Sri Lanka. Hotel Dhammika Magic Palace. Bentota-tour
Bentota River Safari is a great possibility to get an eyeful of the wild nature of Sri Lanka. We will be sailing by a small boat equipped with an awning for protection against the sun. Bentota is a quiet river, the boat speed is quite slow and the whole trip is absolutely safe.
You will get unforgettable impressions while exploring the unique mangroves. Many beautiful birds live in the mangrove woods, such as halcyons and very rare species of white herons. On one of the islands you can take a picture with a baby-crocodile. During this trip you will see monitor lizards, fruit bats, you may also see a big crocodile. Trip duration is 1,5 hours. If tourists wish, at the end of the trip the boat can move to the place where Bentota river flows into the open ocean (don’t worry, it is completely safe and just for a short time).
During Bentota-tour we will also visit:
– Kande Viharaya Temple, one of the most esteemed temples among Buddhists and one of the most visited temples in Sri Lanka. The temple was built in 1734, it will impress you by its refined architecture, well-preserved ornaments and bas-reliefs with the scenes from the life of Lord Buddha. The temple is also known for its statue of Buddha sitting on a lotus flower. This statue is the tallest sitting Buddha statue in Sri Lanka (height 48 meters).
– Jewelry design and manufacturing company. Sri Lanka is known as Gem Island (Ratna-Dweepa in Sanskrit). The island has the highest density of gemstones deposits compared to its landmass. Mining season normally starts with the full moon poyaday celebration in December, having received the blessing of the god named ”Saman”. Traditional manual mining methods are still widely used.
First of all the island is famous for the unique beauty of Ceylon sapphires. The largest blue sapphires in the world were found in Sri Lanka: the Star of Adam (the largest one, weight appr. 1400 carat), Blue Giant of the Orient (weight 466 carat), Logan Sapphire (weight 422,99 carats), Blue Belle of Asia (weight appr. 400 carat). Besides sapphires, Sri Lanka is also famous for other very beautiful gemstones, among them: ruby, garnet, moonstone, cat’s eye, spinel, topaz. We will have a chance to look into the jeweler’s workshop to see jewelry making process. Sri Lankan faceting technique of gemstones should be especially commended, not everywhere one can see (and also buy) so nicely faceted jewelry.
– Ayurvedic and Spice Garden. We will see different types of Sri Lankan famous spices growing. Ayurvedic experts will tell us about main medicinal and culinary properties of spices and herbs.
– Turtle Hatchery where we can see main types of turtles that live in the Indian Ocean. The Hatchery staff looks after injured turtles found in the ocean and also ensures safe conditions for baby turtles to grow up enough to be released into the ocean. We will see turtle “kindergarten” and can take a picture with a huge ocean turtle or with newborn turtles.