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Island Discovery – Srilanka

Island Discovery – Srilanka

$5200 $3600
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The Culture and Nature of Sri Lanka is distributed all over the island and is unique because each area has its own lifestyle and geography. Colombo is the urban and commercial center of the country, Galle a bustling Fort City from historic Dutch and British eras, the northern peninsula of Jaffna was an ancient kingdom of Kings invading from India and later colonized by colonial rulers, The Cultural Triangle of the island framed in by the historic cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy containing 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a rich collection of historic monuments of invaluable archaeological heritage and the mountainous tea regions that was and is a strong economic contributor to the nation. All of these have and still is a significant influence on the lifestyles of the nation and tell a tale of existence spanning over 3000 years.
Recommended period to visit: Year round although due to weather patterns some areas may be warmer or colder than others and rainfall in some areas can be experienced.
  • Destination
  • Arrival
    Bandaranaike
  • Arrival Time
    Late Night or Mid Night
  • Final Departure
    Late Night or Mid Night
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable and light

Tour Itinerary : - Island Discovery – Srilanka

1

Day 1: Arrive in Sri Lanka & transfer to Colombo

Colombo: It is the commercial capital of the country and the seat of business and commerce. A bustling port in colonial times, Colombo still retains architectural evidence to the era of Dutch and British occupation and names of streets and companies also carry links to history. Today Colombo is a cosmopolitan city where history and modernization exist together with flavors and insights that are interesting to see and experience. 
Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport and after completing arrival formalities meet us in the arrival lounge of the airport and be introduced to your escort and chauffeur/guide on the tour.
 
Transfer by air-conditioned vehicle to Colombo.
In the late afternoon, take a walk through the Fort and Pettah areas ending up at the ‘Dutch Hospital’ street café for dinner at a venue of your choice. 
Overnight is in Colombo.
2

Day 2: Day Visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Dutch Fort City of Galle

Galle: On the southern coast of the island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1505 and the first colonial rule footprint on the island. However, it was later developed as a fortified city by the Dutch and then the British but bears links and close resemblances to the Dutch occupation of the land. Traditional lace making introduced by the Dutch is still practiced and the nearby village of Ambalangoda has a historical link to the time of kings as the land where masks for royal cultural pageants were produced by skilled artisans who passed the secrets of their work from generation to generation. 
Morning drive to the city of Galle on the southern coast of the country and visit the historic Galle Fort on push bicycles. Thereafter visit Ambalangoda, and a mask manufacturers workshop to see artisans at work. 
Return to Colombo.
Overnight stay is in Colombo
3

Day 3: Colombo to Northern Jaffna Peninsula

Jaffna: On the northern coast of the island is a stark contrast in many aspects to the south. Language, lifestyle, cuisine, religion is significantly different although of the same nation. Jaffna’s history dates back far beyond colonial rule eras to the times when invading kings from Indian lands attempted to annex the island to the Indian mainland and left significant footprints on the island of their existence. Later coming under colonial rule Jaffna became a significant contributor to the economy of the nation via education, civil services, agriculture and fisheries among others. 
With a packed breakfast, take the early morning intercity train from Colombo to Jaffna, scheduled to arrive mid-day. In the afternoon visit the Jaffna Fort, the iconic Nallur Kandaswamy Hindu Temple, the Rio Ice Cream Parlor and Jaffna Market.
Dinner this evening is at a local Jaffna restaurant
Overnight is in Jaffna
4

Day 4: Visit Delft Island

Delft Island: As the name signifies, it was discovered by the Dutch and was a sea garrison to protect the mainland from invasion. Later on, it developed into its own community and has a lifestyle of its own unique to the islanders. Wild ponies from strains during the Dutch era still exist.
Early morning visit to the island of Delft and spend the day on the island discovering the lifestyle of locals on Delft and its history. Local lunch on the island. Thereafter take the afternoon scheduled boat shuttle to the Jaffna mainland and on arrival visit the Dambakola Patuna temple and Point Pedro. 
Overnight is in Jaffna
5

