tarshis’ of the bible. This was captured by the Portuguese in 1587 A.D, Dutch in 1640 A.D, and British in 1796 A.D.  Most of the existing buildings dates to Dutch period. The Bastians are still using Dutch names such as Zwart, Akesloot, Aeloes ect. Famous for lace making, Ebony carving, Gem cutting & polishing. Explore the Bazaar for local hand-crafted souvenirs. Return to your hotel, Overnight at your PREFFERED BEACH RESORT
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DAY 11: SOUTH COAST | AIR PORT
After breakfast at the hotel, check-out and proceed to Airport for your connecting departure flight. --END OF TOUR--

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