The stunning view of the sunrise welcomed us as we trudged along enjoying the feeling of the soft, fine sand between our toes. A cool sea breeze kept us company as we observed a number of surfers expertly riding wave after wave. A mesmerising view, one can stand there for hours basking in the warm early morning sunlight and refreshing salty air. Chatting with a couple of friendly surfers, we learnt that the best times to catch the waves were during the early morning hours and the few hours between afternoon and sunset. It would seem that Arugam Bay is one of the best loved spots for surfers the world over!
The food sone relishes in childhood are those cherished throughout life. That's why my memories of mani pittu nights linger even today, decades down the road, and the very thought of pittu continues to delight.
The Heritage Museum, Kathankudy, located in eastern Sri Lanka is just a few weeks old and already drawing in many visitors, who are curious and eager to learn more about the arrival and historical significance of Islam in Sri Lanka.
There’s Many A Story About How The Capital Of Sri Lanka Got Its Name. Some Say “Colombo” Is A Derivation Of Kelan-Thota (Port On River Kelaniya). Some Say It Stems From The Old Sinhala Word For “Harbour”. But For The Portuguese, Who First Ventured Ashore On The Island In The 1500s, It Was All To Do With Mangoes. They Associated The Place, Then A Mere Small Port, With The Lush Mango Trees That Populated The Surrounds. “This Is The Port Of The Kola (Leaves) Of The Amba (Mango) Trees,” The Portuguese Said.
Located close to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, the Pinnawala Zoo apart from being the first open air zoo in Sri Lanka, is the second zoo of the country after the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens. Bringing to life a concept that goes beyond merely caging animals, care has been taken to re-create their natural habitats within a spacious expanse. With a land extent of 44 acres, each enclosure has been allocated an area that is slightly more than 1.5 acres, ensuring that its inhabitants have enough space to roam around freely.
The Mahamewna Amawathura Bhavana Asapuwa or meditation centre in close proximity to Pittugala Junction in Malabe, a suburban centre in the District of Colombo, creates an inexplicable spontaneous impression the moment you set eyes on it. Rising like a colossus with its inimitable structure and art, its enormity makes it a distinctive landmark along the road to Kaduwela. The beginnings of this magnificent edifice were modest. An old house was the first structure that made the meditation centre. That was way back in 2001. Having gathered artisans from around the country, Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda, equipped with only the generosity of followers there, initiated the construction of a new building that stands today.
The Buddha's philosophy that Arahat Mihindu preached 2,322 years ago on a full moon day in the month of June, would soon set in motion the wheel of religious revolution that would dramatically change the lives of the Islanders and infuse a cultural impetus that would absorb, enrich and transform every facet of their existence.
There is a building located near the restored Colombo Racecourse Grandstand shopping mall. It overlooks the scenic Colombo Cricket Club grounds and is adjacent to the National Library and Document Services Board. It's not the prettiest of buildings, having a stark, basically triangular seven-storey central section. But it is what's inside that matters, and which makes this a most significant building on the Island, for it houses the Sri Lanka National Archives, a vital repository of information. It is, as the institution suggests, "The Memory of a Nation".
Just over 400m above sea level, Rakwana is a small town set amidst a mountainous landscape in the Ratnapura District. We entered a small township that serves as the nerve centre lending no hints of the rural charms that lay beyond. We first ventured on the Deniyaya Road, which took a winding course with a few simple houses along the way and a Kali Amman Temple that stood out in the quiet surroundings. The journey soon took on hairpin bends and proved to be a scenic route that revealed expanding views of the town below and the mountainous landscape around. The Deniyaya Road also leads to Morning Side, the east corner of Sinharaja Forest, a patch of secondary forest known for its unique biodiversity.
The moon was the only chink of light in the sky, casting a silvery glow on Colombo's deserted streets, when we boarded the 5.55am train to Nanu Oya. The trusty blue train would take us 206 kilometres into the misty mountains on a track that is over a century old.