April 7, 2009

Sri Lanka (Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Galle) March 2006

After my China visit in 2005; I got chance to go to Sri Lanka in Feb 2006 & in March 2006.

I was very happy to visit this country as I didn’t have to bother about visa. Indians can travel without visa to Sri Lanka. After reaching Colombo airport, I traveled to my hotel in city.
View from Sky

Sri Lanka is very much like India; I noticed Colombo is similar to any of the South Indian cities because Srilankan language on many signboards looks very similar to south Indian languages (I have no knowledge of any of the south Indian languages). Sri Lanka is very small & poor country as compared to India but I found road were cleaner than Indian cities; hardly I saw 1 -2 beggars in the town.

Lots of Bhuddhas
Next day I went to the factory visit. After finishing the 2 days work in Colombo; we headed to the city called Nuwara Eliya. It was 5 hours journey including one break of 1 hour. Road to this place was fantastic. Road was just single lane but very well kept. We passed many small villages on the way. After a drive for about 2 hours we took halt at one small hotel near the river. This hotel, restaurant and the food was very basic but only thing I like is the ambiance. This Hotel was along side a beautiful river. I saw a person fishing in the river; many kids were enjoying swimming, a couple sitting on rock; every scene was like a portrait. After a break of one hour we continued our journey.

River View

Restaurant we halted

Very soon we were driving through range of mountains. I saw many tea gardens around. After driving for about one hour I could only see tea gardens, tea gardens & tea gardens. Tea gardens in 360 degree. I had only seen tea gardens in old Hindi movies. It was breathtaking scene. I took some photo stops (I wanted to stop at every turn). Everything was so picturesque. I felt I am on one of the most beautiful places on the earth.
Tea Garden

Tea Garden & Water Fall

I stayed in Grand Hotel which has European style building and beautiful golf course. My room in this hotel had only heater and no AC (cooler). It was very cold outside and inside the hotel; different from China; it was very soothing and not freezing.

Nuwara Eliya is a very small town and very far off from main cities like Colombo, Kandy. When I heard from people in tea factory that no one wants to have posting in this area; I was surprised. (I thought if I have been given option to stay hear forever I would have never say no.) But the reason given to me was true & practical. Beauty is not only thing required to live life. This place has no good schools, colleges, hospitals; it was only connected by road & rail to major cities. During rainy seasons it become difficult to travel by road & even by rail; as train has to pass through dense forest and mountains. Due to land slides, transportation gets cut completely for several days.

After finishing my work, I traveled back to Colombo. I was staying in Hilton hotel for two days. The view from this hotel was amazing. I was on 20th or 25th floor. You can see in the below pictures.

View from Hilton

My next trip to Sri Lanka was in March 06, immediately after the first one. This time I stayed in hotel Mount Lavinia; this hotel was a Governor’s Palace earlier. Truly beautiful; if you go to Colombo then you must stay in this hotel for one night. This is located at the outskirts of Colombo City.

During this visit I got time on weekend to travel to south of Sri Lanka. I went to see place called Hikkadua famous for coral reef & Galle has Dutch fort. On the way to Hikkadua I found fruit called Rabutan. Somewhat like Lychee but had lots of hair on the outer part and it has more water content than lychee.

Road to Hikkadua was very beautiful. In Hikkadua I saw many coral reefs just in 1-2 meter deep sea. I went to see them using glass bottom ship.

View from my room- Hikkadua

Next day I went to Galle by Rickshaw; these are same as we found in Mumbai but instead of yellow & black color those were painted in black-red, black-green and several combinations. Conditions of those Rickshaws were much better than Mumbai ones. I reached Galle in 1 hour from Hikkadua. I saw big Dutch fort, Cricket stadium, small museum having collection of lots of coins and other artifact. Many people still stay in the fort area. Lots of beautiful houses were lined up.

Road to Galle

Dutch Fort-Galle

After roaming around for about 2-3 hours; I came back to my hotel in Hikkadua. During this visit to south of Sri Lanka I noticed the sea water is blue color and very clear that you can actually see through.

Next day I packed my bags to return to airport. On my way to airport I saw the road was along side sea through out. Water was so close to the road which I didn’t notice while going to Hkkadua as I traveled in the night. Between the road and the beach / sea there were small houses. Many of them were completely destroyed by Tsunami. Some of them had reconstructed. There was terrible destruction happened due to Tsunami in south Sri Lanka. As everyone, everywhere was talking about that. Many people lost their families, homes, boats and many other things. It was the darkest part of the small beautiful country.

Road from Hikkadua to Colombo- sea was so close to road

Big Buddha Statue

My trip to Southern Sri Lanka is really memorable. I wish to go there again. In this trip I couldn’t visit Kandy famous for Bhuddha’s tooth temple. Wish to go there some other time.


  1. WOW...SL is indeed breathtaking. Even i have been to Srilanka once...and i agree its much better than India in terms of road infrastructure and quality of beaches. Moreover every thing is nearly half the price compared to India, except for car transport. Hence a very good place for shopping also. Even did i not see any beggars (like you mentioned).... Pictures are very nice indeed. Good work

  2. Very informative article and nice pics. Galle is located in southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. Galle was earlier called as Gimhathiththa.A must visit St. Mary’s Cathedral, Shiva temple, Galle International Stadium, Rumassala Kanda hill, Lighthouse and the Clock Tower. Visitors can enjoy their holiday in Hkkaduwa Beach. Best time to visit this place is December to March.

  3. very grt! Even i too visit colombo june 2011!! Frankly speak, Its clean only because of less population.! And i halt 2 days their & i feel boring from moment i landed @ bandaranaike international airport! Its juz a dumb country! Frm pplz frm metropolis of India feel its dumb, boring.!
    I accept tat roads are gud, but u can c gud road @ India too.!!
    Lots of stars hotel their are frm Indian origin like Taj Samudra, hilton!!
    Sri Lanka is gud but nt comparable to INDIA!