SriLanka? Honestly people don’t have much expectations from Sri Lanka in India and they think that Srilanka is less developed, we may not get good facilities, etc. But I felt it is totally opposite of what I thought when I visited Sri Lanka ,from beautiful serene beaches to green mountains; from tea gardens to clean roads, from scenic railway line beside sea to waterfalls, from disciplined traffic sense of drivers & pedestrians to potholes free roads and last but not the least, from their welcoming culture to caring, friendly and helping Sri Lankan people along with tales of Ramayana which includes ShriRam, Lakshman, Sitaji, Hanumanji & Ravana.
When To Visit Sri Lanka
The best season to visit Sri Lanka is from October – April, when the climate is very pleasant with less humidity, rain and heat at the west coast.
A jewel shaped country is famous for gems, tea, spices, ayurvedic oil, wildlife, crockery, etc.Srilanka is very famous for gems, tea, spices, ayurvedic oil, crockery, etc for shopping.
Our Journey through Sri Lanka
Majority of Indians visit Colombo, Kandy, Bentota, Nuwara Eliya & Dambulla. They all have to offer different climatic conditions, terrain, nature and feel.
We visited Kandy – Nuwara-Eliya – Ella – Bentota – Colombo
Details of each place in detail along with Itinerary and pictures as below:
We took the Indigo flight from Ahmedabad to Colombo airport which is generally the cheapest.
You can either opt for visa on arrival or get an e-visa to Srilanka to make your journey hassle free.
I would suggest you to exchange the local currency SLR rupees at the airport as you may get the best rates there.
Then we went to the Pinnawala Elephant orphanage, where you can see herds of elephants playing, bathing in the river and showering each other and you can feed them if you want in the group.
In this orphanage, there is specific time for every activity happening as seen in the below picture
Then if you want, you can proceed to the elephant safari where you take a ride in the jungle area sitting on the back of the elephant and elephant will shower the water on you from their trunk, you feed them bananas, and also bathe them in a splash of water.The jungle path which is taken is too adventurous full of hilly slopes, greenery which adds to the fun. You must do this activity.
Then we proceeded for the Kandy local sightseeing which includes the spice and ayurvedic shops. Srilanka is also famous for spices which are grown in the dense forests. From all the spices available they produce Ayurvedic medicines(majorly oil) which is a part for the Srilankan ancient history. You can buy cinnamon sticks from Srilanka. We had an overnight stay in Kandy.
Day 2 : Kandy-Nuwara Eliya
The next day we left for the Nuwara Eliya, the beautiful hill station of Srilanka where you don’t need an air conditioner even in the afternoon in the regular season. filled with picturesque scenery. On both sides of the road you can see beautiful mountains with tea gardens, large tea estates, hotels, homes, monkeys hoping around and waterfalls . The roads are too scenic if you are a nature lover, it’s a treat to watch.
So we went to one of the largest tea estates of Srilanka “Damro tea” . They take you to visit of their tea making factory where in you can see the whole process of how tea is made from tea leaves and then offer you complimentary tea. They have very wide varieties of tea like European, American, Milk tea, Green tea, etc.
The location is perfect to click pictures with hilly tea gardens in the backdrop.
Then we checked in at the hotel “The FIRS” (5* hotel made up in a bungalow) with a beautiful backyard, awesome palatial suite rooms with Jacuzzi & view to “Gregory Lake”. There is an Indian restaurant named “Indian Summer” nearby where we headed for our dinner and we were very happy with the good Indian food taste.
The other sightseeings in Nuwara Eliya includes “Gregory lake” which opens at 9:00 AM is a good spot for boating and clicking beautiful pictures with lake waters, tea gardens & Nuwara Eliya city in the backdrop.Try going here in early morning for best pictures. In the evening you can spend time here to eat local food and walk in the lawn next to the lake.
Another famous sightseeing in Nuwara-Eliya is Seetha Aman temple where Hanumanji met Sitaji to give the message of ShriRam after her abduction by Ravana which is nearby to “Ashok Vatika”.(which is now Hakgala Botanic Gardens) Even today there are footprints of Hanumanji at that place. This place is a must watch place here if you are religious and believe in this story and can find inner peace here.
Day 3 : Nuwara Eliya-Ella-Bentota
Then we proceed to another nearby beautiful, scenic, tourist hotspot & mythological hill station of Srilanka called “Ella”. In Ella you can find Ravana Caves,Ravana falls, Ellawala waterfalls,9 Arch bridge, etc. The train journey to/fro Ella is also a must thing to do as the journey through lushgreen mountains, houses, vendors coming to sell you local food makes your journey breathtaking and one of the world’s most scenic railway trips in the world. So you can ask your agent to buy the train tickets well in advance to experience this.
“Ravana falls” ranks as one of the famous, widest waterfalls in Srilanka just below the Ravana Cave. It is said that Sitaji used to bathe in the pool that accumulated in the water falling from this waterfall.The water flows down at a high velocity from a great height with cool breeze and sun making this waterfall a treat to watch and bath.
The pool is not too deep and so you can bathe in this waterfall. The way to the pool is bit tedious and slippery so need to take utmost care as if you slip then there are big rocks which may hurt you seriously.
“Ravana Caves” is the cave built by Ravana and one need to take 700 steps to enter the cave and you are not allowed to enter beyond one point in the cave because of some reasons. We did not go even inside the cave and returned from the entrance as we were short of time and is known as the place which was used by Ravana to hid Sitaji.
Then we went to The Nine Arch(sky) Bridge in Ella which is on the Demodara loop and spans 91 meters at a height of 24m. The beautiful nine arches make it a very picturesque spot especially as it is located in a dense jungle and agricultural setting. Behind the railway, a forest is booming and below, tea leaves are being cultivated.This was built by British Colonial and entirely made up of rocks, bricks & cement.The name derives from the visual experience. When you stand below the bridge and look up you can see the sky through the nine arches.
