Sri Lanka : A land like no other

Having recently enjoyed a week long vacation in Sri Lanka , I can’t help  but wax lyrical about the country, when my friend e-mailed me asking if I wanted to join her for a trip to Sri Lanka I grabbed the opportunity.

The first day was  spent sightseeing around Colombo , with lunch at Beach Wadia Restaurant, the food there is yummy and you can see the pictures of all the celebrities who have visited the place. We were told that its very difficult to get reservation for dinner , so we opted  to have lunch  instead .

the crab was awesome

Anyone wanting to  feel the  flavour of rural Sri Lanka should visit Nuga Gama, a restaurant at the Cinnamon, they have created  a village like atmosphere with the tables placed under a huge  banyan tree, the food is totally authentic Sri Lankan which is spicy and absolutely delicious.

Next day on the way to  Galle , we stopped at the estate of Jeoffrey Bawa, the famous Sri Lankan architect. The place is called Lunugunga, and is away from the main highway, we were told that Mr. Bawa  bought the place and transformed it to what it is today  because  he was inspired by a single window. Whatever the reason, he transformed it to a stunning place.

Lunuganga

The Galle fort area , lived up to my expectation a quaint place where I could just take a walk or ride a bike, its amazing how it withstood the Tsunami, its got such an old world charm that you are bound to love it. The beaches in Sri Lanka are awesome,  since I don’t know how to swim I was not too keen on taking a dip in the Indian ocean, i.e, before  I fell and got drenched ,  the waves are massive, I was told that there are other beaches which are considered surfer’s paradise.

unawatuna

After Galle we moved inland, towards Kandy,  with a quick stop at Pinnawalla  Elephant Orphanage, it was really heartbreaking to see a giant tusker who was shot at both his eyes, and a lame elephant who had one of his limbs blown off during the civil war.

Kandy is a beautiful place, its amazing how fast the landscape changes in Sri Lanka, within 4 hours we moved from the costal area to the hill country. One thing I found fascinating about SriLanka is how serious they are about keeping their Buddhist heritage alive.  The Tooth Relic Temple is amazing,  visitors should make sure that they are not wearing sleeveless top or short skirt , you will not be allowed to enter the temple premises. We also watched the Kandyan Dance , it was a hour long program, well worth the money we spent for the ticket.

A view of Kandy

We hired a cab at Kandy and moved inland towards Sigiriya and Anuradhapura , early next morning. One the way we visited the cave temples at Dambulla, the cave temple is still functional and is one of the most well preserved caves in Sri Lanka , by the time we reached Sigirya the sun was not at its peak , a  perfect time to start the climb , after 1600 steps we reached the top and it was well worth all the effort, the view was awesome I also got to watch the most amazing sunset. Sigiriya is renowned  for its fresco painting, and the 700 wives of King Kashyapa , as most guides will gleefully point out.

Sigiriya (Lion's Rock)

We stayed the night at Sigiriya and moved towards Anuradhapura early in the morning , I would have loved to spend more time at the ancient city but we were running late, visited the Maha Bodhi Tree,  a branch of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment , it was bought to Sri Lanka by the daughter of Emperor Ashoka. Also visited some of the  ruins of the ancient city.

The Maha Bodhi Tree

We had to hurry back to Kandy as we had a train to catch . The driver did everything to get us to the station on time and we just managed to board the train before it took off,  it was one of the most interesting train ride of my life, the bumpiest too, we could see the changing topography through the large observation windows.

A bumpy ride from Kandy to Colombo

The last day was spent pretty much as the first one; shopping and sightseeing.  The  lunch at Colombo Cricket Club  Cafe was good, they also have a large collection of cricket memorabilia.  The Gallery Cafe just near the Cricket Club Cafe is a great place to shop for souvenirs. They have an impressive collection of  reasonably priced  items, and the ambience of the cafe is great. Since Sri Lanka is famous for gems , I also bought a few of those.

The evening was spent at the Breeze Bar at Cinnamon Hotel, celebrating my friend’s  birthday, and within no time I had to head towards the airport to catch a flight back home.

The entire trip was great, I found the Sri Lanka’s to be extremely friendly and helpful, we were fortunate enough to come across only nice and decent people. Like every place in this world maybe it has a dark side too but I was lucky to experience only the positive side of it. I’m looking forward to going back and exploring the rest of the country.

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5 thoughts on “Sri Lanka : A land like no other

  1. Hello Vidya

    i really want to travel to Sri Lanka someday. Its so near India…and it seems you had a great time there.

    Loved reading it…

    by the way , how are you??..hope everything is fine.

    Cheers

    • Hi IP,
      I’m good , and thank you for reading my blog, u’r the only one who read lol .
      Sri Lanka was amazing, you should visit some day its a beautiful country.

  2. Very informative! Thanx – I am helping my daughter plan a trip for her wedding anniversary and I am sure she will appreciate the tips!

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