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    Best of Sri Lanka Tour

    11 NIGHTS – 12 DAYS

    COLOMBO – DAMBULLA – ANURADHAPURA -MIHINTALE – SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA – KANDY – PINNAWELA AND BOTANICAL GARDENS – NUWARA ELIYA – YALA – GALLE – BENTOTA

    Best of Sri Lanka Tour takes you through this tropical island’s rich cultural heritage and spectacular landscapes. On this package, you will visit Dambulla to see Golden Cave Temples and Anuradhapura, ancient Capital of Sri Lanka. Then you go to picturesque Kandy to visit world famous Temple of Tooth. The tour proceeds to Nuwara Elia to enjoy lush green tea plantation and further on to Yala National Park to explore its flora and fauna. The Best of Sri Lanka Tour does not end here but it also takes you to golden beaches of Sri Lanka to relax before returning home.

    Best of Sri Lanka Tour

    1
    Day : Colombo – Dambulla (155 Km, 4 Hours)

    Upon reaching Colombo airport, we’ll proceed with the journey to Dambulla. Upon reaching our destination, we’ll complete the check-in process at the hotel.

    Dambulla stands as an extensive, solitary rock formation. In the 1st century B.C., King Valagam Bahu sought refuge here from invasions and transformed the rocks into a remarkable cave temple.

    In the late afternoon, we’ll explore the Golden Cave Temples in Dambulla. These temples showcase some of the most exceptional examples of ancient Buddhist art globally. Many of the sculptures and frescoes date back well over 2000 years. Overnight stay at Dambulla.

    2
    Day : Dambulla – Anuradhapura (65 Km, 1 ½ Hour) – Mihintale (18 Km, 30 Min) – Dambulla (60 Km, 1 Hour)

    After breakfast, we will visit Anuradhapura to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first capital of ancient Sri Lanka. This city was the focal point of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist civilization, undoubtedly ranking as the grandest city in ancient Sri Lanka. The site boasts the Earth’s oldest historically documented tree, the Sri Maha Bodhi, aged over 2,200 years. Anuradhapura is also the site of some of Sri Lanka’s oldest Buddhist shrines, dating back to the 3rd century BC, as well as monuments adorned with exquisite stone carvings or sculptures. Pleasure gardens, meticulously crafted stone baths and ponds, and a remarkable irrigation system comprising reservoirs and canals collectively constitute the primary allure of Anuradhapura.

    Highlights of the tour include the Brazen Palace, Ruwanweli Seya, Samadhi Buddha, Isurumuniya rock temple, Kuttam Pokuna twin ponds, Thuparama, Ratnaprasada, Abayagiri, and Jetevanarama.

    After tour of Anuradhapura, we will visit Mihintale, a significant site where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. Here, we will explore ancient granite steps, dagabas, relic houses, assembly halls, meditation rocks, caves, and ponds. Afterwards, return to Dambulla for overnight stay.

    3
    Day : Dambulla-sigiriya (17 Km, 25min)-polonnaruwa (60 Km, 1 Hour)-dambulla (65 Km, 1 ½ Hour)

    After breakfast, head to Sigiriya to climb the UNESCO World Heritage Site rock fortress. Constructed under the reign of King Kashyapa (477-495 A.D), the “Lion Rock” stands as an extraordinary citadel, soaring 200m above the jungle. Serving as the innermost fortress of the 70-hectare fortified town, its base is encircled by a moat, rampart, and expansive gardens.

    To enjoy the glamourous views from the top, you need to climb over 1200 steps This can take almost 2 hours. During the climb, we will Explore the Water Gardens, Frescoes, Mirror Wall, Lion platform, and Summit.

    After Sigiriya tour, visit Polonnaruwa, the second capital of Sri Lanka, with its Royal Palace complex, Quadrangle, and Gal Vihare complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was an ancient city that gained prominence as the capital following the decline of Anuradhapura. The monuments, admirably preserved, vividly depict the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s historical legacy. Afterwards, return to Dambulla for overnight stay.

    4
    Day : Dambulla – Kandy (75 Km, 2 Hours)

    After breakfast, visit the Dambulla Rock Caves Temple. The temple, comprising a series of five caves, traces its origins back to the first century BC and houses an impressive collection of over 150 Buddha images. The majority of the caves were carved by hand, with some remarkable Buddha statues still seamlessly attached to the cave walls.

    Afterward, proceed to Matale to explore a Spice Garden and observe the cultivation of spices in their natural environment. Gain insights into the various spices and their applications in Sri Lankan cuisine.

