Sri Lanka Day Tour
This private day trip takes you to three lesser known, but amazing, locations in the area of Matale. You will first view the beautiful, historic and completely mysterious Nalanda Gedige. Then you will have a fun filled visit in the form of the Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens in Matale, where you will receive a tour, cooking demonstration and a delicious lunch. You will then move onto a serious note with the secretive and ancient rock temple Aluvihara. Finally, you also get a complimentary optional visit to the spectacular Sembuwatta Lake at sunset to witness some amazing views.
Your private tour begins at 8:30am when your vehicle picks you up from your Kandy hotel. Breakfast is not included in your tour package so you bring a travel meal or have it before leaving. It will take two hours to reach your first destination, Nalanda Gedige in Matale.
Nalanda Gedige is an old Dravidian (Pallava era) structure believed to have been built between the 8th to 10th century. At first view, it’s an obviously Hindu temple from the detailed wall and roof architecture, to the little windowless main shrine. However, the ruins of the erotic tantric sculptures, and plain moonstone point to a more Buddhist origin. After viewing this structure and discussing it with your tour guide, you will be leaving for Euphoria Spice and Herbal Gardens at 11:30am.
You will get there by 11:45am where you will initially receive a 45-minute tour of the spice and herbal gardens. During the tour you will learn more about the different spices and herbs, as well as how they are grown and harvested. From there you will receive a 45-minute cooking demonstration and class on how to use spices to their best effect and learn to make curries, chutneys and etc. You will then receive a wonderful lunch made with authentic Sri Lankan spices and herbs. You can get food ranging from mildly spicy to extremely spicy here. You will leave the spice gardens at 2:00pm for the rest of your tour.
It will take up to 2:20pm to get to Aluvihara, which is supposed to mean ‘light temple’ or ‘cave with light’ based on two different beliefs. Aluvihara is most famous as the place of creation of the Buddhist religious script ‘Triptaka’. The stupa is literally built on top of a large rock. Meanwhile, the rock itself is riddled with a cave system. As of present 13 caves have been found, with many more buried under old cave-ins. You will have to climb up and through the rock to see the historic and interesting insides of these caves and learn more about the history within.
After an interesting hour spent poring over the interesting sights you will be leaving Aluvihara at 3:30pm. You can return to Kandy at this time or opt for a sunset visit to Sembuwatta Lake located in the Elkaduwa area. You will get there by 4:30pm. Sembuwatta is an artificial lake made from a natural spring in the area. It’s famed for its amazing views and natural swimming pool. You will be spending a relaxing hour here, allowing you to take some spectacular photos with the setting sun.
You will be leaving the lake at 5:30pm and returning to Kandy by 7:00pm completing your tour.
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by private vehicle with a service of an English speaking chauffeur guide
What’s not included
Food and drinks
Expenses of personal nature
Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Day trip (destination A to B)