If life was a fruit, the veralu would be its kernel. The veralu, Ceylon or wild olive looks unassuming, but delve a little deeper and you will find the unexpected. This is no simple olive. The veralu is enjoyed in half a dozen delicious ways locally, it is medicinal and it is also associated with myth and lore.
Our island home holds a never-ending supply of adventure. For a curious traveller, new experiences are always tugging at the desire to explore. Some are well known and others are not, some remain elusive whilst others are readily available.
The arch cave or lena of Batatota, in Sri Lanka's Ratnapura District, is a mystery waiting to be solved. Naturally carved into a cliff of Proterozoic gneiss, it is triangular in both plan and cross-section- a characteristic of arch caves.
Folk songs have been a big part of Sri Lankan life for centuries, forming a crucial part of both work and recreation. From providing a rhythm for manual tasks to offering a chance to share sorrow with others, Sri Lanka's folk songs are an important part of its musical heritage.
For many wildlife enthusiasts who visit Sri Lanka, one of the most sought after animals is the leopard. However, there are other feline species in the country that you will find interesting. The rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is the smallest of the four feline species in Sri Lanka. You may not have heard of it before, because it is extremely elusive.
“If you want to see dolphins and whales up close,” said my friend, with an authoritative smile, “head up north to Kalpitiya.” He and his family had just returned from spending a long weekend on the beaches of this sandy peninsula, a short drive north of Colombo.
Several centuries ago, only footpaths connected Sri Lanka's villages, so there was a need for wayside shelters where wayfarers could rest on long journeys. The solution was a classic example of indigenous architecture: the ambalama.
Sri Lanka celebrates the 68th anniversary of independence from Britain on February 4, 2016. The event usually includes a military parade witnessed by politicians, diplomats, distinguished guests and the Sri Lankan public, with the President taking the salute and making a motivational speech that is televised throughout the country.
The vibrant dance tradition we know today as vannam, in which the epic stories of the gods and their consorts are brought to life in song and movement, began as a delightful distraction for the Kandy monarch Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha. The passage of the centuries has made its mark, but this tradition is no less delightful than when it first began.
At the end of a five-hour drive from Colombo that included the magnificent ‘18-bend' road between Mahiyangana and Kandy, we were rewarded by the sight of a stupa high up on a hill in the distance. A pair of grey mongoose rolling together in battle on the gravel track up ahead slowed our progress for a few minutes, but it wasn't long before we continued our way to arrive at Girandurukotte.