Ulagalla, Sri Lanka
Ulagalla is quite simply one of the finest hotels in Sri Lanka. Once the ancestral estate of nobility, this beautiful boutique retreat offers an exceptional level of personal service.
25 ecologically built villas sit within a tranquil 58 acre estate, which has numerous walking and cycling trails to enjoy. The position is also perfect for exploring a number of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and national parks.
All villas are private and spacious with sumptuous four-poster beds, topped with cloud soft pillows and beautiful linens. The floors are cool, richly coloured timbers, and the gallery of black and white photographs an atmospheric reminder of Ulagalla’s rich history. Outside inviting sundecks come complete with private plunge pools and timeless views over a natural paradise.
Dining here comes from the skilled hands of the kitchen brigade and served at a time to suit you. Liyawela is a cosy, yet contemporary, space serving up traditional Sri Lankan delights along with international fusion dishes. Bringing a new authentic dining experience to Sri Lanka, Kamatha offers guests a chance to dine in the centre of their rice paddy sampling many traditional dishes at their best. Thoughtful multi courses incorporate Ulagalla’s organically farmed vegetables, lake fish and free-range meats along with their old-world rice the signature crop of Ulagalla’s paddy fields.
Dine on the upper deck for cool breezes and blissful views. Private dining can be enjoyed in the lush green of the jungle, in the candlelit wine cellar or served under the stars by your private butler.
The fascinating ancient cities and UNESCO-listed heritage sites of Sri Lanka’s ‘Cultural Triangle’ are a must see for all. Visit the cave temples of Dambulla, Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the stepped pools and stupas of Anuradhapura. There are also a host of wonderful wildlife adventures close by; join one of the famous Leopard Safari’s in Wilpattu National Park to the west or enjoy a day out at the elephant-rich Minneriya National Park further east.
Visit to Anuradhapura by Bike
Anuradhapura consists of more than a dozen archaeological sites and what better way to explore than on a bike. The most important/significant sites are the three largest man mad stupas in Sri Lanka. Cycle along the flat terrain and stop along the way for pictures and to enjoy the scenery. Cycling through Anuradhapura takes approximately 2 hours.
Activity: 4×4 Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park
Just half an hour’s drive from Pollonaruwa is Minneriya National Park. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favorite habitat for animals, which include leopards, deer and wild elephants. The Park’s main feature is the former reservoir or tank built by King Mahasen in the third century AD. During the dry season from June to September, this is a fantastic place to watch herds of elephants come to graze and bathe. In more recent times it been discovered that the park witnesses the largest elephant gathering in the world during these months. You can also see huge flocks of birds, including cormorants and painted storks that come to fish in the shallow waters.
The Dambulla Caves
The Dambulla Cave Temples are the largest and best preserved rock cave temple in Sri Lanka, with over 80 caves in the surrounding area and 160 metres high! Climb the 200 steps of the base of the rock and make your way to the top and enjoy the fabulous views of the surrounding plains before you enter the caves.
Make your way in to the caves with your guide and explore the wonders. The caves contain historic art with paintings and ancient statues relating to the Lord Buddha and his Life and so it is a site of interest for all art and historian lovers.
A guided visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, built on top of a huge boulder in the 5th century. A palace. A rock fortress. The hidden castle of King Kasyapa. A Buddhist monastery from the 14th century. Similar to the cosmic mountain of Meru? The eighth wonder of the world? No place in Sri Lanka has generated as many theories and legends as the 180m monolith, set amidst stunning scenery.
Sigiriya consists of 1200 steps. The first part of the visit is a leisurely walk through the pleasure gardens. Then one starts to climb. There are two areas where one can take a break on the way up. The entire duration of the experience takes approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on the speed at which you want to climb.
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