Stunning Sri Lanka – Phase One

July 1, 2018

Introduction

View from our hotel in Pinnawala

We all crave a nice getaway – a break from the monotonous life that we lead daily. So a holiday is much needed and very refreshing. You feel rejuvenated after a fun filled wonderful holiday and with our stressful lives, it has become a necessity.
We went on a lovely holiday to Sri Lanka recently. And let me tell you that Sri Lanka is a pretty little gem.

About Sri Lanka

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

A small island country on the Indian Ocean just southwards of India – Sri Lanka is known as the tear drop in the Indian Ocean because of its shape. Sri Lanka shares a deep cultural history with India. The kingdom of Ravana from the epic Ramayana was in Sri Lanka. Also, the Ram Setu (Adam’s bridge) is evidence of a land connection between the countries – from Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu) to Mannar island in Sri Lanka. Geographically and as per Hindu mythology, this bridge is of much significance.

We were amazed by the variety of landscapes in this little country – there are long stretches of beautiful beaches, lush greenery, rolling hills, cool blue lakes, gushing waterfalls and lots of coconut trees and elephants. There are a lot of world heritage sites also – the beautiful ruins depicting the deep history and cultural heritage of the country. Something that struck me was, if we take a slice out of south India then probably the landscapes would be similar to that of Sri Lanka – highlands, rolling plains, hill ranges and sea sides.

Galle Face Green

Sri Lanka has not been considered much of a tourist destination due to a lot of civil unrest and social issues over the past years. But in present times, Sri Lanka’s tourism side is booming. Lots of people are flocking to this spectacular country and having a beautiful holiday here, enjoying the sights and feels that this country has to offer.

We visited this superb little country for a week and had a blast. Here’s the route we took for our trip :-

We landed in Colombo then went to Pinnawala. From there to Kandy onwards to the hills of Nuwara Eliya. From there we came to Ella and then to the beachside places of Unawatuna, Galle, Hikkaduwa and Bentota. Lastly we went to Negombo and flew back home from there. All these places have their unique beauty – we had so much fun for the whole week there.

Places to see

Colombo

Sunset at Galle Face Green

The first city on our list was Colombo. We touched down at the Bandarnaike International airport at around afternoon and there on went to our hotel which was a beautiful sea facing one. Since we only had the evening in Colombo, we chose only to visit Galle Face Green. It is a beautiful promenade over looking the sea. It’s fantastic for a lovely evening walk, having some snacks by the sea, play games or just soak in the atmosphere watching the sun go down.

If you have a day to spend in Colombo, the places of interest are –
The famous temples:- Gangaramaya Buddhist temple and the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya. Both these temples are sacred to the locals and tourists alike. Architecturally splendid, they attract you both due to their beauty and the religious significance.
The museums:- The National Museum of Colombo and the Colombo Dutch Museum. The former showcases the rich cultural heritage of this beautiful island nation while the latter is a shining example of beautiful Dutch architecture.

Pinnawala

Elephants returning from their river bath

On the next day we headed out to Pinnawala, the place where the elephants are in abundance. Our hotel here was just across the road from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and on the bank of the river. After freshening up, we headed out. The tuskers were just returning from a river bath, we followed them to the orphanage. This elephant orphanage is the largest in the world. It is a massive area where orphaned elephants are brought, kept, bred and taken care of. It’s a beautiful place with some hilly areas, vast arid regions and lots of coconut trees and greenery. As it was time for another bath for these gentle giants we made our way back to the river side. Herds of elephants splashing around in the waters or just having a cool bath is so pleasing to the eye.

Conclusion

Sri Lanka has so much to offer for travelers – we will cover the rest of the places on our amazing trip in the following articles.
Till then, do let me know in the comments section below about your travel experiences in Sri Lanka or if you haven’t visited yet, let me know if you want to visit and which places are on your list.

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