    After the tour, we will continue our drive to Kandy – one of the most picturesque towns in the country. The hill capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy was the historic stronghold of the Sinhala Kings. The town’s centrepiece is undeniably the golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa. Upon arrival, we will Check-in at the hotel.

    In the afternoon, we shall visit the Temple of the Tooth. The temple holds unparalleled reverence among Buddhists worldwide. Constructed in the 16th century, this temple enshrines the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, which was transported to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century AD. Over the years, successive rulers have added various structures to the temple complex, with the latest addition being the Golden Canopy over the inner shrine, where the Tooth Relic is enshrined. This is followed by a cultural show. Overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

    5
    Day : Pinnawela And Botanical Gardens Tour Rom Kandy

    Following breakfast, embark on a visit to the PINNAWELA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE. it is the world’s first and only elephant orphanage dedicated to nurturing, feeding, and sheltering young elephants left or orphaned by their mothers. Additionally, it accommodates elephants displaced due to development projects or those found wounded. Visitors can marvel at the sight of baby elephants being fed from colossal feeding bottles or enjoying a bath in the nearby river—a truly unforgettable experience.

    In the afternoon, continue exploring the city of Kandy, including a visit to the ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS. These gardens, laid out in 1821 by British colonial rulers, were initially the Royal Pleasure Garden of the Kandyan Kings. The gardens showcase an enchanting array of floral and green plants. Notable features include the Orchid House, exhibiting a splendid collection of Sri Lankan orchids, the fernery, spice garden, and trees planted by distinguished visitors to the island. Overnight stay at hotel in Kandy.

    6
    Day : Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (120 Km, 4 Hours)

    After breakfast, check out from hotel and proceed to Nuwara Eliya. Nestled in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country, Nuwara Eliya stands as the hub of Ceylon Tea. Its undulating mountains are adorned with lush green tea estates, accompanied by babbling streams and picturesque waterfalls. The invigorating climate, mist-laden valleys, and unmistakable British charm render Nuwara Eliya a must-visit destination on any Sri Lankan travel agenda.

    Enroute, explore a tea factory and plantation, where we’ll showcase the daily process of tea leaf plucking. Overnight stay at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

    7
    Day : Transfer To Ella By Train And Drive To Yala

    After breakfast, check out from hotel and proceed to Nanu Oya Railway Station to catch a train to Ella. Experience approximately 2 ½ hours of scenic rail travel.

    Upon reaching Ella Station, we will explore the renowned Nine Arch Bridge. Also known as the Bridge in the Sky, stands as a notable viaduct in Sri Lanka, showcasing exemplary colonial-era railway construction. The surrounding area has become a hub for tourism, attracting visitors with its ingenious design and the lush greenery enveloping the nearby hillsides.

    Afterwards, we will continue the journey to Yala by drive. Upon reaching, we will check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Yala.Top of Form.

    8
    Day : Safari at Yala National Park

    Following an early breakfast, embark on a 4×4 Jeep Safari to explore Yala National Park.

    Established in 1938. Yala is renowned for its significant herds and abundant wildlife, including elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and numerous other species. Covering 126,786 hectares, including the Strict Natural Reserve, the Ruhunu National Park is home to various blocks, with Block I being the most popular. The park boasts over 130 recorded bird species, encompassing both resident and winter visitors. Overnight stay at hotel in Yala.

    9
    Day : Galle Tour And Transfer To Bentota (200 Kms, 3 Hrs)

    After breakfast, check out from the hotel and travel to Bentota with a stopover in the city of Galle. Galle, a major city on the South Coast, is renowned for its Portuguese and Dutch Fort, designated as a “World Heritage Site.” The fort, covering 90 acres, is believed by some scholars to be the ancient “Tarshish” mentioned in the Old Testament. Despite its origins, the fort currently displays no visible traces of its Portuguese founders. Explore the market/bazaar area and the historic Galle Fortress en route. After Galle tour, continue drive to Bentota. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel there. Overnight stay at hotel in Bentota.

    10
    Day : Day at Leisure In Bentota

    Following your breakfast, spend the entire day at ease in Bentota, indulging in a leisurely beach stay. Overnight stay at hotel in Bentota.

    11
    Day : Day at Leisure In Bentota

    Following your breakfast, spend the entire day at ease in Bentota, indulging in a leisurely beach stay. Overnight stay at hotel in Bentota.

    12
    Day : Bentota – Airport (50 Kms, 1.5 Hours)

    Following breakfast, check out from the hotel and proceed with the departure transfer to the airport.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

    No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.

    Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.

    Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.

    It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.

    No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.

    Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.

    Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.

    We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.

    Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.

    We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.

    We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.I am interested.

    Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.

    Why StateExpress

    Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.

