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What is better than going on a trip to one country? Easy, going on a trip to two countries. Tasting two different cultures, places, and civilization are for sure adventure, fun, and thrill times squared. The only thing to keep in mind while having a tour of two different countries is the combination of those countries. You can’t just pick two countries blindfolded. So here we have the best combination for you- India and Sri Lanka.
India is an intriguing combination of medieval architecture, hill stations, and ancient monuments representing different dynasties that once were a part of the country. Sri Lanka is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites all in one small country. The pearl of the Indian Ocean offers plenty of unspoiled natural beauty. With so many places to see and visit, it is common for tourists to get confused. So we curated the best India Sri Lanka tour itinerary which tells you how to enjoy the flavors of the destinations to the fullest.
Embellished by the enchanting charm of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is the perfect place to start your India Sri Lanka tour adventure.
The day time is for relaxing.
As the sun starts to drown into the sea, it would be a perfect time to enjoy an art form that is deeply imbibed in the culture of Kerala, Kathakali. You can enjoy the popular Kathakali dance show at the Cultural Center. The act begins with Kelikutto which then is followed by Thodayam, where two characters are allotted to awaken the blessings of the Divine. This is then followed by an entertaining dance piece Purappadu, which is followed by the last act of Melapadda.
You will be staying in Cochin for the night.
A flood carved out Cochin’s harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants.
Here are the best places for sightseeing-
Old Cochin Area – is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the world and the whole community is centered around the beautiful Paradesi Synagogue.
The Cochin Sunset Harbour Cruise – glance at the sun rays becoming soft and drowning into the water from the Harbour Cruise. The route of the cruise follows through the backwaters.
Cochin â€“ Munnar (By Road 160kms/ 4 hours)
Munnar is established in the Western Ghats mountain range of Kerala. The town is encircled by foothills dotted with tea plantations established in the late 19th century. The flower named Neelakurinji paints the hills blue every twelve years.
Munnar also offers boating experience at Mattupetty Dam. Mattupetty dam –the dam is located some 13 km away from Munnar, and situated at a height of 1700m.
Munnar will be your favorite place on the Indian Sri Lanka Tour if you are a Tea fan!
Elephant Lake – this lake is a picturesque location surrounded by tea plantations, evergreen forests, rolling grasslands, and hillocks.
Tata Tea Museum – the history of Munnar is connected to tea plantations for over a century. Tea plantations are the source of income for many Munnar citizens.
Munnar to Thekkady
After a healthy and nutritious breakfast, you will take a four-hour drive by over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Depending on the season and your luck you will be able to gaze at magnificent creatures such as the Bengal Tigers, sambar, bison, elephant, kites, hornbills, and kingfishers.
The Kumily spice market will pull you towards itself with the help of the lingering aroma in the air. One of the main spices planted here is cardamom. The pepper plantation is another site where you should lay your eyes on.
Many factors make one experience a memorable one, you will have to see it for yourself and choose the moment that made you fall in love with this site.
Thekkady â€“ Kumarakom (Houseboat cruise)
Ride the traditional houseboat of Kerala and go on the leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on the thatched houseboat.
The boat will be berthed in the backwaters along the paddy field. You will also have the option to stroll in the village.
Alleppey â€“ Kovalam
By road in 4 hours.
Kovalam was an obscure fishing village that went on to become a contemporary holiday destination. Three crescent-shaped beaches and rock clusters make the natural bay stunning and beautiful.
We recommend you take a walk near the fishing village in Kovalam and be enthralled by the simplicity, joyfulness, and contentment that will greet you.
Trivandrum and Kanyakumari
Today you will discover the beautiful sites of Trivandrum and Kanyakumari.
Here are the places that you should see –
Shree Padamanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram - The temple is considered to be one of the wealthiest temples in the world. It is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India. You can expect to see beautiful aesthetics and architecture that stands out for its work in bronze and stone. The inside of the temple is adjourned by beautiful paintings and murals.
Padmanabhapuram Palace – the castle was built by Kulasekhara Perumal and then it was rebuilt by King Anizham Thirunal Marthananda Varma in the year 1750. The palace is surrounded by old granite fortresses, around 4 kilometers long.
Kanyakumari – Kanyakumari is known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset. The most popular tourist destinations here are Kanyakumari Temple, Gandhi Smarak Mandir, and Vivekananda rock.
