Sri Lanka Geoffrey Bawa Architecture & Design Tour

Sri Lanka Geoffrey Bawa Architecture & Design

Highlights

The Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa is now regarded as having been one of the most important and influential Asian architects of the twentieth century. His international standing was confirmed in 2001 when he received the special chairman’s award in the eighth cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, becoming only the third architect and the first non-Moslem to be so honoured since the award’s inception.Bawa was born in 1919 and came late to architecture, only qualifying in 1957 at the age of thirty-eight, but he soon established himself as Sri Lanka’s most prolific and inventive architect, laying down a canon of prototypes for buildings in a tropical Asian context. Although best known for his private houses and hotels, his portfolio also included schools and universities, factories and offices, public buildings and social buildings as well as the new Sri Lanka Parliament. His architectural career spanned forty years and was ended in 1998 by illness. He died in 2003.Bawa’s work is characterised by sensitivity to site and context. He produced “sustainable architecture” long before the term was coined, and had developed his own “regional modernist” stance well in advance of the theoreticians. His designs broke down the barriers between inside and outside, between interior design and landscape architecture and reduced buildings to a series of scenographically conceived spaces separated by courtyards and gardens.One of his most striking achievements is his own garden at Lunuganga, which he fashioned from an abandoned rubber estate. This project occupied him for fifty years, and he used it as a test bed for his emerging ideas. The result is a series of outdoor rooms conceived with an exquisite sense of theatre as a civilised wilderness on a quiet backwater in the greater garden of Sri Lanka.

Program

Day 01 : Airport / Colombo

Arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport and welcomed by a representative of Sri Holidays. Proceed to your hotel in Colombo. Today you will visit Gangaramay temple and Seema MalakaBuddhist monastery designed by Geoffrey Bawa. Whereas most Buddhist temples in thecountry follow strict traditional design, Gangaramaya temples floating on the middle of Beira Lake, is one of Sri Lanka's unusual temples. The design is inspired by the ancient forest monasteries such as those of Anuradhapura and Ritigala, which feature similar raised platforms linked by walkways. Then again the temple building is in the Kandyan style: with overhanging blue tiled roofs held up by walls apparently made from collected spindles & banisters. It is intended for meditation & inaugurations of Buddhist Bhikkus. TheSeema Malake is part of an ever-expanding complex of lavishly decorated Gangaramaya temple, a couple of hundred meters to the east. Gangaramaya sits behind an unusually elaborate perimeter wall faced with polished brass panels decorated with dwarfs (symbols of prosperity) & topped with Buddha statues. The complex has a library, a museum & extraordinarily eclectic array ofbejeweled & gilt gifts presented by devotees & well-wishers over the years. In the evening possibility of viewing, the magnificent Parliament complex designed by Geoffery Bawa. In 1979 Bawa was invited to design Sri Lanka's new parliament. He transformed a swampy site to create an island at the center of a vast artificial lake, with the parliament building appearing as an asymmetric composition of copper roofs floating above a series of terraces rising out of the water. The parliament building incorporates abstract references to traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian architecturewithin a Modernist framework to create, in the words of the Aga Khan awardsjury, "a powerful image of democracy, cultural harmony, continuity and progress, and a sense of gentle monumentality." Overnight stay at hotel in Colombo

 

Day 02 : Colombo - Sigiriya

After breakfast at hotel leave for Sigiriya. Today you will visits to Sigriya fortress. Sigiriya is an archeological site in North Central Sri Lanka. It contains the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the region of King Kasyapa (477AD - 495 AD). It is one of the 7 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and is one of itsmost popular tourist destinations. The Sigiriya site consists of a 180m tall granite rock, whose sides are so steep that at some points the top overhangs the base. At the top of the site there is a palace complex. The ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools can be seen at the top. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About half way to the top, there is a pair giant pair of lions paws which is in fact the ruin of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats, various pools. Later proceed to Heritance Kandalama for viewing and studying the spaces. At Heritance Kandalama Bawa created an austere building that derives its beauty from thesurrounding landscape. The simple geometry and lack of decoration help to highlight the natural environment. Bawa’s buildings are not just bricks and mortar, but the expression of intangible emotions. Heritance Kandalama is the living embodiment of Geoffrey Bawa’s architectural vision. Overnight stay at hotel in Sigiriya

 

Day 03 : Sigiriya - Kandy

After breakfast at hotel leave for Kandy. En-route visit Dambulla cave temple. These 2,000 year old caves sit on a massive rock overlooking the city and are a UNESCO World Heritage site, containing ancient Buddhist paintings which have attracted tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. Hidden amongst thefrescoes you will find a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the rock. At some 14 meters long this really is an impressive sight to see.Whilst ascending the steps that lead to the caves, make sure you take some time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings, where dense forest rears up into the distance and an abundance of friendly monkeys patrol the steps, waiting forfood from tourists. In the afternoon visitTemple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy is the most prominent and sacred Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka, even in the world. The relic of the tooth is kept in a two-story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks. The relic rests on a solid gold lotus flower, encased in jeweled caskets that sit on a throne. The temple is joined to the Pattiripuwa (Octagon) tower, built in 1803, that was originally a prison but now houses a collection of palm-leaf manuscripts. The king's palace is also in the temple compound. In the evening you will watchcultural dance show of fire dancers and Kandyan Dancers. Overnight stay at Hotel in Kandy

 

