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Activities

  • Evening Welcome Reception on 31st July 2016
  • Inauguration Ceremony of the Conference on 1st August 2016
  • Welcome Dinner on 1st August 2016
  • Dinner on 3rd August 2016
  • Farewell Dinner on 4th August 2016

Tours

Gems of Sri Lanka

gemsThroughout the history Sri Lanka has been known as a land of gems. King Solomon was said to have procured a great ruby for the Queen of Sheba from Ceylon.

Marco Polo wrote about the wonderful Ceylon gems. The Blue Sapphire is king of Sri Lankan gems.The 400 carat Blue Sapphire called “Blue Belle” which adorns the British Crown is from Sri Lanka.

Besides rubies and sapphire, the soil that contain gems known as ‘illama’ also bear cat’s eyes, alexandrites, aquamarines, tourmalines, spinels, topaz, garnets, amethyst, zircons and variety of other stones. Sri Lanka, the islagems1nd known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean lives up to its nickname as a hotbed for a variety of gems. It is the home to 40 varieties of Gems out of 85 varieties available in the whole world. Gems of Sri Lanka have found their way to many a court all over the world since time immemorial.

If the time permits you will even witness how they cut and polish gems.

Colombo National Museum

museum newThe Colombo Museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1st January 1877. It founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time.

The Royal Asiatic Society (CB) was instrumental in bringing to the notice of Gregory on his appointment as Governor in 1872 the need for a public museum with much difficulty the approval of the legislative council was obtained within a year.

The Architect of the Public Works Department, J.G. Smither was able to prepare the plans for new structure on Italian architectural style. The construction was completed in 1876 and the Museum commenced it functions in the following year.

The Authorities of the museum took various steps to display the cultural and natural heritage of the country for this purpose.

With the development of the museum to international level, it earned the status of a national museum during the period of Dr. P. E. P. Deraniyagala. He was able to open up branch museums in Jaffna, Kandy and Ratnapura and a full - fledged Department of National Museums was established in 1942 under the act No. 31. The extension of the number of branch museums has now increased to nine and in addition a school science programme and a mobile museum service are also in operation.

This process has further been improved by the arrangement of the galleries of the ground floor in a historical sequence and those of the upper galleries on a thematic basis.

Click here to visit official website

Kandy Tour

kandy img1Kandy, known to masses as ‘Maha Nuwara’ is the charming hill capital of Sri Lanka and the island’s second largest city. At an elevation of 465 meters above sea level, Kandy is located 129 Km North-East of Colombo.

Nestling midst low hills and looped by the river ‘Mahaweli’ Kandy is the country’s religious and cultural center designated as a World Heritage City.

The city was known to be established in the 14th century and became the capital of the Kandyan kingdom in the 16th century. It is the seat of much of Sri Lanka’s culture. The Royal City fell to the British in 1815 when the last Kandyan King, ‘Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe’ was captured.

Kandy is a sacred city for Buddhists. The focal point is ‘Dalada Maligawa’ also known as the temple of the tooth where the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined. There are many shrines and temples in and around Kandy where you will find rare paintings, frescoes, wood and stone carvings.Kandy is still the home for arts, crafts, music and dance which flourished under the patronage of the Kandyan Kings.kandy img2

Kandy is considered as one of the island’s most exciting places for shopping with souvenirs of wood, copper, silver, brass and bronze. Ceramics, lacquer work, handlooms, batiks, jewelry, rush and reed-ware too could be purchased. While in Kandy, an outing to a tea factory as well as a tea plantation will also be made to witness first hand, the process that leads to the creation of the famous ‘Ceylon Tea’. A visit to one of the famous ‘spice gardens’ on the way to Kandy could also be an exciting event. If good fortune smiles on you, you may even be able to take in a glimpse of the famous ‘Kandy Perahera’ with its multitude of elephants, dancers and various acrobats.

Tea Factory

tea1

Tea making will be somewhat more complicated than what you may have imagined. It is indeed a treat to watch and is amazing to know that there are very many different types of tea which gives different tastes.

Your guide will talk to you about ‘White Tea’ (not to be confused with milk tea!) which is extremely good for you and also the most expensive type of tea in the world, green tea and then grades of normal tea - OP (Orange Pekoe), BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe), FOP (Flowery Orange Pekoe) and tea2several others such as “Tea Dust”.

These different grades of tea are determined generally by which part of the tea leaf or tip is used and the quality of the tea is also to do with where it is grown (country of origin but also where in the country - similar to vineyards for wine).