Day 5: Jaffna to Anuradhapura

The Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka: The triangle is formed by connecting the ancient capital of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy and within the triangle sits 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Anuradhapura was the first kingdom of the island's civilization and the granary of the country along the banks of the main Malwathu Oya River. Together with Polonnaruwa which many centuries later became the 2nd capital of ancient Sri Lanka, the area is an agricultural hub of the island and ancient kings left indelible evidence of their skills and astuteness to develop a dry climate land area into a lush green and fertile agricultural zone that even today contributes to the nation’s economy. Kandy which was the final bastion of the Sinhalese Kings before the island was annexed to the British Empire contributed to the nation’s economy with its rich harvest of spices and is also the epicenter of Buddhist Devotion with the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha enshrined in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
With a picnic, breakfast take the early morning train from Jaffna to Anuradhapura. On arrival in Anuradhapura. Afternoon visit to the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura, including the historic Sri Maha Bodhi temple.
Overnight is in Anuradhapura
6

Day 6: Anuradhapura to Mihintale to Habarana

Mihintale: The city has its name etched firmly in the island's religious and cultural history as the venue where the Arahat Mahinda son of Emperor Ashoka from India appeared to the then Sinhalese King and preached the doctrine of the Buddha that changed the lifestyles and values of an entire nation.
Morning visit to the historic rock and temple in Mihintale. Thereafter, proceed to the village of Habaranaand in the evening go on the off-road visit to the Eco Park managed by the Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka to see elephants in the wild.
Overnight is in Habarana
7

Day 7: Visit Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya

Morning visit of Polonnaruwa ancient kingdom precincts and its archaeological & history museum. Afternoon visit to the historic Sigiriya Rock and museum.
Overnight is in Habarana
8

Day 8: Habarana to Mahiyangana

Mahiyangana: It is the last area on the island where the indigenous community also known as “Veddhas” live today. The village of Dambana is significant as it is the home of the “Veddhas” and they still live according to practices that evolved from ancient eras. Mahiyangana also is the place where the Lord Buddha personally visited the island during his lifetime to foster peace and harmony among the people of the region at the time. 
Leaving early morning drive along an interior countryside route to the village of Mahiyangana arriving by afternoon. In the evening visit the village of Dambana the home of the indigenous community of the island and experience their lifestyles.
Overnight is in Mahiyangana
9

Day 9: Mahiyangana to Nuwara Eliya

Morning visit to the historic Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya and thereafter drive to the tea producing regions of Nuwara Eliya. In the evening explore the areas surrounding the heart of Nuwara Eliya and learn about its history.
Dinner tonight is at the exclusive Nuwara Eliya Hill Club.
Overnight is in Nuwara Eliya
10

Day 10: Explore Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya: It is the heartland of Ceylon Tea, developed by the British rulers of the 19th century. Tea became a premier contributor to the island's economy during the British era and continues still today. The history of tea plantation workers stems from south India and is therefore different from the Tamils of the northern peninsula of Jaffna.
Early morning with packed breakfast to visit Horton Plains; trek through the plains and visit 'Worlds End' and ‘Bakers Falls’. Returning to Nuwara Eliya visit a tea plantation and a tea factory to understand the manufacturing process of Sri Lanka tea.
Dinner this evening is at the heritage Nuwara Eliya Golf Club
Overnight is in Nuwara Eliya
11

Day 11: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy

Morning drive through scenic countryside routes to Kandy. In the evening witness, a cultural troupe of local dancers perform a variety of cultural dances stemming from different religious and cultural events of the island and dating back to history. Thereafter, visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in time for the ‘Thevawa’ and join the locals in flower offerings and alms to the Sacred Tooth Relic.
Overnight is in Kandy
12

Day 12: Kandy - Colombo

Morning visit of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya and Kandy Arts and Crafts Center. Take the afternoon intercity train from Kandy to Colombo and on arrival at Colombo Fort Railway station, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight is in Colombo
13

Day 13: Departure from Sri Lanka

Transfer to the airport (BIA) for departure flight

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What to Wear

  •   Women:  We recommend women wear long, loose, conservative clothing such as sleeved shirts or trousers. For longer stays, consider purchasing a traditional sari, a kurta (a long shirt), or salwar and kameez (baggy pants). Scarves and shawls are worn throughout the year and can be fashionable as well as functional. Dressing in Indian attire shows cultural appreciation and will help avoid drawing unwanted attention.
  •   Men: Most Indians wear loose cotton shirts, polos, or button-ups with pants or jeans. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are uncommon, even during the hotter months.
  •   Traveling north or to the Himalayas: Bring warmer clothing like sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, or light jackets. Temperatures can dip down to freezing at times.
  •   Shoes: Bring durable shoes or sandals that can get dirty. Sandals, flip-flops, or flats are especially handy because they are easy to slip off when entering temples or homes.
  •   Places of Worship: Women should cover their heads, legs, and shoulders when entering a temple. Men should refrain from wearing shorts or they may not be permitted inside.
  •   Safaris: Early morning safaris can be chilly. We recommend wearing several layers including a sweater or jacket that can be removed as the day warms up. A thin hat or gloves may also help.
 

