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A Buddhist Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the oldest continually Buddhist country, Theravada Buddhism being the major religion in the island since its official introduction in the 2nd century BC by Venerable Mahinda, the son of the Emperor Ashoka of India during the reign of King Devanampiya- Tissa.

Later, the nun Sanghamitta, the daughter of Asoka, was said to have brought the southern branch of the original Bodhi tree, where it was planted at Anuradhapura. From that day up to the present, the Buddhists in Sri Lanka have paid and are paying the utmost reverence to this branch of the Bodhi Tree under the shade of which the Master achieved Enlightenment.

Monks from Sri Lanka have had an important role in spreading Buddhism throughout South-east Asia. It was in Sri Lanka, in the 1st century AD the Buddhist monks assembled in Aloka-Vihara and wrote down the Tripitaka, the three baskets of the Teachings, known as the Pali scriptures for the first time.  It was Sri Lankan nuns who introduced the Sangha of nuns into China in 433AD

The Journey

This tour is for people who would consider themselves either Buddhist or are seeking to immerse and educate themselves into the  history and culture of Buddhism in South  Asia.   Experience in  meditation and is advised but not necessary.

Buddha Statue

Tour Itinerary

 

DAY 01           ARRIVAL TRANSFER / NEGOMBO

Meet on arrival at the Bandaranayke International Airport and transfer to Colombo – Check in at the Arie Lagoon 4* (Deluxe Room) – Remainder of the day at leisure – Dinner and Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

DAY 02           NEGOMBO

Breakfast at hotel – This morning you will be take part in a Meditation session leads by the tour leader at the hotel – Remainder of the day at leisure – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

 

DAY 03           NEGOMBO / ANURADHAPURA / MIHINTALE / DAMBULLA

 

Breakfast at hotel – Leave for Anuradhapura and proceed on a sightseeing tour of the ancient city with a visit to the Sri Maha Bodhiya & Ruwanweliseya –

Anuradhapura was a lost city in the jungle, where once ancient Singhalese dynasties ruled for over a thousand years.

Massive dome shaped structures known as stupas- end par with the pyramids of Giza- rise above the landscape.

A walk amidst the forested ruins of buildings and pillars will reveal amazing stone carvings, ruined walls richly etched with elephant and animistic friezes, ornate ponds and massive pools allied to the palaces and monasteries.

The tour will take you to the impressive Stupas of Jetawana and Ruvanweli and the oldest recorded tree in the world…….the sacred Bo-Tree that arose from a sapling of the same fig under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.

Thereafter we proceed to visit Mihintale – where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka.

Once completed, proceed to Dambulla  – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

DAY 04           DAMBULLA / POLONNARUWA / DAMBULLA

 

Early morning take part in a Yoga / Meditation program by the lake – Breakfast at hotel – Proceed on a sightseeing tour of the historical city of Polonnaruwa – Which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in  the 11th and 12th centuries AD and which is a world heritage site – Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the  Gal Viharaya – Where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’  postures.

Once completed, return to the hotel – In the evening take part in a Yoga / Meditation session at the hotel – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

DAY 05           DAMBULLA / MATALE / KANDY

Following an early breakfast at hotel, proceed to visit Dambulla Cave Temple – Explore one of the oldest cave temples of Sri Lanka and is located above an isolated and steep rocky outcrop. As you make the ascent an amazing panorama unfolds towards the horizon- lakes, jungles and mountains as well as the unmistakable silhouette of the Sigiriya rock fortress.

The steep climb is well rewarding! Each cave reveals treasures of ancient Buddhist mural art. Numerous statues of Buddha’s and Buddhist saviours “Bodhisattvas” cohabit among Hindu deities reflecting traditions as devotees offer ‘Puja’ or offerings of flowers

Once completed, leave for Kandy – En route visit the mysterious archeological enigma of Nalanda Gedige – a fascinating mix of Buddhist and Hindu architecture.

The Tantric Buddhist carvings which exhibit an erotic form of art, made famous by the carvings at Khajuraho in North India.

Thereafter proceed to Matale and visit the Aluviharaya Temple – synonymous with the teaching of the Buddha, the location that the Tipitaka was documented on palm-leaves to form the Banapotha or Buddhist Bible.

Once completed, proceed to Kandy – Check in at hotel

 

Late afternoon proceed on a sightseeing tour of Kandy – Nestling in a valley surrounded by verdant hills Kandy was the last capital stronghold of the Singhalese Kings. Rich in history and traditions the Temple of the Tooth attracts devotees and pilgrims worldwide

Once completed, return to the hotel – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

 

DAY 06           KANDY

Following an early Breakfast at hotel, we leave for Kundasale to visit Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery – Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery is a place for everyone, , to learn and practice the ancient teachings of the Buddha.

