The Milky Way from Arugam Bay

If you live on the West Coast, it will take you quite a long time to get to Arugam Bay since you will have to cut across the breadth of Sri Lanka and end up on the East Coast. Irrespective of which mode of transport you take, it’ll take you somewhere around 8-12 hours or more to get to Arugam Bay from Colombo. If you’re travelling specifically to Arugam Bay, I suggest you leave out 2 days for travel (one day to get there, and another day to get back). From the perspective of travel time Arugam Bay may not be the ideal destination for a weekend getaway.

16091285196_943fb3abfd_o

There are a few route options available when travelling to Arugam Bay. If you’re up for a long drive, and starting the journey from Colombo, you can take the rout through Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, UdaWalawa, Thanamalwila, Wellawaya to ArugamBay. From Kandy you can drive to Mahiyangana via the 18 hair-pin bends on to Bibile, Monaragala, Siyambalanduwa, Pottuvil Town and reach Arugam Bay.  From the south, you can take the highway to Matara, and drive through Tissamaharama and Buttala via the Kataramaga road to Monaragala and continue to Arugam Bay. Of course you don’t HAVE to drive, when travelling in a group the best option is to hire a van or small bus based on the number of travellers in the group.

Continue reading

Weekend in Hikka!

Before the Southern expressway, going down south was a drive along the Galle road. Once you leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city, you can enjoy a calm drive along the coast through some of the famous fishing villages in Sri Lanka. During some part of the drive, you are sure to roll down your windows to let in the refreshing sea breeze. Intoxicated by the salty air, you find it hard to resist pulling over to the side of the road and running off to the beach.

IMG_6714

The most popular coastal destination that you come across en route to Galle is the seaside resort town of Hikkaduwa. The entire stretch is littered with hotels, luxury resorts, restaurants and bars. The Hikkaduwa season, which falls between November and April, brings large crowds of tourists from all parts of the world. The peak of the season is between January and March during which time almost all hotels and rest houses will be booked, beaches will be crowded and it may be very difficult to get into some of the popular restaurants.

Continue reading

Safari Time!!

After spending a majority of the previous day travelling from Kandy to Katharagama, I wasn’t pleased with the prospect of waking at 4.00 a.m.the next morning. But none the less, on this cold October morning, I woke up excited for the main activity planned for the day! I packed my camera equipment and headed off to Tissamaharama where we rendezvoused with our Guide. From Tissa we drove our Safari jeep to the main entrance of the Yala National Park.

I remember the first time I visited Yala. It was during an annual company excursion. I remember it being a lot of fun because the colleagues who were in my group were all wildlife enthusiasts and we engaged in a very interesting and informative discussion with our Guide that included many stories based on his personal experiences. I also remember Yala being very dry, warm and dusty! I spent hours cleaning my camera after we got back to the Hotel. Sadly the only animals we were able to see were Wild Boars, lot of Peacocks,a couple of herds of Elephants and Deer, Crocodiles and a variety of Birds.

10454362_10204181440324569_3294872787128704730_o

Continue reading

A Camping We Will Go!!

Growing up in an average middle class family, the idea of camping seemed to be somewhat farfetched. To be honest, when we were growing up, we didn’t have the opportunities or facilities available today for camping. As far as I know the only people who regularly went camping those days were the scouts. The family camping trips and father-son camping trips were “cool stuff” that happened in soaps and movies.

My first taste of camping was at Interact Youth Camp at Pedro Scout Camp, Nuwara Eliya. And boy that was one heck of an experience! Trekking through the forest on treasure hunts, having to face different physical challenges like crossing a river on a rope bridge and completing obstacle courses, learning how to build a fire and make ‘roti’ for dinner, sitting around a bonfire singing songs and spinning yarns were some of my most cherished memories. I honestly feel that youth camp changed me for the better! It took me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to rough it in the great outdoors!

Continue reading

Frantic in Stockholm (Part I)

When I logged into Facebook this morning, I saw a memory from three years ago. The memory included a photograph taken at the Bandaranayaka International Airport during my first foreign trip! And it dawned on me that I’m yet to do a write up about my visit to Stockholm Sweden.

I, along with two work colleagues, traveled to Stockholm on a work assignment. But, we arrived in Stockholm three days prior to initial meeting with the clients, so that we would have an opportunity to do some sight seeing.

When we arrived in Sweden, we took the Arlanda express, and traveled from Stockholm Arlanda AirPort to Stockholm Central Station. Next, we took the subway to “Slussen”, followed by a short bus ride to “Henriksdal” where we settled into the apartment that would be our home for the next two weeks. After having a bite to eat, we walked around the neighborhood, and did some grocery shopping before hitting the sack.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

When fears are grounded, dreams take flight!

The Sri Lanka Air Force celebrated its 66th Anniversary with an exhibition and Air Show at the Rathmalana Air Force Base. The event was in full swing from 3rd to 5th March 2017, with large crowds flocking to the Rathmalana Airport to view the exhibition, air Show, dog show, and mock attacks; all while enjoy the carnival atmosphere!

I was fortunate enough to attend the festivities on two occasions; on the morning of the 3rd of March, when the inaugural session was conducted, and on the evening of the 5th of March for the closing session.

On Friday, 3rd March 2017, Harsha Aiya picked me up on his way to the Airport! I was very excited as it was the first time I was going into an Airplane Hangar!! On arriving at the Rathmalana Airport we proceeded to get our entry passes and made our way to the Airplane Hangar that belonged to the Fairway Aviation Academy. Due to the air show, all other airplanes were grounded, and we could set up our equipment right in front of the Hangar, facing the runway! Continue reading

Elucidation of cultural pageantry

I’ve never been interested in watching the Kandy Esala Perahara. That is, I didn’t take the time to sit in front of the Tele and watch the procession, but I always told my parents, that we should go and watch it live. My father, especially said, “If we are going to watch the Perahara we should get good seats, and good seats are expensive, we are better off watching at home, then you get to listen to the commentary”. Thus, it was quite evident that I, seeing the Perahara with my parents was a very unlikely outcome.

11703570_996789753716898_8189709096736041415_o

The Sri Dalada Maligawa, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relick

In 2014, after I took up Photography as a hobby, a colleague of mine said that he could get me a media pass to photograph the Perahara! Lo-and-behold I was seated right in front of the octagonal Patthirippuwa on the penultimate day of the Perahara. It was an amazing experience!!

Continue reading

Guildford Crescent to Jalan Pudu

Malaysia Airlines flight 178 was about to take off from the Bandaranayaka International Airport Colombo. Onboard were the very excited Mazarins, looking forward to a fun filled extended weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I woke up around 6 am when the aircraft hit some turbulence. After a good stretch, and getting the sleepiness out of my system I looked out of the window to one of the most amazing views I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The aircraft was flying out of a light thunder storm above the Indian ocean, and slowly creeping into the air above the Malaysian Peninsula. The horizon, jagged with mountainous silhouettes, painted in shades of orange, red, and yellow was a scene straight out of a postcard. I looked back at the dark rain cloud, as I witnessed two flashes of lightening in quick succession. The first was a cloud flash, which just light up the dark cloud. And the next was a ground flash(technically it was above the sea), where I saw the bolt of lightening pierce the sky from my elevated vantage point. Soaking in the picturesque view, we touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 30th May 2015. The Mazarin excursion to Malaysia was now officially underway!!

Continue reading