Sri Lanka Kandy Festival Tour
The Kandy festival or The Festival of Tooth is known as The Esala Perahera in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most ancient and grandeur of all fairs and festivals there. The festival starts with planting of a purified jackfruit tree which is then blessed with sandalwood scented water and the main Priest of Vishnu Temple recites prayers. The first five days of the festival are celebrated dancing and drumming outside temples of Kandy. Later on sixth evening onwards, pre-cessions take place from the Temples towards Temple of the Tooth. The highlight of the festival is procession of the last evening as an enormous elephant carrying a gold casket which has a relic of the Tooth and is followed by dancers, drummers, musicians and flag bearers mesmerizing the crowd on the street.
|Tour starts :||11 August 2024 In Colombo|
|Tour ends :||18 August 2024 In Colombo|
|Festival location :||Kandy|
|Festival Dates :||13- 24 August 2024|
Arrival at Colombo airport and transfer to Dambulla. On arrival check in at the hotel. Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that king Valagam Bahu took refuge from invasions in 1st century B.C. and turned the rocks into a cave temple. Late afternoon visit Golden Cave Temples in Dambulla. Few of its frescoes are over 2000 years old. Another attraction is a gigantic figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the living rock which is about 15 metres long. The caves have a combination of religious paintings and sculptures with ceiling frescoes depicting scenes from the Buddha’s life and Sinhalese history. The Temples contain some of the world’s finest ancient Buddhist art. Overnight stay.
After breakfast go for tour of Sigiriya Rock fortress. Sigiriya is also considered to be The 8th wonder of the Ancient World. You will be fascinated setting your eyes upon this strange shaped rock with ruins of a palace and citadel hanging on to its sides. A rusty staircase leads you to a cave gallery that has frescoes of the famous Sigiriya Maidens. Later drive to Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka between 11th and 14th Century. Visit the ruins of temples, palaces and stupas which till date remain in excellent state of preservation. Also visit The Gal Vihare with three huge rockcut images of Buddha. It is known as one of the world’s great masterpieces of sculpture. Enjoy a ride on elephant back in Habarana through the forests and villages. In the evening, return to Dambulla for overnight stay.
Morning breakfast at the hotel and then visit a spice garden in Matale on the way to Kandy to see many different types of spices, Sri Lanka is famous for. Later leave for Kandy. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. KANDY, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings is a World Heritage Site which still retains an aura of grandeur. The town is encircled by hills and a serene lake in its centre, it is also site of the renowned temple that enshrines the Tooth Relic of Buddha and the Royal Botanical gardens – considered to be home of one of the world’s best Orchids collection. In the evening, you will enjoy The Kandy festival or The Festival of Tooth which is celebrated for ten days. It is believed to commemo- rate the first teachings given by Gautam Buddha after he was enlightened. The term “Perahera” means a procession in Sinhalese. During the festival, there is a huge procession of thousands of dancers, musicians, acrobats and other artists who participate in this gala event. The biggest attraction of the procession is also a large number of caparisoned Elephants who accompany these performers in the streets to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The main reason for this event is to receive blessings of God for good rain to ensure good harvest. Overnight stay.
Morning go for excursion to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and Peradeniya Gardens. Its Orchid Houses are special attraction. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is Sri Lanka’s unique tourist attraction. It is a wonderful experience to spend a couple of hours in the company of over 70 elephants, the largest herd in the entire world. You can come here for feeding the elephants at 9 am or enjoy see them bath in the Maha Oya River. Then visit Peradeniya Gardens and Royal Botanical Gardens which are said to be one of the most spectacular gardens in South Asia. The most notable features of the gardens are the Orchid House which houses a collection of over 300 variety of Sri Lankan orchids and spice garden. In the evening get ready to enjoy the grandeur of Kandy festival which will leave you spellbound with its sound, music and rhythm. Overnight stay.
Morning drive to Nuwara Eliya which is situated at an altitude of 1,868m. It was the original Hill Station of the British tea planters who came to Ceylon, as it was then known. It was built during 19th century and its architecture reminds that of an English country town, with red-brick walls. Blessed with salubrious climate, spectacular views of valleys, meadows and mountains; it’s difficult to believe that we are only 180 km away from the hot and humid Colombo. There is a Grand Hotel, Hill Club and a Golf Course which is the oldest in Asia and even a Race Course – all of which are reminders of an English social life of bygone era which once thrived here. We later depart from Kandy and proceed towards Nuwara Eliya visiting a Tea plantation and Factory to give you an insight of the local tea manufacturing process as well as day to day routine life of local workers there. Arrive at Nuwara Eliya and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast check out from hotel and depart for Nanu-oya Train station to board the train to Ella. The scenery en-route is wonderful and much better than travelling by road. You be provided pic-nic lunch on board. Reach Ella which is a small town blessed with some of the most stunning views. Ella is also used as a base for trekking trips to the neighboring countryside. You will get a taste of its beauty by just walking into the Garden of the Grand Ella Motel (Formerly Ella Rest House), where you would feel that you are standing at the edge of the world. We later continue our journey towards Yala and after arrival check-in at hotel. Yala is an incredible destination that has been admired as an unparalleled testimony to the beauty of the wilderness, nature at its best. It is one of the best places in the world to spot leopards, sloth bears, elephants, and a wide range of birdlife.
Morning enjoy exclusive jeep safari in the national park. Yala, the largest national park in Sri Lanka is very reminiscent of the African savannah and is the place where the greatest variety of wildlife can be observed. Herds of Spotted Deer, Sambar (Elk) and Wild Boar are common. Yala is now gaining an international reputation as the best place to watch Leopards in the world. The aggressive Sloth Bear is also present but rarely seen. Yala also contains about 250 Elephants including some magnificent solitary cross-tuskers. Before reaching Colombo, en-route stop to visit the Old World Town of Galle which is known for a charming Old Dutch Fort (1640), one of the best preserved forts in Asia, whose ramparts enclose an Old Town of great historical and architectural value. Finally reach Colombo and overnight stay.
Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and then city tour of Colombo, the trade and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast and draws together all the cultures, religions and influences of foreign lands into a pot-pourri of sounds, smells and a kaleidoscope of color. Visit impressive Parliament House, designed by celebrated architect, Geoffrey Bawa. In the evening transfer to airport to catch flight for onward destination.
*The distance and time taken indicated is just to give you an idea and does not include time taken on visit of places.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
27 January 2023
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!! 🙂
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.
12 December 2022
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;
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.
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.
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