It was a much-awaited holiday for us but a summer tour to Sri Lanka for many sounds a little odd to hear. It is actually the best time to travel as the weather is more pleasant than Bangalore.
The country has its own culture, heritage, spices, tea plantation, commercial complex. We never felt that we were crossing from one state to another.
There are no borders or security check posts too. Our guide Karu was also very helpful and thanks to him, we didn’t miss out on anything.
On arrival at the Colombo airport, we met Karu and he transferred us to Negombo (the city of spices). We stayed overnight at a beautiful resort.
After breakfast, our tour started and we visited the elephant orphanage which is situated on the bank of the river Maha Oya, the first biggest river of Sri Lanka. We also got to go on an elephant ride in Rambukkana.
At Elephant orphanage
This place is full of elephants and an elephant ride is a must. From here, we travelled to the biggest garden of organic herbs. There are acres of land containing organic plants and trees and the growers here will also explain about their produce and if you wish, will also give you a nice massage (neck and forehead).
If you wish you can buy the organic products. After lunch we started to Kandy (the heritage city), where we spent the night. Next day after breakfast, we visited almost 200 acres of Rock Borders botanical gardens in Kandy. A must visit place where you will find orchids, exotic plants and trees (some trees are actually more than 200 years old).
Rock Borders botanical garden
Our next stop was the Blue Field Tea factory. We saw the full process of how tea is made. Had a complimentary tea, and purchased tea. On the way, we visited the beautiful Ramboda falls.
We had lunch in a hotel which was close to the falls. After this, we visited Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple Tawalantenne. It was very close to beautiful natural surroundings.
We performed pooja to Lord Hanuman and then visited Seetha Eliya where Seetha matha was kept hostage by Ravana. From there we moved up to a hill station Nuwara Eliya (hill station).
Sunrise in Nuwara Eliya
It was a beautiful refreshing morning with chilly weather. I was not ready to get out of the place as our next destination was Bentota and Beruwala (beach and adventure city).
On the way, we saw St Clare’s waterfalls and Kelani Ganga river, the second biggest river of Sri Lanka. Moving further, we visited Victor Hasselblad Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Centre.
Here we saw how turtles are protected from nature as well as humans. We held a three-day-old turtle and a big girl Monica who is very friendly.
Next day we took a city tour of Colombo by visiting Independence square, a huge place with well-maintained gardens on both sides. Followed by Gangaramaya temple, an old Buddhist temple where you will see a number of Buddha statues in different sizes and colours.
On the way, we saw Viharamahadevi park, central post Office, F R Senanayake Mawatha (Parliament house) and Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
This wrapped up our visit to Sri Lanka.
How to reach:
Bangalore to Colombo through Srilankan airways
Places we covered:
Negombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Bentota, Beruwala and Colombo; we stayed in hotels and resorts.
(The author can be contacted at email@example.com)