Flights and Visa
I picked Chennai as my starting point because I got round-trip flights for 8 - 9k INR from Chennai. You can easily find return trip flights for 12 - 15K INR from any city if you plan ahead and book on time.
And the visa process for Sri Lanka is quite easy and takes just a few minutes. You get an E-Visa for this country for 1200 - 1400 INR which is valid for a month. All you have to do is apply online and pay the fees and you will receive the visa in just 10 minutes.
You don't have to carry the visa with you since it is all automated. So, once you provide them with your passport, they will search for e-visas and then stamp your passport for approval.
As my return flight tickets were for Colombo, I started my journey from Chennai to Colombo and then spent 2 days here, exploring the capital city. After that, I made my way to Kandy in a 5-hour train ride and spent another 3 days here.
I also took a day trip to Sigiriya from Kandy on the last day and then made my way to the 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya. Here, I explored the famous Horton National Park and the beautiful landscapes for 2 days and then made my way to Ella in train on the 3rd day.
In Ella, I spent 3 days, exploring and relaxing in the hill station while being rewarded with an amazing view. From here, I took a bus to Mirissa and spent another 3-4 days exploring the beaches of the South. Next, I moved to Unawatuna and Galle and spent a day or two here and then returned back to Colombo on the day of my flight.
Since Sri Lanka is relatively small, it is easy to travel around quickly from one city to another and you can easily pack a lot in a 2-weeks visit to this beautiful island.
This is the route that I would recommend for a 2-week visit here:
India - Colombo - Kandy - Sigiriya - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Ella - Mirissa - Unawatuna - Galle - Colombo
Personally, I think that 2 weeks are less to cover the island but if you are short on time, then you can include the above-mentioned places in your itinerary.
What is Couchsurfing?
One of the major contributions in helping me stick to my budget was couchsurfing as my accommodation option. Now, for those of you who don't know about Couchsurfing, it is the best way to meet new people and build your travel connections.
Couchsurfing is an application where you can search for hosts in a particular country or city who will be willing to let you crash at their place. For free. Yes, you heard me right! This app lets you find free accommodation with like-minded people who are interested in sharing their own travel stories and cultures with you.
Trust me, this is completely safe and a great way to make new friends and learn about new cultures. All you need to do is make your account on the Couchsurfing website/app and then get yourself verified.