Delek Children's Foundation

Sri Lanka Charity Tour 2024
November 10 - 22, 2024

Join us on an unforgettable journey of spiritual discovery as we embark on our first Buddhist pilgrimage tour to Sri Lanka. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and profound teachings of Buddhism while exploring sacred sites and ancient temples nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes. This unique experience promises to deepen your understanding of Buddhist traditions. Come join us on this transformative adventure where history, spirituality and natural beauty converge to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1, Nov 10 - Arrival to Colombo - night in Negombo

Day 2- Nov 11 - Nelikulam temple, Mihintale temple - night in Anuradhapur

Day 3- Nov 12 - Sri-Mahabodhi temple, Ruwanvelisaya Chaitya, heading to Jaffana - night in Jaffana

Day 4- Nov 13 - Nagadeep temple, Dambokola Patuna temple, back to Anuradhapur - night in Anuradhapura.

Day 5-Nov 14 - Sigiriya Rock, Golden temple Dambulla – night in Dambulla

Day 6-Nov 15 - Alu Viharaya Matale, Tooth Relic Temple – night in Kandy

Day 7-Nov 16 - Tea garden, Gregory Lake, Seeta Eliya temple- night in Nuwar Eliya

Day 8-Nov 17 - Ravan Falls, Nine Arch Bridge – night in Waduwaluwa

Day 9-Nov 18 - Kirinda temple, Kataragama Temple- night in Waduwaluwa

Day 10-Nov 19 - Weherena temple, Paraviduwa temple, Rumassala, Galle Fort- night in Galle

Day 11-Nov 20 - Kalutara temple, Gangarama temple, Galle Face- night in Colombo

Day 12-Nov 21 - Keleniya Temple, Colombo sight -seeing, shopping- night in Colombo

Day 13- Nov 22 - Return to US

Pilgrimage Cost: 

Trip cost is $2,350.00 per person which includes lodging, meals and local transportation. All prices are based on shared rooms, twin beds. Please note the cost does not include your international airfare. If you would like a single room, there will be an additional $400 per person.

A portion of the trip cost is tax deductible and we will provide receipt for the donation. 

Pilgrimage costs are based on a typical group size of at least 10 participants. A minimum of 10 participants are necessary to operate this pilgrimage. The cost is based on shared room.

If the number of members joining the trip is in odd numbers, then we will rotate the single room with each member at each destination. However, we encourage you to share this information with friends and family to join you.

​Payment can be done by online through our website or by check payable to

Delek Children's Foundation and mail to 6500 Sutter Ave. Richmond, CA 94804. 

Please mention the Pilgrimage Tour in the memo of your check.

Total payment must be made along with Registration form by September 15, 2024. In case of your cancellation, there will be fee of $500 if you notify us 30 days before the tour starts. If the trip is canceled within 30 days, the total amount is non-refundable as we need to send our payment to our tour operator in advance.

Visa : You can apply for visa in advance or upon arrival at airport in Sri Lanka.

For your international tickets, we recommend you to contact Sonam at Third Eye Travel. She can be reached at sonam@thirdeyetravel.comor 510-487-9010 ext 101. She will give you suggestion as per our group schedule. If you prefer to fly on different airlines, please make sure to contact Sonam before purchasing the tickets.

If anyone wishes to join the pilgrimage from other states or other countries, they are welcome to do so. However, registration is still required, and all participants must arrive in Colombo as per tour schedule.

Important: Please note: During the tour, we will be staying in 4-5-star hotels depending on the locations, and they are often fully booked during pilgrimage season between November - February. We will make our greatest effort to make you as comfortable as possible. However, some pilgrimage sites may have decent lodges. There will be light walking for short distance on most of the days except for Sigiriya where you have to walk for at least 3 hours, we recommend all participants to check with their health insurance carrier as for coverage abroad and for precautionary medical treatment for travel in Sri Lanka.

For more information about the trip, please contact me directly at (510) 674-6000 or send us email at: office@delekcf.org.

Services Included:

1.12 nights in twin bed, shared rooms in 4-5 star hotels.

