JAFFNA FORT, SOON TO BE A TOURIST ATTRACTION

Jaffna Fort was built as a small garrison by the Portuguese in 1618 when the Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka’s northern town of Jaffna. The Dutch captured it in 1650 from the Portuguese and expanded its location further. It was eventually taken over by the British in 1795. The Dutch Fort was completely destroyed during the nations recent conflict, as the LTTE had maintained its garrison withing the fort premises.

High Profile British Royals Visit Sri Lanka

A recent visit British Royals to the country is a  boost for tourism, the Sri Lankan governemnt officials said on Monday. Britain’s Prince Michael of Kent accompanied by Princess Michael, toured Sri Lanka recently, according to an official statement released on Monday.

The Royals, who were on a private visit to the island visited a few tourist attractions in the country  and among the places they visited was the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, home to the world’s largest elephant herd in captivity. Pinnawala officials have facilitated the Royals visit with the planting of a tree,.

Una-Watuna – Fell down

The Unawatuna bay is an ideal point to people watch, swim, laze and enjoy the best a beach destination has to offer.

Unawatuna traces its roots to the great epic Ramayana. In the mythological epic, the monkey-warrior Hanuman was sent back to India to fetch the four by Jambavan from the Himalayas in order to heal Lakshman who was wounded trying to save the abducted Princess Sita from the demon king Ravana. Hanuman failed to identify these herbs, so he lifted the entire mountain and carried it to the battlefield to try to save Lakshman, but in the process, a chunk of it fell-down in the location of the present day Unawatuna, the name of the village derives from Una-Watuna or fell down

Birds, Coral reefs, shipwrecks and great swimming, makes Unawatuna one the most sought after beach destinations in Sri Lanka. - The Sri Lankan -

 

Thai Ponggal

Thai Ponggal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils in India and in Sri Lanka. Ponggal coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India. Ponggal in Tamil means boiling or spill over. The boiling over of milk in a clay pot symbolizes material abundance for the household.

The festival is traditionally intended to thank the sun god and farm livestock that helped create the material abundance.  - The Sri Lankan -

How to dress for Temples & other Religious Sites

The Buddhist temple is the most commonplace religious venue in Sri Lanka and is found aplenty. Visitors are advised to dress in somber and modest colours and most importantly to remove both shoes and hats prior to entering the premises. In Sri Lanka a pile of shoes/slippers outside, are a common site and unless priceless, are more than often, left untouched.

Gents should avoid wearing skinnys or banyans and shorts that are very low. Ladies should indulge in modest clothing, avoiding short skirts or revealing tops. A majority of temples will not have a problem with photography, as long as you do not disturb the calm, quiet sanctify of these holy places of worship.  – The Sri Lankan -

 

Bentota

Home to generations of sun seekers, Bentota is known for its slow pace, wide range of water sports and scenic beach. Germans are in love with the place and over time even local business such as The Sinharaja Bakery have got in the deal, baking bread types fancied by the Deutschland residents.

The Bentota River that meets the sea here provides a world class venue for water sports of all types. Bentota is also home to the practice of Ayurveda, and visitors will find a plethora of spas, first class wellness programmes and traditional Ayurveda practitioners. Also be on the lookout for toddy, a coconut spirit brewed of coconuts and rather intoxicating.

Bentota claims its name from a medieval tale when the river was ruled by a demon named Bem, thus Bentota (river bank).  – The Sri Lankan -

Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli. Just a few hundred meters offshore from Nilaveli beach (about a 15 min outboard motor boat trip), The Island’s name derives from the Rock Pigeon.

Pigeon Island contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. Pigeon Island consists of two islands; large pigeon island and small pigeon island. The large pigeon island is fringed by a coral reef, and is about 200 m long and 100 m wide. The small pigeon island is surrounded by rocky islets.

- Info-Travel-Sri Lanka -

Adam’s Peak – Pilgrimage

The desire of every pilgrim is to reach the peak before dawn so that they could see the glory of the sunrise and thereafter perform their religious rites. The climb is by no means easy. It takes several hours to get to the top. There are several resting places at various points on the path, where pilgrims can rest, prepare and eat their meals.

Pilgrims usually take a ceremonial bath of cleansing and change into clean clothes before crossing over a bridge from the river (Seetha gangula) that separates the peak from the surrounding mountain range. From this point onward the path is an ascent of steps, very steep at some points. There are iron rails fixed to support the climbers.

The ‘Cetiya’ at the foot of Sri Pada is the peace pagoda erected by the Japanese Buddhist to spread the message of peace throughout the world.

- Info-Travel- Sri Lanka -

 

Hot Air Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning though relatively new to Sri Lanka, is perhaps the most exiting way of seeing the country by floating over Sri Lanka’s exceedingly beautiful landscape including plains carpeted by verdant paddy fields of varying green hues, homesteads of farming communities, lakes, rivers and even world heritage sites. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Ballooning rides normally start from Dambulla and from Galle, though new routes could be added from time to time. As the security situation has improved, balloon operators are looking at introducing more routes. A typical balloon flight is made up of a total travel experience of approx 4-hrs duration. Since Hot Air Ballooning is heavily dependant on weather conditions the best season for flying is October to April when light winds and lack of rain prevail.

- Info-Travel Sri Lanka -

 

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, the finest of its kind in Asia, the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka, couldn’t be better located. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands, the Gardens, at an elevation of 500 meters above sea-level, were tightly bounded on three sides by a loop of River Mahaweli (Great sandy river), the largest river of Sri Lanka.
The town of Peradeniya is located at a distance of 110km from Colombo and another 6km over the Peradeniya Birdge and you are at Kandy, home to the sacred Temple of Tooth.

Peradeniya is believed to take its exotic name from Sinhalese names Pera (guava) and Deniya (a plain). The name also reveals, although Guava is not indigenous to Sri Lanka, introduction of the fruit to the island and cultivation had occurred even prior to the era of British Colonialists in Ceylon.