They say that the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page. But we generally tend to overlook the fact that the country we live in is chapter one of the book. The first chapter of a book can either get you hooked, or regret ever reading the book in the first place. The book of the world is no different! Fortunately for us, our motherland, our first chapter, Sri Lanka, is a country like no other. This tiny island paradise is home to a variety of astonishing sights, rich history and amazing cultural heritage. Go ahead, read a few more pages from chapter one! Trust me; the chapter on Sri Lanka is much larger than you think…
The Kalutara Temple
On my quest to cover the coastal region of our beautiful island home, we’ve covered most of the south from Hikkaduwa to Dondra Head in Matara, as well as a few locations on the east; namely Paasikudah and ArugamBay. This travel entry is on a spontaneous trip to Ahungalla.
We came across many interesting and iconic places as we headed to Matara from Galle along the Matara-Galle main road. For someone who doesn’t plan on making any stops in between, the drive from Matara to Galle is roughly about an hour. You can take the highway if you want to get there faster, but for a more aesthetic driving experience I recommend the Matara-Galle main road.
The Dondra Head Lighthouse
Matara is a busy town, especially if you go there during the season. Ironically, this commercial hub isn’t exactly a tourist destination. But, there are a few attractions within the limits of this fast paced city. We, however, decided to drive through Matara and make our way to the first location in our list of places to visit in Matara.
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.
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!!
Adam’s peak referred to as “Samanalakanda” (සමනළ කන්ද) is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall mountain located in central Sri Lanka. According to Buddhist belief it contains the sacred footprint or “Sri Paadaya”(ශ්රී පාදය) of the Buddha.
Illuminated path to Adam’s Peak
We began our journey after lunch on Saturday, 21st February 2015. As we approached Nallathanniya, the village at the foot of the mountain, there was a long line of buses and vans parked on either sides of the road hinting that a large crowd was visiting Adam’s Peak over the weekend. Our bus was stopped by the police and we were instructed to leave our bus at that point and take the public transport to Nallathanniya (roughly 5km away from that point) as there was heavy traffic. We arrived at the inn we had arranged dinner around 9 pm. After freshening up and having dinner, we began the hike to the peak around 11 pm. Our objective was to reach the peak by about 5:30 am on the 22nd to view the sunrise. Judging by the crowd, this was going to be quite a challenge.