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99 Kms from Mount Lavinia
After my one night in Ambalangoda, I set out to Galle (again on train) because it's quite easy on the wallet and its the...
After my one night in Ambalangoda, I set out to Galle (again on train) because it's quite easy on the wallet and its the best way to see the country. I wanted a place right in the middle of the Fort because I wanted to explore the tiny little shops and the new restaurants that have come up! Chandolu is a hidden gem. A villa situated right in the middle of the Fort with reasonable rates and a plunge pool which I found to be quite interesting. My bedroom window opened to a view of the Fort and I couldn't be happier.
The second pitstop of this coastal road trip is the historic city of Galle barely just an hour's drive from Hikkaduwa. You might want to keep at least a few hours on hand to enjoy the sights of this colonial beauty. From narrow cobbled streetways and cozy lanes lined with artsy cafes and Dutch villas, this vibrant city is an ideal place to take a peek into Sri Lanka's colourful heritage.
Our next and last stop was Galle. We stayed inside the Galle Fort, a fortification that starts from the Clock Tower at one end and encircles the entire Dutch settlement till the Lighthouse at the other end. An hour and a half hour walk from the Clock Tower to the Lighthouse with the sun setting into the waves of the India Ocean makes you wish for the time to stand still.
4.Get the morning train to Galle which comes from Colombo. You can stay here for relaxing at Jungle beach or can get back to Bentota after sightseeing Galle fort in evening. I preferred to return to Bentota as I am more interested in sightseeing than relaxing.
I kept the bags at Unawatuna and went to Galle for the interesting cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Apart from the cricket, there is Galle Fort which is a good place to visit.After wandering in the Galle Fort, I headed back to Unawatuna for the night stay.
Next morning, I got up a bit late. I was unable to bend my knee, the pain had worsened. The owner of the resort gave me some kind of ointment but it didn't provide any relief. I made my mind and thought of continuing my journey. I had breakfast which the owner's wife had cooked, it was some authentic Sri Lankan food; it was exquisite.I boarded a bus from Mirissa to Galle around 11 AM and reached Galle in an hour. It was getting really hard for me to travel. I met this English couple on the bus who gave my some painkillers by looking at my state. I wish I had clicked their picture but I was not in the right state.
We got off at the train station and headed to the Dutch Colony where we booked our accommodation. (If you're visiting Galle, stay in the Dutch Colony and take a stroll around the Colony and you are sure to get lost on your way back. It's worth it.) The Dutch architecture astounds you. Every street, every house, every shop and every restaurant is built keeping symmetry as a key ingredient. The beauty of the architecture is in its simplicity. A tour around the Galle Fort gives you beautiful sights of the Ocean and drains your energy out. It gets a bit crowded in the evenings. Try visiting the place early morning. A visit to Japanese Peace Pagoda and Jungle Beach is also a must. Jungle Beach has bluish-green waters. It is tucked in a tiny corner beyond the Japanese Peace Pagoda. The food is good and you'll love the view and mood with Sri Lankan music band playing in the vicinity. While Galle and Colombo greet you with the tropical climate of the Coast, you could head to Mirissa which has Whale & Dolphin watching, with a cruise ride. It's also a surfer's paradise and has surfing schools. Living in the Wild However, our itinerary included Yala National Park (known for Leopard-spotting). The tented accommodation was eco-friendly and it's something that teaches you to adjust without daily pleasures of hot water and other luxuries. We did the evening safari which lasted close to 4.5 hours. It was totally worth it as we camped the night in the National Park, amid shrill sounds in the wild. This was a magical evening as it was a full-moon night with campfire and candle-light dinner (BBQ). We woke up to a beautiful morning with birds chirping and sounds of other creatures, had a good breakfast and left Yala where we met one of the best human beings in Sri Lanka, our tour guide, our driver and a good friend - Krishna ( His Facebook page). Krishna - Our saviour in Sri Lanka My friend spotted Krishna while researching about transportation in Sri Lanka and spoke to him a couple of times. He found him as the best tour guide in Sri Lanka, as suggested by Trip Advisor. Little did we know that he will be our saviour there. Krishna provides transportation/ guide services through his company Tuk Tuk and Taxi Services. Krishna brought Kumar, his friend and colleague along while ferrying us to Nuwara Eliya. A die-hard Sangakkara and A.R. Rahman fan, Krishna is sure to entertain you with his adrenaline-pumping music (if you too are a Rahman fan) and his love for Tamil movies. Not only does Krishna give you the right plan, he will also help you save a lot of money through right advice. He is also a great storyteller who gives you snippets about his life and keeps you entertained throughout the journey, provided you reciprocate. One of his witty quotes: "I'm sometimes, Hindu. Because I have to be religious in front of my wife". An excerpt from our conversation: Me: You are God. Krishna: Yes, I'm Krishna. We loved every bit of the journey from Yala to Nuwara Eliya (hilly region), with Krishna. (During the journey from Yala, you're most likely to come across an Elephant on the road.) Like I said, our itinerary wasn't perfect. Krishna helped us re-work on it and took us to Ella which was on the way to Nuwara Eliya. According to our itinerary, Ella came after Nuwara Eliya. (so, now you know why we're thankful to Krishna). Of Rama, Sita, Rawana Falls & Hanuman Footprint
Galle is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka and an increasingly popular vacation destination. With a wide variety of landmarks, eateries and high class accommodation, Galle provides a tourist experience that you won’t soon forget. Temperatures remain at roughly 26 degrees Celsius (but can sometimes go high) and the city’s climate is tropical, with no regular dry season.
