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Holiday resorts in sri lanka

ahungalla

getting married in sri lanka

Holidays in Ahungalla are all about relaxing and taking it easy. This small fishing village is located on Sri Lanka's west coast, about 75 km south of Colombo. It is a place where beautiful, palm-fringed beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters welcome you to relax, unwind and truly get away from it all. Those looking to explore the area can wander through the sleepy village which features several shops and stalls selling baskets, batiks and handicrafts. Ahungalla is a little corner of paradise, perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.

bentota

getting married in sri lanka

Bentota offers everything that you could want from a beach holiday in Sri Lanka. This south-western coastal city is famous for its golden palm fringed beaches and known for its tourist friendly attractions, making it one of Sri Lanka’s most established beach resorts. Bentotaoffers visitors a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s natural, cultural and historical riches, which they can explore at their own pace. There is much to do on the lagoon’s calm waters including swimming, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing. You can also venture further afield and go diving or game fishing, take a boat trip up the river or visit the stunning shrines and temples in the area. A Bentota holiday is one of warm sunshine, friendly hospitality and incredible beaches.

beruwela

Once a small fishing village, Beruwela depended on the rich Indian Ocean waters as major source of income. Now however the fabulous hotels and the golden beaches lure visitors from around the world. The reef-protected beaches are perfect for swimming while deep-sea fishing and windsurfing are also popular. Beruwela is not only an area of natural beauty but also of rich history and culture. Merchants from Arabia built Sri Lanka’s first mosques in Beruwela more than a thousand years ago. The Kechimatal Mosque sits on a headland in the town and it is here that a major festival takes place each year at the end of Ramadan. Other places of interest include Kandevihara Buddhist Temple that was built over two hundred years ago. Beruwela also provides many opportunities for the keen shopper as the main street is dedicated to busy shops and stalls that seem to cater for every need.

colombo

The capital of Sri Lanka, the bustling city of Colombo is the largest city and commercial centre of Sri Lanka. Colombo has a pleasant mix of old and new, with architecture of the colonial past standing alongside modern structures. There are several points of interest that are conveniently accessible by foot. The well-preserved old buildings include the Old Parliament and the National Museum. A must see attraction is the Fort, which was originally built by the Portuguese and later used by the Dutch to protect the city. Adjacent to the Fort is Colombo’s leading bazaar district, Pettah. Each street has developed its own specialised characteristic - some streets are famous for glass, mirrors and electrical goods, while others are dedicated to semi-precious gems, jewellery, watches and handicrafts. Visitors can be awed by the fantastic bargains offered at shops; many popular brands are manufactured and exported from Sri Lanka and can be bought at a fraction of the UK price. For those preferring air-conditioning to hot open air, there are malls, boutiques and outlets throughout the city. The city is packed with things to do; keen explorers will love the temples, churches and historical architecture and the happy-go-lucky traveller will enjoy casinos and nightclubs. For the cultured, there are theatres and museums while for the fun loving, experience a live cricket match or band. Colombo is an ideal location to start your Sri Lankan journey.

cultural triangle

Sri Lanka’s Cultural triangle is situated in the centre of the island and covers an area which includes the World Heritage cultural sites of the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the Ancient City of Dambulla and the Sacred City of Kandy. Due to the constructions and associated historical events, some of which are millennia old, these sites are of high universal value; they are visited by many pilgrims, both laymen and the clergy (prominently Buddhist), as well as by local and foreign tourists.

dambulla

Home to the famous Dambulla Cave Temple, the city of Dambulla provides the inquisitive traveller with historical adventures and spectacular sights in a region UNESCO has declared 'The Cultural Triangle'. A Dambulla holiday surrounds the traveller with a unique air of mysticism and cultural riches with the Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site being the latest archaeological site of significant importance providing evidence of the presence of indigenous civilisations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the island.