Spice Gardens

Those who are interested in cooking and tasty food must look forward to sespice 2eing our famous Sri Lankan Spice Gardens. While being shown many of the spices we Sri Lankans use for cooking especially to entertain guests with mouthwatering food. You will be able to talk to the traders and learn how spices are prepared.

Our ancient kings were supplied with special varieties of spices which not only added taste, but helped in increase their physical and mental strength. spice1They are all available for purchase to this day. Since you may not have an idea where these spices come from, count on your guides to explain each spice and how they’re grown. There will be variety of spices starting from green pepper corns, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, cloves, coffee, aloe vera, lavender, vanilla, pineapple, jasmine and cardamom which could be purchased at very reasonable prices. There has been a strong emphasis on alternative medicines and so the guide will explain you their properties and what ailments that each are dedicated for. So, for examples, cloves are supposedly good for tooth ache, ginger is good for travel sickness and black pepper seeds for constipation! Good luck with your spices.

Laksala

laksala1 new‘Laksala’ is the only State owned Gift & Souvenir Boutique and was established under the National Crafts Council and Allied Institutions Act, No. 35 of 1982. Since then ‘Laksala’ has witnessed numerous changes with an ever growing list of products on sale. Today ‘Laksala’ operates through 13 branches located island wide and offer the widest variety of all Sri Lankan products at a reasonable price. laksala2

Most importantly, ‘Laksala’ enables the numerous industries that supply goods to it to stay both profitable and in business. You will find an eclectic blend of items ranging from selections of beautifully packaged tea and spices to, colourful batik ware to an elaborate collection of art and craft as well as the finest collection of traditional Sri Lankan Gems and Jewelry. ‘Laksala’ is therefore is a one stop guide and a visit would make you feel as if you had visited ‘all of Sri Lanka’!

Option 1

Pinnawala Tour - Elephant Orphanage

pinnawala1The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department in a 25 acre coconut property adjoining the river ‘Maha Oya’. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many orphaned elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka. You will enjoy seeing nearly 100 active jumbos and fully grown tuskers at Pinnawala in a natural habitat.

Option 2

Galle Tour - Galle Fort

Dutch Fort at Galle, close to the island’s southernmost point, 173km from Colombo, has the distinction of being the best-preserved sea fort in South Asia. A living heritage site, this 90 hectare (222 acre) attraction is a superb blend of architecture, with fortifications that resemble those in the coastal areas of Portugal. The fall of Galle to the Dutch in 1640 saw its fortifications consolidated further along the lines of the fortified cities of Europe.galle2 new

The Dutch and the English colonial styles are evident in the deep verandahs of houses supported by timber or masonry pillars.Originally established by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, it reached its zenith under Dutch rule in the 18th Century, providing spacious housing, wide roads and all necessary facilities within its walls including an intricate sewage system that was ahead of its time.

Whether on a ‘guided walk’ or strolling along the narrow streets, today you will see clear and well maintained evidences of the Dutch influences in the entirety.

Turtle hatchery

turtle1Time permitting on your way back from Galle, there is an important stop you should make along the way. There are many turtle hatcheries along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Turtles are endangered species around the world and their eggs are easy prey as they bury them in the sand on the beach.turtle2 new The hatchery is a fantastic place for everyone to learn about turtles. You could see turtles of many different ages and size and even you may gently hold some of them. This will be a great experience to you, you will surely gain a deep respect and love for these graceful creatures.

Colombo City Tour

Temple Trees

temple treeThe history of Temple Trees goes back to early 19th century. Its ownership passed though several prominent British administrators and traders. It was owned between 1830-1834 by John Walbeoff of the British Civil Service, who headed the Cinnamon Department of Ceylon. Later it was sold to John Philip Green who named it "Temple Trees" in 1856 for the Temple Trees that grew around the bungalow.

The house was purchased by the British Government of Ceylon and became the residence of the Colonial Secretary. Since 1948 it became the residence of the Prime Minister of Ceylon and D. S. Senanayake became the first Prime Minister to take up residence. Some Prime Ministers since then have preferred to stay at their private homes and only use Temple Trees for official functions.

Cenotaph War Memorial

The Cenotaph War Memorial in Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the military personal from Ceylon killed in action during the twowar memo world wars, it comprises a towering Cenotaph and Memorial Walls. The foundation stone was laid by Brigadier General Sir William Henry Manning, Governor of Ceylon on December 7, 1921 and was unveiled by him October 27, 1923 at the Galle Face Green and was known as the Victory tower. It was dismantled and re-erected at Victoria Park, during World War II after fears that the Japanese might use it as a marker to direct their artillery.

