Catholic Pilgrimage Tour (8 Days)

Day 01 – Airport / Colombo

At (TBA) Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Meet & assist by our local representative & transfer to Colombo, The Fort, in the very centre of the city, is where most of the colonial remnants mainly from the British era are to be found. Nearby Pettah is Colombo’s busiest and most traditional bazaar, mosaic of human activities.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

Dinner & Overnight stay – Colombo – Galle Face Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 02 – Colombo

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit Infant Jesus Church, Actually Slave Island is not an island; it’s situated just south of the city centre. Slaves were kept here until the 19th century, therefore it was generally known as the Slave Island. The official designation of the Church is Holy Rosary but it is popularly known as the “Infant Jesus Church”. The statue of “El Nino”, which is said to possess miraculous powers, therefore, it is a very popular devotion site. The church is y small, but quite beautiful. It has the typical feature of many Sri Lankan churches; broad open-air ‘aisles’ along the outside of the church, where additional crowds can sit, away from the heat and stuffiness inside the church, yet protected from sun and rain. The statue of “The Infant Jesus” is on the front left hand side of the Church, but a large similar model is placed over the top of the canopy at the entrance of the Church. Next visit oldest and largest Catholic parish cathedrals in Sri Lanka, the St. Lucia’s Cathedral, located with its rear facing the Indian Ocean and facing east towards Grandpass. There is also a large population of Tamil Hindu’s in the town. Being a very Roman Catholic town, there are many famous Catholic churches located within it and many are the famous feasts that are held annually at these places or worship. The town also has a very large population of Tamil Hindus, thus creating an environment that also has many famous Hindu temples and Hindu festivals. At present, St. Anthony’s Church, one of the most frequented of Colombo, stands on the spot of the ancient chapel, and all that quarter of the town is called ‘KOCHIKADE’.” – Quoted from a paragraph of ‘HISTORY OF CEYLON: an abridged translation of Professor Peter Courtney’s work – by Francis M.G.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

After lunch visit the origins of this shrine date back to the beginning of this Century, when a little shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes (a little Chapel) was erected by a few Catholic laymen and Father A. Krieger OMI, in 1911, the area being then a part of the parish of Ragama. On 11 November 1917 Father A. Collorec OMI built a small Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes assisted by some Catholic workers from Colombo. The Chapel was later enlarged to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims, and in the 1930’s the side of the Church built a large Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Church and Shrine with the “Holy Well” by its side gradually became a place of pilgrimage to the Catholics of Colombo Archdiocese. When the War was declared in 1939, this Shrine gained prominence because of a Vow that the then Archbishop of Colombo, Mgr. Jean Marie Masson OMI, made to Our Lady (26 may 1940), that if Ceylon was spared the horrors of War, he would build a Votive Shrine in her honour under the title of Our Lady of Lanka. The mantle of fulfilling this vow and building the votive Shrine (later declared a Minor Basilica by the Holy Father), fell on this shoulder of his successor, Archbishop Cooray, (later His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Cooray OMI). The construction of the edifice was completed in 1974. The Holy Father Pope Paul VI endowed the Church with the title of a Minor Basilica in 1973. The Basilica was consecrated on 6 February 1974 and Our Lady crowned as Our Lady of Lanka the same day.

Dinner & Overnight stay – Colombo – Galle Face Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 03 – Colombo / Anuradhapura

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit Thalawila St. Anne’s Church Thalawila, its Festival will be held on the 1st of August. This is one of the major Church Festivals in Sri Lanka, and holding of the festival was interrupted during the past years due to the terrorist problem.

The Thalawila church has a long history and once account says that a European Trader traveling in a ship dedicated to St. Anne was shipwrecked off the coast of Thalawila in the 18th century and found the church following success in business after placing a vow at this place. The other account says that in the 17th century a Portuguese man traveling from Mannar to Colombo slept at a tree in Thalawila and dreamt seeing St. Anne’s statue at the foot of tree, and when he awoke from the dream the statue was physically there as he dreamt.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

After lunch proceed to Anuradhapura, a part of the cultural triangle which compromises Buddhism and apart of its origins. This location also consists of Royal and religious structures such as the Lowamahapeya, Kalaweva, Sri Mahabodhi and many more structures.