Thought to be inhabited from as early as the 7th century BC the city of Dambulla hides one too many wonders. Among them the most famous is the Dambulla Cave Temple, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site standing as the largest and best preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka containing ancient statues and paintings depicting Lord Buddha and his life. Other main sites and attractions to explore while on a holiday to Dambulla include the Iron Wood Forest and the Rose Quartz Maountaing Range

galle

Galle is without doubt Sri Lanka’s most historically interesting living city. The town is said to date back to Biblical times, where King Solomon is believed to have obtained gems and spices. The port of Galle developed after the arrival of the Portuguese and later as a fortress town by the Dutch in the 17th century. Galle developed as a port, notable for its British built lighthouse and well preserved ramparts encircling the old town’s narrow streets. It was the island’s major port until the construction of breakwaters at Colombo Harbour was completed in the 19th century; it still handles shipping and cruising yachts today.

The old town or Fort is delightfully quiet but atmospheric with a real sense of history. It stands in almost perfect repair and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The British built the Fort’s main gate in 1873, to handle the heavy flow of traffic into the old city. Most of the buildings inside the Fort date from the Dutch era and include an interesting Dutch Period Museum, in a well-restored house in Rope Walk Street. There is another museum next to the New Oriental Hotel, the hotel itself was originally built in 1684 for the Dutch Governor and officers and is well worth a visit for its colonial atmosphere. The town has a lively bazaar, fish market and fruit and vegetable market giving visitors a taste of the Galle of today.

Galle’s beaches lie to the north and east of the town, where most tourist accommodation is located. Unawatuna Bay, to the east has a lovely curving beach of sand, protected by an offshore reef.

habarana

Famous for its chain of very distinctive, top luxury, high class eco-friendly tourists resorts, Habarana is a small city in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka in close proximity to the famous UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Cultural Triangle including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, and Sigiriya. Popular with safari lovers, this beautiful tourist destination is the starting point for safaris in the nearby Habarana jungle and the Minneriya sanctuary which is heavily populated by elephants. Elephant back riding is also one of the main attractions in this small city. Habarana is situated nearby to the ancient rock fortress and castle/palace ruin of Sigiriya and is situated on the main road from Colombo to Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa.

Besides the area has of Habarana having some of the best hotels in the country; the greenery and wildlife gives added value to the nature-loving tourist. Another important thing about Habarana is its unique location, it is very near to two world heritages sites (Sigiriya and Dambulla rock temple), two other world heritages sites (Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa) are only one hours drive and there are quite a few National parks near as well. So its a great location for history lovers and nature lovers. The Elephant population in the nearby national parks are not that used to humans, so it is a nice place to visit for people who are looking for seeing them in the wild (but don't get too close, the un-trained hurd of wild elephants can attack!). Habarana is a 4-hour drive from Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo and a 3-hour drive to/from Kandy.

hikkaduwa

A small town on Sri Lanka's south coast, Hikkaduwa is famous for its beaches which are ideally suited for surfing while its corals make it an ideal holiday destination for snorkelling and scuba diving. Just a few hours away from Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo, Hikkaduwa is a modern destination for sun-seekers and wave worshippers with a wide range of cafes & eateries lining the stretch of the main road with many places idyllic for sitting back, relaxing and enjoy the refreshing sea breezes.

Having long been an attractive tourist destination, Hikkaduwa's impressive range of awe-inspiring coral reefs, clear blue waters and abundance of tropical fish make it one of the best places for snorkelling and diving on Sri Lanka's southwest coast. .  Glass bottom boats also offer fantastic views of coral reefs just off shore and from here sunsets are a dazzling show of colours lighting up the sky. Also boasting some of the best surfing spots on Sri Lanka with a clear warm water base, the wave sizes here range from 4-11 feet, so surf experts and wannabe surfers can try their hand at surfing  with some amazing surfing experiences to be had. This beach resort also has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife and being a well-known international destination for board-surfing.

induruwa

A prime destination for those looking for the ultimate mind and body relaxing experience, the beautiful Induruwa with its pristine, un-crowded beaches is one of Sri Lanka's most popular tourist hot spots in the West Coast. This isolated beach town located only a few kilometres south of Bentota offers a quieter and more peaceful environment than some of its neighbouring beach destinations. An excellent destination not only for those seeking beach tranquillity and relax, but also for those seeking adventure, the location of Induruwa makes it an excellent base point for day trips and excursions.

