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Explore Sri Lanka, December 2011

Ambuluwawa: A World Away

I am wedged in a narrow and winding stairway high in the sky. The pinnacle of a stupa is visible at the tilt of my head, however, not much else… looking around I may as well be staring at a blank wall as a thick mist sweeps everything out of sight. Perched atop this curious structure that is likened to a stupa, 
I am but blindly aware of the precipitous drop and the panorama of landscapes that stretches below.

The Ambuluwawa mountain in Gampola is well known amongst locals, and its unmistakable presence marks a familiar landmark characterising the region. Wherever you may go in the bustling town, Ambuluwawa looms in the distance. It is almost a symbolic part of the daily lives of the people, so much so that the expression, “you are having a serving of rice the size of Ambuluwawa!” has been in use to remark on voracious appetites. Gampola is also a region entrenched in history which rose to become a kingdom and capital of the country under the rule of King Buwanekabahu IV in the 13th Century AD. Read more

Explore Sri Lanka, April 2013

Panama beyond the surface

We sojourned farther south of Arugam Bay to stumble upon a quiet village with unexpected stories, mysticism and bewildering traditions. 

Heading towards the Panama town from Kumana, we had resorted to a past time of restful gazing as we journeyed.

The small town of Panama unravelled with its pockets of shops aligning the busy streets, and gave way to quieter precincts. Our first signs of rural life emerged with the golden paddy harvests laid out to dry. This quaint, laid back life and its people held a charm that we were eager to discover. Our guide, a man of these parts as well, promised to lead us to a long standing member of the community who would be able to shed light on a seemingly simple way of life. Read More

 Explore Sri Lanka, September 2013

Whimsical Passekudah

Glance at a map and you may wonder where Passekudah Bay resides. Diminished between two large bays, Kalkudah and Vandaloos, this little indent on the eastern coast speaks for itself on sight.

Our wandering feet arrived at the southernmost limit of the Passekudah Bay around 5.30 in the evening. The 14 resorts and hotels pan out across the sandy arch and this time around visitors both tourists and locals had arrived in enthusiastic numbers to relish the prized seclusion that can be had here. It seemed all too recently that the Bay had once been a spot of complete isolation with no signs of life or disturbance along its entire length.

Yet, to say that there remains a beauty here that is spellbinding is no exaggeration. The iridescent blues and greens of the Bay’s waters, melding with the soar of the sky and the unblemished beach stretch are the ingredients of a potent lulling effect. You won’t find threatening or tumultuous waves that crash on to the shore, but a mellow ripple. The Bay waters are all the more arresting as light penetrates through to the seabed revealing remnants of coral and other life forms. Read more

Serendib, August 2011

Through The Sinharaja: A Trail To The Moulawella Peak

Dizzyingly high canopies, tiers of drenched greenery, breathless climbs, and an enthralling seclusion – it is the heart of the last remaining untouched rainforest in Sri Lanka. Within the impenetrable ‘walls’ of the Sinharaja or Lion King rainforest it was easy to forget a world beyond.

Looking at the model of Sinharaja trails through the glass display we were but naïve and hopeful adventurers. The eight kilometre Moulawella trail appeared to be sparing in its venture into this vast tropical jungle. After all the lowland Sinharaja rainforest spreads over an area of over 11,000 hectares covering three districts – Galle, Matara and Ratnapura. Read more

Serendib, June 2011

Tracing The History Of Alavala

Our journey began with the hopes of seeking out Alavala Caves. However, we were met with much more than what one would expect – rocky crevices, and pungent nooks and crannies. Instead the caves were where exciting archaeological findings were made, no less than unearthing fossils of ancient ‘hunters and gatherers’ – an entire livelihood of the Alavala Prehistoric Man.

Along the Kirindiwela- Nittambuwa main road just opposite the renowned Attanagalla Raja Maha Viharaya in the Gampaha District, a signboard directs to a turn off to Alavala Road. About two to three kilometres along the Alavala Road we reach Potgul-len Raja Maha Viharaya. The temple premises of 60 acres encompass the three caves that are located in the surroundings: Vihara Lena (cave of the temple), Potgul Lena (library cave) and Thapo Lena (hermit cave). Ven. Kamburawala Vajira Thero, the chief incumbent of the temple, graciously gave us an account of the many historical findings of the caves. Read more

Serendib, July 2013

Saradiel of Uthuwankanda

Sitting atop the rock at over 1,400 feet, Saradiel surveys the green expanse, his eye lingering on the Colombo-Kandy road that falls across his village, Uthuwan Kanda. The first sign of a cart laden with goods, and Saradiel begins descent to ambush unsuspecting British merchants. This was bounty for the poor and he, Saradiel was the local hero, the ‘Robin Hood of Uthuwan Kanda’.  Read more