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…

Iron Age Burial Site At Ibbankatuwa


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
The Early Iron Age in Sri Lanka lasted from 1000 to 600 BC. An iron age settlement was founded around 900 BC at the site of today’s Anuradhapura – the first capital of Sri Lanka. Discovery of pottery from the site bearing Brahmi script and red glass beads indicate contact with North India and…

Eyeballing Elephant in Musth


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
? “You are guaranteed elephants at Hurulu Eco Park” the man at the hotel said. I had never heard of Hurulu. I knew both Kaudulla and Minneriya National Parks near Habarana usually had large herds of Elephants. In fact, Minneriya is renowned for its “Elephant Gathering” when herds of over…

Mystical Ritigala


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
Deep inside a Strict Nature Reserve are the sprawling, jungle-covered ruins of an extensive monastic and cave complex. The broken stone structures, fallen carvings and once-sacred caves lie on a 766m hill, a striking feature that looms above the dry central flatlands of Sri Lanka. It was a place of refuge as long…

Ironwood & Rose Quartz


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
One sunny afternoon last week, I drove to the village of Madatugama in the North-Western Dry Zone of Sri Lanka to see the Island’s largest Ironwood forest and the biggest Rose Quartz deposit in all of Asia ? Ironwood Mesua ferara is one of Sri Lanka’s native plants with bright red leaves…

Amazing Hasthi Kuchchi


Originally posted on HMWS Blog:
Hasthi Kuchchi in the north-western province of Sri Lanka is one of the oldest temple complexes of the country, built between 307–267 BC as a meditation centre for Buddhist monks. This was the location where King Siri Sangha Bo (251–253 AD) offered his own head to a peasant. Today, the partially…