HIGHLIGHTS: CHILAW l TALAIMANNAR l JAFFNA l TRINCOMALEE l SIGIRIYA l NEGOMBO
DAY 01 AIRPORT l CHILAW
Arrival at the Bandaranayake International Airport, meet and transfer to the first hotel in Negombo. Visit
Munneswaram temple is an important regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although myths surrounding the temple associated it with the popular Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-king Rama. The temple is one of the ancient Pancha Ishwarams dedicated to Shiva in the region.
The temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva (Siva) is the most prestigious and biggest, and is popular amongst Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. The Kali temple is also popular with Buddhists, who frequent the complex. Post-19th century, most of the devotees of all temples in the complex belong to the majority Sinhala Buddhist ethnic group; the temples, excluding the Ayyanayakeand the Buddhist temple, are administered by families belonging to the minority Hindu Tamils.
Munneswaram is a village with mixed Sinhala and Tamil population situated in the historic Demala Pattuva ("Tamil division") region in the Puttalam District. The main Shiva temple owns extensive property in the surrounding villages, ownership of which was affirmed when the region was part of the medieval Kotte Kingdom. The temple was destroyed twice by the Portuguese colonial officers, who handed over the properties to the Jesuits. Although the Jesuits built a Catholic chapel over the temple foundation, locals reconstructed the temple both times. Due to religious and demographic change after the late 18th century, most surrounding villages and towns are not directly associated with the temple administration and maintenance. However, the villages of Maradankulama and Udappu are associated with organizing the main temple festival.
The main festivals celebrated at the temple include Navarathri and Sivarathri. The former is a nine-day long festival in honour of the presiding Goddess, while the latter is an overnight observation in honour of Lord Shiva. In addition to these two Hindu festivals, the temple has a festival of its own, the Munneswaram festival, a four-week-long event attended by Hindus and Buddhists.
Manavari Kovil is a Hindu temple 9 kms north of Chilaw. It’s a typical Tamil temple but of significance for Hindu pilgrims from India who travel along the Ramayana trail to visit places connected to Lord Rama. Manavari was the first place where Rama installed a Lingam. This was a remedy to Lord Shiva after commiting the worst possible crime in Hinduism, Brahmincide, by killing King Ravana, who had abducted Rama’s consort Shiva. Ravana was a Brahmin. The Shiva-Lingam in Manavari is called Ramalingam, as it was erected by Lord Rama. There are only two Lingams in the world named after Lord Rama, the other one being that of Rameshwaram in India, the most sacred place in Tamil Nadu. A Ramalingam is an extraordinary object of worship in Hinduism, as Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu and a Lingam is a representation of Shiva, Vishnu and Shiva being the highest gods of different groups of Hindus. Usually, in Vishnuism, Vishnu does not venerate Shiva. He does so as Rama, as told in the Vishnuite Ramayana epic, because the sacrilege of Brahmincide was indespensible to restore the order of the world by freeing Sita and returning to rule in Ayodhya. The erection of the Lingam as symbol of Rama’s devotion to Shiva hence is an extraordinary event in Hindu mythology.
Overnight at Carolina Beach Hotel / Chilaw
DAY 02 CHILAW l TALAIMANNAR l JAFFNA
After breakfast leave for Jaffna. On the way visit
Adam's Bridge also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 50 km (30 mi) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (south-west) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 1 to 10 metres (3 to 30 ft) deep in places, which hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel: temple records seem to say that Adam's Bridge was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480.
Overnight at Jaffna Heritage Hotel / Jaffna
DAY 03 JAFFNA
After breakfast visit
This is one of the most recognised landmarks in the area. It is believed that Lord Buddha had visited Nagadeepa to settle a dispute between two Naga Kings, Chulodara and Mahodara. After hearing Lord Buddha’s sermon, they offered him the throne. You will have the chance to visit a few Hindu Kovils in Nagadeepa.
Overnight at Jaffna Heritage Hotel / Jaffna
DAY 04 JAFFNA l TRINCOMALEE
After breakfast leave for Trincomalee. Visit
Koneswaram Temple is also known as Tirukoneswaram Kovil (Hindu temple) which is situated on top of Swami Rock. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, and it is one out of five such temples situated around Sri Lanka. It is believed that this Kovil has been in existence since 2500 years ago, and was renovated by the south Indian Chola king Kulakottan and maintained by other Sinhala Buddhist kings
Overnight at Anantaama Hotel / Trinco
DAY 05 TRINCOMALEE l SIGIRIYA
After breakfast leave for Sigiriya. Visit
Sigiriya Lions Rock
Sigiriya is an archeological site in North Central Sri Lanka. It contains the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the region of King Kasyapa (477AD - 495 AD). It is one of the 7 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and is one of its most popular tourist destinations. The Sigiriya site consists of a 180m tall granite rock, whose sides are so steep that at some points the top overhangs the base. At the top of the site there is a palace complex. The ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools can be seen at the top. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About half way to the top, there is a pair giant pair of lions paws which is in fact the ruin of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats, various pools
Overnight at Kassapa Lions Rock Hotel / Sigiriya
DAY 06 SIGIRIYA l NEGOMBO
After breakfast leave for Negombo. Visit the
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
It is established in 1975 as place for shelter and cares the wounded elephants and abandoned baby elephants found in jungle. This is covered an area over 24 acre land. It was under the department of Department of Wildlife but now under the National Zoological Garden. The main daily activities taken place in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are feeding milk to baby elephants and the bathing sessions
Overnight at Camelot Beach Hotel / Negombo
DAY 07 NEGOMBO l AIRPORT
After breakfast transfer back to the airport for departure
2 pax - 440 US$ p.p.*
4 pax - 360 US$ p.p.*
6 pax - 350 US$ p.p.*
8 pax - 340 US$ p.p.*
*if a winter peak season supplement applies, we'll inform you accordingly
This Sri Lanka Tour can be customized to fit your dates and special specifications. To get a tailor-made tour quote, please fill out the booking form and add your requirements under 'Remarks'. Our Sri Lanka experts will send you a revised itinerary with all available options free of charge.
You also can contact us at the numbers listed below.