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Visit Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is located in Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean and south of India
There is air service to and from Colombo, provided by the national airline Sri Lankan Airlines. Flights are available from origins throughout Europe, United States, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. Other airlines, include Qatar Airlines and Emirates. If you were to Fly Emirates, you can stop over in Colombo on your way to Singapore (e.g. Dubai - Colombo - Singapore)
Colombo's international airport is at Katunayake, close to Negombo, on the coast north of Colombo. The journey to Colombo will take about an hour by taxi.
Getting into Colombo from Katunayaka airport
You may grab a travel map of Sri Lanka from one of the tourist information centres, prior to planning your visits.
OUR MAIN SERVICES
Airport Pickup / Drop - We offer Airport Pickup and Drop Facilities to our customers. On arrival, the chauffeur will meet you with a name board at the arrival terminal.
A way Of life
In welcoming visitors as honored guests,Sri Lankans would like to offer some advice to help them to cope with unfamiliar situations in their own interest.At the same time the visitors attention should be drawn to certain elements,criminal and illegal,which are being controlled by the authorities.The visitors will appreciate that Sri Lanka is anxious to preserve its social values and to ensure an enjoyable stay in the country.
Visitor to shrines, temples and other places of worship should be modstly attired.A knee length dress is appropriate in these places.Footwear and headgear must be removed before entering a Buddhist and a hindu shrine.Photography is allowed with prior permission,but posing alonside or with religious statues is not permitted.Please also note that swimwear is not an acceptable attire in public places.
Nudism is prohibited,as also topless bathing by females.
Srilanka is determind to stamp-out the crime of child abuse. In this,it is co-operating with the international community.Recent amendments to existing legislation inthe Penal Code of Sri Lanka imposed severe and deterrent penalties for all acts of child abuse.
Male and female prostitution, sexual exloitation,homosexuality and all foms of pornography are offences punishable by law in Sri Lanka.
The impot/export, possession or trafficking in narcotis and danerous drugs are strictly forbidden by low and carry heavy penalties.
Prohibited exports include antiques, all indigenous non-domesticated mammals,birds and reptiles(wtih the exception of 18 species listed as not protected) certain endemic and threatened plants,fish and amphibians.Trading or possession of protected wild fauna ( alive,dead or body parts ) and flora are prohibited by law with heavy penalties for violations, including fines and imprisonment.
We wish you a happy and a memorable holidays in Sri Lanka and many more visits in the future...
Description of Sri Lanka
Beauty of Sri Lanka
Very special places you must see in Sri Lanka
There are many special places you must visit during your holiday in Sri Lanka. These places are not very popular as only few people are aware of these places, especially the true value and the history behind.
Randenigala Wild Life Sanctuary, great place for bird watching
Located in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, Galoya a wonderful ecological site and a National Park which centres around the Senanayaka Samudra Reservoir the one largest inland body of water in Sri Lanka, Wild Life and an Irrigational Culture of a District of many communities. Galoya is an immense place for bird watching, nature expeditions and Elephants. Galoya also consists of several Archaeological Sites with ancient Ruins. You must visit Randenigala wild life sanctuary as it is one of the places you must see in Sri Lanka.
Wasgamuwa National Park, is famous for elephant habitant and world famous ancient ruins
WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK situated in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa, this substantial national park stretches up to a remarkable 36,948 hectares. Initially Wasgamuwa was affirmed to be a strict nature reserve in 1938 but then it was altered and declared into a national park in 1984. The park lies within the central and northern central provinces. Rainfall is generally by the northeast monsoon (December to February) and inter-monsoonal rains. Meaning annual rainfall can vary from about 1750mm in a dry zone to about 2250mm in an intermediate zone. The yearly temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius.
Park consists of Riverina forest, dry mixed evergreen forest, grasslands and wetlands. As park is almost surrounded by Mahaweli & Amban Rivers, riverine forest area is fairly large.
Wasgamuwa is famous as an elephant habitat. These elephants are known to be less habituated to people and are more wildish. Other than elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo are also found here. Torque Macaque, Purple face leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris is also found in the park. Lesser Adjutant, Wooly necked stork, open bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl & Spurfowl are among the over 100 species of birds found within the park.
There is historical evidence to that this area had been inhabited by man during the ancient Sinhala kingdoms in BC. Giant canal of kalinga (Kalinga Yodha Ela) built in the reign by king Parakramabahu in the 12th century while the remains of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Wasgamuwa and Dasthota tanks bear witness to the past prosperity of the area. Kalinga island (Kalinga Duwa) too is an interesting place to visit. Kadurupitiya, Dagoda, Baduruwayaya Buddha Statue, Malagamuwa stone pillars and other ruins also bear witness to the past glory of the area
How to get there
Wasgomuwa can be reached through Matale and Hettipola or from Dehiattakandiya coming from Polonnaruwa or from Mahiyangana.
Somawathiya national park
The only way to Experience a unique landscape is to travel to the wondrous national park of Somawathiya. Travel on a safari jeep and scan the wide-open plains upon some of the most magnificent creatures. The park measure to about 37,762 hectares and is said to be quite similar to immense Flood Plain National Park to the south.
On your journey, you'll see that the north of the park is dominated by dry evergreen forest, while to the south lays the sizeable flood plains. Aside from elephants who can be observed feeding on the mainly water tolerant grass species and aquatic plants growing on the plains, leopards, water buffalo, sambhur, the fishing cat and the rusty spotted cat may also be seen while the flood plains are idyllic for many species of aquatic and raptor birds.
Galoya National Park, an ecological destination
Galoya National Park is situated in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, is an ecological destination and a National Park which centered around the Senanayaka Samudra Reservoir the largest inland body of water in Sri Lanka. Galoya is a great place for bird watching, nature expeditions and Elephants. The National Park lies South-East of the country in the eastern and UVA provinces.
In addition to the national park, three sanctuaries were declared to protect the catchments area of this tank. They are
Senanayake Samudra Sanctuary
Gal Oya Valley North-East Sanctuary and Gal Oya Valley South-West Sanctuary
Together these reserves and the national park cover approx 63,000 ha of land. The park and the three sanctuaries was established by the Gal Oya Development board on 12 February 1954 and subsequently handed over to the Department of Wild life conservation in 1965.
Gal Oya is a valley, which has given refuge to several kings in the ancient past. In the 2nd century BC, king Tissa sought refuge at the Digavapi, a place Lord Buddha has visited in his third visit to Sri Lanka. The Digavapi Dagoba, built in the 2nd century BC to mark the spot where the Lord Buddha sat on his last visit to Sri Lanka, attracts thousands of pilgrims even today.
About 45% of the vegetation is evergreen forest, 33% savanna, 9% grassland, 2% cheina cultivations and the balance is water bodies dominated by Senanayake Samudraya. A host of medicinal shrubs and trees such as Aralu, Bulu, Nelli can be readily found in the Nilgala area, while a number of locally known trees such as Vevarana, Halmilla, Veera, Palu, Ebony and Mahogany are found in great numbers.
The park with its thick green canopy is a haven for species of birds and nearer to the Samudraya even migratory birds such as Painted Storks, Pelicans, Cormorants and Teals could be seen. A host of local birds such as the Grey Dove, Malabar Horn Bill and Grey Horn Bill, Koel and a number of water birds are found in this jungle habitat. In addition to elephants, the park is home to leopards, bear, spotted deer, sambur, wild boar etc. Among other fauna are several species of monkeys, Porcupine, a number of fish species, reptiles and four species of butterflies such as the Crimson rose and Glassy Tiger have been recorded.
Hummanaya, popular Blow Hole
Located in Tangalle, ‘Hummanaya’ is reputed to as the 2nd largest blowhole in the world. A visit to the Hummanaya also gives you an opportunity to take a dip in the Sea and a day of Leisure at the glorious Tangalle beach.The place is 89 km. south of Colombo is Dikwella, a coastal town 22km east. The ocean water flows underneath the shore, and then comes out of this hole due to pressure. Water shoots up every minute or so, and it gives a very serene feeling.
Rekawa, among the top 10 eco friendly destinations in the world
Rekawa where sea turtle watching is popular, is among the top 10 eco-friendly destinations named by online travel community IgoUgo.
The beach at Rekawa village, 10km east of Tangalle Bay beach, is home to one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in the world. At Rekawa, five of the seven species of sea turtle come to nest, with most popular being the green turtle. These species of sea lay their eggs in the sand here every night throughout the year.
The best time to see turtles is between January & April; periods when there's a full moon. Fullish moon too are good throughout the year, because there are both more turtles & more light to see them by. Rekawa has recorded 23 turtles in one night. We will definitely see at least a couple of turtles every night.
We wait long hours in the pitch black beach. At last, one arrives in the midnight crawling across the beach, away from sea. It leaves, on its path, a remarkable trail which looks as if a one-wheeled tractor has driven straight up out to the sea. It's an agonizingly slow crawl of exhausting half an hour by a creature not adapted to the land. Having reached the top of the beach, the turtle then spend about another 45 minutes digging an enormous hole. Silence of the midnight is broken by periodic thrashing & sound of great clouds of sand being scuffed up. As the turtle begins to lay eggs, we can get close to watch, although all we could see is the turtle's backside with eggs-looking just like ping-pong balls-periodically popping out in twos & threes. The turtle then rests, fills in the hole & eventually crawls back down to the sea. It's an epic effort, the sight of which makes the whole evening-long experience worthwhile.
In the absence of government sponsored project, the turtle eggs are then taken to be re-buried in a secure location, by the villagers who make a basic living from entertaining tourists. These creatures have acted as a rare bridge between marine & terrestrial ecosystems for 100 million years, enriching both as they steadfastly undertake their remarkable two-realm life cycle. We refuse to buy eggs for consumption. We refuse to buy turtle products
Across the lake and modest level walk through is rainforest is the lodge’s 110’ high steel staircase that terminates at a treetop viewing platform perfect for scanning the top of the canopy the monkeys and beautiful birds.
Kanniya Hot Wells Springs, one of 7 wonders in Sri Lanka
Kanniya Hot wells are reputed as one of the 7 wonders of Sri Lanka. This place has Seven hot wells. Water is in different temperatures. The place is located in Kanniya, 7 km away from Trincomalee town. It is also 1km inside from the main road of Anuradhpaura to Trincomalee. People believe that bathing in these well will refesh themselves. This is one of the historical places of Trincomalee district.
Ranmasu Uyana, ancient Royal leisure park
The Ranmasu Uyana, one of the ancient Royal parks located below the bund of Tissavapi or Tisa weva strictly reserved for the members of the royal family. The city's rulers constructed large lakes to irrigate paddy lands and also to supply water to the city. Nuwara wewa and Tissa wewa number among the best known lakes in the city.