The Cenotaph contains the names of those killed in the Great War, while the Memorial Wall behind it maintains the names of those killed in the Second World War. A single women, Miss L. Midwood is listed among the dead of the Great war.

Town Hall of Colombo

town hallThe Town Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. Built in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka, it is the meeting place for the elected municipal council.

The foundation stone was laid on May 24, 1924, by Mayor of Colombo T. Reid, CCS, and the work was completed in 1927. Designed by S. J. Edwards, it was originally meant to house the office of the mayor and the council chamber, and as a venue for functions requiring a large ballroom.

Today it houses the administrative staff of the municipal council. Its garden is the venue for many events.

Colombo Racecourse

Colombo Racecourse was a harness racing course in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, Sri Lanka. During the second world war, it was used as a temporaryrace cource airfield In 2012 it was redeveloped as the Colombo Racecourse Sports Complex to become the first International Rugby Union ground in Sri Lanka to host all the national rugby union sides home macthes.

In 2014 the ground went through a major renovation, which included installation of floodlights and the conversion of a substantial part of the grandstand into a shopping and dining complex.

Gangarama Temple

gangaramaThis Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is situated not far from the placid waters of Beira Lake on a plot of land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of marshy land. It has the main features of a Vihara (temple), the Cetiya (Pagada) the Bodhitree, the Vihara Mandiraya, the Seema malaka (assembly hall for monks) and the Relic Chamber. In addition, a museum, a library, a residential hall, a three storeyed Pirivena, educational halls and an alms hall are also on the premises.

Most notable for tourists is the architecture of the Simamalaka Shrine, which was built with donations from a Muslim sponsor to the design of Geoffrey Bawa.

BMICH

bmich1The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), is a convention center located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.Built between 1970 and 1973, the convention center was a gift from the People's Republic of China in memory of Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) from 1956 to 1959.

Independence Square & Arcade

With a view to mark the triumphant victory of gaining independence for Sri Lanka in 1948, then theindependent1 government of Sri Lanka decided to construct an independence memorial building which could be appreciated by local and foreign people symbolization of the long and splendid history of Sri Lanka; Accordingly a majestic  and magnificent looking building similar in form to Magul Maduwa in Kandy was planned.

indipendent2This building has been constructed so as to symbolize splendour of the nation with adequate seating accommodation for the total number of 224 persons who represent as the members of parliament and the members of Senate and with seating accommodation  for 25,000 persons in the open area outside the hall and with ground space around  the hall which can accommodate 100,000 people. Paintings which illustrate various events of the History of Sri Lanka drawn the inside walls since the day King Vijaya arrived in Sri Lanka upto the present. and hence the entire building has been created as a reflection of our glorious ancient culture in the ultimate sense of the word.

 Nelum Pokuna

nelum pokunaThe Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) (often known simply as Nelum Pokuna Theatre; previously the National Performing Arts Theatre, prior to naming at the opening ceremony) is a performing arts centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theatre opened on 15 December 2011.The architecture of the building is inspired by the 12th-century Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) in Polonnaruwa.Built by King Parakramabahu the Great, Polonnaruwa's Nelum Pokuna is shaped as a stylised eight-petalled lotus flower.

Old Parliament Building

old parlimentThe Neo-Baroque-style building was built during the British colonial era to house the Legislative Council of Ceylon. It was built on an idea of Sir Henry McCallum, which led to a proposal made by a committee to construct the new building for the Secretariat, Council Chamber and Government offices on reclaimed land at the northern end of Galle Face' were accepted by the Government in 1920. The Old Parliament Building, is the building that houses the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. Situated in the Colombo fort facing the sea, it is in close proximity to the President's House, Colombo.

Viharamahadevi Park, (Victoria Park)

The Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is a public park located in Colombo, next to the Nationalvictroria Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo. Situated in front of the colonial-era Town Hall building, the park is named after Queen Viharamahadevi, the mother of King Dutugamunu.

The park was built on land donated to the Colombo city by Charles Henry de Soysa during the British rule of Sri Lanka, and used to be named "Victoria Park" after Queen Victoria. During World War II it was occupied by the British Army with Australian 17th Brigade based at Victoria Park. After the war the park was restored and open to the public in 1951.

There used to be a cricket ground in the park, which was used for first-class cricket between 1927 and 1995. Ceylon played against a touring English team there in 1927 and against an Australian team in 1935.

The park features include a huge Buddha statue and a series of water fountains. It also includes a mini zoo, a children's play area and a BAC Jet Provost which was a British jet-powered trainer aircraft that was in use with the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993.

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