Sri Lanka Off The Beaten Path

  • Sunrise from Adam's Peak
    Sunrise from Adam's Peak
    by DSwede
  • Temple Offerings
    Temple Offerings
    by DSwede
  • Vessel, Galle, Sri Lanka.
    Vessel, Galle, Sri Lanka.
    by planxty

Sri Lanka Off The Beaten Path

  • Adam's Peak

    I write this entry here not knowing a better place to put it. There is no nearby town in the database, nor did I see any entries for it within the generic 'Sri Lanka' reviews.Adam's Peak, the English name for the Siripadaya mountain, is a national treasure. The small temple at the peak of the pyramid shaped mountain sits on the point where either...

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  • ELEPHANT WASHING!

    Before you or your driver race over those bridges along the way – slow down and look over the edge! In the water you may find people washing their elephants. They aren’t just pets or modes of transportation; they can be a family’s sole source of income. They are used for working as well as tourists attractions. They are gentle animals and are very...

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  • Visit the Millenium Elephant Foundation

    South of the central hill country city of Kandy is the M.E.F., an orphanage for elephants. Volunteers from around the world help care for the twelve or so pachyderms there.

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  • ARMY INFANTRY SCHOOL

    At Minneriya is the home of the Infantry School for the Sri Lankan Army. Here, soldiers are trained in the basics of the infantry. Both courses in basic and advanced techniques are given here. The Army has been fighting on behalf of the government in Colombo against the Tamil guerrillas of the LTTE for over twenty years. Many have come through this...

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  • Kothmale: Middle of no where

    When one travel from Kandy towards Nuwaraeliya, few Kms (less than 12) after Gampola Bridge you will find a road to right that leads towards Kothamale ReservoirFew Kms on that road the Kothmale Rest House is placed. The rest house is the senior offices housing facility used during the Dam construction time. Now it’s turned to a Rest House. It’s in...

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  • Millenium Elephant Foundation

    is just slightly off the beaten path, as its on the road to Pinnewela. It turned out we knew the guy who runs the paper factory next to MEF, Maximus (pvt) Ltd, which uses the elephant dung in his recycled paper. We never quite made it to Pinnewela. I've read complaints about MEF - the elephants here are all retired, rescue elephants. There are no...

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  • The highest railway station in Sri Lanka

    Take train from Kandy to Nanu Oya. Nearby is Pattipola , the next train station north of Ohiya. This station is at 6204 feet. At NanuO we "visited" the stationmasters office where one can request a reserved seat in the observation car to Kandy/ Colombo. This is a timewarp of 1930's british rail. Graet photos!!!

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  • Pimbura Hill Temple

    The Hill Temple at Pimbura is not a particularly impressive structure, more a ramshackle collection of shrines and associated outbuildings spread out on the top of a ridge, in fact the nearer you get to the temple, the more you feel like you are in Nepal rather than Sri Lanka, but the setting, the atmosphere and the fact that you are almost...

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  • Don't blink or you'll miss out

    It's just the most wonderful meal that you could have, out of the blue, off the beaten path. After a couple of hours at Pinnawela watching the elephants at play and an impromptu elephant shower a few miles down the road we found the Pineapple Garden. Our tour guide had phoned ahead so the meal was ready for us after we had looked around the...

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  • Safety First

    In the north and east of the Island the bush is cut back on either side of the road to deny the LTTE rebles cover when attacking vehicles.

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  • Eating (off the beaten track)

    Every village you pass through on your travels will have at least one small restaurant selling Sri Lankan food at very reasonable prices, they are sometimes known as hotels or cool spots. You can get hoppers, eggs and bread for breakfast, coffee usually comes black so ask for kiri kopi (milk coffee) and unless you like it impossibly sweet ask for...

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  • Haputale and Beyond: Hill Walkers...

    For me, the largely Tamil village of Thotulagala (3Km out from Haputale) is maybe as good as it gets in Sri Lanka. It’s a peaceful place, the locals are friendly, the climate is excellent and the views are quite staggering, you really need to go there to know what I mean.It is easy to get to nearby Haputale by road or rail and there are some spot...

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  • Gem Mines

    A friendly miner (or one with an eye on a tip) may invite you down a gem mine for a look at how it’s done. My advice is don’t go down unless you are in the peak of physical condition. Getting down is easy but getting out again involves a long hard vertical climb in hot and wet conditions with very little air. All that’s down there is a dark flooded...

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  • Mad Dogs and Englishmen

    Maybe only a sentimental old fool like me would be moved by Saint Andrews Anglican Church in Haputale (and dozens of similar Anglican Churches across Sri Lanka). Somebody really cares about this place and it also tells a story about the British in Sri Lanka.I am not a religious person and I will not attempt to defend imperial rule but Saint...

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  • Pahiyangala: a real treat for budding...

    If you want to visit a truly impressive place which is usually crowd-free then get along to the ancient cave and rock temple at Pahiyangala.Pahiyangala attracts Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka on Poya Day but is over-looked by the most of the guide books so the rest of the time you might well have the place to yourself. In addition to the...

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  • Small Town Sri Lanka

    On the face of it there is not much to draw tourists into Bulatsinhala, I've been there dozens of times and not once seen another white face, for me that is a major attraction, it's just regular small town Sri Lanka with friendly locals and no touts.Market day is Sunday and the town gets busy but during the week it can be an almost sleepy place,...

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  • Nalanda

    There's a temple at Nalanda (about 20km South of Dambulla) which has an interesting mixture of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. There are supposed to be tantric carvings on it, but as the whole temple is quite a bit weather beaten, I only saw one.Admission fee is 5US$ (way too much), but it's included in the "Cultural Triangle" pass.

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  • Thalangama Wetlands

    A lovely lake with boating available, lots of wetland bird watching, and strolls not far outside of Colombo.

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  • Undisturbed rainforest of Sinharaja

    At the heart of the island’s wet zone, an undisturbed rainforest. Sinharaja means Kingdom of Lion though there aren’t lions here. The hilly virgin rainforest has a rich canopy reaching heights of nearly 50m and which is almost entirely endemic to Sri Lanka. At the edges of the reserve, there are small villages allowing nice insights into rural Sri...

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  • Mulkirigala rock temple

    Mulkirigala is an imposing rock with remarkable cave temples located 21km north from Tangalle on the southern coast. This enormous boulder with a little of Dambulla and Sigiriya about it rises almost perpendicularly for over 200 metres out of the surrounding palm forest. Mulkirigala consists of a series of rock temples carved out of the face of a...

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  • Tangalla

    This small town hides some of the most gorgeous bays and beaches on the southern coast. Relaxed and easy-going atmosphere, with few tourists (at the time of visit), many fishermen, and without large hotels and noisy restaurants or bars, Tangalle/Tangalla seems an idyllic place to spend some days of splurge.At a closer look however, tsunami stories...

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  • The lovers

    Isurumuniya temple, in Anuradhapura, built in the 3rd century B.C. is noted for its rockcarvings. The best known among these is the 'Lovers'. Many a poet and song writerhas taken inspiration from this carving to write their masterpieces. It is believed that thecarving may represent Saliya, and the low-caste maiden whom he loved. Saliya was theson...

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  • Fruit stalls along the road

    When driving along Sri Lanka's roads, you should stop by at one of the small fruit stalls/shops that you can find anywhere along the bumpy roads of Sri Lanka. My favourite: pineapples! They cut them for you and you can enjoy this nice refreshment....

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  • Yatiyantota: Pull over and cool off

    Coming down from the Hill Country towards Colombo the change in temperature is quite dramatic, by Kitugala it is getting hot and after four days in the cool of the hills our non-air conditioned vehicle is getting uncomfortable.At Yatiyantota we buy a picnic and turn off the A7 onto the B428 towards Bulatyopitya, just after the 3 kilometre post is a...

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  • Little Adam's Peak

    This gentle climb in beautiful hill country is much easier than climbing the steps up to the real Adam's Peak and makes a very pleasant short hike from Ella (about one hour each way). The track passes through the Newburg tea plantation where you can see Tamil women adeptly picking the leaves (they will gladly pose for a photo in exchange for a few...

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  • Dowa Rock Temple

    The main attraction at this temple, about halfway between Ella and Bandarawela, is the incomplete carving of a standing Buddha on the rock face outside the temple. While the body is unfinished and is now covered in moss, the face is exquisitely carved. The temple inside the cave contains murals and 1st century BC inscriptions, along with a 'House...

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  • Bogoda Bridge

    This attractive wooden bridge was built in the 16th century and is said to be the oldest wooden bridge in the world. Covered with a tiled roof in the Kandyan style, it is in a lovely, peaceful setting, spanning the shallow Gallanda Oya river, with a rock temple next to it which dates from the 1st century BC. Bogoda was on an ancient route...

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  • Aukana Buddha

    This 12 metre-high sculpture of the standing Buddha was carved in the 5th century but looks like it could have been finished just yesterday. Its preservation is all the more amazing because there is no protective canopy shielding it from the weather. Looking up at this huge Buddha from the ground below is truly awe-inspiring. Entrance is Rs 250,...

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  • Jeep safari in Hurulu Eco Park

    We went to Habarana with the intention of hiring a jeep to take us to Kaudulla National Park to see wild elephants. However, the people at the Mid-town Guesthouse with whom we negotiated tried to encourage us to go to the new Hurulu park instead, saying that Kaudulla was much more expensive and there weren't many elephants there at this time of...

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  • Yapahuwa

    Yapahuwa is a rock fortress, similar to Sigiriya, which housed the tooth relic of the Buddha for eleven years. The architectural highlight of the site is the ornamental stairway with carvings of musicians and dancers and two guarding lions, one of which is featured on the 10-rupee note. From the top of the stairway there is a path to the left which...

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  • Tamil Areas and mines

    As all of us travelling together volunteer in NPA (Norwegian People's Aid) we went to visit their projects in the north of Sri Lanka, also the area controlled by the guerilla group called the Tamil Tigers. NPA is one of only five organisations who worked there (compared to 1500 in the south after the tsunami). NPA is also one of the largest mine...

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  • Tsunami

    The situation was a bit special when I was in Sri Lanka because they were still trying to recover from when the tsunami struck... Huge areas in the south and east coast were cleaned out, areas which used to be neighbourhood were compleately empty.. The wave cleaned out people and buildings - the only thing left were the palmtrees...We also visited...

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  • Its in there somewhere...

    After washing the elephants, I walked along the banks of the river. I briefly saw an otter and took a snap...its in there somewhere!

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  • How green...

    Sri Lanka is incredibly green...much more so than I was expecting. This is a photo of a lush paddy field.

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  • Where the brew comes from...

    Whilst driving around the driver pointed out this view...so we stopped to take a photo. Its hard to see, but the bushes on the slopes are tea bushes!

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  • Washing Elephants...

    The Hotel I was staying in overbooked...and asked if I would let them have my room for 2 days...as a swop I had the use of a driver, and accomodation in Kandy for two days...at no cost! We headed off from Colombo...and this photo is of a local river he knew where elephants used for forestry are washed and looked after.

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  • See the cobras

    At most tourist sites, next to the touts, there will be a guy asking you if you want to see the cobras. I am sure this is ecologically irresponsible, since i doubt they are pets. But anyway, it's very interesting. A man will play a flute like thing, while the snakes stare at him and hiss. Not sure what the music does since they are deaf-i guess...

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  • MEET THE LOCALS.

    We went to watch the sunset one evening and were invited to join the locals,they had lit a fire on the beach,we all sat around drinking the local brew,everyone started singing and dancing around the fire it was a great evening.

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  • YALA SAFARI PARK

    we stayed at yala safari park in the game lodge, as you opened the door there was decking outside and a beautiful white sandy beach,it was like paradise,we went out in a jeep for 4 hours,the scenery is spectacular,one of the girls in front of us spotted the leopard which hasnt been seen for years,it was amazing,we saw elephants,crocodiles,buffalos...

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  • REFUGEE CAMPS

    Since the tsunami, one thing you will notice as you drive down the east coast of Sri Lanka are the many camps for refugees. It is estimated that one million Sri Lankans were left homeless from the waves. Large buildings have been impressed into service and tent city after tent city can be seen. The original homes cannot be rebuilt in many cases...

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  • MINNERIYA DEVIYO

    Along the eastern shore of Minneriya Tank (a large reservoir in central Sri Lanka near Polonnuwara), is a large statue of the Lord Buddha. The statue is a place where Sri Lankans practice deva-worship, a form of god worship that has evolved from early Buddhist practice. Devas are superhuman beings who through their works have taken on special...

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  • GANGARAMAYA TEMPLE - COLOMBO

    This is not the most famous temple in the Colombo area nor is it the oldest, but if you want to see a Buddhist temple within walking distance of the major hotels, this is where you should set your sights. It is just east of the southeast corner of Beira Lake. In fact, a small temple which extends into the lake belongs to the temple complex. The...

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  • The Arable Countryside.

    Sri Lanka is an incredibly beautiful country. Firstly its ablaze with colour and secondly its landscape is as varied and as dramatic as any varied and dramatic landscape. The Highlands are gorgeous, and the beaches sublimb - yet I really enjoyed the arable land as well.The picture here was taken West of Pollunnaruwa. I went exploring this region on...

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  • Ramboda Falls - Incredible!

    The hill country of Sri Lanka doesn't have the Elevation like the High Country of New Zealand of even of South Korea, but what it lacks in Elevation it makes up for in twists and turns, lush Scenery, water and of course waterfalls like the Ramboda Falls here in the picture.Among the waterfalls of Sri Lanka, the Ramboda Falls is well known for its...

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  • Matara

    There isn't really much to see at Matara except for the remains of an old Dutch fort and ramparts and a the Weherahena Temple on the way to Tangalla.Matara also was hit hard by the tsunami.

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Sri Lanka Off The Beaten Path

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