Anuradhapura’s Heritage Park will extend from Ranmasu Uyana (water-garden) to Isurumuniya, Vessagiriya and Dakkina stupa but with no intrusive developments, only landscaping of the area and cleaning up of the natural ponds. “These will be beautiful parks where people will be able to spend time reflecting or even meditating while looking on the skills of crafts people at work or children painting, away from the hustle and bustle. Most tourists will pay a lot for such special memories,” he is sure. In Polonnaruwa, the park will cover the Nissanka Palace and water garden, resthouse and museum. A bird park will be set up by the old rest house road and the two islands in the Parakrama Samudra developed so that people can go there by boat.
Ambekke Devalaya is world famous for it’s carved woodern work
This world famous ancient place is dedicated to God Kataragama. This temple is famed for its carved wooden pillars with intricate designs. The pillars leap to life with dancers, musicians, wrestlers, legendary beasts and birds.
Nearby are the ruins of an ancient Rest House with similar pillars carved in stone. All the above described monuments belong to the 14th century.
Trincomalee Harbour, 5th largest natural Harbour in the world
Trincomalee is famed for its world famous natural harbour. Once, described by admiral Lord Nelson as the finest harbour in the world when he visited aboard HMS Seashore in 1770. It is ranked as the world's 5th largest natural harbour. During the Second World War the harbour became the base for the combined East Asian Fleet of the Allied Powers.
For beach addicts, it is the ideal beach resort between April & November when the sea is at its best. Located at the mouth of Sri Lanka's longest river Mahaweli Ganga, Trincomalee's most famous landmark is Fort Fedrick, a centaury and a half of British fortifications can be found here. The cliff known as Swami Rock on the tip of Fort Federick promontory is associated with a tragic romantic tale woven around a Dutch maiden who is believed to have jumped to her death from this spot seeing her fickle lover sailing away.
The Thirukoneswaram Kovil, which stands on the top most pinnacle of the Swamy Rock, is a high venerated Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. World’s the most famous and beautiful beach on the East Coast is Nilaveli, situated at the centre of the 30 km strand of beach which runs uninterrupted from North to Trincomalee. Close to Nilaveli is Red Rock Beach - an estuary perch and pinkish colour boulders. A shot boat - ride off the beach and you may visit Pigeon Island.
Parakrama Samudra, an inland sea
The Parakrama Samudra is the largest irrigation tank of Great King Parakramabahu I. The huge lake upon whose north-eastern shore Polonnaruwa rests is an inland sea known as the Parakrama Samudra.. It was the life-blood of the ancient city in the same way that it is the blood life of the religion today, providing water for the growth of thirsty rice crops and other foodstuffs. Its 5,600 acres of water irrigated an estimated 18,200 acres of paddy land. Five minor lakes were incorporated in the building of the Parakrama Samudra, whose 8 1/2- mile bund contains 4 1/2 million cubic yards of earth. One thousand men employed in the hand labour of the period, working 24 hours a day, could scarcely have completed the job in 12 years.
World famous beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is surrounded by golden beaches and the beaches in Sri Lanka are the best in the world. Sri Lanka is the ideal holiday destination, and is a land of many appealing beaches, which are a major tourist attraction. Being a tropical island, it is endowed with an idyllic setting with swaying palms bending over the white sands lapped up by blue waters coral growths, pearl banks (North West) etc. So pull off your sandals and dip your toes into the clear, soft sands of the beach. As one travels along the western, eastern and southern coastlines one will come upon yet another identical and tempting tropical and panoramic view, which proves that this unique isle is the best place to relax and enjoy a perfect holiday.
With smooth velvety sands, ebb and flow of the tides, calm waters around the island there is everything that anyone to be entertained by. If you are keen on water sports, discover what an aquatic playground the beaches of Sri Lanka would provide. Snorkelling, windsurfing, angling and sailing are just a few activities if one wants to indulge in, Swimming diving, sunbathing and just relaxing are some of the favourite pastimes of the tourist. By the way, you would never miss beach seining still a favourite form of fishing in Sri Lanka and also stilt- fishing, a popular sight along the coast to the deep south.
Beruwala beach in Sri Lanka is ideal for swimming almost throughout the year
Here is a very good example of how a small sleepy fishing village with only a bay nearby is transformed into a grand holiday resort with numerous luxury hotels and other amenities inviting the tourist. This small town situated 56 kms south of Colombo possess a stretch of coastline dotted with palm trees, white sandy tracts and clean blue waters nearby. The bay remains ideal for swimming almost throughout the year and there is heavy tourism development centred around Beruwala
116 Kms South of Colombo, Galle is the chief city and one of prime importance in the south. It has an old-world charm pervading its air. This natural harbour was a famous landing place for foreign trades in the delays of yore. Today the place holds fame for its Dutch fort, lace making, ebony carving and gem polishing. Primarily built by the Portuguese and extended by the Dutch, this is now a WORLD HERITATGE SITE. Oldest building constructed by the Dutch here is occupied by the national Museum in Galle. A pleasurable activity one could occupied in while in Galle would be a stroll along the circuit of the walls of the fort and inside it. The latest addition to Galle is the SANATH JAYASOORIYA Cricket grounds.
Hikkaduwa beach in Sri Lanka is one of the beautiful destinations
Hikkaduwa is one of the famous tourist destinations in southern Sri Lanka. It is 98 kms south of Colombo and its beautiful beaches a lot of glamour to this town. It is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean!.
Unawatuna beach in Sri Lanka, rank amongst the twelve best beaches in the world
Unawatuna Beach is located just south of Galle, the chief city in the south and 125km from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. This 4km expanse of palm-fringed sand is said by some to rank amongst the twelve best beaches in the world. This beach is a paradise for all those who yearn to enjoy the silence of the sea and dive deep into the blue waters of the ocean. There is a reef protecting the beach, which makes it perfectly a safe haven for bathing. Other major attractions of this southern beach include shallow waters for swimming, and diving. Within its reach there is an accessible, reasonably well-preserved coral reef that serves as the base for snorkelling. For all those who fancy scuba diving, this tropical bay in the south will definitely catch your fancy since for the scuba divers; there are several wreck dives only 20-30 minutes away from the beach by boat. Thus it is the most favoured beach for all those looking for some exciting water sport activity like swimming, scuba diving or snorkelling.
Just 12 km. south of Colombo, Mount Lavinia is the most popular beach because of its close proximity to the capital. It is situated beside a wind swept headland jutting into the waters of the Indian Ocean. Mt-Lavinia beach is noteworthy in historical value as well as in beauty. It is an ideal place to indulge in relaxation and enjoy the sea. The Governor's House built in 1805 by Sir Thomas Maitland now forms part of the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel. Mt-Lavinia Beach is quite busy on Sundays and public holidays with large crowds gathered to participate in many beach sports activities such as swimming, wind surfing, beach volleyball, beach rugby, etc. Music by Live bands & Entertainment by DJs keep the toes of the crowd tapping.
Negombo is located 37km. North of Colombo and 6 km. from the Katunayake International Airport, Negombo is an ideal fishing town as well as a paradise for the seafood buffets. You can enjoy watching the old -world fishing crafts like outrigger canoes and the catamarans bringing a variety of marine fishes like seers, skipjacks, pomfrets and amber-jacks. In the lagoon lobsters and prawns are caught and served as fascinating delicacies in the nearby restaurants. There's much more in Negombo than just a sandy stretch of beach, where much history has been witnessed. During the time when Dutch were ruling the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, a fort, a canal and many a church was built and cinnamon cultivation took high priority. Remains of these provide a glimpse of the past and adorn the beach in Negombo along with fishing villages, which are sprinkled in the area.
Bentota beach in Sri Lanka is an ideal romantic beach holiday
If you are looking for an ideal romantic beach holiday Bentota located 62 kms south of Colombo is the ideal place to go. The place is a small town fast developing, teeming with growth of hotels, shopping arcades and cafeterias. There is also an open air theatre where folk and mask dancing is performance. This section of the southwestern coast gives a typical picture of a tropical beach dotted with palm trees; white sandy drenches and blue waters.
Ambalangoda beach in Sri Lanka has a beautiful stretch of sandy beach
Ambalangoda, on the southwestern coast about 85 Km from Colombo, has a beautiful stretch of sandy beach and a captivating rocky little islet off its coast. Ambalangoda is most famous for its mask carving a traditional cottage craft. You can find many types of traditional Sri Lankan masks beautifully painted with attractive colours in ambalangoda. These masks are used in sorcery and some traditional rituals.
27 km. from Galle, Welingama is blessed with its picturesque shallow bay; broad sandy beach provides fantastic scenes for the eyes of a visitor. Weligama is also the home of the famous stilt fishermen, who standing on stilts closer to the beach wait patiently for their catch; look out for curd and treacle, which are in plenty here.
The east coast has a lot to offer to the tourist. The uneven coastline is dotted with many bays and sheltered coves. In some beaches one can walk even a mile into the sea.
Trincomalee is regarded as on of the most magnificent harbours in the world. Its exceptional beauty is commented by many a traveller for the island in the past. Horatio Nalson, Great Britain’s greatest Admiral and naval hero of the 18th Century described Trincomalee as the finest harbour in the world. The British, at one time wanted to use this as their chief naval base in the east. Trincomalee, 257 kms away from Colombo is also endowed with excellent beaches and perfect hang-outs for beach buffets and offers some of the best sea- bathing places in the country.
Nilaveli beach in Sri Lanka is ideally suited for sun bathing and diving
Nilaveli-situated at a distance of 271 km from Colombo-is a prime beach resort on the East coast. In the northern stretch of 'Trinco', known as Nilaweli, shallow beach goes up to half a mile into the sea. The hot wells and the Pigeon Islands are the important places of tourist interest in the vicinity. There is an old Portuguese/Dutch fort reminiscent of the Colonial era. The beach has ample water sports facilities including fishing and sea angling. Nilaveli is ideally suited for sun bathing and diving. A few metres from the coast are a small rocky island good for snorkelling. This, only 8 miles from Trincomalee once possessed the chief slattern in the South- East of Sri Lanka.
It is the famous 'singing' fish and is at exit point of a picturesque lagoon made up of a series of connected lagoons filled with mangrove swamps that attracts tourists to this serene beach. Situated at a distance of 314 km from Colombo, Batticaloa is famous for its `Singing Fish' and picturesque lagoon. On full moon nights a faint but distinct musical sound rises from the lagoon waters. This is attributed to a noise emanated by a kind of fish found in the lagoon. A Dutch Fort near the lagoon is another tourist attraction and the whole area around bears signs of European occupation, by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British.
Kalkudah beach in Sri Lanka is a popular tourist centre with the fine bay Passekudah lying close by
32 km. from Batticaloa, Kalkudah is a popular tourist centre with the fine bay Passekudah lying close by. The calm reef-protected sea is an ideal place for having a sea bath. There is also a popular hotel along with other amenities required for the tourist. Kalkudah & Passekudah are two very fine beaches in the East Coast. Kalkudah Bay, a 2 km long wide stretch of beach-located 32 km north of Batticaloa-is well protected from the monsoons by an offshore reef. Passekudah Bay is another wide beach 4 km long, just south of Kalkudah. The two beaches form an ideal stretch for bathing, windsurfing and water-skiing.
Arugam Bay beach in Sri Lanka is one of five best places in the world for wind surfing
Located 314 Km to the East of Colombo, Arugam Bay is a fishing village. The town has a sweeping beach and a beautiful bay that is excellent for wind surfing, which is regarded as one of five best places in the world for wind surfing. The bay offers numerous possibilities for water sports and underwater photography. The many shipwrecks off the coast offer a tempting challenge to the divers
World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka
This beautiful ancient land is blessed with a slew of sites, which have immense historical and archaeological significance. As declared by UNESCO, presently there are seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. These places have emerged as the hub of tourists from all across the globe fascinating to the beholders at the very first glimpse.
Sacred City of Anuradhapura, one of the very popular heritage sites in Sri Lanka
206 kms from Colombo, it was the first capital of Sri Lanka and one of the best world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura established on the banks of river Mahaweli during the 4th century B.C by king Pandukabhaya. This sacred city flourished for 1,300 years, until it was reduced into rubbles in an invasion in 993. The city, with its fascinating palaces, monasteries and monuments, lay hidden. Anuradhapura is acclaimed as the greatest Theravada monastic city of the world and has served as the royal capital of 113 kings.. The sacred Bo- tree, the 'tree of enlightenment'-was brought in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta was planted in Anuradhapura. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, was re-discovered in 19th century and is now accessible once again.
Polonnaruwa, the Garden City
This was second capital of Sri Lanka established after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993.. In its time, a 6 km rampart protected the city. Even during the time when Anuradhapura was the capital Polonnaruwa was an important city because it strategic position commanding all the crossings over the Mahaveli River (major river in Sri Lanka) and acted as a buffer zone against the invading armies. It comprises, besides the Bra manic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
Ancient city of Sigiriya (“The Lion Rock”)
This ancient city, which dates back to about 1500 years, is the best-preserved city centre in Asia in the first millennium. “The Lion Rock”, the gardens and the pockets of paintings surviving on the rock face are the centres of attraction in this site, which stands at the threshold of being declared as the 8th wonder of the world. An array of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a prodigious lion constructed of bricks and plaster provides access to the site. It lies 169 kms away from Colombo. Sigiriya was the capital city, built by parricidal King Kasyapa who reigned from 477-495 AD. The ruins of the city lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370 m high. The rock was transformed into a recumbent lion, which dominates the jungle from all sides.
Sacred City of Kandy
This last capital of the Sinhala Kings is a very sacred Buddhist site and known popularly as the city of Senkadagalapura. It is also home to the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of Buddha). It is183 kms from Colombo. Kandy is also known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. This sacred Buddhist site, was the last stronghold and the capital of the Sinhala kings. It is also the home for the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is one of the most venerated scared site of the Buddhists.
Port town of Galle and its fortifications
Captured and occupied in the 16th century by the Portuguese, the glory of this post – town of Galle reached its apotheosis in the 18th century, on the eve of the of the British era. It is the quintessence of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, and an intricate blend of European architecture and South Asian traditions. Galle is 114 kms away from Colombo. Galle is Sri Lanka's fourth biggest town with a population of around 1lakh. In 1598, the Portuguese built a small fort which was later extended. However, when the Dutch took over in 1640, they destroyed all traces of the Portuguese presence there. In 1663, the Dutch built the 36-hectare Fort, which is now a World Heritage Site . Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia.
The Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla
This rock cave located 148 kms away from Colombo has been held as sacred by the Sri Lankans for last 15 centuries. This impressive rock had been transformed into a temple by the Sinhala kings. It contains five sanctuaries and is the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious portraits, following the contours of the rock. There are images of the Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. The Buddhist mural paintings, covering an area of 2,100 square metres, with 157 statues hold immense value.
Ancient cities in Sri Lanka .. Back to 500 B.C
Anuradhapura (“The Royal Capital”), the first ancient city in Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura is the first ancient city in Sri Lanka and today, it is the main city of the North Central Province, situated 225 Kms away from Colombo on the main road to Jaffna. Anuradhapura is the ancient Sri Lanka’s first capital founded about the 4th century BC. This ancient city in Sri Lanka was a model of planning and well-constructed city. Kings of Sri Lanka thought that their utmost duty was to protect people from hunger and they realised that the rivers and fertile soil alone were not enough. Thus there arose a superb engineering system of tanks and canals first centred round of Anuradhapura.
This sacred city was established around a cutting from the "tree of enlightenment", Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in thick jungle for a long time, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is once again accessible.
Anuradhapura is one of the most extensive ruins in the world. Anuradhapura, one of its most sacred pilgrimage cities, was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, all roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colours. To the north of the city, encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds, carved balustrades and moonstones.
There are 17 key world popular religious units in Anuradhapura and you will find how interested are they from the world history perspective. Here are a few of key ones.
-Sri Maha Bodi (The Sacred Bo-Tree) has grown from a cutting of the Bo-tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment is over 2250 years old.
-Jetawana Stupa, the tallest stupa in the world
-Ruined Relic House, a very elegantly constructed adifice with refined detailes and delicate sculptures to enhance the design.
-Residential complex, the residences as seen through the porter’s lodge. (The monastery had 5000 monks in residence.)
-Prasada Stupa, stepped stupas of the prasada type are rare in the world.
-Abhayagiri stupa, the tallest brick edifice of the ancient world originally about 350 feet high.
-Bo tree shrine, displays many phases of constructional activities in the earliest being attributed to the formation of the vihara in the first century B.C.
-Seated Buddha, the image situated at the site of an ancient bodhi-tree shrine.
-The biggest rice-bowl in the world
-The Elephant pond, equivalent in area to 6 modern Olympic swimming pools, is perhaps the largest man-made pond in Sri-Lanka.
-Kuttam Pokuna, twin pond, a beautiful and unusual design of two baths joined to form a single bathing complex
-Moonstone, the is one of the most exquisite moonstones found in Sri Lanka
-The Ruwanwelisaya, standing at 300 feet, is the oldest but smallest of the three giant edifies
-Magnificant Isurumuni Lovers, 6th Century Gupta style carving
-Sanadhi Budda image, this image is counted among the finest Buddha figures sculptured in Sri lanka.
-Anuradhapura Thurparama stupa, the earliest monument found in Sri Lanka is the ‘Stupa’, which is described as a hemispherical dome surmounted with a spire. During the time of Emperor Ashoka (304 - 232 BC)
Polonnaruwa "The Medieval capital"
This was the second capital of ancient Sri Lanka (ancient city in Sri Lanka) established after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993. In its time, a 6 km rampart protected the city. Even during the time when Anuradhapura was the capital Polonnaruwa was an important city because it strategic position commanding all the crossings over the Mahaveli River (major river in Sri Lanka) and acted as a buffer zone against the invading armies. It comprises, besides the Bra manic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
There are a number of world popular religious units in Polonnaruwa and you will find how interested are they from the world history perspective.
-Palace of King Parakramabahu, the seven story brick masonary extends to the 3rd floor
-Magnificent Vatadage or Circular stupa house
-Lankathilake, these relief’s display the architectural form of the brick of the 12th century Buddhists sculpture found anywhere in the world
-Galvihara, comprises the finest group of sculptures of the Buddha carved from a single granite
-Parakrama Samudra,or Sea of Parakrama one of the greatest man built irrigation systems
-Atadage, the first Tooth Relic shrine in Polonnaruwa
-Thuparamaya, the best preserved building consist of 7th century limestone images of Buddha
Kandy (“Beauty of the City of Kandy.”)
Kandy was the last capital in the ancient Sri Lanka and the most popular amongst the ancient cities in Sri Lanka. Kandy town is the most venerated and the most sacred place of the Buddhists world over. Is enhanced by its lake and the group of hills Hunnasgiri, Hantane, Bahiravakanda etc surrounding it,To get a full view of the city, any of these hills could be climbed and the mild invigorating weather giving you the necessary back up.
Kandy is generally blessed with a mild climate, adequate rainfall, breathtaking scenery, precipitous tea estates, terraced paddy fields, meandering streams etc. River Mahaweli flows majestically encircling the northern area of the city.
Religious significant of the city is exhibited by the Temple with the scared Tooth relic of the Buddha brought to Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Danta and which is venerated by the Buddhists world over. The annual cultural pageant held giving pride of place ancient culture draws also the other religions are also well represented in Kandy with their Kovils, Mosques, churches etc. Kandy had been declared as a Heritage city by the UNESCO and draws visitors from all over.
There are a number of key world popular religious units in Kandy and you will find how interested are they from the world history perspective.
Peradeniya Botanical gardens
Peradeniya Botanical gardens are situated about 4 miles off Kandy along Colombo – Kandy highway. Average height of the area being about 1500’ as it is on the Kandy plateau, it has a mild climate. Average temperature being about 75 F. Both monsoons being sufficient rain throughout the year. Town of Peradeniya had gained importance partly on account of these world famous Botanical gardens. Much beauty is added to these sides while the other side faces the Kandy – Colombo road; a suspension bridge connects the Gardens with the opposite bank.
Ancient city of Sigiriya (“The Lion Rock”)
This ancient city in Sri Lanka, which dates back to about 1500 years, is the best-preserved city centre in Asia in the first millennium. “The Lion Rock”, the gardens and the pockets of paintings surviving on the rock face are the centres of attraction in this site, which stands at the threshold of being declared as the 8th wonder of the world. An array of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a prodigious lion constructed of bricks and plaster provides access to the site. It lies 169 kms away from Colombo. Sigiriya was the capital city, built by parricidal King Kasyapa who reigned from 477-495 AD. The ruins of the city lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370 m high. The rock was transformed into a recumbent lion, which dominates the jungle from all sides.
The Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla
This rock cave located 148 kms away from Colombo has been held as sacred by the Sri Lankans for last 15 centuries. This impressive rock had been transformed into a temple by the Sinhala kings. It contains five sanctuaries and is the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious portraits, following the contours of the rock. There are images of the Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses. The Buddhist mural paintings, covering an area of 2,100 square metres, with 157 statues hold immense value.
Mihintale (“Cradle of Sri Lanka Buddhism”)
Mihintale is one of the key religious’ sites and is regarded as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is located about 10 miles east of Anuradhapura along Anuradhapura – Trincomale major road and it is also at the junction of Kandy – Jaffna road too. Mihintale was originally known as Missaka Pakbata and Sila Kuta (peak) in the northern peak of this mountain on to which the Tera Mahinda alighted after arrival to the island of Sri Lanka and below Sila Kuta is the vast tableland Ambathala and the whole of this area is included in the cultural triangle. The term Mihintale of Mihindutala )plain of mahind) perpetuates the scared name of the Thera Mahinda who arrived in Lanka leaving his native land , India at the behest of his father – king Asoka – to work for the uplift of the moral and spiritual well – fare of the Lankans. Thus the tradition of the Sinhala Buddhists ands the accord in Mahavansa as the introduction of Buddhism to this isle cannot be put away as mere heresy.
There are a number of world popular religious units in Mihintale and you will find how interested are they from the world history perspective.
-Kantaka Cetiya. is one of the earliest religious monuments in Sri Lanka.
-Ambasthala Dagoba, marks the spot where Mahinda surprised King Devanampiyatissa
-Aradhana Gala, or Rock of Convocation, is a rocky peak in Mihintale.
-Mahaseya Dagoba, is the largest stupa in Mihintale. It enshrines a single hair relic of the Buddha.
In 247 B.C. Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka on the mountain of Mihintale. Since then, various kings of Sri Lanka have blessed this rock with magnificent masterpieces of architecture. These include a hospital, a monastic complex, stupas and dagobas. While some of these structures are in an almost perfect state of preservation, some others are in complete ruin. The most spectacular of these is the Kantaka Chaitiya, which displays some of the finest architecture of the early Anuradhapura era.
There are three inscriptions in caves at Mihintale which proves the historically of Wattiya refried to as maharaja brother of king Devampiyatissa.
Kataragama, (“the Holy city”)
Known in the past as Kajaragama, Kataragama is one of the sacred Buddhist cities sanctified with the Buddhas third visit to Lanka/ small village on the right banks Menik ganga, about 8 miles North East of Mahagama or Nirigama (Tssamaharama), is a fast houses tels, gas hot developing town and a pilgrimage destination with all facilities, pilgrim – rests etc.
Kataragama a popular pilgrimage destination frequented by adherents of all religions in Sri Lanka. The main shrine devoted to Skanda popularly described in eulogies as God having six faces and twelve arms whose assistance is sought for worldly gain. The history of the shrine dates back to 2 century BC. The annual procession held in July or August is the main event of the shrine with fire walkers and Kawadi dancers. Offering to the got are made at 4.30am 10.30am and 6.30pm daily.
Kataragama has a long history going back to pre Christian era. Aryans who came to Lanka during the (6 BC not only settled around Kadambanadi or modern Malwatu Oya but in other areas as well. In the deep south there have been at least two major settlements. One centred round Magama and the other in Kataragama and yet another at Kelaniya which cannot definitely say that they came at the same time or they were connected to the royal family in Anuradhapura.
History of Sri Lanka
Go back to 700,000 B.C
With evidence found from all over the world, researches and explorers believes that Sri Lanka (Hela) probably had the oldest civilization in the world
The information about the history of Sri Lanka is based on years of research conducted by various groups from different countries. Material evidence and proof are available in Sri Lanka and other countries
History of Sri Lanka (documented) is more than 3,000 years, but Archaeologists claim that Sri Lanka was definitely inhabited by humans prior to that even going back to 700,000 BC. This web page provides very valuable evidence from all over the world to prove this claim. You will also find detailed information about the Sri Lankan and the parallel world’s history from the beginning of the humans.
Five million years ago, Human-like Apes lived in Africa. They developed into humans over a period of 2-3 million years. During the ice age, which began around 2.5 million years BC, these humans started to walk over the frozen landscape.
One Million Years BC Humans migrate from Africa to the rest of the world About 1 million years ago; Humans migrated from Africa, to Asia, Indonesia and Europe over frozen landscapes. Until then, early humans had lived only in Africa. Archaeologists believe that the humans inhabited Sri Lanka during this migration. During the migration, the humans learnt to make and use primitive hand tools like axes.
Sri Lanka is known as Lanka--the "resplendent land"--in the ancient Indian epic b Ramayana, the island has numerous other references that testify to the island's deep history, natural beauty and wealth. Islamic folklore maintains that Adam and Eve were offered refuge on the island as solace for their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Asian poets, noting the geographical location of the island and lauding its beauty, called it the "pearl upon the brow of India." A troubled nation in the 1980s, torn apart by communal violence, Sri Lanka has more recently been called India's "fallen tear."
Some of the highlights and evidence of the inhabited by humans in Sri Lanka are;
123,000 BC - Oldest human found in Lanka - Pathirajawela in the deep South. A student from Bundala Central school recovered the oldest Lankan human’s remains and his stone tools in Pathirajawela in Deep south, near Ambalantota. This Lankan had lived 20,000 years before the Niandathal inhabited the earth. It has been estimated, at an international average, that the population density for Lanka, at the time was 0.8-1.5 per SqKm in dry zone and 0.1 in wet zone. They had lived in groups of 1-2 families, not in large groups due to scarcity of food. With this proof of pre-historic settlement in Lanka, Patirajawela also exposed a flake and stone tool industry belonging to 125,000 to 75,000 BC. This meant that the Lankans had already started their long journey towards civilisation.
80000 BC - 2nd oldest human found in Lanka - Bundala in the deep South These people made tools of quartz (and a few on chert). Apart from such tools, no other remains had survived the ravages of time and tropical weathering.
30500 BC Fa-Hien cave - 3rd oldest Lankan human found in the Largest natural cave in South Asia Over 150 feet in height, 282 feet long, Pahiyangala can accommodate over 3000 humans. It was home to a large community. 3rd oldest Lankan human proves world's oldest proof of consumption of rice, Kurahan, salt Female body-remains found near BulathSinhala, proved the consumption of rice, kurahan, and salt. The Archaeologists named her Kalu-Menika. It was proof that 20,000 years before the world, Lankans have gone agricultural. It was also the first anatomically modern human found in whole of South Asia.
483 BC - Arrival of Aryans to Sri Lanka
In 483 BC Kingdom of Thambapanni is founded by Vijaya as North Indians mix into the Lankan community Vijaya landed in Sri Lanka near Mannar, and met a local girl named Kuveni. She introduced Vijaya to the local chief, Mahakalasena who ruled from the town of Lankapura. He invited Vijaya and the migrant group, to the seven days long wedding feast of his daughter. Noticing the unpreparedness of the local defences during the wedding festival, Vijaya and the followers killed many of the local officials, including Mahakalasena and grabbed the power. Refusing to accept Vijaya's rule, a lot of Sihalese (As Lankans were known at the time) withdrew to the jungles of the hill country. They blamed Kuveni for bringing the strangers into the kingdom. Vijaya realized that he should win the hearts and the minds of the people of Lanka if he was to continue to live in Lanka. Thus, the compromise between Vijaya and the Lankans took place. From here onwards, the north Indians would mix into the Sinhalese community as equals.
Vijaya takes the chief queen from North India Vijaya's ministers advised him to select a noble bride from North India as the chief queen. They proposed a princess from Madura Pura, south of Singhapura in Punjab. MaduraPura, inhabited by Ksatriya cast (mix of Sakyas and the Deva casts who refused to marry anyone from outside) was renown for beautiful maidens at the time. Many North Indian princes took brides from there. This beautiful princess from a kshastriya tribe of the Aryans arrived in Mannar with a large band of tradesmen and maidens. Earlier it was argued that this princess came form the Pandyan kingdom, and that she was the daughter of the Pandu King, who was from a kshastriya tribe of the Aryans who migrated from Madhya Pradesh. But it has been rejected. Among the many reasons it has been rejected is that there was no such royalty or advanced kingdom, which is linked, to the North Indians, developed in south India at the time.
History of Sri Lanka from 483 BC to 246 BC
Arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka
In 246 BC Mihindu Thero, son of Emperor Asoka meets Lankan king On 16th May, 246 BC, Lankan king Devanampiyatissa went on his regular Royal hunting in the 450-acre Royal National Park of four mountains, each of them, over 1000 feet tall. He got separated from his friends as he chased a deer. On one of the four mountains, he met Mihindu thero (Son of Emperor Asoka), and the Buddhist party despatched by the Emperor Asoka himself. The famous questions to check if the king had the wisdom to understand Buddhism were asked by Mihindu thero. Then, Lankan king listened, and asked questions, and by daybreak, became a Buddhist. People flock to A'pura to listen to Bana People from all over the country who came to listen to the Buddhist teaching by Mihindu Thero flooded Anuradapura. Over 8500 people embraced Buddhism during the first week alone. 55 members of the prime ministers family became Buddhist monks. Buddhism then took root as the formal belief system of the island. This was how Lankans were able to concentrate as a nation, voluntarily, to advance to become one of the developed nations in the world.
History of Sri Lanka from 246 BC to 777 AD
Under the rule of Rajaraja's son, Rajendra (1018-35), the Chola Empire grew stronger, to the extent that it posed a threat to states as far away as the empire of Sri Vijaya in modern Malaysia and Sumatra in Indonesia. For seventy-five years, Sri Lanka was ruled directly as a Chola province. During this period, Hinduism flourished, and Buddhism received a serious setback. After the destruction of Anuradhapura, the Chola set up their capital farther to the southeast, at Polonnaruwa, a strategically defensible location near the Mahaweli Ganga, a river that offered good protection against potential invaders from the southern Sinhalese kingdom of Ruhunu. When the Sinhalese kings regained their dominance, they chose not to reestablish themselves at Anuradhapura because Polonnaruwa offered better geographical security from any future invasions from southern India. The area surrounding the new capital already had a well- developed irrigation system and a number of water storage tanks in the vicinity, including the great Minneriya Tank and its feeder canals built by King Mahasena (A.D. 274-301), the last of the Sinhalese monarchs mentioned in the Mahavamsa.
King Vijayabahu I drove the Chola out of Sri Lanka in A.D. 1070. Considered by many as the author of Sinhalese freedom, the king recaptured Anuradhapura but ruled from Polonnaruwa, slightly less than 100 kilometers to the southeast. During his forty-year reign, Vijayabahu I (A.D. 1070-1110) concentrated on rebuilding the Buddhist temples and monasteries that had been neglected during Chola rule. He left no clearly designated successor to his throne, and a period of instability and civil war followed his rule until the rise of King Parakramabahu I, known as the Great (A.D. 1153-86).
Parakramabahu is the greatest hero of the Culavamsa, and under his patronage, the city of Polonnaruwa grew to rival Anuradhapura in architectural diversity and as a repository of Buddhist art. Parakramabahu was a great patron of Buddhism and a reformer as well. He reorganized the sangha (community of monks) and healed a longstanding schism between Mahavihara--the Theravada Buddhist monastery--and Abhayagiri--the Mahayana Buddhist monastery. Parakramabahu's reign coincided with the last great period of Sinhalese hydraulic engineering; many remarkable irrigation works were constructed during his rule, including his crowning achievement, the massive Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama or Parakrama Tank). Polonnaruwa became one of the magnificent capitals of the ancient world, and nineteenth-century British historian Sir Emerson Tenant even estimated that during Parakramabahu's rule, the population of Polonnaruwa reached 3 million--a figure, however, that is considered to be too high by twentieth-century historians. Parakramabahu's reign was not only a time of Buddhist renaissance but also a period of religious expansionism abroad. Parakramabahu was powerful enough to send a punitive mission against the Burmese for their mistreatment of a Sri Lankan mission in 1164. The Sinhalese monarch also meddled extensively in Indian politics and invaded southern India in several unsuccessful expeditions to aid a Pandyan claimant to the throne.
History of Sri Lanka from 777 AD to 1216 AD
DECLINE OF THE SINHALESE KINGDOM - Sinhalese Migration to the South
After Nissankamalla's death, a series of dynastic disputes hastened the breakup of the kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Domestic instability characterized the ensuing period, and incursions by Chola and Pandyan invaders created greater turbulence, culminating in a devastating campaign by the Kalinga, an eastern Indian dynasty. When Magha, the Kalinga king, died in 1255, another period of instability began, marking the beginning of the abandonment of Polonnaruwa and the Sinhalese migration to the southwest from the northern dry zone. The next three kings after Magha ruled from rock fortresses to the west of Polonnaruwa. The last king to rule from Polonnaruwa was Parakramabahu III (1278- 93). The migration is one of the great unsolved puzzles of South Asian history and is of considerable interest to academics because of the parallel abandonment of dry-zone civilizations in modern Cambodia, northern Thailand, and Burma.
History of Sri Lanka from 1216 AD to 1505 AD
Arrival of Portuguese to Sri Lanka
On 15th Nov'1505 Don Lourenco De Almeida arrives in Colombo by accident, Sinhalese see Cannons, wine, bread for the first time. They are taken to Kotte taking 3 days to cover 6 miles. After evaluating the situation, Portuguese planned to grab the international trade from the Muslims. They will in the coming years will exploit Lankans into the depths of infamy, & leave a story of shameful sadism & cruelty the Lankans have never heard of before in rulers of Lanka. Their behaviour creates a continuous dislike of the Whiteman within Sinhalese who will lose all they were ever proud of, including the good principles of life which made Sinhalese a distinctive race. Portuguese will first appear as merchants, then as fanatical cruel missionaries who will shock Lankans (who have a certain impression on religious monks), then finally they would turn to trade again.
History of Sri Lanka from 1505 AD to 1638 AD
Arrival of Dutch to Sri Lanka
In 1638 Dutch makes the deal with Lankan King Dutch had the largest merchant fleet in the world. They had the latest and superior equipment, arms & ammo than Portugese who were a declining power. They recruited mercenaries from Scandinavia and Germany when manpower was needed. After several visits made by the Dutch envoys through the east coast, Sinhala king Rajasingha-2 decided to enter into the treaty proposed by the Dutch. It looked like a mutually beneficial one. Dutch insisted on the monopoly of spice trade, specially cinnamon. Sinhala king was to reimburse the cost of the war, back to the Dutch over the years. Lankan King was under the impression that he was hiring mercenaries to get rid of Portuguese. The Dutch only used Lanka with meanness, and false respect and humbleness, which fooled the Sinhalese who judged people on what they say.
History of Sri Lanka from 1638 AD to 1796 AD
The British replace the Dutch
1796 British takes Colombo: They break the promise given to Lanka British Navy advanced along the coast to Negombo, and then on foot they crossed Kelani river to reach Colombo. They humiliated the Lankan army by sending them back to Kandy, saying that they were not needed. British also sent the Lankan army units that took Matara from the Dutch on the 2nd February, back within 22 days. On 15 the February 1796, British took Colombo from the Dutch without resistance. Then British broke the promise given to the Lankan King. The British had only used Kandy to tie the Dutch troops in forts. Thus the joint elements of British East India co. and British Government took the entire coastline and the land 20 miles to the interior. Lanka was faced with the most powerful enemy in the world then.
History of Sri Lanka from 1796 AD to 1948 AD
The institutions of Buddhist-Sinhalese civilization in Sri Lanka came under attack during the colonial eras of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Most Sinhalese regard the entire period of European dominance as an unfortunate era, but most historians--Sri Lankan or otherwise--concede that British rule was relatively benign and progressive compared to that of the Dutch and Portuguese. Influenced by the ascendant philosophy of liberal reformism, the British were determined to anglicize the island, and in 1802, Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) became Britain's first crown colony. The British gradually permitted native participation in the governmental process; and under the Donoughmore Constitution of 1931 and then the Soulbury Constitution of 1946, the franchise was dramatically extended, preparing the island for independence two years later.
1948 onwards --
Since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948, successive governments have been freely elected. Sri Lanka's citizens enjoy advanced health standards, a long life expectancy, and one of the highest literacy rates in the world despite the fact that the country has one of the lowest per capita incomes.
In the years since independence, Sri Lanka has experienced severe communal clashes between its Sinhalese majority-- approximately 74 percent of the population--and the country's largest minority group, the Sri Lankan Tamils and comprise nearly 13 percent of the population. The communal violence that attracted the harsh scrutiny of the international media in the mid to late 1980s can best be understood in the context of the island's complex historical development--its ancient and intricate relationship to India's civilization and its more than four centuries under colonial rule by European powers.
Exotic Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka
The botanical gardens, embellished with motley of ornamental flowers and exotic plants, are perceived as jewels emblazoned in the picturesque landscape of the island. These gardens are a rich storehouse of a variety of flora collected from all across the world .
Peradeniya Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka
This exotic and beautiful botanical garden in Sri Lanka is situated in the Hill capital, Kandy. Located 4 miles off Kandy and 68 miles off-Colombo, Peradeniya is well know for its large variety of plants ornaments, a variety of other creepers that produce the special spices in Sri Lanka. The great lawns highlight huge tropical trees and various species of bamboo can be found in some places.
The best-known attraction of the garden is the Orchid House, which houses more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. A spice garden gives you a first hand introduction to the trees and plants used for the traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Mahaweli river, Sri Lanka's longest river surrounding the area gives an added beauty to this garden. It wont be wrong to say that this garden is one of the best kind in the world and the best in Asia..
Hakgala Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka
This beautiful Botanical Garden is just 10 kms away from Nuwara Eliya City and 180 Km from Colombo. It is the place where flora from far and wide are seen at home. The site has a mythical connotation with many believing that it was once the pleasure garden of the demon king Ravana of the epic Ramayana and the very place where the beautiful Sitha was hidden. It was only in 1860 that the present botanical garden was founded by the British botanist Dr. G.H.K. Thwaites, who was the Superintendent of the more famous gardens at Peradeniya.
The exotic plants found in Hakgala include conifers and cedars from Australia, Bermuda and Japan, and cypresses from the Himalayas, China and as far flung places as Persia, Mexico and California. A special variety of pine was introduced from New Calendonia and there are specimens of this genus from the Canary Island as well. Another interesting tree that adorns this garden is an English oak, planted around 1890, in memory of the famous "hearts of oak" of Britain's naval power.
In addition, there are, for the tourists’ delight, the rose garden and the fernery. The garden will surely send a visitor into reverie.Plants and trees from around the world could be seen at home in the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, just 10km away from Nuwara Eliya City. Hakgala is one of the places one visits as an essential part of a pleasant journey in the famous hill resort of Nuwara Eliya. The site is legendary.
Picturesque Water falls in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is blessed with all the essential ingredients to form a variety of picturesque waterfalls. Numerous rivers and streams amounting to more than 100, precipitous mountain ranges and platens, rains from two monsoons, convectional and cyclonic rains get together to form the most attractive falls .
The mountains of Sri Lanka abound with waterfalls of exquisite beauty. The island is blessed with 103 rivers and more than 130 waterfalls and many of them are virtually unknown, hidden away in forest or approached by steps and remote tea plantation tracks. In fact for it’s size Sri Lanka has recorded water falls than another country. Sri Lanka’s numerous rivers, fed by two half yearly monsoons, with topography of high and steeply scarped peneplains, and riverbeds of hard erosion-resistant metamorphic rock, all provide ideal ingredient for the formation of waterfalls.To experience the true essence of Nature in the land of scenic beauty, Sri Lanka, it is a must to visit at least a few of the innumerable waterfalls of the country.
Remarkable compact of the highland most in the centre rising abruptly and plateau like in character which is likened to a huge watered fortress and had been used as such during the European invasions of the Portuguese Dutch and the British. If not for the treachery of some Sinhala Chiffons, Lanka ‘s hill country would not have fallen into the hands of the British so easily.
The formation of the Hill country is most conducive to the formation of waterfalls in Sri Lanka . The unbroken, mountain wall in the south rises abruptly to a more than 5000’ for a distance of about fifty miles or so thus forming a precipitous nature vary favourable for the formation of waterfalls. This natural feature combined with a number of rivers radiating from the central hills flowing all around to the lowland forming a large number of cascades of which a considerable amount is spectacular to behold. Number of waterfalls thus formed are numerous in proportion to the size of the island. Some of those are really hidden in the elevated mountainous jungles, you could only reach them by foot or through narrow tracks formed by the tea pluckers in the steep tea plantations, most of those falls are confined to the centre, south and east of the hills and a few to the west and many of the falls could be seen in the N’ Eliya and Badulla districts.
Some of the major water falls in Sri lanka with their distinctive features can be named as the following:
- The tallest Bambarakanda Ella (241 metres), that looks as if liquid light is pouring down.
- The grand Diyaluma Waterfall, 171 metres in height.
- The Duhinda Falls that has a number of fables attached to its name.
- The striking Bopath Ella that derives its name from the sacred Bo tree's leaf and is also renowned to be a famous picnic spot.
- The Ravana Ella which associates itself to the great epic, Ramayana and is named after the powerful king of Lanka, Ravana.
- The Saint Claire's which combines two waterfalls the Maha Ella and the Kuda Ella.
- The Kirindi Ella falls that merges itself into the Denewak Ganga.
- The gigantic Galagediyana Ella, which is one of widest falls of Sri Lanka.
- The Devon's Waterfall that gives a peculiar appearance because of its compilation of three cascades.
