Wandana by Lankarus

Buddham Sharanam Gachchami…

Number of days: 05 nights — 06 days
Season: Winter 2019/2020
Special event:Yes
Complimentary Promotion: Group Leader — Free!
Seasonal supplements: No
Flight / Arrival: by the Travel Agency or independently
Flight / Information: Travel agency or self-data transfer to Lankarus
Meals plan: Half Board

It is impossible to list all wealth of Sri Lanka. Its main wealth is a thousand-year-old Buddhist spiritual heritage, a myriad of shrines, among which truly one of the most significant and necessary for visiting Buddhists, spiritual teachers, gurus. It was on the ground Sri Lanka that the feet of the Greatest Teacher of all times — the enlightened Buddha Gautama. It is here that the legacy of the great Spiritual Person is carefully, jealously and treacherously preserved. Even for a very meek, but full time, one can visit the most important historical, natural and memorable ancient shrines of Buddhism on the island, where everything is imbued with his teaching…

WARNING: Please, understand that the tour aims only to visit holy places, is of reference, historical, cognitive and meditative nature. This tour excludes entertaining elements, shopping, visits to drinking and mundane institutions. It is intended for Buddhist believers who aim to come in contact with the Teaching, monuments, traditions and spiritual practices of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

For reference: Wandana from Sanskrit, Pali, Sinhalese: Pilgrimage

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Day 01 Arrival — Yapahuwa — Dambulla

Arrival by morning flight to Colombo International Airport. Meeting with your Lankarus guide.
Transfer to the hotel in Sigiriya / Dambulla.

On the way visit the ancient city of Yapahuva.
Yapahuva is located 45 km. to the north of Kurunegala. In the 13th century for 12 years, this city was the capital of the ancient Sinhalese state. However, for a short, dramatic history, Yapahuva and its ruins are of significant historical interest. King Bhuwanakabahu I, who founded the capital, was killed in internecine war with the South Indian invaders. The Buddha's tooth was temporarily transported to Polonnaruwa, so the capital was transferred, and Yapahuva has come to desolation. To date, from an ancient city, there have been several buildings reminiscent of better times. One of them is the main Buddhist temple, a building built 8 centuries ago.

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Visit to the Dambulla Golden Temple
In Dambulla on top of the hill there is a Buddhist temple, consisting of 5 caves. Here is the largest collection of Buddha statues, many of which are already over 2000 years old. The look of visitors can not help but stop at the frescoes adorning the walls and ceiling — this is a real treasure trove of walled temple painting. The ceiling shows the main moments of the life of the Buddha: his birth, renunciation of the royal life, enlightenment, seven weeks after the insight, reading the first sermon, escape to the bliss of Nirvana… Remains of plaster with traces of paint outside the caves indicate that the temple was a continuous gallery of paintings. The church dates back to the 1st c. BC, but was completed and restored in the XII and XVIII centuries. In the XII century. The temple was restored during the reign of King Nissankamalla, and 73 Buddha statues were covered with gold. After that, the temple was called «Golden Cave Temple». In the XVIII century. restoration of painting was engaged in the dynasty of painters living in the surroundings of Dambulla. The descendant of this dynasty continues the family tradition, using ancient tools and recipes for the preparation of natural dyes. The temple is under the protection of UNESCO.
In the cave temple there is everything necessary to pay homage to the Buddha — lotus flowers, water lilies, incense. In the evening, many tourists will not distract you from concentration, meditation, and rituals.

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Accommodation at the Dambulla / Sigiriya Hotel

Day 02 Sigiriya / Dambulla — Mihintale — Anuradhapura

The Rocky Mountain 11 km. east of Anuradhapura in Mihintale is called Aradhana Gala (Invitation Rock), where Buddhism was introduced in Sri Lanka in 247 BC. .e. Mount Mahinda soon became a great monastic city, which is surrounded by four rocky hills, covered with forests.
Each pilgrim who wishes to reach the dagobah at the top of this sacred mountain must rise, having done 1840 steps up the stairs. The staircase was built by King Bhatik Abhaya. The ancient road, which is about 1500 years old, rises up the slope by 1.019 feet. Neighboring vihara of unknown age, and probably, marks the remains of the monastic complex. On a spacious glade in the upper part of the main staircase is Ambasthala Dagoba. Stupa marks the place where Mahinda Thera appeared before King Dewanampiyatissa instead of the deer on which the king hunted. Next to the dagobah is the rock of Aradhana Gala, on which Mahinda Thera first preached. At the top of the mountain Mihintale, Maha Seya is well visible, referring to the 1- century BC. This dagobah keeps within itself one Hair of Buddha.