Day 04 Kandy - Bentota

You will have breakfast at hotel and leave for Bentota. En-route you can visit Gadaladeniya & Lankathilaka Temples. Gadaladeniya temple basking on the city of kandy, is a well known tourist destination in Sri lanka. Usually it is visited by devotees, pilgrims, History enthusiasts and naturelovers. The ancient monastery is located on a small hilltop at Diggala. In accordance to the Gadaladeniya inscription reveals that the temple was built by King Buwanekabahu 4 in the year 1344. South Indian architect ‘Ganesvachari’ designed the temple site considering characteristically South Indian architectural feature. The hilltop gives you a panoramic out view to the entire site. You will find a dagoba to the right side from the entrance and four another small dagobas. Some say that the stupa was constructed by King Parakramabahu 5. There is a roof covering the dagoba standing on four pillars. This structure is called Vijayothpaya or Vijayantha prasada. The seated Buddha statue with four another standing Buddha statues can be worshipped in the main vihara geya (image house) of the temple. The frescoes and interior sculptures belonged to Kandyan period depicting Jataka stories of Lord Buddha seem to be fading. The makara thorana (dragon arch) is embellished with gods like brahma, Sathusta, Suyama and Natha mentioning South Indian architecture. Close to the image house is a shrine room dedicated to God Vishnu. The great chronicle of ancient Sri lanka, ‘Mahavansa’ proclaims that ‘Upulwan deviyo’ was appointed to save Buddhism in Sri lanka. As a result of that it is believed God Vishnu awakened the Buddhism of Sri Lanka. Beside the Bo tree you can see the Gadaladeniya inscription carved into the rock. Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy is a dramatic building made out of clay brick. At one time it was a five-storied building. Lankathilaka Viharaya in Kandy was decorated with flowers, creepers, birds,animals and statues of gods. At the entrance of the building there are two huge pillars. Presently the pillars have broken down and reduced to a height of 58 ft. Initially, the height of these pillars was almost twice the existing one. Proceed to hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel in Bentota

 

Day 05 Bentota

After the breakfast at hotel you will “Ruhunu University complex”. During the 1980s Bawa also designed the new Ruhuna University near Matara. An inspiring creation by Bawa for the younger generation of Sri Lanka, the Ruhuna University enabledBawa to explore his style of integrating work spaces into the natural landscape. Built between two hills, this university campus consists of pavilions and courtyards with breathtaking ocean views. After that you willvisit SOS Village, a village designed for Orphans by Architect Anjalandran. SOS Children's third Village in Sri Lanka opened in Galle in 1990. Galle, a former Dutch fortress, is the largest city in southern Sri Lanka and is an important tourist centre. The community, which is on the outskirts of the city, has 12 family houses built in natural pink stone, and SOS Nursery for 130 children, and three SOS Youth Homes. In the afternoon you can do the city tour of Galle city & end up with a visit to Galle maritime museum. Galle is a bustling provincial capital and administrative centre for the South. Once a port, Galle was Sri Lanka’s first international commerce and trade centre, and these days the streets are still awash with a cosmopolitan range of goods available to buy in exotic markets and quirky art galleries. The Dutch presence is still visible in Galle, and should you want to retrace the footsteps of the Dutch rule, let our guide give you the tour of the Old Dutch fort (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Dutch Government House, the New Oriental Hotel (built in 1684), the old bell tower, and the Dutch tide-based sewage system. If you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, however, you can make your way down to Galle’s beautiful Unawatuna Bay, one of Sri Lanka’s finest beaches, where the crystal-clear sea laps the white sand, and wilting palm trees frame the picturesque coastline. Later visit Light house hotel. This magnificent boutique hotel conveys an immediate sense of Galle’s history. 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. The hotel design demonstrates Bawa’s skill at integrating architecture and landscape. After visits return to hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Bentota

 

Day 06 Bentota - Colombo

After breakfast at before leave for Colombo you will visit Bentota Beach Hotel. Bentota Beach Hotel at Bentota Beach is one of the very first beach resort hotels of Sri Lanka. Nestled in a narrow strip of land between the Bentota Beach and Bentota River, the luxury hotel with its expansive gardens of groves of Coconut palm trees spreading over 30 acres are built in the traditions of Colonial Dutch Architecture. The hotel is set up in such a way as to bring about grand views of the surrounding scenery of beach, river and verdant green land of Bentota. The combination of unrivaled location and Geoffrey Bawa's concepts of architecture of the hotel has made it one of the most popular and most sought after beach resort hotels among the Sri Lanka Hotels. After that you will visit Lunuganga the country home of master Architect GeofferyBawa. Lunuganga was Geoffrey Bawa’s own estate, where he experimented with his ideas about space, light and scale for nearly 50 years. When he bought the land in 1948 it was a rubber plantation on a peninsula jutting out into a lake. Over the years, Bawa painstakingly reshaped the land and the vegetation to fulfill his vision, in one case slicing off the top of a hill to improve his view of the lake. Lunuganga consists of the Entrance court, Glass house, Garden room, Gallery, Main house, Small house, Cinnamon hill house, Middle walk, Broad walk, Plain of jars and Cinnamon Hill. Later in the evening time at leisure for shopping at the famous Colombo markets. Overnight stay at Hotel in Colombo

 

Day 06 Colombo - Airport
Transfer to the airport for departure from Sri Lanka or extend your holiday by selecting another Holiday Package or Tour

Starting at only US$ 310 / per person*- sharing a double room

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary with out entrance fees
  • Hotel Accommodation with buffet breakfast
  • Private transport in an A/C luxury vehicle with the service of an English-speaking Chauffeur guide ( except night driver after 07.00 PM ) .
PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
  • Visa fees and international / domestic flights
  • Medical Insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • Entrance fees
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tipping and porterage
  • Anything not specified in the package inclusions

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