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Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3,000 years, but there are facts to suggest that Sri Lanka had pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.

Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II.

Sri Lanka is a diverse country, home to many religions, ethnicities and languages. It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, dates back to the Fourth Buddhist Council in 29 BCE.

Day 1

Check into Heritance Hotel Negombo and enjoy a Continental and Sri Lankan traditional breakfast before you retire to your room to relax.

What colour is that sky – Pink, Fuchsia, Magenta? A little boat – a catamaran, is off fishing, a tiny black dot on the horizon. The sun, returns to the sea – the night closes in. A gust of breeze swishes the palm fronds and shares a whiff of tempting aroma from the BBQ. Eat, sleep, wake, indulge and repeat… life on paradise.

Negombo City Walk: As the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka, Negombo has long been a center of commercial activity and urban lifestyle, in addition to its reputation as a popular stopover destination for travellers arriving from the nearby international airport. Known for its fishing industry, this coastal city is best visited early in the morning when the local fisherfolk bring in the day’s catch on the iconic catamarans of Negombo, to sell at the famous Lellama – the local seafood market, abound with fascinating varieties of fish, and some of the best crabs found across Sri Lanka. Negombo’s history also lends the city its fond nickname of ‘Little Rome’, where a number of catholic churches and cathedrals were established by the Portuguese, while the Dutch have also left behind their legacy of a 17th century fort that now serves as the city prison.

Cook & Dine: Indulge in typical Sri Lankan cooking lessons that promise an authentic experience as well as a delicious meal. There is a wide menu to choose from in keeping with the mood and the moment. Get hands-on experience with an experienced and knowledgeable instructor and master finer points that help preserve the nutritive value and authentic taste, making it not only enjoyable meal but also a wholesome one. Join our resident chef as he demonstrates how to make some of Sri Lanka’s favourite dishes right here at Heritance Negombo. Some of the dishes include, milk rice, sour fish curry (malu ambul thiyal), ala hodi (potato curry), crab curry, achcharu and much more.

Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by many historical, cultural and other factors. Contact with foreign traders who brought new food items, cultural influences from neighbouring countries as well as the local traditions of the country’s ethnic groups among other things have all helped shape Sri Lankan cuisine. Influences from Indian (particularly South Indian), Indonesian and Dutch cuisines are most evident with Sri Lankan cuisine sharing close ties to other neighbouring South and Southeast Asian cuisines. Today, some of the staples of Sri Lankan cuisine are rice, coconut and spices. The latter are used due to the country’s history as a spice producer and trading post over several centuries.

Day 2

The sprawling ancient city of Anuradhapura is full of dreamy stepped pools and bell-shaped stupas, or dagobas (some as large as 60 metres high and 340 metres in circumference), many of them gleaming white, while others have faded to overgrown, sun-baked brick. It was first founded in the sixth century BC in fertile, undulating countryside irrigated by numerous tanks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Buddhism’s holiest places – partly because of the 2200-year-old Sri Maha Bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of the Indian tree beneath which Buddha found Enlightenment – it also features in the Hindu Ramayana. The once-walled, planned city, with its palaces, monasteries and cemeteries, was the capital for 1300 years from 377BC.

Sri Maha bodhiya – Is a sacred tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Ascetic Siddartha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. It was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta Theri, the daughter of Emperor Asoka and founder of an order of Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. In pre-historic era among different tribes they selected a tree or a symbol to worship them as a totem. The totem represents their religion and then their protector. They all respect that tree or that symbol. Pre Buddhists era Sri Lankans also worshipped trees but King Devanampiyathissa who ruled the country from 250-210 BC changed the psychology of the devotee’s mind by explaining to them that worshipping trees does not mean anything. He said I am the king and I am your protector and there is no other protector than myself. At the same time, he changed the mindset of the people to a sacred monument and used it as an associated relic for worship. The tribes then accepted this as their totem which represented their group. The rituals and culture associated with the Bodhi tree has undergone many changes over the years but as a symbol of protector has not been changed. Therefore, this has always been a Buddhist sacred monument and the way of life for Sinhalese Buddhists. You will be able to see different rituals performed at this place which includes the life for life offering, making of different vows and fulfilling of vows and bandana mediators for generations protecting the Bodhi tree.

