The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear Srilanka is Ramayana, with Shri Ram,Sitaji , Lakshmanj, Hanuman Ji & Ravana. But Srilanka has lot more to offer than this like beautiful serene beaches, tea gardens, green mountains,clean roads, scenic railway line beside sea, unexplored waterfalls, etc. When we hear Srilanka and think that Srilanka is less developed than India and you may not get good facilities, but we are highly mistaken over here. Sri Lanka is full of good roads, disciplined traffic sense of drivers & pedestrians,clean roads without any potholes. The people of Srilanka are also very helpful, caring and they love all the visitors (obviously western people are more welcome).
The best season to visit Srilanka is from October- April when the climate is very pleasant with less humidity, rain and heat.
Srilanka is very famous for gems, tea, spices, ayurvedic oil, crockery, etc for shopping.
Majority of Indians visit Colombo, Kandy, Bentota, Nuwara Eliya & Dambulla. They all have to offer different climatic conditions, terrain, nature and feel.
I recently visited Srilanka in Mar'2020 just before Covid-19 breakout and was lucky enough to come back safe without any infection.
We visited 4 cities majorly Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara-Eliya & Bentota.
Details of each place in detail along with Itinerary and pictures as below:
We took the Indigo flight from Ahmedabad to Colombo airport which is generally the cheapest.
You can either opt for visa on arrival or get an e-visa for Srilanka to make your journey hassle free
I would suggest you to buy local currency SLR rupees at the airport as you may get the best rates there.
Then we process to the Pinnawala Elephant orphanage, where you can see herds of elephants playing, bathing in the river and showering each other and also feed them if you want in the group.
In this orphanage, there is specific time for every activity happening as seen in the below picture.
Then if you want, you can proceed to the elephant safari where you take a ride in the jungle area sitting on the back of the elephant, then shower the water on you from their trunk, feed them bananas, and also bathe them in a splash of water.The jungle path that is taken is too adventurous full of slopes, greenery which adds to the fun. You must do this activity.
Then we proceeded for the Kandy local sightseeing and had an overnight stay in Kandy.
The next day we left for the Nuwara Eliya, the beautiful hill station of Srilanka where you don't need an air conditioner even in the afternoon in the regular season. filled with scenery. On both sides of the road you can see beautiful mountains with tea gardens, large tea estates, hotels, homes and waterfalls. The roads are too scenic if you are a nature love, it's a treat to watch.
So we went to one of the largest tea estates of Srilanka " Damro tea " . They take you to visit of their tea making factory and then offer you complimentary tea. They have very wide varieties of tea like European, American, Milk tea, Green tea, etc.
The location is perfect to click pictures with tea gardens in the backdrop.
Then we checked in at the hotel " The FIRS" (5* hotel made up in a bungalow) with a beautiful backyard, awesome palatial suite rooms with Jacuzzi & view to "Gregory Lake". There is an Indian restaurant named " Indian Summer " nearby where we headed for our dinner and we were very happy with the food taste.
The other sightseeings in Nuwara Eliya includes "Gregory lake" which opens at 9:00 AM is a good spot for boating and clicking beautiful pictures with lake waters, tea gardens & Nuwara Eliya city in the backdrop.Try going here in early morning for best pictures.
Another famous sightseeing in Nuwara-Eliya is "Ashok Vatika". The place where Sitamata was kept by Ravana after her abduction.Even today there are footprints of Hanumanji at that place where he came to give the message of Shriram to Sitaji.This place was a treat to watch here and can find inner peace here.
Then we proceed to another nearby beautiful, scenic, tourist hotspot & mythological hill station of Srilanka called "Elle". In Elle you can find Ravana Caves,Ravana falls, Ellawala waterfalls,9 Arch bridge, etc. The train ride from Nuwara-Eliya to Elle is one of the world's most scenic railway trips in the world. So you can ask your agent to buy the train tickets well in advance to experience this.
"Ravana falls" ranks as one of the famous, widest waterfalls in Srilanka.It is said that Sitaji used to bathe in the pool that accumulated in the water falling from this waterfall.
The pool is not too deep and so you can bathe in below this waterfall. The way to the pool is bit tedious and slippery so need to take utmost care as if you slip then there are big rocks which may hurt you seriously.
"Ravana Caves" is the cave built by Ravana and one need to take 700 steps to enter the cave and you are not allowed to enter beyond one point in the cave because of some reasons. We did not go even inside the cave and returned from the entrance as we were short of time.
Then we went to The Nine Arch(sky) Bridge in Ella which is on the Demodara loop and spans 91 meters at a height of 24m. The beautiful nine arches make it a very picturesque spot especially as it is located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting. Behind the railway, a forest is booming and below, tea leaves are being cultivated.This was built by British Colonial and entirely made up of rocks, bricks & cement.The name derives from the visual experience. When you stand below the bridge and look up you can see the sky through the nine arches.
