This really is off the beaten path.
I have to say that this category of tip here on Virtual Tourist could have been designed for the particular short stroll I am going to describe. I had been to the Gangarama Mahavihara (see separate tip), a Buddhist (and possibly Hindu) temple a short walk from the centre of Hikkaduwa and didn't really fancy walking back down the fairly busy main road and so I chose to take a little path (pictured) which I knew was going in vaguely the right direction. What a good choice!
I appreciate that I must look pretty odd to Asian children (even Asian adults) standing 6'5" tall with long almost white hair and a beard that could, frankly, happily house a family of rodents. I am used to that and it amuses me but some of the reactions I got from small children along the way were so charming. It seems like every child in the area wanted to wave, smile, say "Hello" or whatever, it really was such a treat. I suspect that most tourists to Hikkaduwa never get off the beach strip, indeed probably never get out of their all-inclusive resort but they really are missing so much. It was a short walk but such a delight and a humbling experience. It is easy to do and I do recommend it.
Sadly, you will meet reminders along the way of the appalling tsunami of 2004. I do not wish to dwell on this, as I suspect the residents of this superb country don't, but it is inevitable. It is far too recent and far too raw. I sympathise. If you walk the little path I have suggested here, you will pass a housing project provided by the good people of Austria to assist in the wake of the carnage of that day. You simply cannot ignore it. It is a very odd feeling to see reminders of such horror in what seems like an island paradise. It sort of puts your beach resort holiday in perspective somewhat.
It is right and proper (in my opinion) to remember and perhaps I even do it slightly more than those who were affected and lost loved ones. Sri Lankans seem, by and large, to have moved on. I merely set out here to write a small tip on a lovely little path that would take the reader through some gorgeous country and meet some lovely people and look what happened!
Should you want to find it, come down the steps of the temple, cross the bridge and turn left, it will take you back into town.
- Budget Travel
Monument to a local legend.
I really don't want to labour the point and I know that regular readers of my pages here on Virtual Tourst will have heard it ad nauseum but I genuinely do learn so much whilst researching tips for this site.
I was wandering through Hikkaduwa one day on a daytrip from Galle en-route to a Buddhist temple I had read about (see separate tip) when I happened upon this statue and decided to investigate. It was a fairly dismal day and so the edifice was certainly not seen to best advantage. Also, Sri Lankans seem to have a penchant for painting statues with gold paint which does not seem to stand the test of time that well in a country with such diverse weather patterns. I looked at the statue, took the relevant photos and wondered who the gentleman commemorated actually was as the limited English text on the plinth didn't help much. Well, I know now and he is an extremely interesting man.
He is a chap called Dhamma Jagoda, a local man, and was something of a leading light in the Sri Lankan dramatic field for many years. The attached website gives a glowing, if perhaps slightly coloured, tribute but he was undoubtedly of great importance to the Sri Lankan dramatic body of work as actor, director, patron and much else. He appears to be credited with inventing the genre of Sri Lankan tele-dramaamongst other things
Again, this is a tip that will undoubtedly be of minimal interest to most VT readers but I offer it on the off chance that there is someone that may be interested and in the hope that others walking that road in search of the beach delights of Hikkaduwa may pause for a bit of a look and think about a man that apparently contributed so much to the culture of the country they are walking in.
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel