Architectural Gems of Geoffrey Bawa

Few countries can point to such an influential figure in the development of a stylish and successful tourist sector than can Sri Lanka with Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa was responsible for linking Sri Lanka’s ancient and modern architecture. He had a deep understanding and appreciation of the country’s cultural heritage from the ancient kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, to the influences of the Portuguese and Dutch periods and his travels worldwide also ensured an appreciation of more contemporary styles.
This specialist tour has been put together to enable those interested in architectural design to experience the works of Bawa while staying in the hotels designed by him, as well as this island’s ancient architectural heritage and natural landscapes that influenced his creations.

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Tour Details

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Day - 01
Airport > Negombo

  • Drive : About 20 minutes
  • Hotel : The Wallawwa, Negombo
  • Highlights :
    Standard Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Arrive at Colombo International Airport. Please clear immigration & visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel if you do not have goods to be declared to customs. Travel Design representative will page you by your name. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer to the Wallawwa in Kotugoda, a boutique colonial-style bungalow just 15 minutes away from the International Airport. Relax after your long journey.

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Day - 02
Negombo > Kandalama

  • Drive : About 4½ hours
  • Hotel : Heritance Kandalama, Kandalama
  • Highlights :
    Superior Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Travel to Dambulla in the North central region where you will experience your first Geoffrey Bawa creation: Heritance Kandalama designed in 1994. Bawa conceived the hotel `as an austere jungle palace’ located on the bund of an ancient 3rd century tank (reservoir) and captures the surrounding magical views from every angle. Kandalama is a naturalist’s dream hidden within the edge of a jungle filled with numerous species of birds, butterflies and plenty of monkeys. Explore the various sections of the resort; learn about the operational aspects of the hotel and the architectural value of the property. Overnight stay at Kandalama

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Day - 03
Kandalama

  • Drive : About 30 minutes
  • Hotel : Heritance Kandalama, Kandalama
  • Highlights :
    Superior Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

After breakfast at the resort, experience Sri Lanka’s ancient architectural heritage – ancient Buddhist cave temple of Dambulla and Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the afternoon. You will also experience Sri Lanka’s ancient architectural heritage – ruins of cities, palaces and temples built by kings of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods dating back to the 3rd century BC (optional). In Dambulla, visit the ancient Buddhist cave temples and the Sigiriya Rock fortress. You also have the option of visiting Aukana, where the Buddha stands 42 feet high, the best-preserved statue in Sri Lanka. If you wish, climb 1,840 steps, high above the palm trees, with the pilgrims to the summit of Mihintale rock. Thereafter, visit the fabulous ‘Mahakanadarawa’ stone bridge, which dates back to the 7th century and is situated in the midst of the forest. Within the cultural triangle, you will also see Sri Lanka’s ancient hydraulic heritage: irrigation works consisting of tanks (reservoirs), sluices, and canals built by Kings 2,500 years ago. This system still serves the surrounding villages today. Stay two nights in Heritance Kandalama.

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Day - 04
Kandalama > Kandy

  • Drive : About 3 hours
  • Hotel : Kandy House, Kandy
  • Highlights :
    Deluxe Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Early morning after a delicious breakfast, check out and proceed to climb Sigiriya; 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This world heritage site, consists of the remains of a palace on the top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’, the lower palace on the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls and water gardens that extend for some hundreds of meters out from the base. Afterwards continue your journey from the cultural triangle to Sri Lanka’s hill capital, the small lakeside city of Kandy, will occupy most of the morning. In the afternoon, a city tour includes the fabulous Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya and the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined since 4th Century A.D. Stay two nights at the Kandy House, a small boutique hotel located in the outskirts of the city. The Kandy House is a brilliant small boutique hotel capable of offering stylish and private accommodation, personal service, and delicious food – all in a stunningly beautiful natural setting. The freshwater infinity pool in the garden provides an irresistible opportunity to unwind and relax under the shade of tropical trees. Overnight stay in Kandy.

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Day - 05
Kandy

  • Drive : About 30 minutes
  • Hotel : Kandy House, Kandy
  • Highlights :
    Deluxe Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

After breakfast at the Kandy House, enjoy a visit to Embekke Temple Complex; where you will see a superb example of Sinhala Architecture in Wood. The Wooden pillars and pillar capitals are done with beautiful carvings, 514 different designs of animals, dancers, drummers, Narigeta, gladiators, wrestlers, rope twists and many other designs.
Later visit Gadaladeniya; a Gedige style of a building, done by the South Indian Architect Ganeswarachariya, using South Indian Devala Architecture for a Buddhist Temple. But on top of the building a Dagoba has been constructed in stone similar to a Sikhara of a Hindu Kovil. A seated Buddha statue in the meditating posture, under a Makara Arch and the shrine room completed with paintings. Later visit Lankathilake Temple. This is an important Buddhist Temple in Kandy, constructed by Sthapati Rayar- a South Indian Architect. Who has completed this in the Kandyan style of Architecture; the King’s Chief Minister Senadilankara constructed this Temple in 1344 A.D. Compare and contrast the values received by various architectural knowledge to Sri Lanka. Overnight stay at the Kandy House

