Architectural tour in Sri Lanka: Bawa's trail
- Sri Lanka
Come to discover the most important masterworks of the most famous contemporary architect of Sri Lanka: Geoffrey Bawa, as well as the most impressive natural beauties of this Asian country. This is why, not only is this journey a great opportunity for those who are interested in architecture, but also for those who are in love with history and culture and want to deepen their knowledge about Sri Lanka.Read more
Come to discover the most important masterworks of the most famous contemporary architect of Sri Lanka: Geoffrey Bawa, as well as the most impressive natural beauties of this Asian country. This is why, not only is this journey a great opportunity for those who are interested in architecture, but also for those who are in love with history and culture and want to deepen their knowledge about Sri Lanka.
During this 13-days tour, you'll enjoy the visit of:
Thanks to this trip to Sri Lanka you'll explore Unesco World Heritage Site, natural treasures, ancient well-preserved temples and follow step by step the development of Geoffrey Bawa. You'll spend your nights in comfortable and high-quality hotels. Hurry up and join us on this tour: nothing will disappoint you!
Welcome in Sri Lanka! After completing immigration and custom formalities at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, you will exit the airport and meet our representative at the arrival area. After the customary greeting, assisted transfer to the hotel in Kotugoda.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Dambulla, where it is possible to experience the first masterwork of Geoffrey Bawa: the Heritance Kandalama designed in 1994. Furthermore, you can discover the Sri Lanka's ancient architectural heritage site, which includes ruins of cities, palaces and temples built during the 3rd century BC by the kings of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods.
In Dambulla it is possible to visit the old Buddhist cave temple and the Sigiriya Rock fortress. In addition, you can choose to visit Yapahuwa, an ancient temple and palace considered one of the most beautiful architectural examples on the island, and Aukana with its 42-feet high statue of Lord Buddha, which is the best-preserved statue in Sri Lanka.
If you wish, you can also climb 1,840 steps with the pilgrims to reach the top of Mihintale rock, the cradle of Buddhism. Then, you can visit the marvellous "Mahakanadarawa" stone bridge, belonging to the 7th century and located in the middle of the forest. Within the cultural triangle, you will also admire the oldest hydraulic heritage on the island: the irrigation works constructed 2,500 years ago. These systems are still in use to serve the surrounding villages.
Today in the morning you'll move from the cultural triangle to the the small lakeside city of Kandy. In the afternoon you'll enjoy your city tour, visiting: the wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya and the Temple of the Tooth, where a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined since 4th AD. The temple boasts decorative walls, a gaudy golden roof and fine woodworks. At dawn, midday and evening visitors can take part in religious services, Pooja.
Today it is possible to enjoy the "Tea experience", visiting a plantation and observing the first hand of the process, from the plucking field to the factory. Here it is also possible to take part in several different adventurous activities. You can choose among mountain bike trails that loop through the tea estates or kayak in the pristine lake environment. Maps, guides and safety gear are all provided. Finally, it is also possible to enjoy scenic walking.
During your stay in Tangalle, you'll visit Rekawa, a small and picturesque fishing village where it is possible to know the Marine Turtle Concern Project, aiming to save this endangered species. You can also take part and enjoy different kinds of watersport at Mirissa Water Sports, based at Mirissa Harbor. It provides a wide range of water activities, like whale watching, snorkeling, sailing, river trips, and sea kayaking.
Finally, you can also visit the ancient Mulkirigala temple, located on a 200m-high boulder. The temple dates back almost 2,000 years and it was the site of a Buddhist monastery.
You'll spend the three following days in Bentota. We recommend a visit to Galle Fort, dating back to the 17th century and also declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Here it is possible to discover old villages designed according to the Portuguese and Dutch colonial style. It's just a pleasure to spend hours wandering along narrow and mazy alleys as well as well-preserved ramparts and discover lighthouse, churches and particular houses characterized by columns, courtyards and verandas.
Lunch at the Lighthouse Hotel, designed by Geoffrey Bawa in 1994. This elegant facility is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean. The architectural lines want to remember the history of the city. Lighthouse hotel, as well as Kandalama, demonstrates Bawa’s skill at integrating architecture and landscape, and his scenographic manipulation of space.
Today you'll move to Colombo, where you'll stay at Tintagel. The hotel is located just few steps from many public buildings designed by Geoffrey Bawa, as the Sri Lanka’s parliament building in Kotte, dating back to the 1979. The skilled architect created the Parliament building in the center of a large artificial lake. The structure shows both Sri Lankan and South Indian architectural features and includes a series of pavillions with copper roofs.
Bawa also built the Seema Malakaya, part of the Gangarama Buddhist temple. It is located on the Beira Lake.
For your last night, we suggest dinner at the Paradise Road Gallery Café, which housed Bawa's office. The owner has ensured that the old building remains the same. The Gallery now provides an unforgettable dining experience, promoting the creative talents of young artists. Books on Bawa can be purchased in Colombo from the Barefoot bookshop, ODEL bookshop and Paradise Road Studio.
Sri Lanka offers visa on arrival facility. You need to have a valid passport, two passport -size photo with a light background is required (Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo) and electronic travel authorization from Department of Immigration & Emigration (DI&E) of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.