- The ecstatic Alupolla Ella that lies close to Ratnapura.
- Laxapana (115 metres)
- Rathna falls (111metres)
They are at their fullest capacity during the wet season (except Laxapana which gets rain throughput the year) from October – March when there is heavy rains in the Dry zone. Especially Bambarakanda and Diyaluma depict an extremely attractive panorama with a soft white trail of unbroken mass of foam gliding down gracefully. You should not miss such an eye-catching spectacle,
Main access to Bambarakanda is through a motor able road through Haputale Kalupahana the latter about 22 kms from Balangoda and 32 kms from Wellawaya,
Diyaluma falls fed by Poonagala Oya could be seen from Koslanda – Wellawaya road and is 13 kms from Wellawaya town. There is a legend behind Diyaluma falls and the people believe that this is a work of a god for a young prince to weep forever in this wilderness, whose runaway romance ended in the death of his beloved.
Ravana falls visible from the Ella-Wellawaya road near Udunuwara village is connected with the great Epic Ramayana and the people still believe that Sita, Rama’s wife had been hidden in a cave behind the falls by Ravana, the great King of Lanka who abducted Sita.
Bakers falls gets its name from Samuel Baker who discovered it and this is a good break on the way to the world’s end at Horton Plains.
One of the most famous is the Devon falls about 95 kms high and several cascades joining together to add to its beauty and named after a pioneer coffee planter Devon and could be reached along Hatton – N’Eliya road.
Another magnificent falls is Diyaluma in the Badulla district fed by Badulu Oya, tributary of Mahaweli. This about 63 kms high fall is one of the broadest and its breath taking beauty adds to the dignity of Badulla, and ancient Hill capital and at present the chief city of the Uva Province. One can reach the fall travelling about 5 kms from Badulla along Badulla – Mahiyangana road and follow a footpath for another 2 kms.
Striking Bopath falls is famous for its, shape of a Bo – leaf and falls from a height for about 100’. This unique formation itself adds to its beauty with a perfect heart shaped leaf resembling a leaf of the scared Bo – tree of the Buddhist and getting its name BO – path. This is located about 15 kms. For Colombo – Ratnapura road and seems to be a favourite picnic spot.due to its proximity to Colombo. You will have to take the turn at the Higastenna junction and drive to view this spectacular falls.
Train journey between Nanu Oya and Ambewela gives a good view of the 75 feet high Elgin Falls. When dropping from a precipitous rock face resembles a bridal veil is Bridal Falla, which could be viewed from the winding highway to the Nuwara Eliya plateau. St Clares said to be widets waterfall in Sri Lanka and comprises 2 falls namely Maha Ella, 80 metres in height and in three cascades to Kotamale Falls and Kuda Ella 60 m height falls into the Kotamala Falls too; could be viewed from about 3 kms from Talavakelle. Another beautiful one is Ratna Falls close to Kandy – Mahiyangana main road. Snake – shaped Garandi Falls is at Ramboda – Talawatanne of the Nuwara Eliya district. At the top, two eaterways are combined and falls as one downwards. Claos to this one, there is anothert named ramboda falls and when you travel to Nowara Eliya through Peradeniya, both Falls could be viewed.
Apart from these there are other falls you could easily behold; Alupola Falls 200 feet high is 25 Kms away from Ratnapura in the Wewalwatta village; Lover’s Leap 100 feet high starts as small fountain from the Southern slope of Pidurutalagola, highest mountain in Sri Lanka; Mawanella Falls is in the Iunuwatte village could be reached travelling 35 kms from Nuwara Eliya towards Udapussellawa and another 13 Kms towards Napola gap. Ramboda falls could be viewed from the Ramboda Bazar on the Nuwara Elita – Ramboda road. On of the widest Falls is the Galagediyanna falls is close to Colombo and off Dedigama where the famous Kotaveraha Dagoba is located, 35 feet high waterfalls offers a breath taking sight; Dhuwilli falls situated below the Samanala wewa a reservoir and 27 Kms from Balangodo town and walk about 3 kms after coming to Kaltota.
Beautiful Hill Country in Sri Lanka
The Place For Your Next Holiday
Hill country in Sri Lanka is roughly within the limits alone 1500” contour. This compact elevated mass rising rather abruptly but plateau. Like in such throughout the history of Sri Lanka especially against the European powers as the Portuguese. Dutch and the British who knew its value. Permanent inhabitants here really cut off from the rest of the island, remained a distinctive group of the Sinhalese. This was the last to fall into the hands of the British though the others tried hard.
The Hill Country is exceptionally beautiful, with crystal clear waterfalls and tea plantations dotted throughout. The temperature in this region stays cool all year round, in an atmosphere of early morning Spring. Everything is green and lush and the landscape is elevated with layers of grass knolls and jagged waterfalls with dense mountain forest clinging to the upper slopes. The days drift by in the hill country in Sri Lanka with not much to do but drink tea (in abundance) and absorb the serenity and breathtaking walks and views. There are several little towns that are certainly worth a visit, such as Nuwara Eliya. There are also some majestic feats of nature to explore, namely Worlds End and Adams Peak
Main portion of the Hill country consists of a series of huge platforms – Kandy, Hatton, Uva and Balangodo & Koslandda to the south. Five main mount peaks are the Pirudutalagala (highest 8292’), Kirigalpotta, Totapola, Samanala and Namunukula but there are several gaps through which the main hill masses could be traversed through Balana and Girigesthhena from the West. Southern platform forms a very striking watered feature resembling an unbroken wall of the hill ranges in the south.
Dense forests and vast stretches of green the plantations precaously clinging to the hill slopes along with cascading water falls add exceptional beauty to the area.
The temperature is mild unlike in the low country and a welcoming contrast to the heat in Colombo and other coastal areas some of the exciting towns in the hills are Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, Badulla etc.
The majestic Hill country capital Kandy
‘Kande-Uda-Rata’ which became Kandy for the easy pronousation by the British was really the ‘Royal city’ of the Sinhalese and the last stronghold of the Sinhala kings. This was captured by the British in 1815 and the whole island went under colonial rule. Kandy is famous for its lake near the town which was re-vitalized by a kandyan gentleman of the modern era, making it once more beautiful and eye catching place free from pollution. This adds beauty to the town surrounded by hills such as Hantana, Hunnasgiriya, Bahiravakanda etc. You can have a view of the entire city of Kandy from the Hantana range above the lake.
You can take the train and make journey upland from Colombo to witness the finest Hill country and regarded as one of the exceptional train journeys of the world. Kandy is well renowned for its cultural pageant taking place in July with a large number of elephants richly caparisoned, nilames in their traditional costumes Diyawadana Nilame docked in all regalia accompanying the casket of the Sacred Tooth relic of the Budda and riding on the majestic elephants, crackers of whips, all forms of dancers with respective drummers really fascinating to observe.
Nuwara Eliya, garden city of Asia
Nuwara Eliya, the highest town in Sri Lanka attract a larger number of visitors who enjoys golf, horse riding, pony rides, flower shos, trout fishing introduced by the British. The British explore Samuel babes had introduced Herefordshire cattle, strawberries, leeks etc. & transported them to this hill station. Victoria Park in the town is a calm scene-testing place for the tired visitor.Accommodation in Nuwara Eliya especially in April, hottest month in the low country is scarce and expensive but the money folk go there annually for golfing, horse racing and motor sport etc.
Bandarawela, healthiest holiday resort for its dry cool climate is conductive to good health
A sleepy town to the South East Nuwara Eliya had been regarded, as the healthiest holiday resort for its dry cool climate is conductive to good health. Haggle Botanical Gardens on the road to Bandarawela is a nature reserve and had been the royal pleasure garden of a Sinhala king of old and had been extended by the British. And is a splendid location to view the animals and birds.To the south of this is the bleak grassy plateau of Horton Plains, more than 6520’ above sea level. This is a good tracking country but you have to be careful of the thick mist especially afternoon and if you are caught in it you will be lost to the world at least for sometime.
Worlds End, most famous view
Most famous view in Sri Lanka is the world’s end, which drops down precipitously to about a mile to the farmland below. Baber falls could easily be seen from a trip to the Horton Plains, which is a rolling highland terrain of grassland interspersed with forest and unusual high-altitude vegetation. The plains reach over 2000 meters high with the mountains of Kirigalpotta and Totapola looming up from the edges of the plateau. The most tremendous feature of the strange silent world of the plains however is Worlds End, where the plains abruptly stop leaving you hovering over a straight drop of 880 meters.
Badulla, popular for the largest waterfalls
Chief city of the Uva province is famous for its tea estates and also for the largest waterfalls – Dunhinda of Sri Lanka.
High inaccessible places were held in high esteem awe and veneration from time immemorial as a main feature of worship of nature.
Adam’s Peak, the most popular pilgrime mountain
Adam’s Peak, Samantha Kuta or Sri Pada, Sri Lanka’s holy mountain as it is popularity known bears the foot print of the Gautama Budda placed on the summit during His third visit to the island. This is also adored and venerated by followers of other religions according to their own beliefs. Thousands of pilgrims of all faiths ascend this 2243 metre mountain during the pilgrim season starting from the Induwap full moon day in December to the Day of wesak in May. Thus symbolizing religious harmony among Sri Lankan.This is traditionally climbed annually by pilgrims of all faiths. The steep climb takes about 3 hours with the finest sunrise in Asia by the climbers could behold. The shadow of the mountain is cast over the land before you as the sun rises. Steep steps are cut into the mountainside studded with refreshment spots in between. From a far lights leading into the night sky resemble a path to the celestial world.
This really will be an unforgettable experience that you will always relish.
Highlands of Sri Lanka will provide anybody who appreciates a rural mountainous landscape with mush appeal.
Tea Estates in Sri Lanka Go for a relaxing tea estate tour
World famous Ceylon tea is produced with a bud and two tender shoots plucked by the nimble fingers of the tea pluckers. Ceylon tea is the world famous most popular brew in the world today. There are a large number of Tea estates in Sri Lanka and they are all across hill country and some are in the low country areas.
Are you a tea merchandiser and want to buy tea below the market price? Then visit http://www.ceylon-tours.blogspot.com page for more information.
Origin of the tea plant – Camellia Sinensis – is China and was introduced to Sri Lanka just before the failures of coffee due to the coffee-rust funs, which destroyed almost all the coffee plantation in the latter part of the 19th century. The Chinese had grown and exported tea earlier than this and it was introduced into India with great success. This must have encouraged the Europeans especially the British to introduce the tea plant to Ceylon as land was almost freely available for them after the Colebrooke Commission in 1832 recommended the confiscation of land cultivated for generation by the villagers without so called ‘deeds’ to prove ownership.