Passport and Visa

  •   Passport: Your passport is your most important travel document and must be valid for at least six months before arriving in India. If your passport is falling apart, make sure to replace it before coming.
  •   Visa: A visa is required for any visit to India. Contact your embassy or the Indian consulate to learn how to obtain one. If you are visiting India and a neighboring country, you must apply for a double or multiple entry visas from the Indian Embassy.
  •   Photocopies: Make sure to print and bring copies of your passport and visa with you. Store them separately in a secure place. Email yourself a scanned copy for easy access and be sure to leave a photocopy with someone at home. If your hotel has a safe, leave your passport and carry a photocopy with you. Also, be sure to bring a second form of identification.
  •   Lost or Stolen Passport: If something happens to your passport, immediately report the loss to the local police and get a written statement. Contact the nearest consulate for a replacement.
 

Health

  •   Malaria and Dengue: All year long in areas below 2000 meters of altitude, there is a chance of contracting mosquito-borne malaria and dengue. You can prevent potential mosquito bites by wearing long clothes and frequently applying mosquito repellent. Make sure to consult with your doctor before coming.
  •   Travel Insurance: If you fall ill, treatment or transportation home can be extremely expensive. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
  •   Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required. However, if you are staying longer than 30 days, we recommend you receive the following shots: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, polio, diphtheria, rabies, measles, mumps, rubella, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, yellow fever, and meningococcal.
  •   High Altitude Sickness: When visiting high altitude areas, be sure to ascend slowly and take enough time to acclimatize. You should be physically fit before venturing on any strenuous climbs.
 

Money

  •   Currency: The national currency is the Indian rupee. Check the latest exchange rates before you arrive so you have a better idea of how much you are spending.
  •   Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in India, but keep in mind they’ll be of no use in remote areas. It’s helpful to carry a mix of cash and traveler’s checks.
  •   Bills: Be sure to always have smaller denominations of rupees (1s, 5s, 10s, 100s, etc.) as stores and rickshaw drivers will not always have exact change.
 

Eating & Drinking

  •   Eating: Try to consume cooked foods during your stay. Avoid street food, raw vegetables, and unpeeled fruit. Food in India can be incredibly spicy. So, be cautious when ordering hot curries.
  •   Drinking-Water: Drink only sealed bottled or filtered water. Avoid putting ice in your drinks as the water may be from the faucet.
  •   Alcohol: The legal drinking age is 25. It is uncommon and sometimes prohibited to drink alcohol in India, especially in sacred places.
 

Shopping

  •   Haggling: Bargaining is commonplace in this part of the world and should be taken with humor and an open mind. Remember, you have no obligation to purchase something you have been haggling on. If you are uncomfortable with the price, politely decline and walk away.
  •   Respect: Locals work long, hard hours for only a few coins. So,  please make sure you always pay a fair price. The work of an Indian craftsman is just as valuable as the work of any other person.
  •   Touts: Some locals and public drivers may try to lead you into shops to receive a commission for your purchases. Should you not wish to visit a particular shop, firmly and politely state your disinterest and walk away.
  •   Responsibility: Epiconic Travel will not be held liable for any shopping purchases or shipping costs.
 

Electricity

  •   Voltage: 240 V
  •   Frequency: 50 Hz
  •   Plug Types: C/D/M
  •   Socket Types: C/D/M
 

Tips

We recommend the following:
  •   Airport Assistance: 300 INR per transfer
  •   Restaurants: 5-10% of the total bill
  •   Baggage Handlers: 20 INR per piece of luggage
  •   Guide/Escort: 400-500 INR per day
  •   Drivers: 250-300 INR per day
If traveling in a group, please confer with your tour leader before tipping.  

Photography

  •   Show Respect: Taking pictures of day-to-day life is possible in most places. However, we request that you respect the privacy of those who do not wish to be photographed. Please ask when possible to avoid any uncomfortable situations. Furthermore, please respect the rules of religious institutions and check before taking photos in temples, mosques, and other places of worship.
  •   Being Photographed: Strangers may request to have their picture taken with you even if you have never met before. While this may seem strange, remember that as a foreigner, you are just as exotic to them as they are to you. If you feel uncomfortable having your picture taken, politely decline and walk away.
  •   Meet the People: Take time to get to know a person before snapping their photos. Most likely, this will make them more willing to have their photo taken.
  •   Security: Note that photography is strictly prohibited in and around airports, military installations, and other sensitive areas. Please check for notices before taking photos.
  •   Photograph Scams: Some people may approach you and ask to have their picture taken. While this may seem like an excellent photo opportunity, don't oblige them unless you are willing to pay the fee they request afterward. Be especially wary of snake charmers and people in costume who earn a living this way. It's best to avoid these situations by politely declining and moving away.
  •   Photograph Journeys: Contact Epiconic Travel to learn more about our special photography journeys.
 

Begging

  •   Beggars: You will encounter a large number of beggars around temples and tourist areas. It may seem distressing, but in India, they form an integral part of the alms-giving process, which has roots in religious practices.
  •   Keep in Mind: Beggars who congregate around hotels and monuments do so because they can earn more than the average daily wage by targeting sympathetic foreign visitors.
  •   How to Give: Epiconic Travel recommends you do not give money to beggars, especially children. Giving money or small gifts encourages begging and future harassment of other travelers. If you wish to help alleviate their suffering, please let us know and we will put you in touch with a registered charity.
 

Scams

  •   Spiritual Offerings: Sometimes locals who look like holy men will try to put a Bindi (red dot) on your forehead or tie yarn around your wrist before requesting payment. If you don't wish to pay for this service, politely decline any attempt to do so and remove yourself from the situation.
  •   Handshakes: A simple handshake can quickly turn into a palm reading or an offer to paint your hand with henna. Instead, give the traditional "Namaste" prayer greeting when encountering strangers. This also conveys respect.
  •   No Such Thing as Free: You may be told some service or a small gift is free only to be asked for payment or a "donation" later. Be smart and use good judgment.
 

Respecting the Culture

  • Keep in mind that India may not have the same standards of living or traditions as your home country. Please be respectful of these differences and embrace everything that India has to offer.
  • Please show respect by refraining from public displays of affection, coarse language, and other inappropriate behavior.
 

Environment

  • In general, follow the same basic ecological rules you have in your country while traveling.
  •   Water: Pure water in India is a luxury, so please use it sparingly. In remote areas, stick to neutral soap to avoid any negative environmental impact.
  •   Batteries: Return home with any dead batteries as India lacks a dedicated battery recycling system.
  •   Camping: Campgrounds should remain clean after your departure to minimize human impact.
  •   Keep Your Volume Down: While visiting nature reserves, please make sure to keep quiet and respect the wildlife.
  •   Trash: Please properly dispose of any garbage by placing it in a wastebasket.
  •   Animals: For health and safety reasons, keep your distance and avoid contact with any animals you encounter.
 

Traveling by Train

  •   Delays: More often than not, your train will be delayed; sometimes by more than an hour. Relax and rest assured you will make it to your destination. Always assume your train will arrive on time and show up at least 30 minutes beforehand.
  •   Food: Resist the temptation to purchase meals on the train or at the railway station as it may upset your stomach. Make sure any food you buy is packaged and only drink bottled water. Also, it is best to take the skin off the fruit before eating it.
  •   Toilet Types: Indian trains offer squat and seated bathroom facilities. It is smart to bring your toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the off chance the bathrooms run out. Train toilets empty directly down onto the track so be courteous and only use the bathroom while the train is in motion.
  •   Insects: It’s not uncommon to see insects around the bathroom areas and trash receptacles. A train worker can spray insect repellent if you encounter any bugs in your cabin.
  •   Open Doors: Most Indian trains allow passengers to open the entry doors while the train is in motion. Be cautious when passing them on your way to the bathroom area. Epiconic Travel recommends you avoid venturing near the open doors.
  •   Epiconic Provisions: To make your train experience even more enjoyable, Epiconic Travel provides clients with their own linen sheets, pillow covers, snacks, and basic toiletries.
 

