Adam’s Bridge Revisited


The ancient Indian epic Ramayana documents a 30 km bridge over the Palk Strait connecting Rameswaram Island off the southeastern coast of India, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The epic attributes the building of the bridge to the ape army of Hanuman aiding Rama in his war against Ravana, the…

Mannar Fort


Mannar Fort is a square fortified structure with four bastions on Mannar Island in north-western Sri Lanka built by the Portuguese in 1560     In the early 16th century, trade in the Indian Ocean was dominated by Arab, Indian, Malay, and Chinese merchants, who used various seafaring craft for their trade in spices to elephants.…

Birding At Vankalai


433 bird species have been recorded in Sri Lanka of which 26 are endemic. Mannar in the north-west is one of the top birding destination of the island and with a large numbers of migrants seldom seen elsewhere in the country, Vankalai wetland is the prime site of the region     Millions of migrant…

The Doric of Arippu


    The ruins of Doric House stand neglected on a hillock in Arippu, its thick walls of red brick glistening in the sun. The sea in front is like a millpond and blue and the curving beach is magnificent. There is nobody in sight.   In the Gulf of Mannar in north western Sri…

Thanthirimale


The little village of Thanthirimale, 40 kms north-west of Anuradhapura city, is the site of a remarkable third century rock temple.     The settlement of Thanthirimale was probably first established in the 6th century BC by Upatissa, one of king Vijaya’s (the presumed founder of the Sinhalese nation) ministers and was called Upatissa Gama.…

Road To Mannar


For the second time in five years, I am on the road to Mannar. And I love it! The Kangaroo cab takes me to the pickup point at four thirty in the morning. The driver, an ex-soldier, talks incessantly about the war with the Tamil Tigers. Flamingo Tours mini-coach arrives just before five and over…

Udawalawe Revisited


Udawalawe National Park in the Uva Province was established as the fifth national park of Sri Lanka in 1972. Its 31,000 hectares of dry grassland and scrubland and the lack of dense vegetation makes game-watching easy. Most people take a tour organised by their guesthouse or hotel and it will cost about Rs 4000, but a trip with one…

Arankele


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
Buddhism is about the potential that exists in the human mind. Independent of a Supreme Being, without preyer or worship, it shows the way of harnessing the potential of one’s own mind to discover the timeless purity, love, peace and wisdom that lies within each and every one of us. The…

Land Of The Singing Fish


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
Tamils called it Matakkalappu or Muddy Swamp. The Portuguese re-named it Batticaloa. But for many, it is the Land of the Singing Fish ? Batticaloa, Batti for short, enjoys a spectacular position surrounded by lagoons with palm-filtered sunlight glancing off the water. There’s a mellow vibe to the town, and though…

A Weekend In Pasikudah


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
I spent the last weekend in Pasikudah. The sleepy little fishing village on the East Coast of Sri Lanka has become an high-end holiday resort in only a few years. ? The journey from Colombo on the west coast took nearly ten hours, made all the more frustrating by idiot…