Trivandrum â€“ Colombo by flight
Colombo to Dambulla (By Road)
Dambulla is a town located 148 km away from Colombo, the Dambulla cave monastery remains to be the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka. The complex dates back to the third and second centuries BC. The lifestyle of the people here is highly influenced by their religious customs.
Dambulla - Excursion to Sigiriya
By road 70 km in 1.5 hr one way.
You will have to wake up early today but we assure you it will be worth it!
Your first stop will be Sigiriya, here you will see 5th-century paintings decorated on the wall.
After lunch, your next stop will be the Polonnaruwa, the second capital. Pollonuara is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pollonuara was believed to be abandoned by the Chola dynasty. The city now remains as the ruins of the once-great Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.
On the way back to Dambulla you should stop and visit Minneriya National Park for the afternoon safari.
At Minneriya National Park you will see Asian Elephants (a LOT), as this place is the most comprehensive known place for these magnificent creatures. We recommend you bring a pair of binoculars and a camera as both of these objects will have to work a lot in the place.
Minneriya National park and Polonnaruwa
Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, the city is famous for its well-preserved ruins of the ancient civilization.
Later, we recommend you to visit Mihintale.
Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. The place holds a special place in Sri Lankan’s heart because it is believed to be the meeting site of the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Dambulla â€“ Excursion to Anuradhapura and Mihintale
Another UNESCO world heritage site in Sri Lanka is the Dambulla Cave Temples. The temple dates back to the first century BC when hermit monks established a monastery here.
After visiting the holy site, it would be perfect to see some culture of this beautiful place, Lucky for you, Kandy organizes cultural dance show where you will see the artists performing Salupliya (deception of the demons), fire and harvest dances accompanied by Ceremonial Drums and the Drum Orchestra rising and falling to the lively tempo. There are more than 12 different folk dances and traditional performances presented at Kandy within one hour.
Dambulla â€“ Kandy: by road en route visiting Dambulla Cave Temple and Matale
The first site of the day will be the Royal Botanical Garden. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees. But the thing that stays on the mind, the nose and the eyes are the orchids.
Later during the day, you will visit the Ramboda waterfalls, this waterfall may not be the tallest but it certainly is the most spectacular one. The waterfall shows the scenic view of Nuwara Eliya.
Overnight will be at Nuwara Eliya.
Ramboda Waterfalls â€“ Nuwara Eliya: by road
The protected park in central highlands of Sri Lanka, Horton National Park is covered by montane grasslands and cloud forests. The park is rich in diversity and is home to many flora and fauna. At Horton Plain, you can walk to the sheer cliff, with a drop of 4000 feet known as the world’s end.
Your night will be spent in Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya - Excursion to Horton Plains
You will have a long drive ahead of you with one stopover at Ella, so remember to grab some snacks for the ride.
After reaching Ella, visit the Ravana Falls, the history says that it was the spot where King Ravana used to hide princess Sita.
Nuwara Eliya to Yala via Ella
Yala National Park comprises a huge area of forest, grasslands, and lakes adjoining the Indian ocean. It gives the best opportunity to witness crocodiles, leopards, lagoons, and hundreds of bird species.
Yala National Park
Galle is one of Sri Lanka’s most exquisite colonial-era showpieces. The city offers a wide range of sites from enormous bastions and ramparts to the mesmerizing views across the Indian Ocean.
Overnight will be at Galle.
Yala to Galle: by road
The best time to visit the Galle fort is at siesta (afternoon). The fort is a UNESCO world heritage site spanning over 90 acres, it is Asia’s most well-preserved and most extensive surviving fort built by European occupiers.
The best way to connect to the city’s spirit is to take a stroll around the thick granite walls of the fort and when the sun comes down, find a suitable place to sit, so you can glance at the beautiful sunset as the soft breeze sings with the fort.
Take another stroll at Colombo and take the pictures this time which you forgot to capture the last time.
Galle to Colombo: by road
All the recommendations of the sites by us of the last 20 days must have made you trust this itinerary, so today we will recommend you to visit these places, but we won't tell you what you will see there.
Because we don’t want to spoil all the fun by telling you what surprises you are about to get, where’s the adventure in that? So on your last day just go on a little adventure!
The cinnamon gardens (bazaar)
It is time to say goodbye to the magical place, we hope you have a great journey as you take a flight to your home with some sweet memories.