A soaring structure rises on the expansive flat green ground of the banks of the Verugal River. An ancient banyan tree stands tall - its shade inviting; at a distance, a simple orange shrine glints on a large rock. The solitary setting hints at the divine presence on this hallowed land.
In the heart of the ancient capital of Lanka, Anuradhapura is the three or four mile square area popularly called the Citadel. Around this square of hallowed ground rises the grandeur of Anuradhapura, the historic city that was the Island's royal seat of government for over 1300 years until it finally fell to Chola invasions from Southern India in 1017 AD.
Every city has streets that are crucial to its history, and Colombo is no exception. For instance, before air travel became commonplace, the exit road from Colombo's port, York Street, drew every passenger into the heart of the Island. Yet in Dutch times, it was a canal. The adventurer on foot can imagine old times in some of Colombo's historic streets.
Located a few metres away from the Habarana railway station, along the Dambulla- Trincomalee road, lies a sign board that reads 'Hurulu Eco Park'. In a region where natural parks, wildlife reserves and protected areas are not scarce, this naturally aroused my interest and curiosity.
Balangoda Man wasn't at home. He hadn't been at home for 5,000 years. But I didn't care, I was determined to visit anyway. The last time I had tried, I had got lost somewhere down his kilometre-long garden path, but I wasn't giving up this time.
We Sri Lankans love our rice, and this isn't a newfound love; Sri Lanka was exporting its rice over 2,000 years ago. Historically, rice has formed not just a major part of our diet, but our celebrations, worship, culture, and even our mythology. And it does so even today. But the rice itself has changed.