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Villa Arcadia

Discovery Time...

April 30, 2017 |

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Ancient City of Sigiria

Some 150 kilometers West from Villa Arcadia, a massive, 200 meters high and perhaps 300 meters long magma rock juts out from the green tropical forest.

Some 1 500 years ago, the king Kashyapa built a palace on the top and around the rock. Impressive terraced, water, cave and boulder gardens surrounding the palace are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.

An engineering marvel, water was piped through bamboo pipes from the pools at the base of the rock, all the way up to the upper palace.

The western wall of Sigiriya was almost entirely covered by frescoes. Eighteen frescoes of sublime beauty and extraordinary colors depicting nude females, considered to be either the portraits of Kasyapa’s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals, have survived to this day.

Today, visitors can walk through the gardens, climb 1 200 steps all the way to the top of the magma rock, admire the frescoes and ruins of the upper palace, and enjoy the 360 degrees view of the green jungle ocean around.

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April 29, 2017 |

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Sacred City of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, is situated some 90 kilometers Northwest of Villa Arcadia.

The City is famous for its rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders under UNESCO protection: enormous dagobas, soaring brick towers, ancient pools and temple ruins, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka.

The dagobas are bell-shaped masses of masonry of up to 340 meters in circumference. Some of them contain enough masonry to build a town for twenty-five thousand inhabitants.

The most famous of the monastic buildings is the Brazen Palace erected by King Dutugamunu about 164 B.C.

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Sacred City of Kandy

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Sacred City of Kandy is situated some 150 kilometers South East of Villa Arcadia.

The city is considered to be the cultural center of Sri Lanka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the famous Kandy Esala Perahera festival.

The most renowned religious monument of Kandy is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses the relic of the tooth of Budha.

The spectacular Esala Perahera festival held annually in July and August pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Budha. During 10 days, many rituals are performed and processions featuring tens of brilliantly caparisoned, jewel-encrusted elephants and tuskers, thousands of drummers, dancers and acrobats walking on stilts, cracking whips, swinging fire pots and carrying banners, walks through the city.

Kandy has also interesting cultural shows, a beautiful Royal Botanical Garden and many gem shops.

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April 28, 2017 |

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Minneria National Park

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Minneria National Park, with the world’s largest and fascinating gathering of Asian elephants, is situated about 150 kilometers from Villa Arcadia.

This safari is an absolute highlight of any visit to Sri Lanka. Some 400 elephants come for grassing and bathing in the Minneria tank built by King Mahasen in third century AD.

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The scenery is absolutely majestic.

Apart from elephants, Minneria National Park is home to 160 species of birds, 75 species of butterflies, and 24 species of mammals, some of which are endemic.
Best time to visit is during dry period from May to September.

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April 28, 2017 |

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The Golden Temple of Dambulla

The impressive Buddhist cave temple complex of Dambulla is situated some 150 kilometers West from Villa Arcadia.

There are more than 80 documented caves.

Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, containing a total of 153 Buddha statues and impressive mural paintings over an area of over two thousand square meters, dating back to the 1st century B.C.

At the Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric burial site near Dambulla, 2 700 years old human skeletons were found to give evidence of civilisations in this area long before the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

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April 25, 2017 |

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Wilpattu National Park

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The entrance of the Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest Wilpattu National Park is some 90 kilometers drive from Villa Arcadia.

The unique feature of this park is the presence of many “Willus” or natural lakes that fill with rainwater and attract many birds and animals.

The mammals living in the park include the elephant, sloth bear, leopard, water buffalo, spotted deer and mongoose.

Painted stork, open bill, cormorant, owls, eagles, kites buzzards, spoonbill, white ibis, and purple heron are among the many birds inhabiting the park.

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Due to its size, the park is not crowded and has a peaceful atmosphere.

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April 20, 2017 |

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Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve

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The Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve with its giant trees and extensive ruins of an ancient city, lie about 140 km from Villa Arcadia.

The ruins of the monastery on the Ritigala Mountain, dating back to 1st century B.C., cover an area of 24 hectares.

A hewn stone path 1.5 meters wide meanders upwards through the forest, linking the major buildings, huge stone-cut Ayurvedic oil baths, ponds, circular platforms, courtyards, artificial waterfalls, granite Budha statues and lookouts.

It is a beautiful walk through three different types of forest, among amazing trees, gray monkeys and butterflies.

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April 20, 2017 |

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Diving and Dolphin Watching

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The Marine Sanctuary of Kalpityia is some 40 kilometers North from Villa Arcadia.

It is said to be the best spot in Sri Lanka for dolphin watching due to a great number of spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins that show up in super pods. People report seeings hundreds of dolphins..

Sperm and blue whales, minke, melon-headed and dwarf sperm whales can also be spotted.

The Marine Sanctuary of Kalpityia also offers outstanding diving with a diversity of habitats, including the Bar Reef, a system of coral reefs with the greatest biodiversity of any coral reef in the waters around India and one of the few pristine coral reef systems in Sri Lanka.

The Bar Reef of Kalpityia is home to 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish.

Eagle rays, electric rays, marble rays, napoleon wrasse grouper, honey moray eel, huge spinney lobster, resident turtle, octopus, fimbriated moray are just a few of them.

November to December and March to April are best months for diving, dolphin watching and whale watching in Kalpityia marine sanctuary.

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April 10, 2017 |

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Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area

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The Knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness Area is situated about 170 kilometers South East from Villa Arcadia. The region stretching for 155 square kilometers contains five major forest formations, a wide variety of rare and endemic flora and fauna, breathtaking mountain scenery, remote villages and lush tea plantations.

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It is a destination for those who love to hike or mountain bike through dense forests, across clear rivers, past flowing waterfalls and beautiful tea plantations, alongside terraced paddy fields and colorful authentic villages living their own rituals and celebrations as they did centuries before.

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April 2, 2017 |

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Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage

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Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is situated about 130 kilometers South from Villa Arcadia.

The orphanage was originally founded for care and protection of orphaned wild elephants found wandering in the forests of Sri Lanka.

Today, there are some ninety elephants you and your children can observe from very near – without a safari jeep.

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