At the monastery you will Experience,

Help with offering meals to the monks

Speaking with monks

Join with the evening chanting

Receiving a blessing thread

Meditate

The offering at the Buddhist Shrines

Once completed, proceed to the Hotel – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

DAY 07           KANDY

 

Early morning take part in a Yoga / Meditation program at the hotel (approximately 01 – 01 ½ Hours) – Breakfast at hotel

Remainder of the day at leisure – in the evening take part in a Yoga / Meditation session at the hotel – Dinner and overnight stay at hotel

DAY 08           KANDY / NUWARA ELIYA (TRAIN JOURNEY)

 

Breakfast at hotel – Proceed to the Kandy Railway Station to board the train leaving for Nanu Oya – This dramatic ride will get you chance of viewing some of the magnificent sites of Sri Lanka. Stunning waterfalls, breathtaking views, long tunnels, etc. are common sites in this trip.

 

On arrival at the Nanu Oya Railway Station, meet up with the vehicle and leave for Nuwara ELiya, which is Sri Lanka’s premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate. It is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, producing some of the world’s best tea.

 

Check into hotel – Evening sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya – Drive through “Little England” –return to the hotel – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

DAY 09           NUWARA ELIYA

 

Breakfast at the hotel – Day at leisure to explore the vicinity or to relax– Dinner and Overnight stay at the hotel

DAY 10           UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK

 

Breakfast at hotel – Leave for Udawalawe via Ella & Wellawaya – Check in Hotel

 

Late afternoon proceed on a Jeep Safari. Udawalawe is the most reliable place to see elephants in their wild habitat year round. Some 400-500 elephants live in the park and herds are commonly seen. The open plains are covered in thick manna grass up to the borders of the large reservoir in the Centre and the Walawe river.

Once completed, return to the hotel – Rest of the evening at leisure – Dinner and Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

DAY 11           UDAWALAWE / COLOMBO

 

Breakfast at hotel – Morning leave for Colombo and proceed on a sightseeing tour – The city skyline has dramatically changed during the last decade, trendy malls and cafes sit alongside old colonial architectural monuments and local eateries.

On completion – Check in at the Ramada Hotel Colombo 04* (Standard Room) Remainder of the evening at leisure – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

 

DAY 12           COLOMBO

 

Following Breakfast at hotel, we take part on a full day meditation program in Colombo (program starts at 0930 Hrs and will continue till 1630 Hrs) –

 

Once completed, we proceed to visit Kelaniya TempleAccording to the Mahavamsa, Lord Buddha stopped at this ancient temple during a visit to Sri Lanka in 523 BC where he was invited to preach by the king heritage

Return to the hotel – Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel

 

DAY 13           COLOMBO / DEPARTURE TRANSFER

 

Breakfast at hotel – Leave for the airport to connect with the departure flight

 

TOUR COST INCLUDES:

  • Arrival/Departure transfers & Tour as per the Itinerary by air-conditioned coaster
  • English-speaking national guide
  • Accommodation in Hotels listed on Twin sharing basis
  • Meal plan on half board basis (breakfast and dinner)
  • Entrance fees to visit – Anuradhapura, Mihintale, Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanweliseya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla Temple, Aluviharaya Temple, Nalanda Gedige, Temple of the tooth Relic, Three temples in Kandy, Gangaramaya Temple & Kelaniya Temple
  • Train journey from Kandy to Nanu Oya
  • Private Yoga/Meditation sessions at Amaya Lake (02 Sessions) & Samadhi Center (02 Sessions)
  • Service charges & Government tax

COURTESY SERVICES:

  • Bottled mineral water on tour (2 x “500ml” Bottles Per Person Per Day)
  • Wi-Fi available on the Vehicle

TOUR COST EXCLUDES:

  • Tips, porterage, bar, laundry, and other personal expenses not specified above
  • Lunches and other meals not specified in the tour itinerary
  • Any additional pre post travel , tourist visas, international flights, personal spending

Pricing – From *$3,685 AUD PP Twin Share

Tiwari Travel

Enquiries +61 411 989 151
[email protected]

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Dearest Travellers,

Tiwari Travel is using this time of travel restrictions to update its website. We shall be live again soon with some new travel itineraries.

Stay safe!
Meredith