A small and quaint fishing village stretching along a beautiful yet small creek, Iduruwa's clear and warm waters are ideal for long walks at sunset, idle sun bathing sessions and leisure swimming. Eco-travellers will fall in love with the nearby sweet water lagoons at Iduruwa and the striking Maadu River, with its amazing flora and fauna blooming everywhere and making this destination a very appealing resort for bird watchers and nature lovers. Visitors can make daily trips to Iduruwa's little local market, small shops and stay at any of the resort's varied choice of accommodation of all types, catering for individual travellers, couples and families alike.

kalutara

The bustling village of Kalutura is well known for its fantastic beaches and great handicrafts. Kalutura is located just 42 km from the capital Colombo and was briefly the capital itself in the 11th century. The area became most famous between the 16th and 18th centuries when it was the centre of the spice trade. This historic area is also home to the Gangatilaka Vihara an interesting temple painted with 74 murals that depict Buddha’s story. For something completely unique to this area, visitors must try Mongosteens, a shiny dark purple fruit which is a real local specialty. There is much to see and do on a holiday in Kalutura; visit the town’s Basket Hall exhibition centre, shop for local handicrafts, try a variety of water sports or simply enjoy the beautiful beaches, the best attraction of them all.

kandy

The "Sacred City of Kandy" is a World Heritage Site renowned for its cultural richness, scenic splendour and rich historical background as a Royal Medieval Kingdom from 1469-1815 AD. Lying at the heart of Sri Lanka, this town is one of the country's most scenic cities as well as a religious point of reference with the centre of cultural attraction being the legendary Sacred Temple of the Tooth.

At the centre of the town visitors will find the spectacular man-made lake amidst rings of precipitous green hills which surround this mystical city which once was the proud and last bastion of an independent Sinhalese tradition which preserved the city's freedom through centuries of assaults by the Portuguese & Dutch. Amazing places to visit here include The Temple of the Tooth, the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. For a wilder experience the awe-inspiring sight of the waterfalls at Knuckles Range are the perfect destination for travellers who want to get away from all the town's culture and civilisation wonders.

kitulgala

This western small town is a natural haven hiding many surprises in the form of amazing wild nature blooming everywhere you look. Being in a wet rainforest zone and therefore being one of the wettest places in the country, this little place comes alive in the first 3 months of the year when a large number of visitors make the excursion from Colombo at weekends to enjoy the beautiful scenery, splash in the extensive and imposing Kelani river and enjoy tasty rice and curry lunches at the local restaurants.

A paradise for bird lovers, this area is the habitat of most of the rainforest bird species found at the World Biosphere Reserve at Sinharaja, although in lower numbers. Here birdwatchers can catch a glimpse of elusive endemic species such as the Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Green-billed Coucal and the Spot-winged Thrush which is usually easier to spot. On top of it all Sri Lanka's most recently discovered bird, the Serendib Scops Owl was orginally heard called in these forests. A wild natural paradise unlike any other in Sri Lanka, Kitulgala is a place to get lost in the blooming forestry, clystar-clear rivers and buoyant greenery.

koggala

Picture a mile of pristine golden beach stretching along the coast with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lapping at its fringes - this is Koggala. Located just 2 hours south of Colombo, Koggala features a handful of small luxury hotels and a serene beach, the perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday. It is a place to enjoy leisurely strolls along the beach, lazy days in the sun or just relaxing in the gentle shade under a leafy palm tree. Koggala is famous locally as the home of the great Sri Lankan novelist Martin Wikramasinghe and is also well known for the traditional stilt fishing which is a common sight in these areas. Koggala backs on to lakes, lagoons and lush forests which are popular for bird watching and exploring. Koggala is also close to the city of Galle which is famous for its Dutch fort and other attractions. A Koggala holiday offers idyllic beaches and the perfect mix of relaxation, exploration and adventure.

