Climbing Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) – The Journey and Lessons Learnt

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By Team Sri Lanka 2015

“You, ok?” That must be the 10th time he asked. I showed him a thumb up. A broad grin spreads across his face and off he goes again, disappearing into the mist engulfed steps.

Yogaraja knows Adam’s Peak well.  He’s been going up and down this beautiful mountain for three years, at least once a day. He may be 49 years old and a father of three, but don’t let this fool you, he is an absolute beast when it comes to the hiking trail. [Read more…]

The Lion’s Rock at Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

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Sandil quietly joined our group when we were past the ticketing entrance. Our main guide, Bandara, was explaining the magnificent history of the Sigiriya Rock. It was a rainy afternoon and we barely made it past the entrance before the closing hour at 5pm.

A few friends of Bandara came along. They were assistant guides who climbed with visitors for a fee. Sandil noticed I was lingering in the back, making sure everyone was able to stay with the group, and decided to join me. He shaded me under his umbrella and thought I must be a straggler. [Read more…]

The Ancient Ruins of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

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A heritage walk through the Polonnaruwa Ruins is a rite of passage for some. The ruins have been well preserved and are an attraction that tourists from around the world travel to Polonnaruwa to see.

History of Polonnaruwa 

Sri Lanka’s capital city, ever since the decline of the city known as Anuradhapura Polonnaruwa, contains a vast network of irrigations and reservoirs. It was known for its epic cultivation of rice, which occurred while King Parakramabahu the Great ruled. As a result, Sri Lanka was given the nickname of Granary of the Orient. [Read more…]

8 Things I learnt about Sri Lanka from an In-flight magazine

artisan confectionsIt must have been a moment of impulse but when I first checked the calendar, my eyes were fixated on the series of blank entries over the Deepavali holiday. The words “Public Holiday” appeared in a way similar to how the words jumped out to Robert Langdon when searching for puzzles in the Da Vinci code. I finally decided to do what I had been putting off for the past 2 years – visiting Sri Lanka. The desire to climb the sacred mountain, Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) had been one of the earliest inspirations in my pursuit of hiking.

Jump forward 2 months later, seated on the pristine leather of Sri Lankan airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, I was thankful for this moment. It was a full flight and it was an interesting mix of Sri Lankan, European and Asian passengers. It is always a special moment to visit a country for the first time. Though it was a tempting notion to check out the in-flight entertainment system and see what they were offering to help me get over the 4-hour flight, I resisted. I was instead drawn to the picture of Sigiriya Rock (one of the attractions I planned to visit) which was displayed on the cover for Serendib, the official magazine of the Sri Lankan airline. [Read more…]