Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Negombo: Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, and Panduwasnuwara Tour

1. From Negombo: Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, and Panduwasnuwara Tour

Following an early morning pickup at your accommodation, depart Negombo by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to explore three ancient kingdoms of Sri Lanka. First, see the kingdom of Dambadeniya, home to the peaceful King Parakramabahu II known for his epic poetic masterpieces 'Kavisilumina' and 'Visuddi Marga Sannasa.' Also see the recently excavated remains of the Old Temple of the Tooth and the the ruins of the royal palace complex. At the next stop, explore the giant rock fortress of Yapahuwa. Admire the beautiful stone sculptures and highly detailed carvings on the fortress as you climb your way to the top that showcases views of the stupa ruins and Buddhist shrine remains. Here, you can also spend some time having lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. Then, drive to the final destination, Panduwasnuwara, an ancient city from one of the first kingdoms of Sri Lanka. Explore ruins dating from the 5th century to the 12th century with notable sights like the artificial reservoir Panda Wewa, which is considered to be one of the earliest irrigation systems made by man. Visit the Panduwasnuwara Museum, home to many of the archeological finds from the region. After, start the journey back to your accommodation.

Colombo: Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, & Panduwasnuwara Tour

2. Colombo: Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, & Panduwasnuwara Tour

The tour begins with early morning pickup from your Colombo hotel at 6am, then travels the 2-hour journey to the first stop of the day, the Kingdom of Dambadeniya. Step back in time as you wander around the ruins of Dambadeniya, once a bustling mid-13th century hub reigned over by King Parakramabahu II. See the recently excavated remains of the Temple of the Tooth, as well as the fascinating royal palace complex with its gardens, walls, and moats. By 10:30am arrive at the next stop of the day, the former capital of Sri Lanka, Yapahuwa. Marvel at the city’s fortress which was built on a giant rock, boasting wide staircases, beautiful stone sculptures, and highly detailed pillar carvings. Climb to the top of the fortress to view the ruins of the stupa on the summit of the rock, which once would have been used as a center for meditation. Spend a few hours exploring ruins of Yapahuwa, then head to a local restaurant for a traditional lunch at your own expense. After lunch head to the final stop of the day, the ancient city of Panduwasnuwara, which was one of the first kingdoms in Sri Lanka. Once the capital city of the country during 5th century BC, the site was used up until the 12th century resulting in a vast array of architectural influences and styles. Once you’ve marvelled at the ruins, visit the onsite museum which houses fascinating archaeological finds from excavations in the area. After an hour and a half exploring Panduwasnuwara the tour comes to an end and you will be dropped off back to your hotel at around 7:30pm.

Sri Lanka: 7-Day Culture and Heritage Tour

3. Sri Lanka: 7-Day Culture and Heritage Tour

Discover historic ruins and temples on this 7-day trip from Colombo, Mount Lavinia, Negombo, or Bandaranaike International airport. Stay overnight in 4-star hotels with complementary breakfast. Watch a cultural show and partake in a woodcarving experience. Day 1: Select to be picked up from at your accommodation in Colombo, Mount Lavina, or Negombo, or be picked up from Bandaranaike International airport. Be greeted by your driver and sit back and relax on the drive to Kandy. Check into your 4-star hotel and relax for the evening. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast the the hotel before embarking on a trip to the see the 500-year-old wood carvings at the temple of Embekke, the Buddhist temple of Lankathilaka, and the ancient temple of Gadaladeniya.  Stop at the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha and view the large Buddha statue at Bahirawakanda Buddha. Make your way to Kandy lake for a scenic drive along the upper lake. Dive into a cultural show before returning to your hotel for the night. Day 3: Admire the Buddhist and Hindu architecture at the temple ruins of Nalanda Gedige. Travel to a factory in the village of Matale for a live wood carving experience. In the afternoon, visit the well-preserved Dambulla rock cave temple. Drive back to your hotel to rest for the evening. Day 4: Explore the ruins and monuments of the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa. Next, head to a UNESCO World Heritage 5th century fortress at Sigiriya. Climb up 1200 steps to the top where a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape awaits you. Go back to your hotel for the evening. Day 5: Journey to Anuradhapura to see an extensive complex of monasteries, temples, buildings, bathing pools, and a complex irrigation system. Uncover the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka at the Minintale mountain peak. Rest at your hotel for the remainder of the evening. Day 6: Make your way to the capital of medieval Sri Lanka in Yapahuwa where you can admire architecture from the 4th Kingdom of Sri Lanka. View an an enormous rock fortress which housed the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha for 11 Years. Afterwards, spend the night at a hotel in Negombo. Day 7: Let your driver take you back to your accommodation in Colombo, Mount Lavina, or Negombo, or be dropped off at the Bandaranaike International airport.

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