Sri Lanka

Monday, 09 November 2015 12:07

Pettah: chaotic But booming

Pettah, in Colombo, is a bustling business district selling miscellaneous goods, where almost anything under the sun is sold at amazingly low prices. It is like a woven tapestry of organised operations, each dependent on one another.

Monday, 09 November 2015 12:01

simply good food

In Sri Lanka, country cooking begins with a plate of wholesome rathu buth, kiri hodi, pol sambal, mallung and a fish curry. This simple meal, embraced and loved across the island, is a firm favourite among the farming community.

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:56

Dimbulagala: The rock of the Arahants

It was in the 3rd Century BC that the teachings of the Buddha were first introduced to the Island by the son of India's Emperor Asoka, Arahant Mahinda. King Devanampiyatissa, who received India's greatest gift to Lanka during his reign, chose Dimbulagala as one of the first places in the island to build a temple.

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:47

Building Fences

A drive down a country lane in Sri Lanka is sure to take you past a delightful feature with a long history in Sri Lanka: the living fence. Not only does it serve as a boundary marker and offer security and privacy,but it also adds to the beauty of the landscape.

It can very well be said that the history of religion is the history of man. The majority of history's great monuments are religious in nature. And nowhere is this more apparent than in Sri Lanka.

Under its Sanskrit name, ‘Lanka', the Island figures prominently in the epic poem the Ramayana, written in the 5th to 4th century BCE, probably by the Indian sage Valmiki. Although the initial setting for the poem is the capital of the Kosala Kingdom in North India, the story's main concern is an invasion of Lanka by Rama, a prince of the kingdom, in search of his wife, Sita.
Sitawaka only gained prominence for a relatively short period and was raided five times. Ruled by just two kings – both of whom were quite remarkable – it was, nevertheless, a most significant kingdom

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:33

The bracing winds of puttalam

On one side of the peninsula is the Indian Ocean, while on the other side is the Puttalam Lagoon, calmer waters inhabited by tiny islets that are ideal sites for camping. Here the pattern of wind determines the changing seasons and the livelihood of many of its residents, as well as its topographical appearance.

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:27

Wewalwatte: the water wonderland

Near to the relatively dry and hot zone and yet, transported to a different clime, so far away. And nearing Wewalwatte, as a silent drizzle starts to fall followed by a roaring downpour that suddenly halts to let a short spell of sunshine break through; and when this cycle is repeated throughout the day, you wonder whether a different set of weather gods reign over this unique spot of Amazonia found on Sri Lankan earth.

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:19

The Kingdom of dambadeniya

The third kingdom of Sri Lanka, established in Dambadeniya by Vijayabahu III (1232-1236 CE) in 13 CE was short lived, a little over four decades, with only two successive kings serving the kingdom while struggling to regain control of the country. What caused the shift to Dambadeniya was the arrival of Magha of Kalinga, whose scant regard for the Sangha and the Sacred Relic hastened the exodus to the safer confines of the ‘rock kingdom'.

In the fourth Century BC a Greek physician, Ctesias, first wrote about "little people" who inhabited the Island then known as Taprobane. Their identity appeared to be solved in 400AD when Bishop Palladius described the Veddahs, an aboriginal tribe, racially-mixed remnants of which exist today.

But in 1886, British civil servant Hugh Nevill reported in his journal the Taprobanian that he had gathered fragments of information concerning the Nittaewo. These challenged the Veddah theory. The Nittaewo were a race of pygmies that inhabited the almost inaccessible mountains of the Leanama region in the southeast corner of the island, and extended from Bagura to the Kataragama hills. Similar creatures were said to be found at Tamankaduwa near Polonnaruwa, as well as in the forests around Pomparippu and Tantrimalai on the northwest coast.

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Sri Lanka In Brief

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Sri Lanka in Brief

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