Planning the perfect Sri Lanka Itinerary

Tripoto
30th Mar 2019
Photo of Planning the perfect Sri Lanka Itinerary by The Travel Pundit
Day 1

The ancient city of Anuradhapura has Stupas and temples scattered around the city. It is lush green, and decorated with gardens along all the roads. Things that a Google Search won't tell you :

1. Wear clothing that covers your knees ,and shoulders. If you want to fit in the culture perfectly, adorn white shirts with skirts/dhotis .

2. You may choose to buy a few lillies and arrange them at the prime spots inside the temple.

3. Temples with bodhi trees have a custom of circumscribing the trunk thrice with a cauldron of water in your hands. After circumscribing, you have to pour down the water at the roots of the tree.

Not to be religious, but, following these customs is quiet an peaceful experience in itself to fully understand the local culture.

Photo of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

When you get to Sigiriya, book an accommodation close to Sigiriya, and Pindargula rocks. Expect a short hike to both.

Pindargula rock, is open all day, and, my advice to you is to be an early riser and begin the Pindargula hike at 4am. You will then reach the top shortly before Sunrise. Watching sunrise from Pindargula is a MUST DO.

A rest during high sun, post the Pindargula hike is recommended to fuel up. Even though Sigiriya is open during the day, I recommend heading to Sigiriya post lunch, ie around 1 to 2 am. Explore the museum first followed by the Hike up Sigiriya around 4pm to 5pm. This way you can distribute your walks, breaks, and fueling up well, parallely avoiding hot sun flashes.

Photo of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

Kandy is an old town of Sri Lanka too, in my personal belief, it is not much of an attraction to anyone seeking escape from city bustle.

Photo of Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

The Temple of Tooth Relic was a big let down, contrast to the hype around it. Entry is free for locals, and, 3kLKR per head for foreigners. Religious sentiments apart, it is not at all worth the money and time put in. You bustle in through a crowd, and a Queue that lasts for over 45 minutes. Near the casket of the tooth relic, the crowd is randomly split into two, and devotees are ushered to pass quickly. The first queue, gets to go up close to the casket. And the second one is just made to pass by quickly.

The botanical gardens was quiet an treat to the mind and eyes. Collect a map along with your tickets and explore selective avenues and sections of the park. I explored the ferns avenue which was an absolute treat to the eyes, all the different patterns and colors painted in by nature on the foliage.

Surreal experience of finely carved rocks. The entire cave temple, and the statues inside them are all carved from the same monolith. The ceilings adorn perfectly crafted patterns n paintings. The corridors, architecture and, the numerous lined up caves. Note that, you're expected to have covered knees and shoulders to enter the caves, and, the temple rents out Sarongs for LKR100 for the same purpose. Walk down the beautiful Cascade of stairs through floral gardens, and, reach a view point from where you can catch a view of Sigiriya , and Pindargula rocks too.

Photo of Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

I took the world heritage train ride starting from Kandy Railway station, and, ending at Nuwura Eliya. It is a 7hr long journey, and, graduates through some beautiful tea estates, forests, hillside cottages. Every platform the train halts on is a picturesque garden straight out of magical fairytales. The flatforms adorn pretty blooms, pottery, clocks and vintage metal weldings that add to the charm. There are two kinds of trains, Blue First class, has reservation seats, AC and a pantry coach. Red Second class is slowers, non AC, and there's no seat reservation. Although, both the trains are pretty much peaceful to enjoy the train journey.

Photo of Kandy Railway Station, Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Kandy Railway Station, Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Kandy Railway Station, Kandy, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

"Ella Misty Hills" is truly Misty and serene. Nuwura Eliya is a traveler's paradise. Adorned by lots of Cafe's and trail hikes, Ella stands to be one of the most travelers favorite destinations in Sri Lanka. You may trek to Adam's peak, mini Adams peak, Ravana cave,and Nine arches Bridge. During your stay. These destinations are the Instagram perfect frames from Sri Lanka.

Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

A long Bus journey or drive takes us back to plains, and, the seashore. Driving by the palm dotted shores through mirrissa, galle, Dutch fort has all the beach vibes you need. Experience the local cuisine which is a balanced blend of Dutch, Arabic, Indian, and Sri Lankan food. For a secluded and private stay, I'd highly recommend Wadduwa Beach as a choice of accommodation.

Photo of Galle, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Galle, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Galle, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

A backwater? Or a River? The Ganga of Sri Lanka had a day packed in for you! Explore the river cruise, shop for some cinnamon, and get a fish spa here. Followed by visiting a turtle hatchery. Spend some time studying how the hatchery works, and explore Turtles of various species. You may even choose to release a few newly hatched turtles to the ocean.

Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Madu Ganga , Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

The city of Colombo reminds me of any British influenced old town..just like Kolkata, Bombay or Delhi, the old buildings have a similar artistic charm. It has a cuty bustle like any other metro in the world. People rushing to workplaces, sky high towers, fancy restaurants. The city of Colombo also has a national museum that conserves objects of historical importance. A day spent here at the end of the Sri Lanka trips, takes you on a historical stroll back in time from all the places you have just visited in the previous days, hence, I recommend, exploring Colombo at the end of your tour.

Photo of Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit

An old Dutch hospital converted to top knotch restaurants, and, art street. Dine at the Ministry of Crab, which stands in world's top 25 restaurants. The crab here is delicious. And, the experience is a once in a lifetime thing.

Photo of Ministry of Crab, Hospital Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Ministry of Crab, Hospital Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Ministry of Crab, Hospital Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
Photo of Ministry of Crab, Hospital Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka by The Travel Pundit
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