Then we proceeded to the unexplored Ellawala waterfall which was suggested by our local friend Ms Umashini and I also suggest you guys that place should be on your must visit place in Sri Lanka.We were ready to visit this place as soon as we saw beautiful pictures of this place. We followed the Google Maps as our driver was also going to this place for the first time. He dropped us at around 3 kms away from the actual site.Then we took a tuk-tuk for around 600 SLR for a round trip which we took from parking to the closest place possible.The path is very rough as it's between the mountains full of slops, wet and muddy roads made up of san,stones only. After that we need to hike around 500 meters which is actual trekking like you will get big rocks, climb and jump from one place to another, small water streams also pass on the way and sometimes you may also feel that there cannot be a way from here, but you need to go on and on straight and then you will see the best sight, a treat to watch place Ellawala waterfall.The waterfall in reality was much better than what we saw in the picture and felt the hard work we did was appropriate to see this place.We were awestruck and we almost spent 2 hours here as this place is very less crowded with only 6-10 Europeans present, we bathed, clicked many pictures as below and did not wanted to return back. Please take care of dogs as there are many dogs here which bark alot and dont know if they bite or not. If you feel you can take the help of a local shopkeeper at the point where the tuk tuk drops you near to the waterfall. We asked him to drop us till the waterfall.The locals do not understand English language at all so need to be good at sign language.
The other famous sightseeing places which we did not cover are Little Adams Peak and you can also visit Hortons Plain which is nearby to Nuwara Eliya.
Then we proceeded to Bentota, the famous beach destination of Srilanka and reached Bentota around 7:00 PM.
We resided in hotel Ekho Surf which is on the beach hotel and our room was on ground floor facing beach. We step out from the room and we are on the beach. Hotel Ekho Surf staff is very helpful and they helped us celebrate the birthday of my wife which was her wish. The next day early morning we enjoyed the beach water of the Bentota, which is very clean, the waves current is also very good and safe to bathe in the sea.You can enjoy a lot as there are very few people to disturb you on the beach as it's kind of a private beach.
Other major things to do in Bentota includes:
Maduganga River Safari is a 2-3 hours boat ride in the Madu Ganga river which in the end meets the Indian Ocean. This is the 2nd largest wetland in SriLanka spread across 150 acres of land and the last remaining tracts of Mangrove forest.
The boat traverses through thick mangrove forests, which provide protection to a large number of aquatic birds, animal and plant species. One can get a chance to see crocodiles, water snakes, tree snakes, and wild boars in their natural habitat during the boat ride.
The river also consists of 25 islands, out of which only 15 are of sizable landmass and safe to visit. One island where the motorboat halts is the Cinnamon Island which has cinnamon trees sprawling over acres of land, and the plantations date back to the 1900s. It is an age-old cinnamon plantation set on an island that has been run by a single family for generations. Here, one can learn more about the process of harvesting cinnamon. Another stop in the Madu River Safari is at Koth Duwa, one of the large inhabited islands in Madu Ganga. The island houses an ancient Buddhist Temple comprising many buildings and thus covers the entire island. The noteworthy places in the temple are Bo-tree, Image house, and Dagoba.
Another stop in the Madu River is the island that has only ancient Ganesh temple.
Another interesting thing to do during the safari is the fish spa in the midst of the river. Sailing through the mangroves, one will encounter several rectangular fish tanks teaming with Gourami fish. The primary purpose of these fish tanks is to provide fish therapy. The natural environment around the fish spa is fantastic, and you get uninterrupted, scenic views of the vast mangrove forests. The fish spa is generally included in the package.
Sea Turtle hatchery farms is turtle conservation center where the turtles are kept safe from predators and visitors can visit and they will be guided for the complete process of protecting and hatching while visiting.
The next day we left for the capital city of Srilanka, Colombo in the early morning after breakfast and we checked into Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo where we had a beach facing room with a balcony on the 9th Floor.
The major sightseeing places include Independence square, Lotus Tower, Galles Facebeach ( best place to watch sunset and relax), Balley' casino ( if you are a casino fan we provide casino packages as well), Laksala and Pettah market for shopping fans and best place to buy souvenirs(they do lot of bargaining so please do it).
So the next day we returned to the airport and our journey to beautiful Srilanka ended with happy memories.
So Sri Lanka is a place filled with scenic beaches, clean city, tea garden mountains, picturesque railway, Elephant safari, Casino, Spices, Ayurvedic oils, Ramayana.
We had a chance to visit only half of Srilanka which we will cover in the next trip. But you can visit all the places in Srilanka with our tailor made itineraries to Srilanka by clicking on this link: http://travelotrek.com or contact us on (+91)9409083099.
Mandatory things to be carried.
Must things to do in Srilanka:
Elephant Safari Watersports activities Maduganga river safari Drink Yellow color cocounut Travel in train from Nuwara eliya to Elle Visit Ella walla waterfall Visit Lotus tower Visit Balleys casino Visit Galle front beach