Day-01 : Kalpitiya

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After heading north up the coast from Katunayaka, we head inland to visit various sites of cultural/historical/religious importance. Unlike the more crowded sites in the ‘Cultural Triangle' area, visitors to the beautiful “Munneswaramâ€Â Hindu Temple , the ancient sites of Panduwasnuwara and Yapahuwa, and the famous St Anne's church in Talawila will have a real cultural experience of Sri Lanka , without the usual hoards of tourists!

TURTLE POINT LODGE

Guests will arrive at their destination of Turtle Point Lodge(approx. 6 km from Kalpitiya) in time for early evening. This ocean-side lodge is situated near the small fishing village of Kandakuliya on the west coast of the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka, approximately 7 km from Kalpitiya. The lodge is a true escape from modern-day civilisation, and guests can enjoy the romanticism of using oil lamps instead of electricity. There are 3 basic but comfortable twin bedrooms (mosquito nets are provided), each with an attached bathroom with cold water shower, seated toilet, wash basin and mirror. It therefore has a total capacity for 6 people, with the option to put up extra beds on the porch area or pitch tents in the area next to the lodge.

MUNNESWARAM HINDU TEMPLE

This Hindu temple, dedicated to the Lord Ishwara, is located on the outskirts of the coastal town of Chilaw. As one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka , it is reminiscent of other celebrated and renowned temples like Koneswaram and Thiruketheeswaram, in which three Sivalingams are enshrined. According to the legend, Rama, after slaying Ravana, was returning to India with Sita when he was overcome with guilt about his actions. Whilst passing Munneswaram, he decided to stop and worship there. While praying, Lord Siva and his consort Parvathy appeared before him and ordered him to enshrine three Sivalingams, one in each of the most sacred places: Munneswaram, Koneswaram and Thiruketheeswaram.

The main temple has been well restored, largely due to generous donations and assistance by religious devotees, especially Hindus who visit this shrine annually in August for the festive season. In the vicinity of the main temple, is the imposing temple of goddess Badra Kali. Visitors who explore the temple will not only experience its visual beauty, but also the smells of burning incense (purifying the environment) and a general aura of peace.

PANDUWASNUWARA

This ancient archaeological site, located on the road between Wariyapola and Chilaw, is home to the 12 th century remains of this ancient capital of King Parakramabahu I.

The site covers an area of approximately 20 hectares and visitors are free to explore at their leisure, offering a fascinating insight into the layout and ground plan of a medieval Sinhalese royal palace, complete with inner courtyard (meda midula) and fortifications.

There is also a small onsite museum with a display of interesting finds from various excavations, including a small bronze statue, very similar to the famous sculpture of King Parakramabahu at Polonnaruwa's Potgul Vihara.

Further along the road past the local school, one can visit the ancient remains of the ‘ Round Palace ', which is surrounded by a circular moat. There are many differing stories that attempt to explain the reasons behind the palace's construction. One of the most popular legends is that it was intended to keep the king's daughter (Princess Unmada Chitra) away from any prospective suitors due to prophesies that if she bore a son, he would become king.

YAPAHUWA

This ancient rock fortress, also known as ‘Fire Rock', was built in the early 13 th century as a fortress to defend against the invading South Indian armies. The famous sacred tooth-relic (now kept in Kandy ) used to be located at the top of the fortress. However, it is believed that invading Indians stole it when the fortress was the capital of King Bhuvanekabahu I.

The fortress rises an impressive 100 meters up a beautifully ornate staircase, and at the top of the steep climb visitors are rewarded by a fabulous view of the surrounding area. Expect to see monkeys and a variety of birds in the trees on the way up! The intricate rock carvings at the top of the fortress (where the tooth-relic was originally located) include the lions that feature on the Rs 10 note.

The small onsite museum displays some stone sculptures of the Hindu gods, Vishnu and Kali as well as various fragments of pottery. There is also a Buddhist cave temple, located behind the museum, displaying various wooden and bronze images of Buddha.

ST ANNE'S CHURCH, TALAWILA

At the nearby fishing community of Talawila on the Kalpitiya Peninsula , this well-known Roman Catholic church is the focal point of a pilgrimage for the Feast of St. Anne, which is dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary, held on July 26. The church was founded by a 17 th century Portuguese who had a divine vision of St. Anne herself. Although it is particularly overwhelmed by the number of pilgrims at the time of the Feast, it has year-round importance because of its reputation as a place of healing, and is well worth a visit.

