Colombo 2015

This was a amazing tour to Sri Lanka at 2015.This country real reach on natural beauty. My tour plan was very last moment for Sri Lanka, but that was one of my most successful tour. We have celebrated Christmas and New Year at Sri Lanka.

The total duration of our tour was 11 days. Our tour was mainly targeted to celebrate the Christmas and New Year over Sri Lanka. For the total duration I have hired a private car for me with a English speaking driver cum guide. I had paid US$500 for the total duration to the car. The car gave me service from airport pickup to airport drop.  I had designed my plan such a way that I can cover most of the attractive places of Sri Lanka.

I started my tour from Colombo. I stayed in a beach side hotel called Global Tower. Colombo  is the capital of Sri Lanka. The is very well organized city.
I celebrated my Christmas at Colombo. As Sri Lanka have good percent of Christian population so the Christmas celebration is very attractive there. Also, during Christmas most of the offices and shops are closed for 7 days till new year. Also, every full moon is holiday at Sri Lanka. We get little effected because of this holidays but the good thing was roads were so free to move.

In Christmas Eve we visited Church and took a drive on the city road. Colombo have a good and long marine drive where we had a good walk. we enjoyed the local street food and sea food on marine drive. The roads and building was decorated because of X.mas. There were many many programs ongoing allover the city.

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After celebrating the Christmas at Colombo started we started to our second destination Sigiriya.

 

 

 

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Galle 2015

Nuwara Eliya is in center of Sri Lanka. From there when we started for Galle, we had to go down to the South. While coming down from Nuwara Eliya hills to flat land the roads where very nice. Hills…

Source: Galle 2015

Sigiriya 2015

Sigiriya is famous for Lion Rock. This is located near the city Damulla. It will come on the way to Candy. Lion Rock or Sigiriya Rock is a UNESCO world Heritage Site. This is iconic landmark of Sri Lanka. According to Sri Lankan history on top of this Rock King Kasyapa build his city at around 477 CE. Many Hindu religious believe that this was a palace of Ravana.

My journey from Colombo to Sigiriya was not pleasant. We traveled there just after the Christmas day. It took more time than the usual because of holiday. Many people way went to out of city to enjoy the vacation and we was going to Sigiriya when they all coming back. I have faced a huge traffic Jam while coming back.

On the way our driver took us to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Although this is called Elephant Orphanage but this no more use as orphanage. This is mostly a breeding center now. The entry fee is little high for foreigners, the price is half for SAARC countries. Children under 12 have free entry.

Most of the elephant was tied with chain, which I didn’t like. But the team was taking well care of elephants. I saw one baby elephant with eye problem, where one person giving eye drops to her. Many giant and baby elephant is available. Baby elephant was funnier. They were very close to the people. They don’t scare of human. Children can play with them, but be care full sometime the elephant push with their trunk. After noon they elephants are taken to the river for bath. That is very nice to see. There are some restaurant beside the river where you can eat and see elephant activities. You can do some street shopping on the site. But the product are much expensive then the market.

From online I booked the hotel. The hotel name is ‘Sinhagiri Villa’. When I arrived at Villa it was around 11:00 PM. The hotel was in very remote place. I was little upset to see the road towards the hotel. It was broken in many places. I was not at all happy to see the hotel. This was very unexpected to me. This is like a private farmhouse. I have been offered a room on the owner’s residence. The room was big but that all what I got, to TV no fridge no AC. My family was totally upset seeing this after a long hectic journey. The owner arranged some dinner for us. We just went to sleep as soon as possible to complete that night. That time I was thinking it is good that I have booked the hotel only for 1 night.

I woke up very early morning with many birds chirping around. I went out to the balcony and saw, there are lots of trees around. There are many kinds of bird around. I took my camera out and went outside. This seems to be haven for bird watchers. I took my son with me so that he can experience the nature which is very rare at Dhaka. I saw some other guest around who was staying on other bungalow. One family we have been introduced came from Swizerland. My son had friendship with their kids. Me and my son went for a walk around. There I notice some peacock in the Jangle. I manage to take some photograph of them. I saw the pick of the Lion Rock can be seen from the hotel location. It was very charming at the morning. Overall the morning at the hotel was not that much bad that I expected at night. After having an English breakfast we left the bungalow and start to visit the Lion Rock.

We started early to avoid the crowd, but that was not enough. Already many people were there to see Lion Rock. As a foreigner we manage to park our car little close to the rock garden. Our guide helped us to buy the ticket for us. It was little expensive for the foreigners to buy the ticket. We brought both ticket for museum and Lion Rock. The museum shows some prehistoric findings from this Lion Rock, also it demo the people’s lifestyle of that time. We didn’t take much time to see those. My Son and Wife were not enjoying that.

We had to take little walk towards the Rock base. The Rock Garden was very beautiful. We saw some mind blowing water fountain technology developer on ancient time. We were surprise to see the queue on the Lion Rock. From top to the bottom was filled with people. We were having a snail move to go up. On addition sometime it was raining and that made our climb more difficult. After walking for 2 to 3 hours we went to a place called mirror wall. A wall polished so smoothly that you can see yourself. Just before the mirror wall there is a cave where you can see many ancient wall painting. The painting was done using the colors from flowers.

Some Hindu believe that the girls on these painting is Ravana’s wife Mandodori. After the Mirror Wall we have to take little more climb to reach the Lion Paw. A pair of giant claws on both side of a stairs towards the top of the rock. Eventually my son was so tired to climb any further. So we stopped there and started going down to the base.

Our car was waiting at the base. From there we took our car and started our journey towards Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya 2015

From Sigiriya my next destination was Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain (table land)” or “city of light”. Nuwara Eliya’s climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. The city developed by British in the 19th century. Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, St Andrew’s Hotel and Town Post Office. The city is mostly famous for the Tea plantation.

Most of the road from Sigiriya to Nuwara Eliya I had traveled at night. By the car’s headlight I was seeing the curves of the hills. The cloud was coming down to the street, the visibility was almost zero. Our car was traveling very slowly. At around 9:00 PM we arrived to our next hotel ‘Princess Bungalows’. This was a Bungalow made during British colonial period. The hotel has very few rooms, but the rooms were so big. All rooms has classic fire place. The hotel authority lighted the fire place on our request. Initially they asked us to pay for the wood but later they did it complementary. Rooms are furnished with a big bed and a smaller one. But there was no cabinet in the room. They have a dinning space where all guest enjoy their food. It experienced me like I am in a friend’s house as a guest. Outside the Bungalow there is a small garden with some statues, a round table and a swing. Overall this was an exceptional hotel.

At early morning after my first night at Nuwara Eliya I went for a small walk. This is a classic hill station. Most of the houses and city structure build by British. After our breakfast we went to visit the tea gardens. One of the biggest tea state at Nuwara Eliya is ‘MACKWOODS’. Moackwoods own most of the tree gardens at Nuwara Eliya.  We visited their factory and tea processing area. There we come to see the different types of tea. The factory also have a sales area from there we brought lots of tea for us. In the canteen of MACKWOODS we enjoyed the fresh tea with brownie. Around the factory there is a great view. We walked in to the tea garden. The hills where covered with green carpet and the water fall is coming down. It was fantastic place to visit.

I have enjoyed the drive through the hill tack. Beside the road there was decoration with lots of flower. Roads were clean and smooth. My wife was not enjoying the drive as she has motion sickness. From Mackwoods we went to a Hanuman temple. According to the Hindu mythology ‘Nuwara Eliya’ was place where Ravana kept Sita. And here Hanuman came to rescue Sita. That’s why a Hanuman temple had been build here. The site location was very beautiful. From the top panoramic view was outstanding. After visiting the tea garden and Hanuman temple we were so tired and hungry for food.

Our driver took us to a wonderful expensive restaurant. I forgot the name of the restaurant. To get to restaurant a settle service will take you to the restaurant. We had a good buffet lunch there. We food was so good and we enjoyed a lot. Just outside to the restaurant there was a big big waterfall. We go little down to get closer to the waterfall. There was some sitting arrangement on the base of waterfall. We sit there for long and enjoyed the moment. Already it was late afternoon, so we went back to our hotel.

This was the last night of our Nuwara Eliya tour. At evening we enjoyed some good tea sitting beside the English fire place. It was feeling like we were time traveling to British colonial period.

From Nuwara Eliya our next destination was Galle. It was a long journey so our driver asked us to start as soon as possible. So after a great sleep at Princes Bungalow we start early towards Galle.

Galle 2015

Nuwara Eliya is in center of Sri Lanka. From there when we started for Galle, we had to go down to the South. While coming down from Nuwara Eliya hills to flat land the roads where very nice. Hills, tea gardens, waterfalls all made the nature so beautiful. We enjoyed the road side beauty. On the way our driven took us to another tea factory, we made a small visit there and purchased some tea as well. In this hilly region we saw lots of monkey around. They are not harmful and they don’t scare of human. You can go close to then to take picture. Our journey to Galle was long. Most of the roads were on the road. When we reached to the flat land it was around 2:00 PM. We stopped on a restaurant for our lunch. The restaurant was beside a river. Many people were doing the rafting on that river. After a short break we resume our journey again to Galle.

We reached Galle at around 7:00 PM. I booked a hotel called ‘Sayurima’ located at Ahangama. The outlook of the hotel was not outstanding. It was a averagely maintained hotel but the location of this hotel made it special. Many foreign tourist specially who come for water surfing stay here. The manager was newly joined and was trying everything to satisfy his customer. Anyway my family was not happy that night with the hotel.

Next day morning I realized why I have booked this hotel and why it is worthy. The hotel is adjacent to the ocean. The tide was breaking down on the rock on the hotel base. From my room’s wide window I can see the 360 degree of the ocean. Just in a little distance there was an island called ‘Devil Island’, that made the ocean view more beautiful. Just on the right side of the hotel there was a small sandy beach with lots of coral. As it was little remote from the main tourist spot the beach was quite untouched. It was like a private beach for the hotel. Mainly we didn’t have to go any were to enjoy the sea and beach.

Our plan to stay Galle was for 3 nights and to celebrate the 31 night on the beach. The day two at Galle was 30-December. We passed most of the time on the beach. Our driver offered us to visit some other locations but we didn’t feel like to go any were. We were fully satisfied with beauty of the site. The water was crystal clear, the water was not that much deep, we can walk far on the ocean. My son had lots of fun on the beach with sand and water. He made different sand Castel and decorate them with coral.  After the beach activity we had a good lunch sitting beside the ocean.

At the late afternoon we went to visit the Galle Fort. On the way we saw some fisher man doing still fishing. I tried to take some picture of them from my car, but one of the fisherman come to me and start asking money for the picture. He was saying, this still fishing is a hard job. So we have to pay if we take picture. I didn’t pay him but deleted those pictures. Fortunately on another beach I found some other fisher man doing still fishing, there I manage to take some picture of them.

Galle is a major city of Sri Lanka. This land was ruled by Portuguese, Dutch and British. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.

Inside the Galle Fort I saw a mini version of Europe. The road structure shops and houses are all like European style. They have some hotel inside the fort, but they all were occupied because of New Year. The shops are very expensive they charge 3 to 4 times then the normal market. For the Christmas there was some fair running in the fort. We have been there and enjoyed our evening a lot.

Next day was the 31-December. The day time we passed on our private beach. At afternoon we went for some shopping in the Galle city. I didn’t enjoy the shopping at Galle. There were no big malls or market. The market we have visited was so small and narrow. We did minimum shopping from there. But the Galle city was too busy to welcome the New Year. I witnessed a parade on the road showing the different time period of the Sri Lanka. The rally showed the ruler starting from their first king to Ravana after that the European rulers and finally the modern independent Sri Lanka.  Many people were dancing on the road, some big elephant was also added on the show.

We have visited a Japanese temple and Hanuman temple at Galle. According to the Hindu myth when Hanuman was bringing a part of Himalayas on his hand, a small part dropped on Galle. That is small hill now. On top of that a hanuman statue has been build. Just beside the hanuman temple a Japanese temple has been build. We have found a wonderful view of Galle city from this Japanese temple.

Beside the temple there is a beach call Jungle beach. We went there and passed our evening there. From the Jungle beach we saw a wonderful sun set to say good bye to year 2015.

We planned that at the night we will celebrate new year on our hotel beach. We planned avoid the heavy crowd in Galle Fort. So we brought cake and some dinner to our hotel room. At 12:00 AM we all gathered on the beach, some hotel stuff was doing some fire work. We welcomed the New Year from the south most shore of the Indian Ocean. This was a memorable New Year of my life.