48 hrs. at Lavanga


  Lavanga is a seaside resort and spa at Hikkaduwa in Southern Sri Lanka   “Welcome to Lavanga” the young woman in a bright green saree said and ushered me in to the dimly lit, book lined ‘library.’ A young man brought me the traditional welcome glass of papaya juice. Two young men took my bags…

Kanneliya – Walk In A Rainforest


  Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya or KDN is a 10,139 ha rainforest complex in southern Sri Lanka, designated as a UNESCO  biosphere reserve since 2004. Earlier this month I had the chance to walk in it.     The forest was decimated by loggers led by my own uncle in the 1950s but today it has recovered and is…

Richmond Castle, Kalutara


Richmond Castle is an Edwardian Mansion near the southern coastal town of Kalutara in Sri Lanka built between 1900 and 1910. It was the country seat of a local aristocrat Mudliyar Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena     In British Colonial era, it was customary for wealthy Sri Lankans to study in Britain.  Arthur…

Ancient Mosques Of Beruwela


    The stark white Kechimalai Mosque stands on a headland at the sleepy southern fishing village of Beruwela in Sri Lanka. Built in 1024, it marks the spot where Moors first landed on the island. Beruwala Maradana Masjidul Abrar Jumma mosque a short distance away is the first mosque of Sri Lanka, built in…

Madu River Revisited


Madu River – a minor watercourse in south-west of Sri Lanka, widens into the Madu Ganga Lake at Balapitiya and flows for a further a 4.4 km before draining into the Indian Ocean. Together with the smaller Randombe Lake, to which the river is connected by two narrow channels, it forms the Madu Ganga wetland dotted with mangrove…

Sera Ella Falls


We were tucking into a rice & curry lunch at Sir John’s Bungalow and the large photograph of a spectacular waterfall on the dinning room wall caught my eye. “It is Sera Ella Falls, about an hours drive from here” the waiter said. I had never heard of Sera Ella. It looked gorgeous and I…

Birds, Leeches and the Riverston Gap


“It’s a four kilometre hike up the mountain” Padmini warned us.   I got ready with walking boots, back pack and hiking poles. We drove downhill along the B274 to the turn off to the VHF station. There is a good road to the communications towers at the top of the Knuckles Range hill but…

Pitawala Pathana & Mini World’s End


From Sir John’s Bungalow, it is only a short drive to Pitawala Pathana. The road is good, there is ample parking, and the ranger’s office has benches and a public toilet in front of it. A short distance away, new visitor centre with all mod cons is under construction. I have visited Knuckles – a…

A Day At Sir John’s


The bungalow in the Knuckles Range sits in splendid isolation. The view across the valley to the distant mist shrouded mountains is magnificent. It was once the holiday home of Sir John Kotalawala, the third Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The five bedroom bungalow was built during the British colonial era as a residence for…

Road to Riverston


I am on a road trip again, this time on the A1 from Colombo to Riverston near Matale in central Sri Lanka, to hike in the Knuckles range of mountains I take a taxi to Borella and board the Flamingo Tours coach at six in the morning. “I will reserve the front double seat for…