2. All meals included for the duration of the tour.

3. Overland transportation as per the tour itinerary.

4. Airport transfer as per the group itinerary.

5. English Speaking guide.

6. Entrance ticket fees.

Services not Included: 

1. International Airfare and Visa for Sri Lanka.

2. Airport transfers and hotel accommodations for those arriving and leaving separately from the group.

3. Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delay/cancellations etc.

4. All personal expenses such as DRINKS, LAUNDRY, MEDICAL, etc.

5. Insurance of any kind

6. Tips (On the last day all members will offer small gifts to our bus driver and his assistant. They usually expect tips at the end of the service).

7. Cost which are not included above in “Services Included."

For more details, please contact at office@delekcf.org or call me at 510-674-6000.

Detailed Description of Buddhist Sites:

Anuradhapura:
The historic city of Anuradhapura is an essential stop on any tour of Sri Lanka. This city, located around 205 kms north of Colombo, is one of eight World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Anuradhapura currently serves as the capital city of the North Central Province, and is considered the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Its vast network of ancient Buddhist temples, monasteries and places of worship which cover over 40 sq kms has made it a sacred site to Buddhists around the world.

Nellikulama Temple:
Nellikulama Siri Sambuddha Panchasathika Charikaramaya or Pilima Pansala for short is an temple built in 2006 in the remote village of Nellikulama close to Anuradhapura. The temple spread over 10 acres of land, was built with 500 life-size statues of bhikkus following the Buddha. The statues each different to one another, represent Buddha and 500 followers traveling across cities to share the Buddhist philosophy.

The temple which opened up with the 500 statues has now expanded to areas depicting various life events of Buddha. Although this temple has no historical value, due to its novelty it has become a popular destination for pilgrims to Anuradhapura.

This temple which started with 500 life-size statues, now consists of another large structure of statues of bikkus climbing down a massive mountain, representing the Buddha’s visit to Sri Pada. The mountain is hollow; with caves with more statues and different Buddhist stories.

Mihintale Temple:
The year 247 BC marks the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Arhant Mahinda led the Buddhist mission to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa.

It is said that Buddhism spread rapidly influencing the lives of the people creating a civilization unheard before leaving behind a number of legacies. Arhant Mahinda resided in the caves the mountain east of Anuradhapura, the capital of the first generation of kings and it came to be known as Mihintale, resting among the misty hills is undoubtedly the most important and remarkable historic place in the island.

Sri- Mahabodhi:
The Sacred Bo tree; Jaya Sri MahaBodhiya of AnuradhapuraSri Lanka is the oldest living tree in documented history of the world. It is a sapling from the historical Bodhi tree under which Buddha enlightened. It was planted in 288 BCF and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. It was brought from Buddhagaya India by the Ven. SanghamittaTherini, a sister of Arhant Mahinda – who introduced the Teachings of the Buddha to Sri Lanka.

Ruwanwelisaya Stupa:
The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa, a hemispherical structure containing relics, in Sri Lanka, considered sacred to many Buddhists all over the world.It was built by King Dutugemunuc. 140 B.C., who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Ellalan, was defeated. It is also known as "Mahathupa", "Swarnamali Chaitya", "SuvarnamaliMahaceti" (in Pali) and "Rathnamali Dagaba".

 

Nagadeepa Viharaya:
The NagadeepaViharaya is one of the 16 most sacred places of worship in Sri Lanka. According to the chronicles, in the 5th year after enlightenment, the Lord Buddha visited Nagadeepa to settle a dispute between two naga Kings- Chulodara and Mahodara, regarding position of gem studded throne. The BakMahaAmawakaPoya Day commemorates the Lord Buddha’s visit to Nagadeepa.

The daughter of the Naga king Mahodara was married to his sister’s son Chulodara, another Naga king. As the dowry Chulodara was given a gem studded throne and at the sudden death of Naga princess, Mahodara asked for the gem studded throne back from his son in law, Chulodara. Since he refused to give it back, a terrible dispute started between them.

When the Lord Buddha came over from Jetavanaramaya in the city of Sravasti, He was accompanied by God Sumana, a protective deity residing on a Kiripalu tree at the entrance to the Viharaya. The Lord Buddha preached the virtues of non-violence to the two Naga kings and urged them to forget hating each other and be united. The two kings surrounded by their followers listened patiently to the Lord Buddha and decided to end their enmity.