295 Kms from Mount Lavinia
Best time to visit - November- May
Also known as Cape Comorin, Kumari Munai and Kumari, this city is on the southernmost tip of the subcontinent and is rig...
We took the train back to Kanyakumari the same night, slept through in train and spent the next day at Kanyakumari to relax. Kanyakumari was the link between Kerala and Rameshwaram for us. Its beach is peaceful, and has a lot of shells if you like to collect.A 2-3 hours ride, and we reached Alleppy. This was a beautiful place. We took an auto and reached the backwaters. There were big patches of land in between backwaters, where people farmed and lived. There were house boats and resorts. The scene was mesmerizing and the weather was cool. The auto dropped us at the reception, behind it was the backwaters. To reach the resort, one needs a boat.
Day 2 was going to be both exciting and tiring. Visit to the southern most tip of the country was exciting but the long journey was tiring. Kanyakumari is approximately 80 kms. away from Kovalam in the state of Tamilnadu. We started at around 10 Am. from our hotel and reach the destination by 2 Pm.The main attractions of Kankyakumari is Swami Vivekanand Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue both standing in middle of the sea. KanyaKumari is also known as the meeting point of three water bodies- Indian ocean, Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal. This sangam can be clearly seen from the rock Memorial and can be differentiated with its water colours - white, green and aqua blue.Other places to visit in Kanyakumari:Mahatma Gandhi Mandappam- Gandhiji's ashes were kept here.Kumari Amman Temple - Goddess Parvati is worshiped here.Our Lady of Ransom ChurchKanyakumari BeachPamanabham PalaceDo visit the small market near the boat ride ticket counter - they sell good products made from coconut. Also the small restaurants there serve some authentic and cheap food.We returned back to our hotel in Kovalam at around 8:00 Pm completely exhausted by the long journey.
Next day we bid bye to Kerala and entered Tamil Nadu and went to Kanyakumari. My room had sea view and we could see the Vivekananda rock which I visited on a steamer boat. The boat was swaying a lot due to the rough waves in the region. We waited to watch the sunset. This ended my tour for Kerala and I made myreturn on the next day.
Kanyakumari is located at the tip of Peninsular India where Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet.The route to Kanyakumari is filled with windmills to magnify the beauty of the magnificent road.Kanyakumari is known to have one of the most beautiful statues in India -Thiruvalluvar statue along with Vivekananda Rock Memorial adds beauty to the place not to forget the three seas meeting.
A lot of people from us might have come across this sight in our childhood near tea stalls, village offices: The educated reads the newspaper and the rest of the people around him listen to the news. I was searching for something unconventional to shoot in this place and found this. Happiness. Made me cherish a lot of memories from childhood. Even I used to read the headlines for the people around my home.So, done with a life time experience and heading back 1500kms.Will drive 700kms and sleep and complete the trip next day.Here's Kanyakumari.
From the time I bought bike, it was a dream to drive it till the southern tip of India. Although I have been to Kanyakumari before, I still longed to visit that place for it's rich history and the amazing views of Laccadive Sea.
Let me start by giving a little background of how I ended up seeing this marvel of nature by accident. Me and a friend were on our way to complete our south chain trip starting from Bangalore to Madurai, Kanyakumari, Dhanushkodi, Trichy, Pondicherry and back. Whole trip was planned out, but when we took a break while going from Kanyakumari to Rameswaram, our mood changed when we talked to the shopkeeper and he told us about Agasthiyar waterfalls. The special thing about this falls is that there is a temple near the falls and if you continue the road you take for Agasthiyar after leaving NH 44, it’ll lead you in Mundanthurai Tiger reserve. The place is eerily beautiful.
