Thotalagala – Haputale

Thotalagala – Haputale

The planter’s bungalow has been revived to its former glory, with seven themed suites based on personalities that shaped the history of the province of Uva, one of the foremost tea growing regions in Sri Lanka, the finest tea growing region in the world. Thotalagala bungalow is surrounded by 20 acres of lawn and patana grass. From the edge of the lawn, a sweeping vista greets the eye. Behind the bungalow and covering the Haputale hills lies 4000 hectares of…

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Leopard tracking in the misty highlands of Horton Plains

Leopard tracking in the misty highlands of Horton Plains

Horton plains are all that remains of the once vast expanse of the “Maya Rata” or the Maya Kingdom named by the ancient kings of old, a land filled with deep dense forests, misty highlands and respected and preserved as an important region as the headwaters of three of Sri Lanka’s major rivers the Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe. Over time, with the colonization of the island by the British, these once sacred and protected lands were cleared out to grow…

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Dorwaka Caves- A venture into our Neolithic Past

Dorwaka Caves- A venture into our Neolithic Past

Located amidst rubber plantations, the ancient ruins require a short trek. At first sight, the caves would be hard to truly make out, as it magically appears as the trees part ways to bring to the fore two massive rectangular rocks which lean on each other. The eerie cacophony of bats who call these caves home welcomes the visitor who dares to enter these dark caves. There are several ancient carvings on the walls of these rocks, and they have…

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Vaada Baila – Musical Lyrical Debate, A Lost Sri Lankan Folk Art

Vaada Baila – Musical Lyrical Debate, A Lost Sri Lankan Folk Art

A traditional content would commence with a first-round where each of the contestants sings on their faith. The next round focuses on paying respect to parents, teachers and elders. After the show begins, the gloves come off as the contestants are pitted against each other in an unrelenting lyrical contest. Some of the vaada baila singers popular at the time were Maradana W. A. Ruban Perera, Modara Justin, Ratmalana T. D. Gunathilake, Dematagoda B. Don Richard, Rajagiriya Marshall, Punchi Borella…

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An Epic Kind of Nature Adventure!

An Epic Kind of Nature Adventure!

Olu Ella is in Kegalle District. It is home to the 6th tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and the tallest waterfall in Kegalle. The Olu Ella Waterfall – 127 meters tall and 18 meters wide, is also nicknamed Sri Lankan Niagra Falls. To marvel at the cascading waterfall of Olu Ella, and to enjoy an unforgettable hike, you must get to Kandy. From there, take the Colombo – Kandy Road up to Yatiyanthota, passing Kadugannawa, Ussapitiya, Hettimulla, Bulathkohupitiya and Karawanella….

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Discovering Traditional Drum Making in Rural Sri Lanka

Discovering Traditional Drum Making in Rural Sri Lanka

The entire village plays a role in the business of manufacturing these drums. To start work on the drums wood is cut, mainly from the Jack Fruit tree. Some other woods used are from Ehela (neem) and coconut trees. The artisans use the wood which, is most readily available at the time. The carving of the shape of the drum thereafter begins, where the raw logs are carved to the required shape of each of the drum types. After the…

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Kings Pavilion

Kings Pavilion

A luxury boutique property located 15 minutes from Kandy, this 3-acre sprawling estate is a contemporary hotel that offers stylish and luxurious comfort. With beautiful birdlife and nature surrounding the property, it also has beautiful vistas of the Hantana and Knuckles mountain ranges. The design combines contemporary style with traditional Kandyan arts and culture from the beautifully elaborate batik wall hanging by renowned Sri Lankan artist the late Ena De Silva which welcomes guests as they enter, to the beautiful…

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Kitul Pani – The sweet sap which is loved by all

Kitul Pani – The sweet sap which is loved by all

This process starts with tapping: the beady, vine-like flowers of the palm are pierced by a tapper, and drool their sap into a pot hung under the inflorescence. Each palm can be tapped around seven times in its lifetime, with each subsequent draw usually yielding less than the last. Tappers “will typically climb their palms twice a day” to make sure any cuts healed by the plant are reopened and re-tapped. This raw, watery sap is white and frothy, clinically…

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Tuskers of Sri Lanka- Last of a Noble Line

Tuskers of Sri Lanka- Last of a Noble Line

Throughout the years the tusked males of Sri Lanka have been diminishing gradually, due to many reasons. From the times of the kings of old, the elephants of Sri Lanka were prized and hence many were exported to neighbouring kingdoms. More tuskers were prized as beasts of war and stately purposes which also could have affected the wildlife population. Finally, as the colonials arrived, elephants were considered vermin and they were killed in their thousands for sport and pleasure. Among…

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Pettah- An Open-Air Supermarket

Pettah- An Open-Air Supermarket

This experience is focused on walking through the open-air market, exploring its quirky nooks and crannies. You will meet traders, learn about historic buildings and marvel at their architecture as you navigate a maze of trade, traffic and local banter. Pettah is a chaotic, crowded smorgasbord of sights and sounds. But it is also the go-to place for a variety of items, from plastic, toys, electronics to mechanical parts. ‘Pettah’, in local parlance, refers to the Pettah Market, an expanse…

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