Then we proceeded to the unexplored Ellewala waterfall which was suggested by our local friend Ms Umashini. After visiting I would also suggest everyone to add this place in your must visit place list in Sri Lanka.We were ready to visit this place as soon as we saw beautiful pictures of this place. We followed the Google Maps as our driver was also going to this place for the first time. He dropped us at around 3 kms away from the actual site.Then we took a tuk-tuk for around 600 SLR for a round trip which we took from parking to the closest place possible.The path is very rough as it’s between the mountains full of slops, wet and muddy roads made up of sand & stones only. After that we need to hike around 500 meters which is actual trekking like you will get big rocks, need to climb and jump from one place to another, small water streams also pass on the way and sometimes you may also feel that there cannot be a way from here, but you need to go on and on straight and then you will see the best sight, a treat to watch, place Ellawala waterfall.The waterfall in reality was much better than what we saw in the picture and felt the hard work we did was appropriate to see this place.We were awestruck and we almost spent 2 hours here as this place is very less crowded with only 6-10 Europeans present, we bathed, clicked many pictures as below and did not wanted to return back. Please take care of dogs as there are many dogs here which barks alot and don’t know if they bite or not. If you feel you are lost somewhere, then you can take the help of a local shopkeeper at the point where the tuk tuk drops you near to the waterfall. We asked him to drop us till the waterfall.The locals do not understand English language at all so need to be good at sign language.
The other famous sightseeing places which we did not cover are Little Adams Peak which is famous for hikers and trekkers and we were not one of them. You can also visit Hortons Plain, Moons Plain which are nearby attractions to Nuwara Eliya.
Then we proceeded to Bentota, the famous beach destination of Srilanka and reached Bentota around 7:00 PM.
So the duration from Ellewala to Bentota was around 4 hours journey. The roads and highway are very smooth and we can driver at around 100 kmph.
We resided in hotel Ekho Surf which is on the beach hotel and our room was on ground floor facing beach. We step out from the room and we are on the beach. Hotel Ekho Surf staff is very helpful and they helped us celebrate the birthday of my wife on the beach which was her wish. The next day early morning we enjoyed the beach water of the Bentota, which was very clean, the waves’ current was also very good and safe to bathe in the sea.You can enjoy a lot as there are very few people to disturb you on the beach as it’s kind of a private beach.
Other major things to do in Bentota includes:
Day 4 : Local Sightseeing in Bentota
Maduganga River Safari is a 2-3 hours boat ride in the Madu Ganga river which in the end meets the Indian Ocean. This is the 2nd largest wetland in SriLanka spread across 150 acres of land and the last remaining tracts of Mangrove forest.
The boat traverses through thick mangrove forests, which provide protection to a large number of aquatic birds, animal and plant species. One can get a chance to see crocodiles, water snakes, tree snakes, and wild boars in their natural habitat during the boat ride.
The river also consists of 25 islands, out of which only 15 are of sizable landmass and safe to visit. One island where the motorboat halts is the Cinnamon Island which has cinnamon trees sprawling over acres of land, and the plantations date back to the 1900s. It is an age-old cinnamon plantation set on an island that has been run by a single family for generations. Here, one can learn more about the process of harvesting cinnamon. Another stop in the Madu River Safari is at Koth Duwa, one of the large inhabited islands in Madu Ganga. The island houses an ancient Buddhist Temple comprising many buildings and thus covers the entire island. The noteworthy places in the temple are Bo-tree, Image house, and Dagoba.
Another stop in the Madu River is the island that has only ancient Ganesh temple.
Another interesting thing to do during the safari is the fish spa in the midst of the river. Sailing through the mangroves, one will encounter several rectangular fish tanks teaming with Gourami fish. The primary purpose of these fish tanks is to provide fish therapy. The natural environment around the fish spa is fantastic, and you get uninterrupted, scenic views of the vast mangrove forests. The fish spa is generally included in the package.
Sea Turtle hatchery farms is turtle conservation center where the turtles are kept safe from predators and visitors can visit and they will be guided for the complete process of protecting and hatching while visiting.
Day 5: Bentota to Colombo
The next day we left for the capital city of Srilanka, Colombo in the early morning after breakfast and we checked into Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo where we had a beach facing room with a balcony on the 9th Floor. Watching the sun setting down with cold heavy wind and voice of the sea waves hitting the shore while sitting in balcony in the evening is the best you can ask for on a vacation.
The major sightseeing places include Independence square, Lotus Tower, Galles Facebeach ( best place to watch sunset and relax), Ballys’ casino ( if you are a casino fan we provide casino packages as well), Laksala and Pettah market for shopping fans and best place to buy souvenirs(they do lot of bargaining so please do it).
Day 6 : Taj Samudra Colombo to Airport
So the next day we returned to the airport and our journey to beautiful Srilanka ended with happy memories.
So Sri Lanka is a place filled with scenic beaches, clean city, tea garden mountains, picturesque railway, Elephant safari, Casino, Spices, Ayurvedic oils, Ramayana.
We had a chance to visit only half of Srilanka and plan to cover remaining in the next trip. But you can visit all the places in Srilanka with our tailor made itineraries to Srilanka by clicking on this link: http://travelotrek.com or contact us on (+91)9409083099.
Mandatory things to be carried.
- Formal wear
- Routine snacks
Must things to do in Srilanka:
- Elephant Safari
- Watersports activities
- Maduganga river safari
- Drink Yellow color cocounut
- Travel in train from Nuwara eliya to Elle
- Visit Ella walla waterfall
- Visit Lotus tower
- Visit Balleys casino
- Visit Galle front beach