North Central Province Architecture

Our most recommended North Central Province Architecture

Polonnaruwa: Ancient City Guided Cycling Tour

1. Polonnaruwa: Ancient City Guided Cycling Tour

8:00 You will be taken by TukTuk to tour the ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa where you meet your cycling guide. 8:20 Arrive and do a cycling tour of one of the better kept ruins of ancient Ceylon - the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa, which was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Today you will be cycling about 10km on soft surfaces as you whizz between the ruins. The ancient heart of Sri Lanka 11:30 You will be taken back to your hotel.

From Colombo: 4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Heritage Tour

2. From Colombo: 4-Day Essence of Sri Lanka Heritage Tour

After pickup from your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia, drive to Dambulla. Visit the Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site then spend overnight in Sigiriya. On day two get an early start and drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Polonnaruwa. Take a cycling tour through the well-preserved ancient city to see the beautiful stupas or dagobas, moonstones, parks, buildings and stunning statues. In the afternoon, you will be taken to the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya, regarded as one of the Wonders of World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend overnight in Sigiriya.   On day three after leisurely breakfast, visit an archetypal Sri Lankan village. Experience a bullock cart ride, see traditional cultivation methods, enjoy a boat ride and an authentic Sri Lankan lunch at a village house. After lunch, continue to Kandy, stopping at a wood carving center and a spice garden in Matale. Upon arrival, take a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, upper lake drive, the market square, and more. Spend overnight in Kandy.     After breakfast on the fourth day, you will depart from Kandy and be driven back to your hotel in Colombo, Negombo or Mount Lavinia, or dropped off at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

3. From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

Start your tour at 6:30 AM with pickup from your hotel in Kandy. The first stop on your itinerary will be the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. which you will reach at approximately 9:00 AM. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, where you will discover spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top of the ruins. Pass a series of frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens, and quiet shrines that surround the site. After visiting the fortress, proceed to a local village in Sigiriya to experience a village tour. Get a chance to go on an oxen cart ride, and experience the world from the view of a local farmer. Afterwards, take a relaxing catamaran safari through a calm lake. Stroll through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Watch a traditional cooking demonstration, that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. Delight your taste buds with a home-cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays.  After experiencing the village life of Sri Lanka, travel onwards to Minneriya National Park to go on safari. See the famous Sri Lankan elephants, rare bird species, saltwater crocodiles, Indian pythons, and an abundance of flora and fauna. On completion of the jeep safari at approximately 6:00 PM and return to your hotel in Kandy, stopping along the way for dinner, at your own expense.

Colombo: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya Guided Day Tour with Lunch

4. Colombo: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya Guided Day Tour with Lunch

Discover the magnificent remains of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital city, and the striking rock fortress of Sigiriya on a guided tour from Colombo. Travel to the two UNESCO World Heritage sites directly from your hotel and break up the day with a tasty Sri Lankan lunch. Start your day early, when your guide will collect you from your hotel in Colombo or Negombo, and enjoy snacking on seasonal fruit as you drive out of the city. Your first stop will be the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, one of Sri Lanka’s most important archeological sites and its second capital city. Wander between the ruins of the fabulous garden-city with your guide, and admire colossal works of Hindu and Buddhist architecture. Hear how the city was, for two centuries, Sri Lanka’s thriving religious and commercial center. Stop for a fresh lunch before moving on to Sigiriya, an ancient fortress built on a gigantic column of rock. Sigiriya is believed to have been inhabited by Buddhist monks as far back as the 3rd century BC. It is home to colorful frescoes and some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. To finish the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Colombo or Negombo.

From Negombo: Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, and Panduwasnuwara Tour

5. From Negombo: Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, and Panduwasnuwara Tour

Following an early morning pickup at your accommodation, depart Negombo by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to explore three ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka. First, see the kingdom of Dambadeniya, home to the peaceful King Parakramabahu II known for his epic poetic masterpieces 'Kavisilumina' and 'Visuddi Marga Sannasa.' Also see the recently excavated remains of the Old Temple of the Tooth and the the ruins of the royal palace complex. At the next stop, explore the giant rock fortress of Yapahuwa. Admire the beautiful stone sculptures and highly detailed carvings on the fortress as you climb your way to the top that showcases views of the stupa ruins and Buddhist shrine remains. Here, you can also spend some time having lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. Then, drive to the final destination, Panduwasnuwara, an ancient city from one of the first kingdoms of Sri Lanka. Explore ruins dating from the 5th century to the 12th century with notable sights like the artificial reservoir Panda Wewa, which is considered to be one of the earliest irrigation systems made by man. Visit the Panduwasnuwara Museum, home to many of the archeological finds from the region. After, start the journey back to your accommodation.

Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

6. Colombo: 3-Day Cultural Triangle 5 UNESCO Heritage Site Tour

Day 1 Explore the important historical monuments in Sri Lanka on this 3 days tour while visiting ancient Buddhist temples, museums, palaces, gardens, Buddha statues, and many more. Embark on an exciting and very rare 3-day cultural tour of Sri Lanka's holiest, the Cultural Triangle. Explore 5 UNESCO-listed sites where important historical monuments are to be found. Visit cultural triangle cities including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Kandy. Stay overnight at a hotel in Sigiriya between private-guided sightseeing ventures. Get picked up in Colombo and head to your hotel in Sigiriya via Anuradhapura, the oldest city in Sri Lanka. The first activity of the 3 days tour is the hop-on hop-off city tour of the historical city of Anuradhapura. The tour covers a large number of historical places such as Buddhist temples, dagobas, palaces, gardens, and other remarkable structures in the city testify to the grandeur of ancient civilization. The city tour also includes the most sacred 8 Buddhist sites in the city, better known as "Atamasthana", Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri Dagaba, Jetavanarama, Mirisaveti Stupa, and Lankarama. Later in the day settle in for a good night's sleep at your hotel in Sigiriya. Day 2 After breakfast leave for the Sigiriya rock fortress, home to one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Your Sigiriya tour starts early morning, allowing you to escape the mid-day heat. Climb the rock and reach the summit to see the site of the King's palace, swimming pool, and king's throne. Soak up in the breathtaking scenery from the top of the pinnacle. Later drive to Polonnaruwa and see the dozens of ancient temples, Buddha statues, and many ancient structures built by ancient Kings. Witness massive stone-cut Buddha statues, dagobas, an audience hall, and much more at the cultural museum of Polonnaruwa. Later in the day Minneriya safari on an open jeep. Enhance your experience with a wildlife safari at Minneriya National Park. Spot wild elephants, bears, wild boar, deer, buffalo, monkeys, and maybe even a leopard. Stay overnight in Sigiriya. Day 3 Depart early for Colombo via Kandy, visiting a spice/herbal garden en route. In Matale, spices and herbs are used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medicine. Hear about this history as you explore the site with your guide. Later visit Dambulla Golden Temple and Tooth Relic Temple are sure to add another level of sacrosanctity to your experience. Dambulla hosts more than 150 Buddha statues and a large number of ancient murals. The next stop will be Kandy city. Today Kandy is one of Sri Lanka's most important cities because of the presence of the temple of the sacred tooth of the Buddha. This is the most visited Buddhist temple on the island, frequented by thousands of devotees every day. Return to your hotel in Colombo.

Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

7. Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

Discover the best of Sri Lanka on an 8-day private trip to the Cultural Triangle. Experience game drives in Wilpattu and Minneriya National Park, visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, and experience the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Day 1:Get picked up from Colombo, Negombo, or Bandaranaike International Airport and admire the beautiful scenery of Sri Lanka's North Western Province as you drive to Chilaw. Arrive in the coastal town of Chilaw, known for its stretching beaches and tall coconut trees, and spend the night in a 4-star hotel. Day 2:Wake up early in the morning with the sunrise and drive to Wilpattu National park. Spend a full day exploring one of the largest and oldest parks in Sri Lanka, world-renowned for its leopard population. Benefit from the expertise of the safari team as you go on a game drive through the park, observing rare animals in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for leopards, mongooses, and water buffalo. Leave the national park and set off for Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. Check into your 4-star hotel when you arrive in the city. Day 3:Take a little more time to relax in bed this morning, before getting up for a delicious breakfast, traditionally made up of kiribath, hoppers, and pani pol. Depart from the hotel and set off into the ancient city of Anuradhapura, making a visit to the well-preserved ruins of a Sinhala civilization. In the afternoon, climb up to Mihintale, once a dense jungle that was reserved by the royals as a hunting ground. Learn why the mountain peak is now referred to as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as you enter a Buddhist monastery. Return to your hotel in Anuradhapura and settle down for the evening. Day 4: Tuck into another Sri Lankan breakfast in the morning and get ready for an adventure to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Polonnaruwa Ancient City. Arrive at the archaeological site and discover the monumental ruins of the stunning garden city, created in the 12th century. Drive on from Polonnaruwa, making a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress of great historical significance. Rest for the night at a 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 5: Enjoy a late breakfast, then be driven to a rural village for an authentic experience of traditional Sri Lankan life. Take in scenic views on a short walk, before getting into a bullock cart for a ride across the countryside. Arrive at a picturesque lake and trade off the wheels for a sail as you cruise across the waters on a catamaran tour. Disembark from the boat in the afternoon and get driven to Minneriya National Park. See Sri Lankan wildlife in a different light on an evening game drive, with "oohs" and "ahhs" as Asian elephants stomp by the 4x4 in the sunset. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 6: Finish off your breakfast and make your way to Dambulla. Be absolutely blown away as you delve into the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Explore this cave temple complex, the largest and best-preserved in Sri Lanka, containing five caves with 157 statues and over 2000 meters of intricately painted walls and ceilings. Make a visit to Pidurangala, the tallest mountain in the country, and view the Buddhist monastery settled upon the slopes. Learn about the history of the monastery and how monks have made use of the sacred site. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 7: Try something new this morning at breakfast and fuel up for your day. Leave Sigiriya and drive to Matale to observe a wood carving demonstration at a local factory. Discover more local traditions as you make a visit to the spice garden. Watch a live cooking demonstration with fresh spices and learn about how they are grown. Join a guided tour of Kandy in the afternoon, home to many tea plantations, sacred Buddhist sites, and biodiverse rainforest land. Finish your tour and check into a 4-star hotel in Kandy for the night. Day 8:Think back on your memories of the trip over a final Sri Lankan breakfast. Say goodbye to your new friends and helpful guides, before being transferred back to your accommodations.

Dambulla & Kaudulla National Park Day Tour From Colombo

8. Dambulla & Kaudulla National Park Day Tour From Colombo

On arrival in Kaudulla National Park, you will commence with a jeep safari in the Polonnaruwa District. This was opened in September 2002 as a National Park. This is home to a large herd of elephants, sambhur, spotted deer, wild boar, wild buffalo, a range of reptile species, and a large number of bird species. The elephant population found here far exceeds those found in other Parks. After the safari, enjoy a Sri Lankan lunch at your own expense. Then, proceed to Dambulla to visit the Cave Temple. Here you will find the famous Rock Temple, dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. In the first cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the rock. In the second cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes.

Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

9. Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

First of all you'll be picked up from your hotel in Dambulla, Sigiriya or Habarana and driven to Polonnaruwa, before arriving at Polonnaruwa ancient city to discover the ruins. Polonnaruwa is the ancient heart of Sri Lanka, and an important royal capital with its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture. Although nearly 1,000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's first capital - and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow. Afterwards, you will arrive to a local restaurant for lunch, before exploring the wondrous Rock Fortress of Sigirya. This place is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa domesticated the Lions Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Thereafter, you will be dropped off at your hotel in Dambulla/Sigiriya/Habarana .

Colombo: Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, & Panduwasnuwara Tour

10. Colombo: Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, & Panduwasnuwara Tour

The tour begins with early morning pickup from your Colombo hotel at 6am, then travels the 2-hour journey to the first stop of the day, the Kingdom of Dambadeniya. Step back in time as you wander around the ruins of Dambadeniya, once a bustling mid-13th century hub reigned over by King Parakramabahu II. See the recently excavated remains of the Temple of the Tooth, as well as the fascinating royal palace complex with its gardens, walls, and moats. By 10:30am arrive at the next stop of the day, the former capital of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa. Marvel at the city’s fortress which was built on a giant rock, boasting wide staircases, beautiful stone sculptures, and highly detailed pillar carvings. Climb to the top of the fortress to view the ruins of the stupa on the summit of the rock, which once would have been used as a center for meditation. Spend a few hours exploring ruins of Yapahuwa, then head to a local restaurant for a traditional lunch at your own expense. After lunch head to the final stop of the day, the ancient city of Panduwasnuwara, which was one of the first kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Once the capital city of the country during 5th century BC, the site was used up until the 12th century resulting in a vast array of architectural influences and styles. Once you’ve marvelled at the ruins, visit the onsite museum which houses fascinating archaeological finds from excavations in the area. After an hour and a half exploring Panduwasnuwara the tour comes to an end and you will be dropped off back to your hotel at around 7:30pm.

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What people are saying about North Central Province

great day, had a very knowledgable driver, great food and learned a lot about the people and the country.