Early success of the tea crop in Ceylon was mainly due to the indefatigable effort, dedication and resolve of James Taylor who in 1873 was able to sell his first quality tea at a good price at the London auction. Different methods in manufacturing the tea leaves in different countries as China, India and Ceylon resulted in different varieis known as Ceylon, Indian and China tea.
In Lands with gentle slopes and above 3000 feet in height with good drainage, high rainfall throughout the year, mild climatic conditions and with reddish humus soil, tea plant with thrive and prosper. Higher hill slopes between 3000 – 8000 feet and with rain throughout the year, produce the best tea in the world.
Have you ever visited a tea estate in Sri Lanka
Majority of the tea estates in Sri Lanka, almost about 80% that produce better type of tea are in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Badulla districts. Especially at Nuwara Eliya you would find acres and acres of tea plantations covering the hill slopes with green everywhere. Nuwara Eliya with the necessary elevation, favourable mild climatic conditions and the reddish soil rich in humus produce the best Ceylon tea.
Low grown teas in areas between 1000 – 1800 feet in height are found especially in Galle and Ratnapura and have their own flavours, colour , aroma and are of good quality. Mid grown teas between 1800 – 3000 feet are better in flavour, aroma and colour.
Though the plant could grow to about 20 feet height tea bushes are pruned at intervals and not allow to grow more than 3 feet in height to facilitate the easy picking of leaves and to ensure a good supply of fresh young shoots. Though tea – plucking could be done throughout the year, best months are April and May. Production of quality vanics with the elevation of the land, humus-rich reddish soil, rainfall, method of cultivation and manuring. Soils should not be allowed to erode by rains as the humus needed for the plant may be washed away. To arrest soil erosiom, other types of plants had been grown amidst the tea bushes especially quick growing leguminous plants which also supply nitrogen to the soil.
Amount of tea manufactured differ annually depend mostly on the climatic conditions and it is roughly about 150 kgs – 600kgs per acre annually. Grades of tea normally manufactured in Sri Lanka are Broken Orange Pekoe, Orange Pekoe, Peoke etc. In addition to black tea, green tea is also produced by steaming the tea leaf instead of the process of withering and fermenting.
Chief buyers of Sri Lankan tea are USA, Britan, European countries, China, Iran, Iraq, etc.
There are several tea factories open for the visitors with guided tours offered free of charge and many a tea centre runs sales outlets. Some old factories had been turned into hotels with all the comforts including good food and comfortable accommodation while the sales outlest offer excellent tea. Labukelle tea centre on the Kandy road offers guided tours free of charge and the sales outlet sells best quality tea.
An old tea factory turned into a hote with all the comforts is at Kandapola. Almost the road to Colombo through Hatton,
The Tea Cup’ maintained by the Watwala plantation offers snacks and brewed tea and you could purchase good quality tea at its sales centre. At Talawakelle along the Hatton Road close to St. Clare waterfalls, you would find a tesraurant which offers open seating and also a sales outlet. You should be careful to buy only the best Sri Lanka tea.
Sri Lanka Food & Beverages
Rice and curry are the staple main course food of Sri Lanka, but the term 'curry' conceals an enormous variety of subtle flavors. Coriander, chilies, mustard, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and garlic are just some of the common ingredients which add flavor to both sea food and meat curries. Fresh sea food - crab, lobster and prawn, as well as fish - is excellent, and meat is cheap. Rice forms the basis of many Sri Lankan sweet dishes, palm treacle being used as the main traditional sweetener. This is also served on curd as a delicious dessert. Sadly, it is not easy to get good Sri Lankan Food in most hotels which concentrate on western dishes. You can get a thali for as little as Rs 50, whereas a meal in a good restaurant could cost Rs.250 buta buffet lunch at a 5-star hotel might cost you Rs.450.
Some foods that are common in Europe are both less readily available and of much lower quality in Sri Lanka, eg: breakfast cereals, bread, cheese and chocolates. NB Vegetarian food is much less common in Sri Lanka than in India, and in places can be difficult to get.
Fruit Sri Lanka has a wide variety of tropical fruit throughout the year, pineapple, papaya and banana being particularly good. The extraordinarily rich jack (jack) fruit are also available all year.
Seasonal fruit include mangosteen (no relation of mangoes),passion fruit, custard apples, avocado pears, durian and rambutan from July-October. In addition to ordinary green coconuts, Sri Lanka has its own almost unique variety-the golden King Coconut (thambil1);the milk is particularly Sweet and nutritious. Many spices are grown in the island and are widely available in the markets and shops. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and pepper are all grown, the Kandy region being a major centre of spice production.Many private spice gardens are open to the public.
Rice & Curry and other Foods
Rice & Curry
Rice & Curry is the main food of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans enjoy some of the spiciest foods in the world. Meat, fish and vegetables are prepared as curries. Sliced onions, green chilies, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and saffron are used to add flavors. Today, rice and curry has shifted from being the popular breakfast to the essential lunch.
A basic rice and curry requires one fish (or beef or chicken) curry, two different vegetables, one portion of fried crispy stuff like �papadam�, a �mallum� of chopped leaves and coconut, and a gravy or �hodda� of spiced and cooked with coconut milk.
The rice is always put on to the plate first and then the curries are selected from the other dishes to mix with it so you have a collection of minor meals around the plate. You eat by mixing the rice with something forming it in to a bite-sized ball and consuming by hand.
There is vast range of flavors and different curry mixes used for different foods. There are regional differences too. even with the same base food the taste will completely be different.
Hoppers are much like sour-dough pancakes or muffins. The batter is fermented in the traditional way with a little palm toddy, which gives the hoppers a delicious liquor tang. The batter is left to rise overnight, then thinned with coconut cream and baked in a round cast-iron pan. The hopper has a soft, fluffy, well-risen center, a golden brown crisp border and is lightly flavored with a hint of palm toddy and sesame oil with which the pan is greased. An egg is sometimes baked into the center, sunny-side up. Hoppers are equally good with hot sambals a hot sharp 'relish' of ground chilies, grated coconut's shallots & cured fish or curries or with jam-the one rule is to eat them hot.
String hoppers are made from a hot-water dough of rice-meal pressed out in circlets from a string mould on to little wicker mats, then steamed. Light and lacy, string hoppers make a mouthwatering meal with curry and sambol.
Pittu probably came to Sri Lanka with the Malay regiments of the Eruption colonial period. It is however completely naturalized now and is a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine. Pittu is a mixture of fresh rice meal, every lightly roasted and mixed with fresh grated coconut, then steamed in a bamboo mould. It has a soft crumbly texture and is eaten with fresh coconut 'milk' and a hot chilli relish or curry.
Kiribath (milk rice)
Kiribath is a ceremonial specific and included in all special occasion menus .kiribath is translated in to �milk rice". The rice is cooked in thick coconut cream for this un sweetened rice-pudding which is accompanied by a sharp chilli relish called �Lunumiris � or with a tackey coconut and treacle confection called �Panipol�
It�s a modern nutritionist�s dream of a perfectly balanced meal and a porridge of brown rice and coconut cream flavoured with the juice of green herbs such as Polpala (Aerva lanata) Hathawariya (Asparagus falcatus), Gotukola(Hydrocotyle asiatica) or Elabatu (Solanum xanthocarpum) Kolakanda is served steaming hot with a piece of juggery.
The Tamils of Sri Lanka who mainly live in the northern and eastern parts of the island have preserced sone of their on distinctive ethnic breakfast. Thosai is a great favourite, delicious and nutritionally perfect. The base for this lentil pancake is oorid,
(Mungoradiatys), a back-skinned pulse of delicate flavour which is soaked and ground to a smooth batter. The batter is then allowed to rise, flavoured wih fried shallouts, curry leaves, fenugreek and cummin and cooked on a hot griddle greased with sesme oil. Thosai which resembles a tortilla, is eaten with a finely ground coconut and chilly sanbal and is a delicious and satisfying meal.
Uppuma is another favourite meal among the tamils. This is a savoury porridge made of semolina and and flavoured with fried onion, chilly mustard and curry leaves.
The classic partner for thosai is vadai-a triumph of Tamil cuisne. These are small savoury rissoles of ground oorid of dhal- a fine red lentil. The lentil paste is mixed with minced shallot, green chillies, curry leaves and a dash of cummin and red chilli powder, fashioned into flat cakes and deep fried in coconut oil.Oorid or ulundu vadai are always made with a hole in the center-rather like small doughnuts.
Roti is a quickie meal- a little cottagey and easy to prepare. Wheat, rice or kurakkan(Eleusine coracana, a strongly flavored brown millet)-meal is mixed with fresh grated coconut and a touch of oil and baked on a hot griddle in thin flat cakes.
Roti is equally good with chillie relish or with syrup. Shallots, green chillies, curry leaves and Maldive (cured) fish flakes are akked to ring in the changes.
Herbal Ayurwedic Foods
It's amazing just how many herbal treatments and cures there are in Sri Lanka. Almost every herb, vegetable and fruit has a wide variety of medicinal properties. In short, there's a cure for every ailment if you know herbs well enough. Herbal medications are also becoming popular exports in Sri Lanka.
One of the commonest herbs with an array of medicinal uses is 'Welpenela'. Its botanical term is Cardiospermum halicacabum and some of its other names are heart seed, black liquorice and balloon vine. It is found aplenty in markets and growing in many a home garden. This small and delicate wiry climber can be used to treat piles, rheumatism, nervous disorders and chronic bronchitis. Its power lies mostly in its leaves which can also be used as a poultice for skin diseases. A paste of the leaves is a dressing for sores and wounds. Crushed leaves can also be inhaled to relieve headaches and the seeds used to relieve fever and body aches.
A popular flavoring leaf that is used widely in Sri Lankan curries known as 'karapincha' is also very medicinal. The leaves, roots, bark, stalk and flowers can be either boiled or powdered together to relieve any type of stomach disorder.
Bittergourd ( Karawila)
The leaves of the Bittergourd plant or 'karavila' can be crushed and the juice massaged into the scalp for a good growth of hair and to help prevent hair loss. The 'karavila' fruit, bitter as it is, increases the flow of milk in nursing mothers, when eaten in sufficient quantities.
Juice extract from karawila is drunk by diabetics and get immedite result.
This is known as Eclipta prostrata botanically, and it is a herb used in many forms to cure various diseases. In Sanskrit it is known as 'kasaraja' which refers to growth of the hair. This herb prevents the hair from becoming prematurely grey. Diseases of the skin can also be cured through this herb.
Cucumber, popular in salads, is a herb which is known to keep the kidneys healthy. Cucumber seeds when roasted, powdered and made into a coffee-like drink have been known to relieve colic. Thin slices of cucumber placed on tired eyes is supposed to have a soothing effect.
For sore eyes, the flowers of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) tree known as 'delun' can give great relief. The buds of the tree are boiled and the infusion given to stop chronic diarrhoea especially in children. The same infusion also relieves bronchitis. Bleeding from the nose can be checked by powdering the flowers of the pomegranate tree and applying it on the bleeding area.
The intriguing jak fruit is extremely nutritious and medicinal. Jak (Artocarpus reterophyllus) comes in two varieties in Sri Lanka. They are soft or 'vala' and hard or 'waraka'. The latter is more popular than the soft. The bark of the jak tree is used mainly for medicinal purposes including sprains and fractures.
Tender jak which is known as 'polos', can be made into a delicious curry and, in the diet of ancient Lankan royalty this was a dish that was rarely absent. Nursing mothers are given 'polos' and boiled jak to increase milk. 'Polos' curry also helps those recovering from diarrhoea, because 'vala' or the soft ripe jak is a laxative which can be eaten as it is. It helps clear the bowels and assists in digestion. It also helps relieve bronchitis when kept in bees honey and given to the patient each morning. 'Waraka' or the hard jak variety is beneficial to diabetic patients.
The leaves are dried, powdered and made into a coffee-like drink to be given to diabetics. According to an ancient recipe the ripe jak leaves are pounded and fried in gingili (sesame) oil and given to the diabetic patient each day. It is hard to imagine that such a simple recipe can be a cure for diabetes but the fact that it has been mentioned often in ancient books is proof of its efficacy.
The delicious mango (Mangitera indica) too has its share of medicinal properties. All parts of the tree can be used medicinally. Tender leaves dried and powdered are given for diarrhoea and diabetes. The smoke from the burning leaves can be inhaled for the relief of throat disorders and hiccups. The ash is an effective remedy for burns. And to remove warts on eyelids, the midrib of the mango leaves is burnt and the ash applied on the wart.
The juice of the mango tree bark has a remarkable effect on the mucus membrane. It can be given as a medicine to stop the discharge of mucus from the uterus, bowels and intestines. Bleeding piles and dysentery can be cured by the juice in addition to the white of an egg and a pinch of opium. The green skin of the raw fruit is dried and powdered and two teaspoons of this powder in half a cup of cow's milk with a teaspoonful of bees honey is another tonic for dysentery and piles. Meanwhile, the white juice that oozes near the stem when unripe mangoes are plucked, can be mixed with lime and applied as a remedy for skin infections or diseases.
An excellent gargle for sore throats is the fruit juice of the 'timbiri'. Known botanically as Diospyris malabarcia, the tree of this fruit is found commonly in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The ripe fruit is said to contain a high quantity of tannin contained in a gummy juice which is also useful in diarrhoea and internal haemorrhage. A poultice of the bark helps in boils and tumours while a decoction of the bark mixed with ghee is a soothing remedy for burns. A powder of the root bark can be prepared in a manner similar to coffee, which helps cure coughs.
For an earache 'erabadu' (Erythrina variegeta) and also known as Coral Tree is highly recommended. The juice of the leaves of this decorative tree with brilliant scarlet flowers, can be gently applied in drop form to the ears for relief. The fresh juice of the leaves mixed with a bit of bees honey is a good remedy for tapeworm, threadworm and roundworm and the dosage is one teaspoon once a day. A preventive against worms is the cooking of tender leaves with coconut milk. The juice of the leaves can also be applied to the gums to relieve toothache. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to joints of the body for relief from rheumatic pains.
Another important fruit-medicine is the 'nelli'. This is a small, green sour fruit with a very high quantity of vitamin C.z There is hardly any disease for which the 'nelli' is not used either singly or in combination with other herbs.
The 'nelli' is given to strengthen the retina and improves weak and defective vision. If dried 'nelli' is soaked overnight and the juice extracted and drunk each morning, it makes a good laxative. Leaves boiled and applied on skin eruptions is said to be beneficial. The ground leaves are said to cure eczema. Two tablespoons of 'nelli' mixed with a tablespoon of bees honey, taken regularly each morning helps reduce bleeding piles, while raw 'nelli', sour as it may be, improves complexion. Half a cup of 'nelli' juice twice a week helps keep bowel movements in order.
kohomba (margosa or azadirachta)
this is useful for certain diseases. It has definite antiseptic properties.
the roots of this plant have been used to make a preparation for blood purification; it is also employed in cough remedies.
These are medicinal properties of just a few of the many invaluable plants found in Sri Lanka. For every ailment there is probably a plant cure with none of the side-effects that strong synthetically processed drugs on the market have. In ancient Sri Lanka such remedies were commonly and effectively used although down the ages many of these medicinal remedies have become extinct.
gotukola (sentella asiatica)
this is known as remedy for hey fever and catarrh. It has a high content of vitamin A and folic acid. It's commercially available now as a herbal and in capsule form.
Sri Lankan Beverages
Panchakarma in Ayurveda - Sri Lanka
Concepts of Ayurveda, in every aspect resemble that of indigenous or the traditional methods of treatment in Sri Lanka. The main difference of these two systems depends on the practical approach in introducing the treatment methods with timely and traditionally proved drugs used in the medication by Sri Lankan Physicians. This is automatically proved, understood and convinced when any interested party does go through the written texts of the ancient scholars in Sri Lanka. “Sarartha Sangrahava” was written by the king named “Sri Buddhadasa” who was a reputed physician too. “Singhala Yoga Rathnakaraya” is another proof to add more weight to above statement and there are some more examples available.
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What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is based on the ancient wisdom of good living. The word Ayurveda is formed from the root words of Ayu = Life; & Veda = Science (or the way). Thus, Ayurveda is defined as 'the Science of life'.
This is an ancient system of medicine that uses herbs and oils to heal and rejuvenate. Heavily influenced by the system of the same name in India, Ayurveda is widely used in Sri Lanka for a range of ailments.
Essentially, it postulates that the five elements (earth, air, ether, water and light) are linked to the five senses and these in turn shape the nature of an individual's constitution -their DOSHA or life force. These DOSHAS are referred to in Sanskrit as VATA, PITTA and KAPHA. Each has a cluster of qualities that distinguish them from each other. Disease and illness occur when they are out of balance. The purpose of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore the balance and thus good health.
An Ayurvedic health cure is a preventive measure for the preservation of durable health up to old age
It also cleanses the body and is appropriate for wellbeing during post-convalescence and recuperation from acute or chronic illness
Consequences of Ayurveda are clear eyes, a refined skin tone, a robust nervous system, revitalization and regeneration with an increased zest for life
Conditions successfully treated by Ayurveda include; Diabetes, Stress, Migraine, Headaches, Overweight, Skin problems, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Bronchial Asthma, Arthritis, Sleep Disorders and illness of the Respiratory Tract, Heart & Circulation, Rheumatism, Acne, Nicotine Addiction etc.
The basic principle of Ayurveda treatment shows that by changing of food habits and the way of life, you can achieve internal harmony of both the body and the mind.
Ayurveda gives you a base to manage your daily life better, as you will develop the power to reject negative and disturbing forces of all kinds
- Ayurveda uses 100% Natural ingredients such as herbs & spices, plants, flowers, leaves, oil extracts, gems & stones.
- Personal attention by Resident Ayurvedic Doctors and Trained Therapists
- private examination and diagnosis for each individual guest
- A health programme based on Ayurvedic principals exclusively designed to meet the individual requirements of each guest
- Each guest is treated according to his or her special needs
- Detoxification, Rejuvenation, Strengthening of the immune system
- Special diet programme for each guest
- SHIRODHARA - head or face massage with warm herbal oil stream on forehead
- Head, face, feet & body massages.
- Herbal sauna, flower-bath & steam bath
- Cleaning of clogged nose & intestinal cleaning
- Headpack, eye treatment, rice-herb-oil massages
- Acupuncture, yoga
While the Western Medicine treats only the symptoms, Ayurveda treats the person as a whole, taking in to consideration his/her activities and the environment.
According to Western Medicine the diagnosis is focused mostly on the identification of a disease. In Ayurveda the diagnosis is much deeper.
It is believed that each person has varying degrees of VATA, PITTA and KAPHA (the Doshas). The process of a disease is the reaction in the body between VATA, PITTA, KAPHA and the organs. Good health means the steady control of a person's VATA- PITTA -and KAPHA, and the brining about a balance or harmony into one's lifestyle (good health). The imbalance brings about disharmony (disease) in the body. The symptoms are always connected with the imbalance of the Doshas.
Only if you understand the natural, basic principles of the fluctuation of the Doshas (disharmony) can you restore the balance by treatment.
Special nutrition according to Ayurvedic principals is an integral part of the therapy.
The doctor or a dietician will inform you which of the fruits, dishes, herbs and spices are recommendable to you. In Ayurveda, we distinguish food and drink according to the taste such as sweet, salty, spicy, hot, cold and bitter, and thereby their relevance for the energies (doshas). It is important that all tastes are represented in a meal in a unique way for every individual.
Alcohol, fizzy & chilled drinks are usually not served in most main restaurants. Smoking is not allowed.
Two to three weeks should be just enough. But we have programmes for just one week or if you wish to extend your stay for more than three weeks.
When you look back over your many achievements and conquests over the years, you feel a sense of accomplishment.
Through your life, you have pressed forward and found success in many areas ...materially, financially, professionally.
But at a price. Too many late nights at work, meetings, deadlines, targets and heavy responsibilities...have taken their toll on your body mind and spirit.
If LIFE only had a 'refresh' button...
You feel that you definitely need a break from the monotonous work, and really MUST get rid of the stress, migraine and headaches that constantly torment you.
Yes, you can!
If you are wondering how you could get back your clear eyes, a refined skin tone, a robust nervous system and an increased zest for life.. - and NO side effects!
Ayurveda is the answer!
Ayurveda therapy is based on the ancient wisdom of good living. The word Ayurveda is formed from the root words of Ayu = Life; & Veda = Science (or the way). Thus, Ayurveda is defined as 'the Science of life'. This is an ancient system of medicine that uses herbs and oils to heal and rejuvenate. Heavily influenced by the system of the same name in India, Ayurveda is widely used in Sri Lanka for a range of ailments.
The basic principle of Ayurveda treatment shows that by changing of food habits and the way of life, you can achieve internal harmony of both the body and the mind.
Ayurveda gives you a base to manage your daily life better, as you will develop the power to reject negative and disturbing forces of all kinds
Our Sri Lanka Ayurveda Hotels = Well being + Tropical Vacation
You can now look after your body and mind as well as enjoy a nice tropical vacation as well! We offer a selection of ayurveda hotels where you can have ayurveda therapy in sri lanka to spend your next vacation.