What Could You Do In Your Spare Time In Sri Lanka Whilst On The Great Elephant Project In June, July and August?

What Could You Do In Your Spare Time In Sri Lanka Whilst On The Great Elephant Project In June, July and August?

Posted by Ellie Hutchin on 16th Jun 2017

June Through to August is part of the dry season in Sri Lanka, and surrounding the site of The Great Elephant Project, there are heaps of cultural experiences waiting to be explored!

Kandy City Sri Lanka

Kandy City, Sri Lanka.

The Beauty Of Esala Perahera

The Esala Perahera is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka held in the capital of Kandy. The event is held in the Esala, which is July or August as this is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddah once he had attained enlightenment. The Kandy Perahera lasts for 10 days, with many festivities and rituals taking place. The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ translates to a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers such as jugglers and fire breathers!

Fire Breathing In Kandy Sri Lanka

The event is celebrated to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four ‘guardian Gods’. When the Buddah died in 543 BC, his left canine was retrieved and given to the King for veneration. It has become belief that whoever holds the Sacred Tooth Relic has divine right to rule the land. The Tooth Relic is carried through Kandy City, and renowned as one of the most beautiful pageants in all of Asia. This ritual is to beseech the blessings of the Gods, to obtain rainfall so that crops and land can continue to flourish.

The Temple Of The Sacred Tooth Relic Sri Lanka

The Temple of The Tooth Relic.

This began following the decree of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna, stating the relic should be taken around the City of Anuradhapura once a year, which was followed by many successors. However foreign invasions did interrupt this process. Sporadic invasions caused the seat of the kingdom to shift to many other cities, and in each a temple was made to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic. Since the shift of the capital to Kandy, the Sacred Tooth Relic has laid undisturbed, and Esala Perahera has occurred annually ever since

The event features five processions that are organised by the most respected Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, the Sri Dalada Maligawa and also 4 shrines in honour of the 4 Hindu Gods. Some of the well-known pageants are Mahiyangana Temple which is just one hour from The Great Elephant Project site. Additionally there are the pageants of the Kelani, Kotte and Gangarama Temples. These are all in the greater Colombo area. If you would like to know more about what is occurring during the Esala period, a timetable of events can be found here.

Esala Perahera Sri Lanka

Kandy is located in the scenic central mountains and is 3 hours by vehicle from the field site. Kandy is a very popular weekend destination for our volunteers as it is a great place to visit during any time of the year due to its warm climate, scenic landscapes, tea estates, and exciting cultural places and events!

‘Tis The Season To Be Trincomalee!

Trincomalee Beach Sri Lanka

Situated in the East coast of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee or Tinco is another beautiful place that you can visit over the weekend. Particularly between now and August as it is the dry season, you can enjoy fun in the sun, relaxing in the balmy climate at the stunning white beach surrounded by natural biodiversity.

Trinco is a natural deep-water harbour that actually played a defining role in the second World War that prevented the Japanese invasion of South Asia. Beneath the vibrant blue waves 27 species of whales and dolphins can be found, and you can go on whale and dolphin watching safaris! Wildlife biologist Vimukthi Weeratunga told the Sunday Observer;

Blue Whales In The Indian Ocean

“Whale and Dolphin watching at Trincomalee is a unique experience, as its waters are home to the deepest sea canyon in the country which meets the nutrient rich waters of the Mahaweli River, creating the ideal conditions required for a thriving congregation of marine mammals.”

The Indian Ocean was declared a whale sanctuary in 1981, and the shimmering rippling waters of Trinco are home to one of the world’s largest sperm and blue whale populations. The blue whale is the biggest mammal on the planet, growing up to 29 metres long, and you will not appreciate the blue whale’s sheer colossal size until you experience it first-hand. Here you can also partake in other boat excursions and scuba activities!

Hindu God Shiva At Fort Frederick

Statue of the Hindu God Shiva at Fort Frederick.

There are many other historic and religious landmarks, such as Fort Frederick, built by the Portuguese in the 1600's and the renowned Hindu Temple of Sri Koneshwaram Kovil that resides inside it overlooking the handsome harbour from great heights!

The Portuguese erected the temple using debris from an ancient temple they destroyed during their invasions of Sri Lanka. This was then captured by a Dutch fleet in 1639, and rebuilt in 1665 to defend themselves against the advances of the British and the French.

Additionally, if you keep heading south along the eastern coastline, you will reach the idyllic beach resort area of Arugam Bay, featuring some of the world’s most renowned surfing beaches!

These events are of course occurring between now and August, and these activities will be subject to your free time and come at an extra cost. We still have spaces for you to join The Great Elephant Project this summer, so if you are interested,then you can view the project on our project page.


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles


Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

After 2 difficult years, we finally welcomed volunteers...

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle shares her experiences from her time spent...

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

Many invasive species have made their way to all corners of...

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

After a lot of hard work by the June 2022 volunteer group,...

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Great Projects volunteer coordinator, Jess, is...

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Samboja Lestari welcomed back volunteers this month, and...

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy and Drew joined The Great Gorilla Project in January...

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Manta ray season is at its peak at the Raja Ampat Diving...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987