After the two warring kings made peace the throne was offered to the Lord Buddha, who returned it to the Naga kings. It was later enshrined in the Nagadeepa Stupa and soon became a place of Buddhist veneration.

Dambakola Patuna Temple:
Dambakola Patuna Sangamitta Temple is an ancient and historically significant Buddhist temple which is situated in Dambakolapatuna in the Jaffna district. It is a spiritually important Buddhist temple due to its location. It is where Arhat Sangamitta landed with a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi which was planted in Anurahapura. This was during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa of the Anuradhapura era. The area of the temple is known as the Port of Jambukola. The temple was restricted from access during the civil war in Sri Lanka and is now reopened for the public.

Sigiriya:
Sigiriya, site in central Sri Lanka consisting of the ruins of an ancient stronghold that was built in the late 5th century CE on a remarkable monolithic rock pillar. The rock, which is so steep that its top overhangs the sides, rises to an elevation of 1,144 feet (349 metres) above sea level and is some 600 feet (180 metres) above the surrounding plain.

The Sinhalese king Kashyapa I (reigned 477–495) built a palace in the shape of a monumental lion on the several acres of ground at the summit, intending it to be a safeguard against his enemies. However, the king was defeated in 495, and the palace fell into ruin. The site soon became a pilgrimage destination, however, and it is now a popular tourist spot. Visitors begin the final ascent to the top through the open paws of the lion, one of the few remaining portions of the palace that are still intact. Also notable are 21 rock paintings of apsaras (celestial singers and dancers). Sigiriya was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.

Golden temple Dambulla:
Located in Dambulla Sri Lanka, the Dambulla Golden Temple or the Dambulla cave temple is the largest cave temple complex found in Sri Lanka. It is also the best preserved cave temple that contains cave paintings and statues praising Buddha. The complex is made up of five caves and contains the major attractions of the place.

Matale (Alu Viharaya):
Aluviharaya cave temple in Sri Lanka is a rock-cave temple close to Matale where Buddhist monks wrote the Tripitakas during King Walagamba’s rule. These Tripitakas originally had come down by mere word of mouth by being committed to memory by Buddhist monks of the time.

Tooth Relic Temple:
The Temple of Tooth at kandy is the final location of the sacred tooth of the lord Buddha which was brought to srilanka during the reign of king “keerthisri Megawarna” by prince “Dantha” and Princess “Hemamala” from the kindom of kalingu India. It became the palladium of srilankan kings and was preciously guarded in a special shrine built within precincts of royal palace where the capital was located.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, sridalada Maligawa is in the centre of the city, the highest venerated religious place with steeped in cultural heritage attracting the highest respect of the Buddhists as well as the other religions all over the world. The beautiful magnificent temple was built by late king Vimaladharmasooriya 1st in 1592 AD.

Seeta Eliya:
seeta Eliya temple is a unique temple, it has been made at the place where Seeta Mata spent her days in the prison of Ravana,aprox 5000 years ago. It is also unique in a way that it is one of the very few temples dedicated to Setta.

Ravana Falls:
Ravana Falls, located in the Badulla District in Ella Town, Sri Lanka, is a popular tourist spot. The cascading waterfalls are a sight for sore eyes! The hikers are in for luck, as there is a trail that you can hike on to reach Ravana Falls in Sri Lanka. The best time to visit Ravana Falls is during the rainy season, which starts in April and lasts until September. It is definitely a must-visit place for all tourists. Let us now look at more stunning places near Ravana Falls to add to your itinerary and make your trip more exciting!

Nine Arch Bridge:
The Nine Arch Bridge, also known as the ‘Bridge in the Sky’ was constructed by connecting two bog mountains when constructing the Badulla – Colombo railway. This bridge is 300 feet in length, 25 feet in width and 80-100 feet in height. It is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country. The Bridge can be reached by travelling 2km on Gotuwala road starting from Halpe Textile centre in Badulla Bandarawela road. The surrounding area has seen a steady increase in tourism due to the bridge’s architectural ingenuity and the profuse greenery in the nearby hillsides.