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Day - 06
Kandy > Galle

  • Drive : About 6 hours
  • Hotel : Lighthouse Hotel, Galle
  • Highlights :
    Deluxe Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Travel along the coast to Galle where you will stay overnight at the Light House. En route, you will pass several of Geoffrey Bawa’s creations including Ruhuna University in Matara, an inspiring creation by Bawa built between two hills; this university campus consists of pavilions and courtyards with breath taking views of the Indian Ocean.
Check in at the hotel, enjoy a guided tour to observe the architecture of the hotel and learn about the conservative steps taken by the hotel to safeguard the environment. Lighthouse is well known for its Green Policy that enables the hotel to perform better with the day to day procedures that can ensure the environment around is not harmed. This elegant boutique hotel is located on a rocky headland overlooking the Indian Ocean. The architecture conveys an immediate sense of history with the Portuguese landing at Galle is re-enacted in brass and bronze on the impressive main staircase and an ambitious batik of ancient coats of arms fills the ceiling of the restful main bar. Lighthouse hotel, like Kandalama, demonstrates Bawa’s skill at `integrating architecture and landscape, and his stenographic manipulation of space.
Overnight stay in Galle.

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Day - 07
Galle

  • Drive : About 20 minutes
  • Hotel : Lighthouse Hotel, Galle
  • Highlights :
    Deluxe Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the Galle’s 17th Century Fort – a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. Experience the Portuguese and Dutch period architecture within this fort. The thick, high ramparts that protect and distinguish the Fort are today used for romantic evening strolls and convenient viewpoints to catch the sweaty action of local ‘village’ cricket games and the international games held in the adjacent Galle cricket stadium. Another highlight of Galle is the Dutch Reformed Church built by a Dutch Army officer at the site of a previous Portuguese church and completed in 1754 the church is situated close to the new entrance to the fort. The church contains record of marriages since 1748 and baptism from 1678. The other significant of the building id there are no pillars inside the building and the weight of the roof is supported by the walls.
Relax the evening by the pool; enjoy the finest treatments at the hotels’ Spa. Overnight stay in Galle

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Day - 08
Galle > Bentota

  • Drive : About 2 hours
  • Hotel : Lunuganga Estate, Bentota
  • Highlights :
    Glass Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Travel along the coast to Bentota where you will stay two nights at Lunuganga – a garden retreat that was originally an old rubber plantation that Geoffrey Bawa transformed into a haven of peace. Continuing further south west you reach Bentota, the city is graced by palm trees and a serene atmosphere. We visit the temple of Galapata Vihara dating from the 12th Century. It is said to have been built by Parakramabahu the Great, who also built the city of Polonnaruwa. Also visit the turtle hatcheries a must visit if you wish to take a look at the conservation of turtles. The turtle hatcheries are open from 06:00 in the morning to 18:00 in the evening. If you wish to release a freshly hatched three-day old turtle into the ocean, you can here.
Once at Lunuganga, you will have an opportunity to experience Bawa’s personal space. It’s a garden retreat that inspired him and was closest to his heart. The Lunuganga gardens were a lifelong project cherished by Bawa and designed with numerous varieties of foliage, many pavilions and statues. Bawa continued to develop the gardens or almost 50 years a personal journey which helped to inspire his creativity. Overnight Stay

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Day - 09
Bentota

  • Drive : About 30 minutes
  • Hotel : Lunuganga Estate, Bentota
  • Highlights :
    Glass Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

After breakfast at the hotel you will get to visit few of the Geoffrey Bawa’s finest properties starting from Club Villa Bentota. Serene Resort designed by Geoffrey Bawa is set in a wonderfully tranquil location next to the beach. The fifteen rooms are discreetly spaced out around several colonial style buildings. Trees & artworks are nicely placed about the yard. There’s a small swimming pool & an attractive restaurant.
Later visit Blue Waters, Geoffrey Bawa designed serene hotel is set around a superb pool & beautifully screened by a grove of coconut palms. The attractive rooms have a/c, minibar, satellite TV, safe & sea-facing balconies; other facilities include a beauty salon, tennis & squash courts, three bars & a night club. Visit Geoffrey Bawa House and Heritance Ahungalla, the hotel sprawls along a considerable section of the pristine beach of Ahungalla. The vast hotel is luxurious yet intimate with attractive landscaping. Rooms are vibrant while the main swimming pool is enormous. Overnight stay will be in Bentota

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Day - 10
Bentota > Colombo

  • Drive : About 2 hours
  • Hotel : Tintagel, Colombo
  • Highlights :
    Standard Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

Today you head back to the capital city of Colombo for your final night where you will be staying at Tintagel – a luxurious boutique hotel housed in one of Sri Lanka’s most famous ancestral residences belonging to the family of Sri Lanka’s former president. The hotel is a short ride away from several public buildings designed by Geoffrey Bawa including Sri Lanka’s parliament building in Kotte, which the president at the time commissioned Bawa to design in 1979.
For your final night, we recommend dinner at the Paradise Road Gallery Cafe, which housed Bawa’s office. The entire work space lies between two courtyards with columns, walkways and open pavilions, hallways that inspired a creative genius. The Gallery as it is locally known now provides for a memorable dining experience that also serves as an art gallery that promotes the creative talents of young artists. Overnight stay in Colombo

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Day - 11
Colombo > Airport

  • Drive : About 1½ hours
  • Highlights :
    Standard Rooms, Bed and Breakfast Basis

As your journey comes to an end, after breakfast at the hotel proceed to the airport for your flight home taking back a million memories.

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