Travelers are the free souls that wish to wander and go places that may or may not be celebrated! It does not matter to them whether the icon finds glittering mention on the tourism map or is a rustic destination in the countryside dust. Therefore their itinerary is unending always! Differentiation on the global landscape, be it in the culture or terrain, is what drives them! Some say that their efforts and appeals led to the discoveries of some of the best sightseeing spots in the world. I do find bit of traveler in me; and the assertion of it got bold when I traveled across several destinations through the land of Sri Lanka.
When my fancies started to resonate with this land that is buzzing with life and natural wealth and I decided to pack my bag. In fact, I was bit eager for the past one year to venture into some exotic spaces that were more marked by the beauty of the nature and of course heaps of culture that defines its generic wealth for any traveler like me!
What appealed to me in Sri Lanka?
Sounds interesting for many who count famed glam destinations of the world as their first choices to travel to! However as said, I was inspired more as a traveler rather than a tourist; though there is no denying the fact that Sri Lanka attracts millions each year. The small Island nation is in the equatorial belt and lies in close proximity to the Equator. This means tremendous natural wealth! Sri Lanka depicts the natural beauty in the form of rainforests that are lush green, turquoise clear beaches, magnificent mountains and beautiful hill stations
Besides, the natural wealth, this nation is marked by rich cultural milieu that emerged through centuries of churning of values derived from different faiths. We therefore find Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christian cultural influences here. The cities are the booming centers of such composite culture. While of course my travel was uniform through these natural-cultural turfs and passages of rural and urban Sri Lanka, I cannot refuse admiring some locales and places that left deep imprints on my soul. Here are the chief nodes of my travel itinerary od the Ceylon Island.
Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka and to me, it appeared more as the melting point of cultures of diversity; like as said above. The city is buzzing with old and new icons and you find the whole range of eating places in almost every budget. However, more notable were the icons that attract large number of people. These include Riverstone Gap, National Museum, St. Anthony Church, Attidiya Bird Sanctuary and scuba diving off Colombo!
The beautiful and picturesque city of Kandy just stole my heart. Nestled amid the lush green hilly terrain, this city was once the abode of Sinhalese kings. You can find magnificent monuments as the remnants of the royal age here. The manmade lake here is a big attraction because of its scenic beauty. You can also live the annual cultural fest Esala Perahera that is organized every year in August.
Nuawara Eliya is famous for its tea plantations that have existed in this cool town since the time of British. They are credited for starting tea estates here & loved to rest in the cool hilly terrains of the region. Even today, this place is no less than a paradise. I also enjoyed the beauty of Hakgala Botanical Gardens (Ashoka Vatika of Ramayana) here.
Ella which is located around 200 kms from capital Colombo, is truly beauty personified! The serene nature’s landscape offered a sense of calmness that I still cherish. This hilly landscape could be called as the best of natural beauty and is marked by numerous waterfalls, colorful flora and lots of finest bird species. Ella Rock is the famed trekking passage and I accept the tag of it being called “lonely Planet’ as very much correct and resonant!
Galle is hailed as one of the most beautiful cities of Sri Lanka. Located on the south western border of Sri Lanka, this one was a center under the control of Dutch. You can find the Dutch architecture imprint in the city of Galle. However to me, the dimension that most bothered was the interiors that are abound by the spices plantations which are perfectly suited to the evergreen equatorial vegetation zone. Galle Fort is of course spectacular and is frequented by thousands every day because of its majestic architecture.
Located at the southern end of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is much remembered in my thoughts for its pristine sandy beaches that are its hallmark. The beaches here are not marred by the modernization imprints in the backdrop and I found these beaches as almost untouched. Nature still prevails here and therefore you find lots of honeymooners staying there. Least to mention, If you are looking for a short distance sea tour, whale & dolphin watching, missing out this place will be a great sin.
Unawatuna is a town in the district of Galle. I enjoyed a lot here through the diving tasks that were assisted by the local guides. They let me experience some of the best genres undersea which were the colored corals! This is the most hailed place in Ceylon Island for snorkeling.
Hikkadua is located around 120 Kms from capital Colombo. A coastal town, people like me flock here to enjoy the sandy beaches and of course here too, you find some of the best snorkeling, surfing and diving experiences. The shelf is full of exotic corals and therefore the region has been maintained as Hikkadua Coral Sanctuary.
Mount Lavinia displays the vibrant fervor of tourism. You can find lots of tourists moving and enjoying in the eateries. Being the nearest beach place to Colombo, it is pretty buzzing with the travelers. In fact, I stayed there twice during my Lanka travel itinerary! The ‘Golden Mile’ is the famous beach destination here.
Sri Lanka is full of natural beauty, cultural milieu and is just perfect for one who is looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the hectic schedules. For me, it proved to be really memorable trip and would love to venture again!