THE EVENING AT THE BUNGALOW CAN BE SPENT AT LEISURE - enjoying a game of cricket with the locals, sea-bathing whilst watching the sun set or simply relaxing at the lodge and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. Flaming torches light up the outside area of the lodge from which guests can relax and marvel at the beauty of the open starry skies whilst enjoying a hearty barbecue dinner of locally caught fresh fish or have a go at making the traditional Sri Lankan `kotthu roti`!

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Day-02 : Visits of Cultural/Community/Historical

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VISIT KUWENI'S SHRINE (need all the relevant info) and experience the local way of worshipping by lighting the top of a coconut and smashing it. Local belief is such that this ritual can also be used to bring good fortune and predict the future.

VISIT ANOTHER FISHING AREA (near entrance to town of Kalpitiya ) where local fishermen are unraveling their nets from the early morning catch. Fishermen use canoe-style boats (known as ‘vallam' in Sinhalese). The boats have a sail that is used when there is enough wind, and an outboard motor for other times. The majority of the boats fish for prawns. Option to go out into the lagoon in one of the canoes for an hour or so.

VISIT THE DUTCH FORT that was constructed in 1676 on the spot where the Portuguese had a stockade and a Jesuit chapel. The Fort is located approx. 1 km from town's entrance, at the extreme tip of the peninsular. Roofless, but otherwise in reasonable condition, the fort is four-sided with two whole and two half bastions. The walls are about 4 meters high and inside are the remnants of the chapel, a commander's house, barrack rooms, a prison and several god-owns.

VISIT THE LOCAL DUTCH CHURCH (connected to the ort by an underground tunnel). The church, called St. Peter's Kerk lies about a half-mile west of the fort. Although the church is Dutch in origin, it now displays the architecture of the British who rebuilt the church in 1840.

EXPLORE THE TOWN OF KALPITIYA (known as Calpenteyn or Calpetty by the Dutch). The town is predominantly a Muslim fishing community, strategically located at the mouth of the Puttalam Lagoon. This community is as yet completely untouched by tourism so visitors can enjoy a real insight into the local way of life.

EXPLORE THE TOWN OF KALPITIYA (known as Calpenteyn or Calpetty by the Dutch). The town is predominantly a Muslim fishing community, strategically located at the mouth of the Puttalam Lagoon. This community is as yet completely untouched by tourism so visitors can enjoy a real insight into the local way of life.

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Day-03 : Scuba-Diving/Snorkelingor

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Guests can choose to return to the same reef as the previous day (even a full week of diving at the reef would not be sufficient time to explore all that it has to offer!) or to go to a ridge only 30 minutes from the shore (approx. 4 nautical miles). The ridge is 2 km in length and offers dives at a depth of 20 to 30 meters. At this location, as well as observing the numerous fish, it is also possible to explore underwater caves.


Day-04 : Lagoon/river boat trip and Wilpattu National Park

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WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK is located 26 km north of Puttalam (approx. 180 km north of Colombo) spanning from the northwest coast inland towards the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (50 km to the east of the park). Covering an impressive 425 sq miles, the park is Sri Lanka 's largest, and having reopened in 2003 after a period of ethnic violence, it is now an increasingly popular eco-tourism destination. The camp boasts an impressive variety of flora in huge expanses of forest, and wildlife, including deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards.

OVERNIGHT CAMPING IN PARK - but this is no ordinary camp! The camp is set up that morning or previous day just for you, with everything from the kitchen sink and toilets to a full wine list and extensive menu of food, transported in to make guests as comfortable as possible.

A fantastic barbecue supper will be served in the camp area, lit only by the stars, a roaring campfire and traditional flame torches.

There are guards keeping watch all night, and a total of ten staff with two vehicles will ensure you will have the most unforgettable camping experience ever!

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Day-05

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After a hearty breakfast, guests depart Wilpattu National Park for Transfer to the airport on time for the flight.


[√] An English/German-speaking tour guide with intimate knowledge of the sites.

[√] Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle for the tour and pick up to drop off at Airport/Hotel.

[√] All the entrance tickets at the mentioned sites.

[√] Requested Hotels and Camping Sites on Bed and Breakfast Basis.

[√] Wildlife Safari Wilpattu National Park with Guide + Rent of a jeep.


[X] Lunch and Dinner throughout the tour.

[X] Video and Still Camera permits at sites.

[X] Expenses of a personal nature including telephone calls, beverages etc.

[X] Expenses of Water Sport Activity Guide & Equipment Hire.


Reservation


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