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After the seeing of the holy shrines of Mihintale
Trip to Anuradhapura to the sacred Boddhi Tree.

Anuradhapura is one of the greatest centers of ancient Buddhism. This is the first capital of Sri Lanka. The city existed for fifteen centuries and was destroyed in the X century AD. The capital was famous for its power and splendor. Kings, monks, engineers, sculptors and ordinary people left behind a huge number of Buddhist monuments. Today the ancient part of the city is designated as the Holy City — Puja Nagaraya.
Among the Buddhist monuments include three of the highest brick buildings of the ancient world: the Jetawana stupa (120 meters), the Abhayagiriya stupa (112 meters) and the Ruwanweli stupa (90 meters). Here, the oldest sacred Buddhist tree, Bo, grows. Stupas and wood are not only monuments of the past, but also sacred places, revered by believers.
The tree in Anuradhapura is the oldest tree in the world, about which there are historical evidences. It is called Bodhi, or Bo tree, literally «Tree of Wisdom». This is the first of eight sacred places (ata mastana), revered pilgrims of the sacred Anuradhapura.
The sprout was brought to Lanka in the III century BC. e. from Bodh Gaya (India, modern state of Bihar). A young twig was taken from the same tree under which the Indian prince Siddhartha was sitting, when he received enlightenment and became a Buddha (or bodhi, sam-modhi, abhi-sam-bodhi). The Chronicles of Pali and Sinhalese, known as the Bodhi Vamsa, describe the history of this tree in detail. The first tree in Bodh Gaya no longer exists, and the tree in Anuradhapura is considered the oldest in the world, about which there are historical evidences related to the time of the Buddha. Although Buddhists consider the tree to be a living being, they are also sure that it represents in a symbolic form the Buddha himself. In India, this tree was considered the Cosmic Tree of Life and was revered as the dwelling of the gods.
The nun Theri Sanghamitta, the sister of Thera Mahinda, who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka, brought to the island growths from the Buddha tree. Brother and sister were the children of the Indian emperor Ashok, who received the name of the greatest of kings, the only king who refused the war after the victory. A young tree was planted in front of a monastery known as Maha Vihara, or the Great Monastery, in the royal park of Maha Megh Wana. It is believed that all Bo trees in Sri Lanka today have a genetic connection with this tree.
The sacred tree Bo possesses magical power. Buddhists believe that it can cause rain, send children childless. Almost every day you can see in the shadow of a tree of women praying for the gift of children. Coconut sprouts, planted at the foot of the tree, silently say that their prayers were heard. Buddhists also believe that this tree is the home of God named Kalu, Dewata Bandara.

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Accommodation in Mihintale / Anuradhapura
Day 03 Mihintale / Anuradhapura — Kandy
After breakfast, transfer to Kandy.
On the way visit Nalanda Gedige.

In the town of Nalanda, 44 km. south of Sigiriya, there are the ruins of ancient monastery with a dome-shaped house of the Buddha image. This is to all known in Sri Lanka Nalanda Gedige. The monastery, combining Buddhist and Hindu architectural styles, was built between the 8th and 10th centuries. The only house of the Buddha image of Sri Lanka, built in the architectural style of Pallava, South India, by famous stone carvers.

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Visiting the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha — Sri Dalada Maligawa
Located in a mountain range at an altitude of 488 meters above sea level, the city of Kandy, where is located Temple of the Tooth of the Buddha, very picturesque. Its peculiar necklace is the river Mahaweli Ganga with shady shores. Kanda in translation means «mountain», and the local name of the city of Maha Nuwara is the Great City. The city was founded in the XIV century. King Wikramabahu III (1357-1375 gg.). In 1590, when the Portuguese seized the south-west and north coast of the island, the Sinhala rulers went to the mountains and founded a state with the capital in Kandy. For 225 years, the state was independent, and only in 1815 the British managed to capture the city…
On the shore of the lake is Sri Dalada Maligawa — Temple of the Sacred Tooth of the Buddha. Since 311, when the Tooth appeared on the island in the hair of Princess Hemamaly, the relic became a symbol of sovereignty. The state capital was the city where the Tooth of the Buddha was located. The original place of his storage was Anuradhapura, then the Tooth was transferred to Polonnaruwa, and at the beginning of the 18th century it was transferred to Kandy. Then, especially for the storage of this shrine, a temple was erected this Dalada Maligawa. The tooth is hidden in seven caskets, nested one in the other. He is only once a year taken out of the Temple on the streets of the city during the celebration of Esala Perahera — cultural and religious festival in Kandy. This happens every August. All the rest of the time the Temple is open for pilgrims and tourists, and you can see with your own eyes the casket in which the shrine is kept.

