Sri Lanka!

Tripoto
23rd Feb 2017
Photo of Sri Lanka! by Ishita Bhowmik

I tell you, I am blessed like really, I am blessed!

I possess a couple of friends who don’t think I am mad, when over late night discussions I pop up with something like - 'Dude, the budget is on all time low, I am broke but I need to go somewhere, let’s take a trip to Sri Lanka!'

So there it was, we were going to Sri Lanka and to tell you frankly initially the we included only two people that gradually increased to three. Sri Lanka if not infamous, is also not really famous as a travel destination, in India.

My effort to put together this piece is hence an attempt to burst some myths around it, common ones being:

~ There is nothing worth visiting there

~ Who goes to SriLanka?

To the first point please judge after reading this fully and viewing the pictures included and in answer to the second well, all people who love travelling and appreciate beauty visit Sri Lanka, its a must visit!

Feb 23 - Feb 27 2017!

Day 1

Day 1 - Colombo

Our journey started with a late night flight from Mumbai. There are many options available in flights, to make the travel as economical as it can go consider travelling from Chennai and if money isn’t the concern then go for direct flights which ply 2 a day from Mumbai.

For VISA, it is suggested you apply online @(http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/) as the on arrival VISA facility has been terminated.

The VISA (ETA) is issued in 24 hours post you fill in the required details and make a payment of 20 USD.

We reached at around 4.30 a.m, and just FYI the airport is in Negombo and buses for Colombo ply every half an hour from in front of the airport starting 5.30 a.m.

The bus ride is approximately of 45mins and it would leave you at the Pettah bus depot. We reached Pettah at around 7 and took a Tuk Tuk to our Hostel at Galle Face, Colombo.

Word of Advice -

~ You should try and book your stay near Galle Face in Colombo for it’s the most happening part of the city and positions you among the posh and main highlights the city has to offer

~ Ensure you take a Tuk Tuk (autorickshaw in common language) that runs by meter and not otherwise

We started on our mission of discovering the city only post grabbing some sleep at the hostel. Our first destination was a local mall - ‘Crescat’ for we were famished. The mall is small and boasts of many unseen Sri Lankan local brands, the food court is at the ground floor. Do not forget to feast on some Sri Lankan delicacies which a variety of stores there offer.

Our next destination was the famous ‘Gangaramaya Temple’ of Colombo which boasts of a huge Buddha inside and a small floating monastery on the lake. Post grabbing some quick pictures, National Museum of Colombo became our next stop.

Photo of Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Gangaramaya Temple, Sri Jinarathana Road, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of National Museum, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Word of Advice -

~ Generally cheap, the country goes expensive when we talk Tuk - Tuk as transportation mediums. Walk if you want to truly enjoy or take buses

~ Shops are limited, stock up enough water if you intend to explore the city on foot

The Museum and mostly the walk to it, left us so tired that finally we had to take a Tuk - Tuk to Pettah Floating market, our next destination in Colombo. The floating market boasts of a beautiful floating cafe and is a great place to experience the sunset, if we exclude the best place Galle Face.

Photo of Pettah Floating Market, West East Bastian Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Pettah Floating Market, West East Bastian Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

The night grew in fast, and was mostly spent exploring the city further, mostly along the sea face and dining in a Chinese restaurant that cooked our food in front of us on a hot plate in built in the table. We soon gave in to the night, waiting for the next day to dawn upon us.

Photo of Sri Lanka! by Ishita Bhowmik

Day 2 - Colombo to Nuwara Eliya

The day made way for us to experience a beautiful train journey from the city of Colombo to the hill station Nuwara Eliya.

That journey told a story as the train negotiated across steep gradients, lush green jungles and imposing tunnels, we were mostly found at the doors of the wagon as dreamy vistas of incomparable beauty flashed in front of our eyes and the hot and humid weather of the plain vanished and the cold breeze of the mountains made its way with the evening tailing along.

Day 2
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Our bookings were at the Himawari Hills infront of Lake Gregory, Nuwara Eliya. We reached while the sun was setting and soon were nestling comfortably into the sofas of the hotel and the night was spent peacefully just like that post our dinner at a floating boat restaurant at Lake Gregory.

Himawari Hills

Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Lake Gregory - Nuwara Eliya

Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Lake Gregory - Nuwara Eliya

Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Day 3 - Adam’s Peak and the heritage city of Kandy

Our day started early, for we wanted to trek to Adam’s peak located some good distance from Nuwara Eliya. We chose to travel by bus this time. The bus ride was equally beautiful and made the trek to Adam’s peak look much aspirational from an hour before, we actually reached the starting point.

Day 3

En-route Adam's Peak

Photo of Sri Pada / Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

We started off quite enthusiastically but soon gave in after 1.5 hrs of trek and decided to spend some time at a stupa that falls on the way. Clouds kept on playing hide and seek with the mountains while we were relaxing offering us a sight to ogle at.

Photo of Sri Pada / Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Sri Pada / Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Sri Pada / Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Much later we realised that our relaxation has to end to make way for our next destination Kandy, to be reached via train starting from Hatton, which in turn was an hour’s bus ride away from Adam’s Peak.

Kandy - As is clear we reached here late and headed straight to ‘The Cherry Tree’, where we had our bookings made for the night.

I have to shout out here, we had an apartment all to ourselves with free ice creams and cold drinks which we got at a steal deal. We soon gave in to the night.

The Cherry Tree

Photo of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Day 4 - Kandy, Pinnawala Elephant’s Park and Bentota

Post a lovely breakfast we checked out of our apartment in Kandy to see the famous ‘Tooth Temple’ which is rumoured to be the host of Buddha’s tooth since ages. The temple is located at the foot of Kandy lake, which came as a complimentary treat. We soon wrapped up from there to visit the famous Pinnawala Elephant’s Orphanage and were lucky to witness the elephants taking a bath in the lap of nature.

Day 4

Tooth Temple - Kandy

Photo of Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, Kandy, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Kandy Lake, Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, B199, Rambukkana, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, B199, Rambukkana, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Post some photographs we headed straight to Colombo from where we were to leave for our final destination Bentota!

We had saved the best for the last!

Day 5 - Bentota

If heaven was found on earth it was there for us that day!

We had checked in to Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, a five star hotel which we picked up at a steal deal from booking.com.

Word of advice -

~ Keep your eyes and ears open, booking.com throws in steal deals from time to time

The hotel had a private beach and a private lake front for its guests to enjoy exclusivity and nature’s beauty in its most pristine form that Sri Lanka had to offer. The day was spent just lazing around post a long dip in the sea.

Our short trip came to a conclusion with luxury served cheap, we were after all at a budget trip remember ?

Photo of Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, Bentota, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, Bentota, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, Bentota, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik
Photo of Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, Bentota, Sri Lanka by Ishita Bhowmik

Sri Lanka, you beauty shall meet you soon again, while you guys kindly take some efforts and let me know if I was able to alter some of your views by the end in the comments below.

Find me at Facebook by the name Ishita Bhowmik, feel free to ask questions (if any) by typing in a message here or there.

1 Comment(s)
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excellent, Being a neighbor country.. Srilanka Offers many luxuries and attractions, Only wish they promote this in INDIA.
Tue 03 21 17, 01:38 · Reply (1) · Report
truly....
Tue 07 11 17, 09:45 · Report