Hydraulic Civilization – Sri Lanka is a classic example of the “hydraulic civilization” which had developed in the ancient period. With the immigration of Aryans from Eastern India to Lanka in 543 BC, cultivation of rice developed into a grand scale in the island. As the new essentially agricultural Aryan civilization flourished, increasingly ambitious projects of irrigation were launched at a pace with a view to harness the monsoon rains. It can be safely deduced that the first great reservoirs ever in the world were built in Sri Lanka. The exhilarating opportunity of enjoying the great spectacle of the hundreds of vast ancient restored irrigation reservoirs and thousands of village reservoirs that sprawl all over the great north central plains is a must when you tour to enjoy the way of life of Sri Lankans

Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda Thero and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. According to chronicles, Thera Mahinda came to Sri Lanka from India on the full moon day of the month of Poson (June) and met King Devanampiyatissa and the people, and preached the doctrine. The traditional spot where this meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka It is now a pilgrimage site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures. Mihinthale is known as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the life of all Sri Lankans changed from tree worshippers to believing in a doctrine the therawada Buddhism.

Overnight stay at Cinnamon lodge Habarana.

Cinnamon Lodge – is a chalet styled eco-friendly Sri Lanka hotel spread over 27 acres of wooded gardens amidst evergreen forest of North Central Dry Plains of Sri Lanka. The gardens of the hotel wooded and sheltered with tall trees, are abound with wildlife: monkeys, water monitors, birds, butterflies and squirrels. Cinnamon Lodge landscaped to blend with nature, Habarana Lodge is eco-orientation at its supreme best. At Habarana Lodge, you wouldn’t ever stop wondering why on earth this part of the country is referred to as the Dry Zone. Deluxe Rooms, Superior rooms and suits are designed and furnished with a view of luxury in the wilderness. The luxury Sri Lanka hotel and the wide expanse of gardens that blends well with the surroundings, is set up with the concepts of eco conservation.

Day 3

After breakfast we start to explore the traditional way of life in Sri Lanka.  No better place to do this than starting the day from a village that has traditional Chena (Farm) cultivation and still able to make a decent livelihood. 

Slash & Burn Cultivation: Also known as Chena cultivation is one of the oldest methods of cultivation used by the farmers of the dry zone of Sri Lanka.  Farmers used to practice this method during the dry season of the year because this method needs less amount of water.  This slash and burn method is not practiced currently due to the scarcity of land and strict land clearance laws imposed by successive governments hence the farmers use the same land on a long term basis to grow their crops.  Protecting crops is the hardest part. He has to build a tree house on the top a huge tree. In order to get rid of the loneliness at night the farmers sing folk songs. This can be experienced during the Chena tour

Auspicious first reading: First Reading (Or Ath Poth Thabeema) is one of the important landmarks of a child’s life. An illiterate person is transformed into a literate person. This particular event is done according to an auspicious time. There are some rituals associated with this event. Three statues are taken for this. The statues are of the Buddha, the Ganesh and Goddess Saraswathie. Some fruits and sweets are offered to the statues. Normally an educated person from the family or the neighborhood is chosen to teach the child to read the first letter. During the third year of the child this particular event is conducted with the astrological calculations. You can witness a first letter reading and the rituals involved during the village tour.

Attaining Puberty : Like any other function of the natives, when a girl attains puberty too, the astrologer is consulted.  After calculating planetary orders, he predicts the girl’s future and in the same time he gives the date and auspicious time for purification bath.  Attain puberty or comes of age is also a crossing of the life of a girl.  Until the ceremony finishes she is neither a girl nor a damsel.  This is regarded as the 3rd crossing.  In this transit period she is not allowed to see men even her Father or Brother and she is confined to a dark room accompanied by another girl so that certain illnesses known as “Thanikum Dosha” or hysteria may be avoided.  Unfortunately, due to cultural sensitivity of this Way of life crossing we will not be able to perform a role play but will provide an in-depth explanation about the rituals performed for this ceremony. 

In the evening we will visit a Paddy field and learn all about our staple food rice.

Paddy Cultivation: Paddy (Oriza sativa) is the staple food in Sri Lanka. 2500-year-old Sri Lankan civilization is built around paddy cultivation. Paddy is grown in all three major climatic zones in Sri Lanka. There were 267 types of paddy in Sri Lanka but today only handful types of paddy are grown. There are two methods of planting paddy; seeding and transplanting. During the tour when we are in Habarana we can experience the paddy cultivation. It’s not just a cultivation but it’s a way of life of Sri Lankans.