    Our people make the difference

    Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.

    Our infrastructure

    We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.

    Our fleet of vehicles & drivers

    We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.

    Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.

    Our choice of hotels

    We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.

    Our tour itineraries

    All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.

    24×7 assistance during the tour

    We provide you clients real 24×7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.

    Response time

    We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.

    Personalised Service

    Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.

    Good value for money

    We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.

    What our clients say about us

    Good Morning,

    we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so

    . Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;

    . Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;

    . Car good;

    . Guide only in Jaisalmer good;

    . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots;

    . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast; we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent):

    Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists;

    Mandawa Palace 4 for all;

    Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel;

    Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work;

    Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount;

    Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast;

    Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best

    Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast;

    Meradan Grand 4 for all

    Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across;

    we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step.

    In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends.

    Enzo Ferrante

    27 January 2023 

    Hi Rinki,

    Just wanted to say thank you for all the organisation for our India trip. Everything went very smoothly. Our vehicles, drivers and accommodation were all faultless.

    Look forward to our next trip now whenever that may be.

    I’d like to just comment on one thing… please encourage clients to do Chittorgarh as a day trip. The accommodation there must’ve been really good at some point but is quite run down now. They were lovely and very obliging but when we compare the accommodations it wasn’t the best.

    I know I’d said I wanted a night in Chittorgarh but I wasn’t as conversant with availability there as someone who knows the areas more.

    Thank you once again from my mum, massi and I.

    Best wishes and regards to your team,

    Ps. Next visit we must meet!! 🙂

    Priya

    14 January 2023

    Dear Sirs, namaste.
    The journey of my group is over and we have returned to our homes.
    I hope all of you are fine.
    I wish to thank State Express for the usual good assistance. A special thank to Mr Mamlesh Sahu for following my trip through his frequent telephone calls.
    I hope to have the chance to come again.

    Dhanyavad.

    Alfredo Sermasi

    12 December 2022

    Good Morning,

    we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so
    • Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;
    • Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;
    • Car good;
    • Guide only in Jaisalmer good
    • . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots; . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast;
    we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent): Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists; Mandawa Palace 4 for all; Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel; Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work; Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount; Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast; Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast; Meradan Grand 4 for all Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across; we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step. In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends. Kindly Regards, Enzo Ferrante
    David & Emily
    8 March 2020
    Good morning Rinki,
    Emily and I are home now, and we would like to thank you for organising what turned out to be a wonderful trip. We enjoyed visiting all the various places, and the hotels were comfortable. People were very friendly and helpful. The pace of the trip was perfect, travelling but not exhausting. The driver Chandra was very good and I would have no issue with recommending him as a driver. He was very polite, punctual, and courteous. We felt he was a very safe driver, and would like to extend our thanks to him as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have stayed an extra day or two in Verkala rather than the extra days in Mumbai, but that is as I say with the benefit of hindsight. Once again, thank you so very much for all your help in organising this trip for us, which we will remember fondly for many years to come.
    David & Emily
    8 March 2020
    Dear StateExpress
    To whom it may concern, we are writing you regarding the package booked with andanitravel for the India golden triangle from the 01/03/2020 to the 11/03/2020. On the 4th of March ’20 the staff from the Sher Gary Resort in Road Village Sherpur, Khilchipur, Rajasthan 322001, Ranthanbore, following the Advise from the Government of Rajasthan, invited us to leave the resort and the State of India as soon as possible due to our Italian Nationality. Immediately we contacted the DCM Italy of Rajasthan, Mr Carini, who told us there was a mistake and the Advise number 27 of the 4th of March 2020 was withdrawn with immediate effect. Although we informed on a timely manner the resort staff, we have been asked to leave anyhow. Only after the DCM Italy informed the resort about the mistake, we have been given the opportunity to leave the resort the following morning. All these difficulties, the constant hostility by the people in India despite the advise number 28, the decision made by the State Express emergency contact( Harish Bhatt) to interrupt our trip and the news regarding the spread of COVID-19 in India, induced us to arrange autonomously for a flight back home as soon as possible. At least but not last we kindly ask you to let us know of any official way to provide a positive feedback to the great support, empathy, help, kindness, professionalism, flexibility and special assistant given by the driver Mr Ashok Yadav in the sphere of his competences.
    Anna Caputo, Antonio Caputo, Maria Napolitano, Guida Villani
    7 March 2020

    Hi, Rinki

    Thank you for the trip arrangement. We have enjoyed very much.
    Looking forward to our next trip in India next year and will get in touch with you again.
    Once again, thank you very much for your excellent service.

    Chua Boon Hua

    09 October 2018