Kirinda Temple:
Kirinda, known as the town of wildlife is a small port located on the south coast of Sri Lanka about 270 km from the city of Colombo and about 10km radius from the south of the ancient old religious city, Tissamaharama.

Kirinda temple which was built by King Kavantissa can be reach via Tissa- Kirinda road. This temple is located in a rocky hill top just next to the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Due to its location, this temple gives magnificent view of sand dunes beach, the Indian ocean, Kirinda fishing harbor and the rest of the surrounding. In fact, you have to climb a stair lead up to the temple. Kirinda is one of the most venerated places of Buddhism.

Kataragama temple:
The Kataragama temple is one of the ancient sites which are revered by Hindus, Buddhists as well as the Veddas. The temple also attracts many people from South India. The temple complex is a shrine to the Buddhist guardian deity Kataragama 'deviyo' and Hindu War God Murugan. The complex contains the Buddhist temples which are managed by Buddhists, the temples and shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva the Hindus maintain and a mosque which the Muslims govern. This unique feature of Kataragama temples makes the complex, one of the most secular sites in Sri Lanka. Many years ago, the jungle shrine was entirely inaccessible, but today it can be easily accessed by an all-weather road.

Weherahena Temple:
Weherahena (Veherahena) is a popular temple among the Buddhist pilgrims. Although there is nothing of historical significance, the story of the temple is quite interesting. In addition, the temple is said to be the largest and the first tunnel temple in the world.

Paravi Duwa Temple, Matara:
The temple is not an ancient one, and in fact it was built quite recently. The temple is situated on a tiny off-shore islet known as ‘Pigeon island’, and is reached through a scenic foot-bridge that was recently replaced after the original one was destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami. Regardless of the temple being a Buddhist place of worship, it attracts plenty of visitors from various religious faiths and beliefs simply due to the sheer beauty of it.

Rumassala Temple:
Rumassala is a massive hill oddly out of place in the landscape just outside the Galle harbour. Legend details that during the Rama – Rawana war Rama’s brother Luxhmana, was injured and Hanuman was sent to Himalayas to fetch medicinal herbs. Hanuman forgot the name of the herb but he brought a chunk of the peak containing many herbs. However the mountain fragment slipped and broke into five pieces of which one fell to Rumassala. It should be noted that the renowned scientist Sir Arthur C. Clerk has a bungalow in the precincts of Rumassala, as it is said to be the place that has the highest specific gravity globally.

Galle Fort:
The Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification first built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The initial fortifications, which were built in the late 16th century, were quite basic. However, the fort underwent extensive modifications in the 17th century by the Dutch, making it one of the most important archeological, architectural and historic monuments to illustrate the European influence in South East Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries. According to a statement by UNESCO the site was recognized as a World Heritage Site for its unique exposition of an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries which is the criterion number four for such recognition.

Kalutara Bodhi:
Kalutara Bodhi is located in the central of kalutara town. This is a one of the well-known temple among Buddhist people around the world. The Boo tree which is shown in this temple is one of the plants of the Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura and it planted in hundred years ago. In the left side   of the Bodhi, can be seen a huge pagoda (chaithya). This pagoda was created in 1942 year by ven. Aththadassi Medankarathero.

Gangaramaya Temple:
Gangaramaya Temple is one of the biggest and important Buddhist Temples in Colombo. The temple is a mix of Sri-Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese architecture and most of the statues have been donated by Thailand, Myanmar, China and Japan. Here you can see a collection of stuff related to Buddhist and Hindu methodology, ranging from small artifacts to large thrones and elephant tusks.

Keleniya Temple:
Kelaniya Temple built on the banks of the Kelaniya River is one of the most sacred sites of Sri Lanka. It is believed Buddha together with 500 Arahats (Supremely enlightened beings) visited Kelaniya on the Wesek day of the Buddhist Era 2531 and expounding of the Dhamma, the Buddhist doctrine to the inhabitants of the island. Buddha’s timely visit to the island resulted in quelling an imminent war between two kings named Chulodara and Mahodara over a jewel–encrusted throne. Buddha having preached the doctrine on the disputed throne offered to him ensued lasting peace between the two kings. The great stupa built upon the site enshrining the throne was since then called Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara.