Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka! 🙂
We traveled to Colombo from Dubai, with Sri Lankan Airlines, the flag carrier of Sri Lanka. The flight was comfortable and staff were pleasant.
” Everything starts with a sunrise, but it’s what we do before it sets that matters.” – K. McGraw
Greeted by a beautiful sunrise as we started our two day exploration of this beautiful country.
Taking in the serenity of untouched nature along the way… one of the first things that really struck us as we started our road journey was, despite the fact that Sri Lanka looked very much like parts of Kerala, India, it was much tidier than our motherland… spick n span…no garbage on the roadsides at all…!
Coconut roti is a unique and famous flat bread in Sri Lanka.
These roti’s are made with freshly grated coconut, white flour, water and salt. It is similar to thick tortillas, and is best eaten with a spicy paste called lunu miris.
It is eaten almost every day for breakfast in central parts of Sri Lanka.
Next stop… home grown juicy pineapples..!
The locals are extremely kind and hospitable.
Hanging bridges for pedestrians are frequently used to cross rivers in Sri Lanka.
Walking over such a bridge is kinda scary. The usual swinging movement of the entire construction gets further amplified by our every step, especially when you reach around the middle.
A first one for us! 🙂
From the bridge, we can see this amazing hill top that surprisingly resembles the reclining Buddha!
Next we drove to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
It is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village.
The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka.
It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).
The orphanage feeds, nurses and houses young elephants found abandoned by their mothers.
Elephants sometimes fall into pits and ravines in their quest for water during drought period. Other orphans have been displaced from their wild habitat by development projects or have been found abandoned, diseased or wounded.
The Elephant bottle feeding is a great tourist attraction and takes place at specified timings, usually 9am.
Calves born in Pinnawala are not all bottle fed, but a few are bottle fed only as tourist attraction.
The orphanage is open to the public daily, and all admission fees are used to look after the elephants.
Visitors to the park can view the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing in the Ma Oya (River).
This elephant orphanage conducts captive breeding of some elephants in its care.
The natural environment and healthy care and feeding at Pinnawala made the elephant breeding program a success
Pinnawala is said to have the largest herd of captive elephants in the world.
You realize how little you are when you stand next to these massive majestic animals!
Once the bottle feeding is over, visitors and locals flock to the riverside to see the elephants bathing.
It’s quite a sight when they all but stampede down to the river!
Elephants are really lil kids at heart! 😉
While driving to our next destination, we got the chance to attend a traditional Sri Lankan wedding!
Our next stop was a traditional Sri Lankan weaving centre. We were given a detailed demonstration with details.
AYUBOWAN! Thats namaste in srilanka!
At the weaving centre, the staff insisted that I try out their Sari! It is a three piece attire: the top part called the blouse, the bottom skirt worn like a wraparound and the pleated long piece that is tucked into the skirt and pinned over the shoulder.
The center also has a good collection of traditional as well as touristy clothes for sale.
Next to the weaving centre is the wood carving and traditional wood art center.
We were given another detailed demonstration on different varieties of wood used for different types of carving and the various dyes made of natural ingredients.
There is quite an extensive display of masks for sale at the store attached to the centre.
The traditional masks are carved from light Balsa like Kaduru wood. The wood is smoke dried for a week in preparation. The hand carved and hand painted masks in traditional dance dramas are both vibrant and colorful.
Masks are created for three different types of dancing rituals:
‘Kolam‘, which tell mocking stories of traditional Sri Lankan colonial life;
‘Sanni‘, or devil dancing masks, used in a type of exorcism ceremony to heal people of persisting illnesses believed to be inflicted by demons;
and ‘Raksha‘ masks, which are used in festivals and processions.
Wooden elephants of all sizes were on display.
We got ourselves a few as souvenirs.
Stay tuned for more pics from Sri Lanka…
All photos are our own and intended for the use of this blog only.