 Kamatha, dinner: Kamatha is the place where the paddy is threshed. A place close by to the paddy field is selected for the kamatha. Paddy grasses are taken to the kamatha in small amounts. At first the place is cleared and a circle is drawn by using ash. Inside the circle images of the sun and the moon are drawn. A conch shell is kept in the middle of the circle. The first heap of paddy grass is kept on the conch shell. Normally this process takes place during a moon lit night. The water buffalos are tied in bunch of around six. The first buffalo is called MUDUNA while the last one is called KALATHAYA. In order to make the buffalos obedient the farmer who engages in the threshing process sing a rhythmic song that’s called ANDAHERAYA. The buffalos take their track to the right side going around the paddy heap threshing the paddy as it walks around.  When the paddy heap is fully threshed then they separate the hay from the paddy and is put into sacks and taken to the silo.  We will experience Kamatha operation and will enjoy a traditional dinner served in a nelum kole (lotus leaf) and enjoy traditional Sri Lankan Sweets for dessert.

Day 4

Leave early in the morning with a packed snack to Climb Sigiriya.

Sigiriya: According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure sinhagiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Siṃhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).  The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and is considered as the 8th wonder of the world.

Sigiriya presents a unique concentration of 5th century urban planning, architecture, gardening, Engineering, hydraulic technology, Architecture, arts & crafts, dresses and acessories and fashion of women, town planning, hydraulic management, survey techniques, Rich royal quality of life going as far as 5th Century BC.  Sigiriya is one of the classic examples to understand the way of life of people in ancient Sri Lanka. Travellers’on purpose of pilgrimage leisure pleasure and sightseeing, from 6th century Ad to 12 century AD came to visit Sigiriya from all over the country.

The most famous feature of the Sigiriya complex is 5th century paintings or well known as the Sigiriya frescoes found in a depression on the rock face more than 100 meters above ground level. Their costumes and ornaments provided ideas for the Sigiriya artist and that as such the paintings reflects the life and the atmosphere the ideals of beauty and the attitude to women, of the elite society at the time.   Sigiriya graffiti or the poems which express the thoughts and emotions of ancient visitors to Sigiriya, provide not only revealing comment on the paintings themselves but also and insight in to the cultivated sensibilities of the time and its appreciation of art and beauty and portrays the evolution of writing and literature skills in ancient Sri Lanka.

Late Brreakfast at the hotel, check out and head to Kandy.  On the way visit the famous Mutthumariamman Hindu temple in the town of Matale.  Hinduism has a long tradition in Sri Lanka. More than 2000 years’ civilization have proved so far from Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. Hindus currently make up 12.60% of the Sri Lankan population, and are almost exclusively Tamils. Hinduism is dominant in the North and Eastern provinces, where there are predominantly Tamil people. Hinduism is also practised in the central regions (where there are significant numbers of people of Indian Tamil descent) as well as in the capital, Colombo.

Sri Muthumariamman Temple: The land was originally part of a paddy field and was gifted by the owner in 1852. The current temple was built in 1874, funded by the Nattukkottai Chettiar. This temple is used by both Hindus and Buddhists. The temple was originally a small statue under a tree prayed to by the Hindu people but has been developed by the people in Matale.

The temple was severely damaged during the anti-Tamil riots in July 1983 but has been subsequently restored. One of the most visually dominant features of this temple is it’s 32.9 m (108 ft.) high Gopuram (‘Raja Koburum’), a large decorated tower located above the main northern gateway (‘Vadakku Vaayil’) to the temple. The Raja Koburum is one of the largest Gopurams in Sri Lanka. The 1008 statues of Hindu deities are the work of South Indian sculptor, Nagalingam and his son Ramanathan, with the help of about 100 designers, painters and architects from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

Kandy:  City of Kandy lies in center of Sri Lanka at a elevation of about 485 metres above sea level and about 116 Kms from Colombo. Generally considered the capital of the hill country, Kandy was the last capital of last generation of Sri Lanka Kings which finally fell under British rule in 1815. The Name Kandy was given by the English as a derivation of “Kanda Uda Rata”. The current Sri Lankan name is “Maha Nuwara” and the historical name of this city is Senkadagalapura.

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site.

Check in to Queens hotel Kandy.

Queens Hotel: One of Sri Lanka’s iconic historic hotels, Queen’s Hotel, situated in the heart of Kandy, faces the beautiful splendid surroundings alongside the Kandy Lake.  With a history of over 160 years The Queen’s Hotel is a 80 room British Colonial style luxury hotel. This former Governor’s residence is one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka which is managed by the Ceylon Hotels Corporation.