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Accommodation at the Kandy / Peradaniya Hotel

Day 04 Kandy — Adam's Peak / Sri Pada

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Hatton — Maskeliya — Dickoya in the area of the sacred mountain of Sri Pada

Ascent to Sri Pada
An ancient pilgrimage that for centuries attracted thousands of pilgrims, perhaps all faiths, is a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Sri Pada. Usually this place is known in English as the Adam's Peak. It is a conical mountain of 2 243 meters in height, which soars higher than all nearest bugles. According to legend, when Buddha visited the island of Ceylon, he left one imprint of his foot in the north of Sri Lanka, and another imprint on Mount Suman Kut (Adam's Peak).
According to another legend, the Buddha left an imprint of his left foot on Adam's Peak, and then, taking one big step, ended up in Siam (now Thailand), where he left an imprint from his right foot. These two prints found in Sri Lanka and Thailand are similar in size to almost exactly the same size.
During the first visit of the Buddha, Maha Sumana received the first fruits on the path to attain nirvana (Sothapatti Phala) and asked the Buddha for confirmation. The Buddha gave him a bunch of hair from his head, and this hair was stored in the first dagome, built in Sri Lanka throughout the life of the Buddha on the initiative of Maha Sumana. But when Buddha visited the island for the last time in Kelaniya, at the request of Maha Sumana, the Buddha left his mark on the mountain, according to Mahawamsa.
In life of each Buddhist, a pilgrimage to the sacred Sri Pada is considered one of the most strong physical and spiritual austerities. Devotees of Buddha in Sri Lanka sometimes make an ascension to the imprints of the Sacred Foot of the Buddha several dozen times throughout their life, while there are strengths and health until old age. During your tour, you will make, perhaps, one of the most important ascents to the shrine in your life. The significance of physical and spiritual experience after reaching the goal — a print of the foot of the Buddha — is simply impossible to describe…

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Accommodation at the Hatton / Dickoya / Maskeliya Hotel

Day 05 Sri Pada — Mulkirigala — Kalametiya / Kahandamodara
After breakfast Transfer to Mulkirigala.

On the way visit to the botanical garden of Hakgala.
10 km from Nuwara Eliya, on the road from Kandy there is the peak of Hakgala (2157 m), at the foot of which lies Botanical Garden of Hakgala, founded in 1860, as an experimental plantation of chinchona, the red bark of which was used to produce quinine. The Garden is located at an altitude of 1707 m above sea level. Here you will see a camphor tree, English oak, cedar, cypress and many garden plants. The pride of the botanical garden is a greenhouse with a huge collection of ferns and orchids. On the border of the garden there is a reserve of Hakgala, in which, like in the garden, live bearded monkeys, as well as roe deer and many species of birds. Not far from the main entrance to the botanical garden is the legendary Sita Amman Temple. According to the Ramayana, the King of Lanka Ravana kept in captivity the kidnapped wife of Rama, Sita in this place at the foot of the present botanical garden. In memory of this historic event, the church was laid. You can make a short intermediate stop and inspect the temple in front of the road to Mulkirigala.