Catch a sunset at India's southernmost tip, Kanyakumari that's a two-hour drive from Kovalam.
103 Kms from Mount Lavinia
Charmed by the elegance and magnanimity of the cave temples, we travelled on the meandering roads to Nuwara Eliya. Through sun-kissed tea gardens, terraced farms, little huts by the road selling food, marigolds and banana flower lining the street, the view resembled a painting done by an innocent child defines beauty in simplicty. Nothing ever has looked so refreshing. On reaching Nuwara Eliya, we spent the evening by Lake Gregory, soaking in the view of the sun going down at the horizon of the lake, while we slurped bowls of hot maggi to beat the chilly winds of the hill station and the lake.
Finally we reached "Nuwara Eliya". Nuwara Eliya resembles an old English town, complete with a lake, race track, well kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican Church and an 18 hole golf course. We were pleased with the view from our hotel "Heaven Seven". Enjoyed the weather most.
Explore the wildlife around Nuwara EliyaTravel to the central highland of Sri Lanka to the Horton Plains National Park that lies an hour away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. Another great outdoor adventure could be visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the fourth day that is also a breeding ground for Asian Elephants. This will be the highlight of your trip, for you and your kids.
Explore the best of Sri Lankan landscapes at Nuwara EliyaNuwara Eliya lies at a five hour distance from Colombo and makes for the next stunning destination on this trip. The misty hills here are covered in tea plantations was once a favourite destination of the British colonizers, who escaped to its cool shadows in the harsh summer. The small country houses, left behind by the British pop up in its green landscape, giving it a parallel identity of “Little England,” as it is popularly called. Nuwara Eliya is where the natural beauty of Sri Lanka Tourism is highlighted and celebrated.
To reach Nuwara Eliya: take LONG Distance# 1126 from Kandy – Nanu Oya
178 Kms from Mount Lavinia
My injury had made me weak and to some extent killed my enthusiasm. I woke up a bit late. I was running short of cash. S...
My injury had made me weak and to some extent killed my enthusiasm. I woke up a bit late. I was running short of cash. So, I walked around few ATMs and finally found the right one. It was the Commerical Bank ATM that read international cards. Anuradhapura was different from all cities/towns I visited in Sri Lanka. Everything was pretty scattered here. So, I took a tuk-tuk and asked the driver to take me around the city.
I left for Galle Railway Station after having an awesome breakfast. My knee continued to hurt. I was thankful to this doctor in the hostel who gave me few painkillers. It helped me for a while. I planned to travel the north before I leave. So, I purchased a ticket for Anuradhapura.
The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is good and Sri Lanka offers amazing destinations for travelers and tourists alike. The Sri Lanka tour itinerary could be customized in line with your interests. Sri Lanka has more to offer on Diving, Cultural tourism in Anuradhapura, pristine coastal lines along Matara (a fishing hamlet), Arugam Bay and much more on eco-tourism. Experience the "Wonder of Asia".
While in Anuradhapura. I cycle around with a rented bicycle to visit the archaeological sites under the wonderful sun. I would say Anuradhapura is one of my favourite places to visit in Sri Lanka. The city is well organized. Tourist friendly place. You can clearly see and feel the city, it has its own charm without much effort put into it. I wish we stayed longer here..... oh well, travel must go on !
143 Kms from Mount Lavinia
2. Go to Dambulla, Sigriya , Pinnewala Elephant Orphange,Perandeniya Botanical garden, Nuwara Eliya while staying in Kandy. Keep 1 day for Dambulla-Sigriya, 1 day for Nuwara Eliya, 1 day for Elephant Orphange and botanical garden and 1 day for Kandy sightseeing. I skipped elephant orphange(not interested) , botanical garden (not interested) and Nuwara Eliya (less time).
After check-in to hotel, I left for Dambulla caves which were mesmerizing. The rain made me leave early and reached the hostel back by 4-5pm. Since it was too dark, I decided not to leave hostel for dinner. I slept and had decided to leave early next day for Sigriya fortress to see the sunrise.
Welcome to your 'Srilanka Tropical Paradise' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla.You can stay at-
Welcome to your 'Super Saver Sri Lanka Summer' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla. (L, D) On to Dambulla- Distance, 129km approx 4 hours drive.