negombo

Located 37 km north of Colombo, Negombo has a stunning beachfront that will have you admiring its picturesque natural beauty. Negombo has much to offer visitors, this bustling centre features historical churches and buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial rule. The Dutch made the town an important centre for cinnamon, when they captured it from the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. There is an Old Dutch Fort at the mouth of the lagoon, where visitors can view the gateway inscribed with the date 1678. Evidence of the Dutch can also be seen in the 100 km of canals extending from Negombo to Colombo to the south and to Puttalam to the north. These canals are still used for tours and offer a different perspective of the country. The people of Negombo, the Karavas, are of Indian descent. Their main occupation is fishing using out-rigger canoes, known locally as Oruvas. Fish auctions take place on the beach and fish market and in July each year there is a fishermen's festival. In the evening, the road to Kotchchikade comes to life with markets, handicrafts, gem shops and restaurants.

polonnaruwa

Polonnurawa is located 216 km from Colombo in central Sri Lanka. This city was a medieval capital and became a royal residence in the mid 4th century. The main attraction in Polonnurawa is the extraordinary 5940 acre Parakarma Samudra, known as the Sea of Parakrama. This unique man made irrigational complex was built by King Parakramabahu; his reign was said to be the golden age of Polonnurawa, when trade and agriculture flourished. The King believed that not a single drop of water that fell from the heavens should be wasted and built a reservoir that was said to be so vast that it is often mistaken for the ocean. Polonnurawa stands as one of the best planned archaeological relics in Sri Lanka. Today, this ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular stop on Sri Lankan tour holidays.

sigiriya

Sigriya rises up 200 m from the plains of central Sri Lanka. This flat topped monolith is both a natural wonder and one of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating archaeological sites. Sigiriya, which translates as the Lion Rock, served as a mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC and became a rock fortress during the reign of King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD). Kasyapa built a fortress and palace high up on the rock and decorated much of the western face with frescos. At the base of the rock he built a network of ‘Pleasure Gardens’ and an artificial lake which were linked by a series of moats and underground waterways. The most significant feature of Sigiriya would have been the Lion staircase that led from the gardens to the summit. After King Kasyapa's death, the fortress became a monastery complex which was abandoned in the 14th century. Today Sigriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Sri Lanka's most famous landmark. A climb to the top is a highlight of a Sri Lanka holiday as you are rewarded with panoramic views of the countryside.

sinharaja

A lush national park and biodiversity hotspot, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of Sri Lanka's most loved and widely recognised  natural habitats, home to an abundance of thriving creatures and endemic species. Comprising 21 kilometres of verdant rainforest, this lowland ecoregion has been declared a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and attracts hundreds of eco-enthusiasts and nature lovers who come to discover its intricate beauty and unique fauna. Surrounded by the Pinipitigala and Mulawella peaks, the beauty of these virginal lands (rescued from commercial developments thanks to its dense vegetation and inaccessibility) lies in its immaculate, virtually untouched state and its large proportion of Sri Lankan indigenous species, some of which are endemic to only Sinharaja itself. .

With a name that translates as Kingdom of the Lion, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a treasure in itself. Wild animals to be spotted around the reserve are limited in numbers and include only a few elephants, around 15 leopards (rarely seen because of the density of the rainforest) and the most common of them all; the endemic Purple-faced Langur, which is also the one that most people manage to spot after a visit. A true paradise for bird lovers, Sinharaja offers great opportunities for birdwatching too, with an interesting phenomenon that occurs when large flocks of birds fly in mixed feeding blocks led by the intrepid Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the loud Orange-billed Babbler. Out of Sri Lanka's total of 26 endemic birds, a total of 20 rainforest species of birds originate from here and on a single visit many are lucky enough to spot them all!  

tangalle

A small and quaint town with a unique micro-climate, milder than the rest of the Hambantota District and their sandy beaches, Tangalle is a southern jewel unlike any other. Wedged between the larger towns of Matara and Hambantota, Tangalle, whose names literally means "projected rock" in reference to the rugged coastline that dot the town area, is famous for its undisturbed tranquillity, slow pace of life and virtually deserted beaches. Not as commercial and mass-tourism-invaded as its sister southern resorts, Tangalle is also famous for its unique ecosystem. With soft, powdery sand beaches ideal for surfing and swimming, the protective bays at Tangalle have made it an important fishing town as well as a coveted resort for travellers seeking peace and tranquillity with the option of indulging in some amazing snorkelling, surfing and swimming. With a vast range of accommodation, at Tangalle guests can choose to stay from small boutique hotels, to wonderful eco-lodges and rather basic and rustic beachfront guest houses.

trincomalee

A port city on Sri Lanka's eatern coast, Trincomalee is a place rich in history as a sea port that over the years has played a major role in the maritime and international trading history of the country. The famous Bay of Trincomalee's harbour is word-renowned for its huge size and security, unlike anyother in the Indian Sea, it is accessible in all types of weathers, whatever the vessel. Trincomalee is one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. History lovers will love the magic that encircles this legendary port city, which also has the largest Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka. Beaches at Trincomalee are popular for surfing, scuba diving and fishing and whale watching.

Tourists will find plenty of sightseeing to do at Trincomalee with diverse historical and religious sites of importance to explore. Most of the Tamils and Sinhalese believe that this place is sacred to them and they are the indigenous people of the area. Hindu and Buddhist sites to visit include The Konesvaram temple (also know as the Temple of a Thousand Colums) and the famous Seruwila Temple (dating back to 2nd century B.C), the Sri Gajaba Cave Temple, the Tiriyay Temple and the Welgam Temple. Other site to visit is the 7 Hot Springs of Kanniya, where the water is warm and the temperature of each spring is slightly different.

udawalawe

Famous for the large population of elephants that inhabit the area, the region of Udawalawe comprises a national park and man-made natural reserve located around 200 km south-east of the capital city of Colombo. Widely known as one of Sri Lanka's most popular and captivating eco tourism destinations, and the third most visited park in the country, Udawalawe National Park is an exceptional nature reservoir that attracts thousands of travellers that come to admire its beauty and observe in awe the park's fascinating inhabitants. Purposefully created to provide a safe sanctuary for wild animals on the Walawe River a after the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir left some of them displaced, the Udawalawe National Park sprawls along 30,821 hectares of wild land area and is a unique site for spotting herds of elephants (around a total of 400 are estimated to be roaming around the area) and other fascinating creatures.

This natural park comprises a mixture of scrub jungle, grassland and abandoned teak plantation and almost the entire reservoir is covered with reedy Phon grass, which grows all-year-round, with the exception of June and October. The best time of year to spot the many herds of elephants wandering through the park is usually the dry season, which runs between May and September. Herds of up to 100 elephants can be found happily bathing, feeding or playing with their young offspring on these grounds and their number is kept in check thanks to a fence that surrounds the park and keeps humans and cattle outside the park's boundaries. In addition to the main elephant attraction, the park is also home to water monitor lizards, monkeys, sambar deer, water buffalo and the occasional leopard. It's also an inspiring location for bird-watching enthusiasts thanks to the varied number of bird species that have also made the Udawalawe National Park their home.

unawatuna

Probably the most popular beach town in Sri Lanka's southern coast, in the district of Galle, Unawatuna has everything to make it cliche-perfect; powdery sands and palm trees, warm and crystal-clear waters and a truly serene atmosphere. A sleepy town and major tourist attraction for intimate Sri Lanka holidays by a secluded beach, Unawatuna is the ultimate seaside paradise. Drawing thousands of tourists all-year-round this seaside village is famous for its secluded, postcard-like beaches and amazing coral reefs. Amazing weather conditions throughout the year make of this town a perfect destination for scuba diving, surfing and snorkelling. Quiet and peaceful, despite receiving a high number of visitors, Unawatuna retains its mellow character, one of the town's many appeals that attracts so many young travellers. Unlike other beach resorts in Sri Lanka, the fact that the coast road is a kilometre away, means that Unawatuna isn't affected by the high level of traffic mayhem found at many other similar beach towns. With a good variety of places to dine around, the Unawatuna shoreline is dotted with panoramic beachfront restaurants.

Rich in biodiversity, Unawatuna is also one of Sri Lanka's top spots for Eco-tourism. A birdwatcher's paradise, at Unawatuna over 60 species of endemic birds can be found fluttering over the treetops every year, including sandpipers, herons, egrets and terns. Visitors can also spot rarer species such as the Asian Palm Swift, the Black Bittern and the Lesser Whistling Duck, all found mainly in the marshy area around Rumassala Hillock. Sea lovers and divers will be able to immerse in a world of unspoilt marine beauty where one can come across a great variety of colourful fish and turtles as well as a myriad of coral reefs and shipwrecks. For the hiking and trekking gurus, the shrub jungles of Rumassala offer a great opportunity to explore Unawatuna's flora and fauna.

wadduwa

The beaches of Wadduwa are said to be the most beautiful beaches in the region. The golden sands shelve gently into the warm Indian Ocean and the beach is fringed countless palm trees that sway in the breeze. The sleepy fishing village of Wadduwa features a couple of bars and restaurants as well as stores selling Sri Lankan handicrafts and jewellery. The village has all the charm of a traditional village and a distinctly laid-back atmosphere. There are very few amenities available at the village as daytime and evening activities are organised at the beach hotels and resorts themselves. For a day away from the beach you can visit the capital Colombo which is just 35 km away or take a scenic train journey along the coast. Wadduwa is an idyllic hideaway where you can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday in Sri Lanka.

waikkal

Located just half an hour from International Airport, Waikkal is a scenic North West coastal town 7km from Negombo. The beaches are untouched and not so over run with tourists so great for romantic strolls as it’s quite remote. This is an excellent location to explore the exotic flora and fauna of the area, in a scenic and idyllic setting. Visitors can experience the unique Mangrove Ecosystem, the rare and protected "Nypa fruiticans", the only palm that grows naturally along the riverbanks. There are also over 90 species of bird life, typical of the wetlands and 50 resorded species of butterflies. It is a natural paradise of waterways, rivers and pristine forests.

 A long narrow sandy beach borders the coastal road where the resort hotels are located. Watersports are available in the summer months. The town of Waikkal is dominated by its two large catholic churches and several more exclusive private villas, that contrasts with the less opulent accommodation of the locals. The nearby village of Kochikade is worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere of its local Sunday market as is Negombo, just 8 kilometres south of Waikkal.

weligama bay

With a name that translated to English literally means "sandy village", Weligama is indeed a sandy paradise in Sri Lanka's Matara district, on the blessed shoreline of the country's picturesque southern coast. Sitting right by a sweeping bay, this little beach town is a highly popular holiday destination with an exquisite collection of several boutique hotels. A place depending solely on fishing and tourism as its main sources of income, Weligama offers visitors the charm of an undisturbed fishing village with the exclusivity of world class hotels and resorts, with varied accommodation suiting all budgets and needs. The place to enjoy long walks on largely uncrowded beaches, Weligama still remains fairly untouched by mass tourism allowing visitors to get to know the locals better and admire the famous stilt fishing men, found in an offshore islet known as Taprobane. In addition to beach and sun, Weligama also offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities with places of historical interest within and around the town's vicinity. 

yala

Yala is a region of untamed beauty with unspoilt nature reserves and miles of golden beaches, bordered by the Indian Ocean. Yala is home to one of Sri Lanka's most visited parks, Yala West National Park. For those with an interest in wildlife, a journey to Yala is well worth the effort. The park is well known for its elephants and is also home to leopard, sloth bear, pangolin, deer, crocodile, monkeys and buffalo. The best time to view the animals is at dawn or dusk when groups of different species gather around the waterholes. The birdlife is also varied and exciting with wild peacocks and jungle foul. Yala East is home to the Kumana mangrove swamp where a great variety of water birds can be seen nesting in June and July. Yala is a paradise for nature lovers seeking an eco-holiday in Sri Lanka and is also a popular stop on a Sri Lankan tour holiday.