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Visit to Mulkirigala Rock Temple
The British called the rock «Small Sigiriya». By beauty, luxury of painting and buildings, antiquity and historical and architectural value of the temple in Mulkirigala is in no way inferior to the famous cave temple in Dambulla, and in some senses, and in the opinion of many specialists and guests, even surpasses the Dambulla temple in filling and picturesque location. In addition, Mulkirigala temple is not so overrun by tourists, which makes his visit tiring and not heapy. And this is only one of the merits of Mulkirigala.
At the end of the III century. BC. The temple was laid by King Kavantissa. There is a version that the same king installed a golden statue of Buddha in a large cave under a rock. In the II century BC. King Saddatissa, the youngest son of King Kavantissa, continued the construction of the temple. Historical records indicate that during the reindeer hunting Saddatissa encountered wild Veddas — indigenous ancient inhabitants of Sri Lanka who told him that this mountain is an ideal place for a Buddhist monastery. After this Saddattissa built a large temple complex. To the top of the temple are 533 steps, and its height is about 270 meters. The complex consists of 5 terraces and 7 caves.
In the cave temple there is everything necessary to pay homage to the Buddha — lotus flowers, water lilies, incense. In the evening, many tourists will not distract you from concentration, meditation, and rituals.

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Accommodation in the hotel Kahandamodara / Kalamatiya

Day 06 of Kahandamodara / Kalamatiya — Kelaniya
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Kelaniya.

Raja Maha Vihara Kelaniya is one of the most sacred places of worship for Sri Lankan Buddhists, as this place is sanctified by a visit to the Buddha. In the distant past Kelaniya was a great city, and Raja Maha Viharaya Kelaniya was one of the largest and one of the most beautiful temples of Sri Lanka.
Vihara received its sacred status over 2500 years ago after the third visit to the Buddha by the island of Lanka. He consecrated the foundation of the temple with his own visit, accompanied by 500 monks. The fact that the Buddha visited Kelaniya on the day of the May Full Moon (in Sinhalese : Vesak) at the invitation of the King of Maniahika, recorded in the historical chronicles of Sri Lanka.
King Naga — according to these chronicles — invited Buddha to a meal at this place, which after explaining the essence of the Dharma (in Sinhalese: Dhamma) was consecrated, and in this place the King built a Stupa (Vehera), into which was placed a lock of Buddha's hair and the utensils used by the Great Teacher. Put the stupa inside and the rug on which the Buddha sat. However, with the passage of time and the destruction of the Vihara by foreign invaders, the original Stupa (Sinhalese: dagobah) was lost. It is believed that in Raja Maha Vihara in Kelaniya the venerable Mahinda Thera preached Buddhism.

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After your tour of the Kelaniya shrines, a stop for dinner and an evening one-and-half-hour transfer to airport of Colombo.

Evening / night departure from Sri Lanka.
After dinner, the representative of Lankarus will escort you to the airport.

Calculation of the cost of the tour and optional offers — on your request.
Send your Application at:

Significant seasonal group discounts and discounts for students and pilgrims!

The tour price includes:
• Meeting, seeing off — transfer to the airport and tour the whole route in an air-conditioned minibus / bus (with guide)
• Accommodation in a double room and meals (half board: breakfast and dinner, including dinner on the day of arrival and dinner on the day of departure)
• Entrance tickets to all places of visit, holy places
• State duty (Service Charge 10%, VAT 15%, TDL 1%, NBT 2%)

The tour does not include:
• Food not indicated in the program
• Drinks in hotels
• Personal expenses, as well as other services not included in the tour.

ATTENTION: Optionally, only vegetarian food can be provided during the whole tour. Please tell your requirements / preferences / wishes for meals to Lankarus before start of your tour.

BY REQUEST: Please before the start of the tour inform Lankarus if you want / need an audience / meeting / conversation with representatives of the clergy at a shrine.

Calculation of the cost of the tour and optional offers — on your request.
Send the Application at:

<u Significant seasonal group discounts and discounts for students!

Complementary action of the Season 2019-2020.

Wandana by Lankarus for free!

Conditions for obtaining complimentary bonuses from Lankarus:

— When recruiting at least 12 people, the team leader or representative of the travel company is exempted from paying the cost of food, accommodation and payment of entrance tickets on the entire route.
Team leader pays only travel on the entire route and air travel.

— In groups from 16 to 20 people the head of the group is completely exempted from paying the tour, except for air travel. Lankarus takes care of the payment for meals, accommodation, excursions and travel all along the route.

— Validation period: until April 15, 2020.

බුද්ධං සරණං ගච්ඡාමී — Buddham Sharanam Gachchami
ධම්මං සරණං ගච්ඡාමී — Dhammam Sharanam Gachchami
සංඝං සරණං ගච්ඡාමී — Sangham Sharanam Gachchami

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