What’s momentous about Queen’s Hotel is that it is situated in Kandy, where the world prominent “Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha” is. Every country has its pageants and festivals and so does Kandy which has the world famous “Kandy Esala Perahera Pageant” which is held annually. This pageant proceeds along side the Queen’s Hotel’s East & West wings, providing the most magnificent viewing facilities for the guests who patronize the hotel.

Afternoon Kandy Cultural Show

Kandy cultural show : Sri Lanka, country rich with culture & tradition offers a very vibrant and unique show of Sri Lankan traditional dances, in the form of Kandy cultural show. The beat a dancing from \”Salupliya\” depicting several demons, \”Thelme\” vibrant expression of low country rhythm, Fire and Harvest dances accompanied by Ceremonial Drums and the Drum Orchestra rising and falling to the lively tempo. As many as 12 different folk and traditional dances are performed by Kandy lake club dance troop within the span of one hour.

The highlight of the show is definitely the fire walking show, where the artists walk through a specially prepared fire pit, roughly 8 feet by 3 feet covered with red-hot charcoal, completely barefoot and emerges unharmed at the other end.  Kandy cultural show is a great way to spend the evening in Kandy, arrive a little early to secure the front row centre seats and the Bar attached to the hall will no doubt raise your spirits while you wait for the show.

After the show head to the Kandy Sacred Temple of the Tooth

Sri Dalada Maligawa: or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.

Dorata waduma (stepping into the outside world).  The baby is taken out from the house for the first time to view the open world. The astrologer provides an auspicious time and a date for this ritual. The Buddhists usually take the baby to a temple as the first outing and for the Kandy region the Kandy temple of the tooth is the famous to do so and for the folks in the Colombo it is the Kalaniya Raja Maha Viharaya temple in a town called Kelaniya about 9km away from the Colombo city centre. After completing the rituals, they visit the chief incumbent of the temple with a sheaf of betel and other offerings suitable for monks.  The pirith (recitation of teaching of Buddha) is chanted and a thread that is been blessed by the monks is tied in the wrist. The first lock if the hair of the baby should be cut and either preserved in the house or thrown into flowing water before he starts talking, otherwise there is a belief that the baby would stammer for the rest of his life when he starts talking. You can experience this cultural item during our visit to the Temple of the tooth in Kandy.

Day 5

After breakfast attend the traditional Kandy wedding wearing Sri Lankan National attire and witnesss traditional rituals been performed . The traditional Sri Lankan Sinhala-Buddhist wedding ceremonies, for instance, involve many customs and rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation. Though Sinhala-Buddhist wedding ceremonies have been subject to change over the decades, some of the key features, such as observing the nekath (the Nekath, or the auspicious time, is a very important part of Buddhist wedding ceremonies)and the poruwa ceremony (poruwa itself is a decorated wooden platform that represents the house that the couple will share and is symbolic of their marriage and the start of a new life) remain unchanged.  Many rituals and traditions which are symbolic and sacred to Buddhism are included in the poruwa ceremony and each one is conducted due to a specific belief.  The tying of pirith nool (sacred thread) is a symbol of the union of marriage, and traditionally it was an equivalent to the modern signing of the marriage register and with the intention of “tied until death do us apart”.  Several modern-day customs have been absorbed into the poruwa ceremony over the years, such as the exchange of rings between the bride and the groom and all this and many more can be witnessed during the

home stay dinner and breakfast with family: Homestays are a type of accommodation that define the phrase a ‘home away from home’. In a homestay you will stay with a local in their home. They are your ‘host’ during your stay. Staying in a homestay you not only get to visit a destination, you get to really live it too. You see how the locals live their lives – something that is almost impossible to do when staying in other types of accommodation. This is the real way of life of local people and you can taste real homemade dishes for dinner and breakfast. If you like you all can participate for making your own meals during your stay. What make homestays different to other types of accommodation are the hosts. No matter where you’re staying, you’ll never be in a homestay on your own. Your host will be there during your stay, to welcome you and make it a memorable stay.

Day 6

Catch the train to Nanu oya, do tea factory, Nuwara Eliya sight seeing night in Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya: is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its temperate, cool climate – the coolest area in Sri Lanka.  The city was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya’s climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England, was a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.  Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, St Andrew’s Hotel and Town Post Office. New hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Visitors the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting the landmark buildings. Many private homes maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.

Kandy to Nanu Oya via Train: The train trip from Kandy to Nanu oya in Sri Lanka, is considered to be one of the most beautiful train trips in the world. This train ride is four hours long and takes you through stunning landscapes of green and lush tea plantations and mountain views. The train trip between Kandy and Nanu Oya is one of the highlights of Sri Lanka.