Dinner & Overnight stay – Anuradhapura – Heritage Hotel 3-Stars

Day 04 – Anuradhapura

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is a Roman Catholic Marian shrine in Mannar district of Sri Lanka. With a history of over 400 years, this shrine acts as a center for pilgrimage and worship for Sri Lankan Catholics. The site is considered as the holiest Catholic shrine in the island and is a well known place of devotion for both Tamil and Sinhalese Catholics alike.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

Dinner & Overnight stay – Anuradhapura – Heritage Hotel 3-Stars

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Day 05 – Anuradhapura / Matara / Weligama / Hikkaduwa

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit St. Anthony’s church at Wahakotte is one of the most sacred shrines for Catholics in Sri Lanka. This historic church is situated in Udugoda Palelsiya Pattuwa, to the North-West of Matale district, four miles from Galewela town on Matale-Galewela main road. Wahakotte was known as “Wasala-Kotte” – Castle in the Fort. It is believed that there was a palace and a fort, where the present church is situated, the village was so called, because it protected the palace, traces of which are still visible. There is another legend to say that “Waha”-poison; “Kotte” – pillow; means poisonous pollow because a queen had committed suicide after hearing of her husband’s death at war.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

After lunch proceed to visit St. Mary’s Church, The miraculous statue of Our Lady of Matara is about 400 years old. Several experts in Europe have pronounced to the Portuguese type of sculpture of the beginning of the 17th century. It is cut out of one solid piece of ash wood. This statue has a story intertwined with the sea. Legend tells us that a huge wooden-crate was hauled out of the sea by some fishermen of Weligama, a town between Galle and Matara in Sri Lanka. When it was opened, this beautiful statue of the Mother and child was found inside, untouched by the sea water. They handed it over to the Parish Priest of Matara and it was subsequently placed in St. Mary’s Church, Matara. The statue has come on its own, over the waves and given
itself to the care of the Catholics of Ruhunu Rata which is the down south of Sri-Lanka.

Dinner & Overnight stay – Hikkaduwa – Chaaya Tranze Hotel 5-Stars

Day 06 – Hikkaduwa / Galle

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Galle, capital of the southern province is a city with a colorful history. An UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, the magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the town. 300 year old Dutch atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings not invaded by the skyscrapers.

Lunch will be provided at restaurants (The guide will direct you to a good restaurants where you can have the chance to taste the local cuisines.)

Dinner & Overnight stay – Hikkaduwa – Chaaya Tranze Hotel 5-Stars

Day 07 – Hikkaduwa / Colombo

At 7:00 a.m. After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Colombo, is the island’s capital. Diverse and vibrant, the city is the administrative and economic center of the country. The history of the city itself dates to the 5th century. Due to its prime location on the western coast of Sri Lanka, Colombo grew as a seaport for trade between Asia and the West. It was used by the Moors, Romans, Arabs, Persians, and Chinese ships for the island’s much sought after cinnamon and gems.

Here you have the opportunity for fine dining, sightseeing, shopping and have a dash of urban buzz.

Dinner & Overnight stay – Colombo – Galle Face Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 08 – Colombo / Airport

At (TBA) and early breakfast, and experiencing an exotic holiday in this paradise isle, transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport for the Departure.

Package Includes

Accommodation in all the hotels on single room basis or twin / triple sharing basis, as per the list above.
Bed, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on daily basis.
All prevailing taxes like Luxury tax in all hotels and Expenditure tax wherever applicable.
All transfers to or from hotels, city tours, excursions, by A/C Mini Coach or Coach.
Services of an English speaking driver/guide.

Package Excludes

Any snacks, mineral water etc. unless mentioned in the itinerary.
Any airfare or airport tax.
Tips, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks or any other expenses of personal nature.
Entrance fees are at your own convenience & expenses.
Charges for photographing/ camera fees.
Early Check In / Late Check Out.
Christmas & New Year Supplements

Note:
Please note, the names of hotels mentioned above only indicate that our rates have been based on usage of these hotels. It is not to be construed that accommodation is confirmed at these hotels until and unless we convey the confirmations to you on receipt of your acceptance. However in the event of any of the above mentioned hotels not becoming available at the time of initiating the reservations, we shall book alternate accommodation at a similar or next best available hotel and shall pass on the difference of rates (supplement/reduction whatever applicable) to you.

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