Our Trip to the Land of Lions- Sri Lanka- Part I

Ever since I heard from a friend about the beauty of this place, it found itself a spot in my list of “must-see places around the globe”. When we were contemplating on planning a vacation this Christmas holidays, Sri Lanka was the first destination that came in our minds. In spite of being questioned about its safety, we decided to go for it.

We had our tour planned by Deepa Travels, Adyar. The agent did a fine job organizing everything for us right from air tickets, visa and hotel to local cab and tour guide.

With a lot of uncertainty about our travel itself (due to work pressure and last minute plan changes), we finally left to Katunayake Airport, Colombo on the 21’st. The flight journey was a short pleasant one that lasted a little over an hour (Yes, Chennai- Colombo is a lot closer than Chennai- any ports within TN). At Colombo airport, we were received by our tour guide, Mr. Nilantha Fernando, an extremely warm, friendly person. Within moments we were out on the Colombo- Kandy highway in our Toyota Prius (:-) We did spot many high-end refurbished/ new Japanese-make commercial vehicles on the road). The first thing that caught our attention in SL was the cleanliness and greenery all around us. We felt as though we were in our very old God’s own country- Kerala. And apart from occasional sights of police patrols, there were no signs of anything but calm and peace.



The roads are well laid and it remained the same almost in every place we went. It was quite a sight as we drove on the road nestled among thick bushes and trees. The whole stretch had local vendors selling produce from their vegetable/ fruit garden- Mangoes, Jack Fruit (SL has Mangoes and Jack fruit grow in winters unlike TN/Kerala where the season is usually between April- July. I envy them :-(), King Coconut and what not. Nilantha was sweet enough to stop by at every store and Somu and I ate our hearts full. A couple of hours later, we reached the Pinnewala Elephant Park near Kandi that’s a sanctuary for over 80 elephants.

The park is open to the public daily for some entrance fees. It was great to see a number of animals all in one place, well taken care of. There are several shops attached to the park. One that caught our attention was this :-p …


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