On the arrival at Nigambo airport in the noon , we headed straight to Dambulla which is a 3 to 4 hrs drive based upon your breaks in between. This day nothing much done except for enjoying the road trip .This journey of enjoying the lush green Lanka seemed to be a heads up for the rest of my 5 days stay!
Sigiriya fort one of the heritage sites of Lanka is a must watch. This involves little trekking else there is an option to go around the hill fortress in tuk tuk (auto). Also remember to carry your passport since the entry ticket is half price for Indians.
Having done with the Sigiriya trek we had a leisure breakfast at our homestay then marched for the next little climb. Buddhist cave temple has entry fee of approx 700/- in Indian money. Climbed up the hill just to get stunned seeing around the Buddha statues sculpted in the caves under a overhanging rock. The other side to step down the hill leads you to the Golden temple of Buddha. Heard from my cab driver that Dambulla is also famous for its spa centers. Visited Athreya Spa at Hebbarana which is very close by had full body massage for 1 hr followed by steam bath. Around these areas one can see elephant often very close while you are on road.
Our very cooperative host managed to serve breakfast before we could start to Kandy. The first spot we visited in Kandy was Buddha Tooth Relic. It is recommended to carry Indian passport as we have price slash here too. After spending around 2 hours of time in the temple, went around the lake, view point and started heading towards Nuwara Eliya. The entire stretch towards Nuwara Eliya is a treat your eyes with lush green scenery around you. As you go up the mountain you will start witnessing small falls at regular intervals. With our cab driver’s suggestion visited Damro Tea Factory to sip a cup of tea. Fortunately an employee took a tour of the manufacturing plant and showed the actual tea making process. By this time got kind of used to drinking black tea without milk so bought some real good tea packs and continued the journey. This day ended just after reaching the Guest house!
Started as early as 6.30 am straight to Horton Plains. On the way stopped at Sita Temple which is believed to be the place where Sita Devi was held abducted by Ravan. The temple is situated on the banks of a river where Lord Hanuman had conversations with Sita. It took around 2 hours from here to reach the Hortons plain. On the way stopped by Ambewela Dairy farm to gulp a glass of milk after being surprised to see exclusive grasslands maintained for the cattles to feed on. Even bought couple of ghee bottles. Once you enter the plains after the ticket counter you witness a very different landscape. There is a canteen on the top where we had break before beginning the 10km trek.
With no idea how I was going to complete the trek just started walking admiring the vast plains with river flowing by your side through out the trek. The entire trek stretch has plain lands with thick forest in between. Had sometime spent in the Baker’s fall which is in the middle of a forest and walked towards the World’s end point. One will be shocked to see the abrupt end of the land. From there I could see nothing but ocean of clouds around. With the pleasure of completing the trek returned down from Nuwara Eliya. Initially our plan was to stay that night in Nuwara Eliya but decided to do night journey and reach Bentota that very night.
Bentota was our choice over any other beach places since we wanted a calm and less crowded more kind of a relaxing place. The guest house was a premium class one which was located just beside the lake. Infact breakfast was served in a wood house built over the lake. After the scrumptious breakfast (I mean it!) enjoyed the sofa ride water sports(suggest Malubanna sports). Walked for a mile in the bentota beach followed by a native lankan meal.I strongly suggest that the wooden art gallery in Bentota is the best place to buy souvenirs than relying on Colombo. Bought really good wooden elephant and few souvenirs for friends and relatives.Inside the town few shops sell very good quality leather handbags. Please do snatch them, don’t miss assuming you would get a better one in Colombo. Winded up the day out with visiting tortoise house where you get to see tortoise ranging from 1 day old to years old.This being located very close to beach, incidentally saw the beautiful sunset. Every day around 6.15 PM few tortoises from the museum are left into the sea. Separate ticket to be bought if you are interested to do hold the tortoise in your hand and give them freedom by sending them back to their origin-sea. Thus another day came to an end!
Last day of the trip! This day was dedicated to roam around the capital city Colombo as we had our flight in the evening. Started after breakfast from Bentota and reached Colombo in less than 2 hours. I have a habit of buying clothes from the places I travel. Bought a Osariya which is Srilanka’s native saree. One portion of the city where Tamils were in majority was getting prepared for the Pongal Celebration. On the other side you can see the city gearing up for a man made island similar to Palm Island Dubai. Had lunch at the iconic Ministry of Crabs for its fame and the love for sea food. Almost covered roaming the entire city and started towards the airport!
Srilanka gave me a home like feel and for sure will visit again in the future!