Women Travelers

  •   Clothes: See the “What to Wear” section on page one.
  •   Swimsuits: Normal swimwear is fine at beach resorts. Otherwise, wear long shorts and a t-shirt when swimming in public.
  •   Jewelry: Avoid wearing expensive-looking jewelry and/or giving off the impression of wealth.
  •   Taxis: Though Epiconic Travel will provide a driver for your journey, be cautious when venturing out on your own. Avoid taking cabs home alone at night and never agree on having another male in the car with you besides the driver.
  •   Common Misconceptions: It is common for Indians to direct their conversations toward males, even if questioned by a woman. Men do this to show the woman respect since speaking to her can be perceived as flirtatious.
  •   Staring: As a foreigner, you will naturally stand out. Although people will take extra notice of you, it is usually a harmless curiosity. Still, it is always best to travel with a male or in a group and make safe travel decisions.
  •   Be Home Before Dark: Avoid walking around town at night, especially if you are alone or in an isolated area.
 

Language

  • India is home to over 400 living languages that vary from region to region. English is a second language for most people and some do not speak it at all. Remember to be patient and avoid using slang in conversation. This will make communicating easier and less frustrating.
 

Internet

  • There are numerous Wi-Fi spots in major cities and many hotels have Internet. Be aware that not all Internet areas will have a broadband connection.
 

Making Phone Calls

  •   Cell Phones: There is cell phone coverage throughout India. Be sure to check with your service provider before calling, texting, or web browsing to avoid expensive roaming charges.
  •   Prepaid Phone Cards: These are available throughout India though you can also purchase one before you arrive. Phone cards are generally more cost-effective than using your mobile phone.
  •   Country Code: +91
 

What to Bring

  • Weather appropriate, conservative clothing
  • Insect repellant
  • Multiple forms of identification
  • Money belt
  • Any necessary medications such as Tums, Ibuprofen, or prescriptions (Though most are available in India)
  • Small flashlight or headlamp
  • Earplugs (if you’re a light sleeper)
  • Tampons
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Power converters
  • Sturdy, durable shoes and sandals
  •   For Fun: Camera, book, journal, MP3 player, cards, travel games
 

For Trekking

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Warm clothing
 

24-Hour Emergency Contact

Numbers Chhobi: + 91 9873235671, + 91 9810280895 Ajay: + 91 9910089185 Alok: 0091 (0)991-006-8601  

Contact Information

Head office: Chapri House 88, HUDA Gurgaon-17, Haryana (New Delhi NCR) Telephone: 0091 (0)124-407-3072, (0)407-696-566 Fax: 0091 (0)124-236-8604   Branch Office: Chirattapalam Road, Kunnumpuram Junction, Fort Kochi - Kochi 682001, Kerala Telephone: 0091 (0)484-221-5878 Fax (0)484-221-5878   Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 9:30am - 7:00pm Saturday: 9:30am - 3:00pm   Website: Email: support@epiconictravel.com   Find Epiconic Travel India on Facebook!

Southern India

  • Regions: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh
  • Best Time to Go: October-March when the weather is sunny and comfortable
 

Northern India

  • Regions: Rajasthan, Haryana
  • Best Time to Go: October-March when the weather is sunny and comfortable
 

Eastern India

  • Regions: Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa
  • Best Time to Go: October-March when the weather is sunny and comfortable
 

Western India

  • Regions: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa
  • Best Time to Go: October-March when the weather is sunny and warm
 

Northern Himalayas

  • Regions: Ladakh, Kashmir, Zanskar
  • Best Time to Go: May-October
  • Best Time to Trek: Mid-June to mid- September
 

Central India

  • Regions: Uttar Pradesh, MadhyaPradesh
  • Best Time to Go: October-March when the weather is sunny and comfortable
 

Eastern Himalayas

  • Regions: Sikkim, Darjeeling
  • Best Time To Go: April - June and mid- June to mid-September
  • Best Time to Trek: May, June, mid- September to mid- November
 

Central Himalayas

  • Regions: Himachal Pradesh, Kumaon, Garhwal
  • Best Time to Go: April - June and mid- September - November
  • Best Time to Trek: May, June, mid- September to mid- November

ITINERARY SUGGESTIONS OF SOUTHERN INDIA

Malabar Adventure

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Culinary Journey India

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Just Kerala

$2050

Splendours of South India

$3555

South India Tropical Discovery

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Spice Trails of Kerala

$1125

Wild South India

$1905