Pedro Tea Factory: Pedro is a picturesque tea plantation offering tours of its 1885 tea factory as well as a tranquil tea house in Nuwaraeliya.  The factory is situated in a quiet and a very scenic environment. The factory warmly welcomes its visitors and are very popular among the Locals and Foreigners for the reasons such as factory visit with experience Guides, Tea Centre with “Garden Fresh “varieties of Teas can be purchased at a reasonable price, Restaurant for Break Fast and Lunch, Tea Lounge to taste Tea and Tea fields where Guest Can Walk through the Tea plant and enjoy the breath of fresh Air.

Stilt Fishing: Ritipanna is the Sinhalese term for stilt fishing, which is a traditional method for fishing practiced by most fishermen along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. This art is popularly seen in areas such as Ahangama, Koggala, Welipenna,  Kathaluwa and Thalarambe. A narrow pole is tied to a stick that is anchored on the sea bed. Fisher folk climb onto this stick and settle on the pole for a few hours in an effort to catch some fish.  Fishermen found on stilts are those who do not have access to sophisticated equipment for fishing. These men can make a living simply with the help of two wooden poles to make a stilt. One pole is nailed onto the sea bed and the other is placed like a cross bar and acts as a plank for the fishermen to sit on. Each stilt can accommodate only one fisherman. For catching fish, they create a rod made of Kithul (palm tree), and a small plastic bag is tied around their waist to hold the fish that they catch. With one hand they hold onto the stilt and with the other they hold the rod that catches fish. The tradition of stilt fishing will always be practiced by those who cannot afford to invest in modern fishing equipment.  You will be able to practically experience this way of life stilt fishing and enjoy a glass (made of Coconut shell) of toddy to top up this magnificent sea side experience.

Toddy: Toddy or (Ra) is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular drinks. Not only Sri Lankans, this coconut liquor with unusual milky sweet flavor, is loved by visitors from across the globe. Toddy is not a hard liquor and is said to be a healthy drink like red wine. Toddy is produced in many Asian and African countries. In Sri Lanka, toddy is called thal ra, kithul ra or pol ra according to the plant used to make it. Pol ra (coconut toddy) is made with the sap of the coconut’s flower which is produced through an unusual process.  When you travel outside of Colombo towards down south you might catch a glimpse of the toddy tappers walking on ropes tied high up between the trees, and their task is to climb the tree and get the flower from the coconut when the time is right. This can turn out to be dangerous task due to many causes such as use of worn ropes, slippery trunks of the trees and the unexpected wind.  The toddy tapper usually walks a tightrope called “athura” tied high above between two nearby coconut trees. He holds on to one rope and walks on the other carefully, because a single lapse would be fatal. This is a sight familiar in the early morning in western coastal areas in Sri Lanka such as Koggala, Wadduwa, Maggona, Payagala, Beruwala to Aluthgama.

Sign off with a night time beach side party with sea food BBQ

Sea Food BBQ: There’s plenty of opportunities for feasting on fresh seafood fare at the coastal regions of Sri Lanka, and one of the best spots to do so is the night time BBQ we will be organizing at the beach side of the hotel to celebrate our last night in this resplendent island. The restaurant’s beachside setting means that you will dine with the sand under your feet. Your table is likely to groan under the weight of sumptuous seafood dishes, such as brimming plates of crispy calamari, succulent prawns and tasty tuna. After your meal either retire to your room or enjoy the traditional Sri Lankan music and wash down your meal with a glass of toddy or Sri Lankan Arrack as we will create a party time atmosphere to dance to through the night.

Day 7

To Colombo. City tour and lunch and shopping and head to Airport

Colombo: is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million.  It is the financial centre of the island and a popular tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a suburb of, Colombo. It is also the administrative capital of the Western Province and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins.  Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815,and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.

Shopping: The city has a bustling economy based on, among other things, tourism. There is a whole lot being done by the government to promote resorts and areas worth visiting in and around Colombo and when it comes to shopping there’s a lot more to Sri Lanka than merely Ceylon Tea! Plus there are great shopping malls in Colombo that help you pick up some truly memorable souvenirs.  You can pick up anything in Colombo and objects made from brass and silverware, wooden artifacts, buffalo horn, natural fibres, and even rush and reed abound. There are also products made from coconut shells, cane, and bamboo as well as toys, pottery, artificial flowers and Gems and Jewelry.

End of tour and travel to Colombo International Airport for departure