Thu 20 feb: arrival, getting settled & introduction
Bus transfer from Colombo Airport to the Paramita International Buddhist Centre, time will be announced.
After that the bus will make a stop in Colombo city or Negombo for the people who arrived before the 20th (time and place will be announced).
Those who missed this transit can take a cab from Colombo Airport directly to Paramita International Buddhist Centre, No. 7 Kandy Road, Kadugannawa.
Arrival at Paramita Center: get settled in your room and get shown around the center and the green gardens. We will get to know each other and share out first dinner together, after which the first evening starts with a lecture & introduction of the painting course & its subject Guan Yin.
Fri 21 – Wed 26 feb: Buddhist drawing & painting course
All days start with a guided meditation in the morning (optional) and drawing sessions in the morning and afternoon.
Later in the week we will turn to colouring and/or painting sessions, and you will learn how to apply the special thangka painting techniques.
There will be a lot of individual guidance. In the evenings there will be free time, a lecture on buddhist art or a film.
Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23) is free time and you can go for sightseeing (to Kandy or to the temples nearby for example) or relax and enjoy the nature & surroundings.
In the evening of Wed Feb 26 we will pack our bags and get ready for the exiting second part of this course: the 4 day/3 night sightseeing tour.
After your own Buddha drawing and painting experience you will be guaranteed to look with a different eye and appreciate the centuries old buddhist art even more.
Thu 27 feb: KADUGANNAWA – ANURADHAPURA
In the morning coach along with guide will come to pick you up from Paramita Meditation Centre. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Anuradhapura – Commanding a rich Sri Lankan heritage, Anuradhapura – one of the greatest and oldest civilizations in the world starring 113 kings & spanning over 1300 years in its peak – avows of being the greatest city of ancient Sri Lanka following its reign as the first capital. The sapphire of its crown is certainly the Sri Maha Bodhi – the sacred Bo sapling extracted from the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment – standing more than 2200 years in its pride. Stroll through the sacred trails of the venerated city to adore the legacy that interweaves Ruwanweliseya – the gigantic dagoba resting alongside the Basawakkulama Tank – shading the Samadhi Buddha Statue & Isurumuniya Rock Temple that empower the culture, heritage and supremacy of arguably the strongest kingdom in Sri Lankan history.
Dinner and Overnight Stay at Anuradhapura.
Fri 28 Feb: ANURADHAPURA – AUKANA – POLONNARUWA
Aukana Buddha Statue – Standing up to a solid 40 feet over Anuradhapura the Aukana Buddha Statue – a creation of king Datusena – happens to be one of the foremost cultural & religious attractions in Sri Lanka spearheading fantastic proof of carvings that date back to the 5th century. The standing Buddha statue chiseled out of a granite cliff with magnificently carved pleats of a robe worn over the left shoulder truly proves not only a subtle talent of a local stone mason, but also a masterpiece of a king who is still venerated by locals. Lunch at a local restaurant, after which we will visit the city of Polonnaruwa – the medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I. This city remains superior proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across its scattered walls of the World Heritage Site – blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures – while observing the relic house – Watadage – which boasts of beautiful stone carvings.
Take a close glance and you will realize a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Or sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya – sea of Parakramabahu & masterpiece of irrigation.
Dinner and Overnight Stay in Sigiriya.
Sat 29 Feb: SIGIRIYA – PIDURANGALA – DAMBULLA – COLOMBO
After breakfast at our hotel we will leave early in the morning to hike to Pidurangala Rock Temple to see sun rising – Pidurangala Rock is adjacent to Sigiriya Rock and is the best viewing spot of Sigiriya Rock as it is only slightly lower. Pidurangala is a popular spot for sunrise as you can enjoy 360-degree views of not only the valleys but also Sigiriya Rock. The Royal Cave Temple is survived only by a few remains. A rock wall still stands to show the foundation of what was once a rock temple. We missed it on the way up in the dark but stopped to check it out on the way down. A huge reclining Buddha, lays inside the temple and we also didn’t stop to take it in on the hike up but it was unmissable on the way down. It has been reconstructed with bricks but much of the original structure remains intact.
After that we will leave for Dambulla and visit the very famous Dambulla Rock Temple.
In the city of Dambulla lies a hub which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st century B.C. Today, an icon in the face of Sri Lanka, Dambulla Rock Temple houses some of the most unique drawings in magnificently constructed 5 cave temples flanking the golden temple of Dambulla. Observe how exquisitely cave paintings are done along walls that shelter 150 statues of Lord Buddha. As you enter the retreat, look straight up to the gigantic Buddha statue glittering in gold over a land, which today houses an important junction in the country’s economic and cultural uplifting. Lunch at local restaurant and transfer to Colombo.
Colombo city tour – Colombo The throbbing metropolis, Colombo – located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort. Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques. Meanwhile, ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City – an offshore city – featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards ‘Arcade’ facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square. Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the ‘walk-over fish tank’, have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka. Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Or, jazz up to Colombo’s night life spiced by night clubs & casinos that borderline its bustle. If you’re lucky, head into an exhibition at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) before swaying your head to an opera or play at Nelum Pokuna that should just drive your day into perfection!
Dinner at local restaurant and overnight Stay at a Hotel in Colombo.
Sun 1 March: COLOMBO – BELLANWILA TEMPLE – AIRPORT (optional transfer in the evening)
After breakfast in our hotel we will leave to Bellanwila Temple. Lunch and dinner at a local restaurant and in the evening (optional) transfer from Colombo to the Airport for departure.
Some people of the group will be staying in Colombo for a few more days and/or will continue their vacation in Sri Lanka (for example the beach areas), or elsewhere in Asia (Southern India for example).