The Kandy Esala Perahera, one of Sri Lanka’s most famous religious festivals, takes place every year in the hill-capital Kandy, in the full-moon month of Esala coinciding with July/August. –
Held to seek blessings for a good harvest from the deities, ten days of increasingly frenetic activity culminate in an ancient, awe-inspiring procession that for centuries has drawn religious devotees, and more recently tourists, to Kandy’s narrow hill-streets.
Heralded by thousands of Kandyan drummers, a host of majestic elephants, adorned in elaborately embroidered cloaks, are led by the brilliantly caparisoned Maligawa Tusker. Decorated from trunk to toe, he carries a huge canopy that shelters, a replica of the cask containing the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha.
The Esala Perahera actually comprises of five separate Peraheras – four from the Kandy devales (shrines) to the deities – with order of precedence maintained throughout. Led by the Dalada Maligawa Perahera, the second is to Natha, a deity of special importance to Kandy, believed to be Buddha-in-waiting. The third is to Sri Lanka’s Guardian Vishnu, also one of the three great Hindu gods and an important figure in representing the crossover between Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Fourth and fifth peraheras are from the shrines to god of war and victory Katharagama, and goddess of chastity Pattini.
Elephant Orpanage – Pinnawala
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.
The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).
Tea production is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon), and accounts for 2% of GDP, contributing roughly $700 million annually to the economy of Sri Lanka. It employs, directly or indirectly, over 1 million people, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates. Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. In 1995, it was the world’s leading exporter of tea, (rather than producer) with 23% of the total world export, but it has since been surpassed by Kenya.
The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall of the country’s central highlands provide a climate that favors the production of high-quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1867 by James Taylor, a British planter who arrived in 1852.
End of the first Day
Temple of the Tooth
Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site mainly due to the temple.
Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.
Over the past century the Indonesian art of batik-making has become firmly established in Sri Lanka. The Batik industry in Sri Lanka is a small scale industry which can employ individual design talent and creativity. Its economic benefit is profit from dealing with foreign customers. It is now the most visible of the island’s crafts with galleries and factories, large and small, having sprung up in many tourist areas. Rows of small stalls selling batiks can be found all along Hikkaduwa’s Galle Road strip. Mahawewa, on the other hand, is famous for its batik factories.
Batiks incorporate many motifs and colours, some traditional, others highly contemporary and individual. Many display a vigorousness of design related to their origin. The material created by the batik-makers is used to produce distinctive dresses, shirts, sarongs and beachwear well-suited for tropical climes. Many tourists at seaside resorts such as Hikkaduwa wear batik clothes throughout their holiday. Apart from clothes, tablecloths, wall pictures, beach clothes, pure cotton and silk, men’s and ladies’ wear and bed covers are popular as a reminder of a visit to Sri Lanka.
Kandy City Running with shopping
Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka, located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is the second largest city in the country after Colombo. It was the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
Afternoon Esala Perahera
The Kandy Esala Perahera (the Esala procession of Kandy) is the grand festival with elegant costumes held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.
End of the Second Day
On the way to AirPort visit Spice Garden (optional)
Sri Lanka is famous for its spices and spices gardens. These spice gardens offers tourists memorable visits to various spice plantations in Sri Lanka. In order to promote and uplift spice growing and spice gardens of Sri Lanka a spice council was established with all key industry private and public sector stakeholders. During early historical times Sri Lanka Known as Taprobane, was world renowned for its quality spices. During ancient times the Greeks, Romans and the Arabic maintained there links with Sri Lanka through the spice trade.
There are some 4,000 different species of plants at Peradeniya Gardens. The 10,000 or so trees, which are the stars, are mature, lofty giants, many of them tropical timber trees. Highlights of the collection include the Giant Bamboo of Burma, capable of growing to 40 meters’ height (130 feet), with a 25-centimetre (10-inch) stem diameter. And it can grow by a rapid 30 centimeters a day (12 inches).
Total Cost – USD 339 (2 Persons)
*English Speaking chauffeur guide
Include – Tea Factory, Spice Garden, Batik Factory, Shopping with Kandy City Running, Elephant Orpanage, Temple of the tooth, Cultural Show, Perahera Festival Tickets, Botanical Garden Entrance tickets
Exclude – Hotels [We can arrange according to your requirements]