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.
Restaurant we halted
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
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.
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.