But keep in mind, if you travel from Dambulla, you have to take one of the buses which are going from Colombo to Malee. No bus service was available originating from Dambulla when I travelled. And most likely, you'll not get a place to sit immediately after boarding the bus. For Solo Women backpackers - I travelled in shorts and it was comfortable in the bus. I didn't face any incident where people teased me or anything. By the time I reached Malee town, it was 1 pm (I started at 8 from Dambulla and this includes a bus repair on the mid way) and I saw the small harbours with pristine blue water. They were picture perfect. I was almost thinking this is it, nothing can beat this in such a place. I took a public bus from Malee bus station to Upuveli (Neelaveli is further and apparently more expensive). It took me a while to look for the hotels but I found few. It's a cluster of 8-9 shacks/hotels/resorts in Upuveli or may be a bit more. And you'll find all options starting from $7 (for a private room with bathroom No AC) to $$$ in big resorts, along with mid ranged hotels with pool and decorated bar in $40-$50. I chose the $7 one and that place happened to be the best bar at nights! French Hostel is what I remember the name was. Now you got there, there are plenty of things to do. Long bike rides, in empty roads, drenching in short and quick rains, the mountain temples, feeding the monkeys, trip to Nilaveli, morning breakfasts in near by villages are possible with a rented bike. I paid 250 SL Rupee, I had to keep my passport with the lady as deposit. I did both scuba and snorkelling, rate varies based on time. Dolphin watching and fishing is also possible. No whale watching in Malee, it happens in Merissa. Food is amazing, in all the restaurants, I chose typical SL food, with fish costing around $1.5 every meal. I also went to Nilaveli, for one evening. It is beautiful but expensive than Upuveli. And somewhere I found Upuveli more serene, calm and less crowded. There are also small beaches here and there in the city. Take your bike and just ride. Dip in the ocean and come back. On the way get into some temple, pose with kids, get fruits as blessings and ride on.
Dambulla:From the city bus stand at Trincomalee, I took a bus to Dambulla which is around 3 hours away.#Stay:Dambulla city hostel: Very nice and comfortable hostel with many guests to talk to and share information, though the hostel is expensive with 2 nights at 3600 LKR with breakfast which is mostly bread jam and butter. You can cook your own food as well. Very nice and friendly Mario who would in every possible way, help you to plan your day.
280 Kms from Mount Lavinia
Best time to visit - N/A
An island in the Gulf of Mannar region, Rameshwaram is joined with the mainland with the help of the Pamban Beach. The m...
Go there for lovely drive on Pamban bridge (courtesy - Chennai Express) and of course to visit one of the char dham, and one jyotirlinga of the twelve- didn't know this till now... The breathtaking temple view ..The grand vista and the big gopuram will take your breath away. ..no quite literally, because you will be walking and walking and walking. .don't forgot to have the delicious prasada inside the temple premises.. You can also visit the GHOST TOWN of Dhanushkodi- Google it and you'll know (approx 18 km)...The road between two towns is quite scary..at least we were feeling scary (not because Google say so) but personally was not feeling positive.. but worth a visit at least once in lifetime to see two oceans meeting (Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal) and also to see the Ram setu (stone bridge built by Lord Rama & Hanuman & his Vanaar Sena)..not visible though from the last visiting point...Sri Lanka from there is just at stone away distance..
Rameshwaram is a city located away from the Indian mainland in the Pamban island . The island is connected to the country by the Pamban bridge. Do not miss the view from the Pamban bridge, its just splendid. Rameshwaram is best known for its Ramanathaswamy Temple and the deity here is Shiva. The city is known for its geological location between India and Srilanka.
Rameshwaram Temple is the major attraction. Also must see 'Pamban Bridge' by both train and by Flyover. Deep Green Sea below there will give you an awesome experience. 'Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam' house is also there to see.
We took a bus till Madurai and from Madurai another bus straight to our destination. It was almost 10 pm and the 1st day went in travelling, did nothing. Places to see- Ramanathaswamy temple; Dhanushkodi; Pamban Bridge; Adam’s Bridge etc. Next day it was really refreshing. We woke up at 4am and went to the temple for Mani Darshan and Pamban Bridge. In the evening we left for Madurai.
131 Kms from Mount Lavinia
The train ride from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the best train ride in the world. No doubt the rush was maximum. ...
The train ride from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the best train ride in the world. No doubt the rush was maximum. I could only find the space to stand in the much crowded train.I stayed in Ella for two days. Ella is the hippie place for all the tourists travelling. The first day was spent in travelling in the train. On the day 2, we went to Ella rock for the track.Next day, I boarded the train to the south to Unawatuna.
Day 4Woke up early, and went to Ravana Falls and Ravana Cave. You have pay some money to get to the Ravana Cave, temple. The cave is tough to walk, so go only if you have good shoes. It will be tiring but turn around your thirst will sway away by the Greenery. A Bottle is recommended though. At Noon, I went to a small trek to Mini Adam's Peak, this is a smaller version of Adam's Peak which is in NuwaraEllya. I met an Indian and Maldova couple. She met him in Rajasthan, and got married. They were nice couple and We reached the top, took some snaps enjoyed the cloudy chilly weather, and came back. For others, who want bit extreme, you can go to Ella Rock from the Railway Station. Then the next day, I left to Kandy. It is a long Journey with great scenic beauty. It passes through Nuwara Ellya, and by Evening, I went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
A key stop over on this roadtrip was the hike into the Ravana caves. According to legend based on the Ramayana, it is said that Ravana (who was the king of Sri Lanka at the time) had kidnapped princess Sita, and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave. Maithili (me) has been named after Princess Sita so we all felt like I owed this unplanned climb in my flipflops to my name .Quick Tip: Talk to the locals and discover the hidden local spots, cafes and experiencesAs you approach the coast the greens change to shades of blue, you are welcomed by the breath of fresh air and the whiff of the salty sea breeze. As you hit Matara you drive by an expanse of powdery sand and crystal-clear water glitters in the sun. Driving is a pleasure in the country and I am definitey heading back for a full coast road trip
Ella, is a small town in the Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. The Ella Gap allows views across the southern plains of Sri Lanka
We sat on the edge of the mountain and talked for so long about England and Sri Lanka. It was peaceful, undisturbed and there was no one around except for an old uncle who served tea at a small set up under a tree. He said that people like Ella, as it is not crowded and had the best view ever from the top. All we could see, was green color everywhere, hills covered with trees and nature at its best. It was so mesmerizing, that we lost track of time and couldn't come down to catch the train at 11 am from the station back to Colombo. We had to take a bus and the journey was quite tiring by road.
245 Kms from Mount Lavinia
I visited Sri Lanka in June end (pretty hot) but almost a very good season to travel across. Starting from Colombo --> D...
I visited Sri Lanka in June end (pretty hot) but almost a very good season to travel across. Starting from Colombo --> Dambulla --> Sigiriya --> Polandua, we reached Trincomalee at the end of our trip. It takes almost 8 hours (a bit more or less) from Colombo, 4 hours from Dambulla. I travelled by public, non-luxury buses (definitely not with chickens) with local people, no AC and it was not horrible. They charged me almost $2 for the trip.
The next day we took another really early morning bus and headed to the Eastern province of Trincomalee, known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, colourful ocean life and a multitude of water activities. Once you reach Trinco, you need to take another bus (or tuk-tuk if you may please) and head to Nelavelli. From Nelavelli you take a ferry to reach the Pigeon Island and that’s where all the action happens! We managed to sync up with a couple (from Turkey – United States – France – Portugal) and shared the costs of spending the day at Pigeon Island. Since I am a hydrophobe I pretty much spent the entire time there lying on the beach and soaking up the sun, but the others went snorkelling and even saw baby sharks!Shila and I came back to the mainland to look for food and as luck would have it, we got invited by one of the locals to have food at their home! So we ate our hearts’ full of some amazing Sri Lankan fare and headed back to Trino from where we were supposed to travel through the night to Nuwara Eliya for our last leg of the trip.
From Colombo to Trincomalee I took a train for which 2nd class ticket was booked by my friend in advance for 550 LKR. This is a chair car and only 1st class has an option to sleep. There are multiple buses available too. As one of my to do things was scuba diving which during October happens on the east coast, I chose to travel to Trincomalee. I booked my dive for 75$ with Feli (0094 777648459 locally 0777 648459). For PADI course they charge 335$ with course spread across 3-4 days. http://www.srilanka-divingtours.com/. In the morning Sanju (the talking tuk tuk driver sent by Feli) picked me and dropped me at hotel aqua.For scuba diving, first I had a pool practice and then immediately actual dive at the sea. The depth was 10 meters. There were beautiful fishes , corals. Initially for the first time ear pain can be the only issue otherwise if you learn at the pool, the diving is an amazing thing. Into the world of other creatures who give a damn about you being there and on the other side you are breathing hard for your survival. Sometimes there can be gaps between your practice sessions and the actual dive so plan your next destination accordingly#Stay:I took a room for 2000 LKR next to Feli. But interestingly Feli has concrete tubes in which you can stay for 1000 LKR per night. More expensive n luxurious rooms are also available at Feli's hotel.#Food:English breakfast at Fernendo's.The hotels are spread across the beach, you can pick your choices!#Places to Visit:
Trincomalee is a natural harbour on the eastern coast of the country. And, it probably is also one of the most picturesque places in the world. Devotees make a beeline for the Koneswaran temple in Trincomalee. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and situated on a hill, it offers breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean.