Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Visit the Ancient and Mysterious “Siyabalape Devala”,Kebaliththa(Yala National Park)

Here we are ready today, to share the 3rd article of Yala adventure series. We discussed the reaching routes to Kebaliththa, Preparations before visiting ‘Siyabalape Devala’ sacred shrine in the previous articles. This is the 2nd article about The sacred ‘Siyabalape Shrine Land’ at Kebaliththa. As we promised, today I am going to reveal the miracles at Devala, and Pooja Customs in the shrine. Today lets continue from the point of preparing the sacred Pooja for God Skandakumar, how to worship the god and amazing facts about this Pooja customs.


Preparation of the Pooja Offerings to God


Clean Water Pits
This is how the sacred Pooja was prepared. The sacred shrine of Kebaliththa has its unique and distinguished customs of preparing and arranging the holy offerings. The ultimate purity is considered as an essential need. Even the preparation should be done with great sense of respect and sacred mind to God Skandakumar. Mr. Madhushan guided us explaining how to arrange the Pooja from the beginning till the end, using his past experiences of this custom.


As the first thing, we had to dig 7 clean pits on the riverbank of ‘Kumbukkan Oya’. Each had to be dug by hand to ensure the purity. After that these had to be carefully covered with tree leaves and branches, ensuring the pits will be clean and away from dirt, animals and tree leaves. This is done to get the purest portion of water of the river, used for Pooja preparation.


The next step is the preparation of sacred offering to God(Pooja). Most of you must have heard of the unique offering of alms called ‘PaniBath’ or ‘Muruthan Bath’, which is a special meal prepared only as a devotion to sacred Gods or to Lord Buddha during holy consecrations. We are now ready to prepare the sacred offering ‘Pani Bath’.


The hearth is made with 3 stones and a canopy to respect the holiness of this preparation. The members taking part of this process should be careful to cover the face to avoid mixing any unclean material to the meal. This holy meal to God is a mixture of cooked rice, Sugar, Jaggery ,Green Grams and Plums. This holy meal has an extremely rich taste. This meal is then arranged to clean bowls and covered.
'Pani Bath' Preparation




Pooja Fruits Arrangement
Now we should arrange the sacred offering of fruits. This tray is made of 9 or 12 varieties of fruits. The devotees should cover the faces with gags before touching the fruits. (See the pictures). The betel leaves are arranged around the tray in a traditional pattern as seen on the picture. The varieties of fruits are cleaned with saffron mixed water and placed on the plate full of betel leaves, along with joss sticks , camphor and other offerings devoted in these Pooja.



Now it is the time to offer and devote this Pooja to God Skandakumar.


Consecration of the Pooja to God


Ready to Devote the Offerings
After the preparation of Pooja, we got cleaned ourselves again from the Kumbukkan Oya, bathing and dressing in full white clothes. Please make sure to wear a pure white dress like a sarong. It is said in the past that none of the women have visited this sacred land, however if a woman joins the occasion, it is suitable to wear a pure clean and white dress decent enough for a sacred offering at a religious Place. For gents, it is a custom be bear bodied and wear a traditional sarong. (You may have a similar experience, if you have been to the Kovil at Nalloor )


The Devala is situated 100 Metres away from the place we prepared the Pooja. As Buddhists we first did the offerings of flowers and lighting the oil lamps to the ancient Bo Tree resembling Lord Buddha, at Siyabalape before initiating the Pooja. holding the Pooja prepared , we headed to the Sacred shrine ‘Siyabalape Devala’, with the blesses of triple gems in hearts.
Bo Tree


The Shrine is extremely holy and mystic. The land is filled with absolute silence. You may experience such a spiritual feeling, rare, holy and godly and will never forget it for your lifetime. As we see in most of the other shrines devoted for gods, here you never see the dark chambers dedicated for gods, trance dances, brutalized chanting , prayers nor the collection boxes of donations.


As the folklore says, it is very hard to exclude the thought that the spirit of god Skandakumar still lives in this ancient sacred land. Indeed it is a land of God and holiness. We cleaned the sacred land and swept the shrine before the Pooja was offered. After that, we offered the Pooja to god Skandakumar, and prayed to god.


As an ancient custom, the devotees never turn back and walk away from the Shrine. Instead the devotees practice the custom of walking backwards to show the respect to the sacred land.


We worshipped the sacred Bo tree again and left the sacred land with full of holy thoughts towards God Skandakumar and lord Buddha.


Miracles at Kebaliththa

After the long discussion about the Pooja, let’s now share some amazing holy miracles about this ancient shrine. As the military soldiers around the land stated, one of the wild elephants seems to have a mystic relationship with this shrine. People call this giant “Devale Aliya’ (The elephant of the shrine). This giant seems to visit the shrine once or twice a week, and destroy all unnecessary constructions, re arrange and clean the sacred shrine before it leaves to jungle back. This is quite mystic and surprising how an elephant is devoted for the holiness of Devala, and respects the sacred Gods and Spirits in the land.



According to Mr.Madhushan, the devotees who are not serious about the customs, or the ones who visit the shrine without proper preparations, have had faced many unexplainable obstacles as a result of not showing respect towards the ancient sacred shrine. Overspillings of the Kumbukkan river, floods, missing the way towards shrine, getting lost in the jungle are some of the mystic interruptions such pilgrims have faced.


We returned from the holy shrine , with the hearts filled with sacred thoughts towards the amazing land of God Skandakumar. We kindly advice you not to test, challenge or experiment the powers of holy Gods and spirits, if you choose to visit this ancient Shrine ‘Siyabalape Devela’ at Kebaliththa.


This is one rare chance to visit a holy land where gods still live, feel the blesses of gods and an unforgettable experience of Sri Lankan customs while traveling.


If you need further assistance and guidance , Please call us on +94714449162, +94112178209 or email us to abeetha@explorelankainternational.com

See you soon ,with another exciting tour destination ! :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Visit the ancient and mysterious “Siyabalape Devala” shrine at Kebaliththa in Yala National Park.

The ancient shrine called “Siyabalape Devala” at Kebaliththa
We started an interesting discussion on Yala National Park from the previous article. Click here, to read the article 1 – Introduction to Yala National Park. Today I am going to reveal a hidden treasure inside Yala Park – the ancient shrine called “Siyabalape Devala” at Kebaliththa- a place considered very sacred by devotees. This is not very well known to and chosen by the most of the Yala visitors, only a few , devote for this rare pilgrimage to visit this invaluable sacred masterpiece related to Sri Lankan legendary Tale.


We rarely plan a trip to Yala without including Katharagama, as many Sri Lankans are devotees of God Katharagama or Buddhists who don’t want to miss Kirivehera Temple. Buddhists first visit the Kirivehera followed by the Katharagama ancient Devala. The shrine called “Siyabalape Maha Devala” once again has an Mysterious relationship with the God Katharagama (also known as God Skandakumar) and well known for miracles (“Haskam”). Here are some facts we explored during the visit to the shrine.


Thammita Bo Tree
According to ancient folklores, the God Katharagama or Skanda Kumar was known to be the past king Mahasen who reigned the southern part of the country(Ruhuna) in ancient times ( even before the time of Lord Buddha) . The ancient stories reveal that the king relinquished the kingdom and became a monk and left to a forest monastery for meditation. We eagerly wait to read the ancient folklores which you have heard of .


It is said that the Devala is built in the kingdom of God Katharagama. The place he met his goddess, “Valli Amma” was known as Sella Katharagama (Another sacred Devala situated near the Main shrine. The place the couple of God Katharagama and Goddess Valli Amma lived, is nowadays known as the ‘Vedahiti Kanda’ . Another folklore says that, When God Kathagama shot an arrow , it had fell on the land of Devala today.


Then why has the Kebaliththa shrine bulit? Have you ever heard of the death of the God Katharagama? As the folklore says, he is an eternal soul, never died, and he still meditates and stays at this ancient sacred land of Kebaliththa Devala.


Preparation



Remember , You should not visit the shrine just for fun; you have to make it a pure pilgrim, respecting all traditional preparations and customs , before you enter the sacred land. You are supposed to abide few rituals and preparations to maintain a pure soul and a body before you start the journey. You should be pure vegetarian, should not have any alcohol, and live a pure spiritually clean life for 7 days before starting the pilgrimage. It is not a rule, a must, but a strict practice to show the respect towards the miraculous shrine and precaution to ensure the safe return with less harm during the journey with the bless of God Skandha Kumar. Remember to make sure you are clean and prepared for the sacred visit, otherwise the villagers believe that the pilgrims face lot of mystic troubles during the journey.

Route to travel


There are 4 main routes to reach this sacred shrine;



refreshments arranged at the Army camp -Kebaliththa
1. From Yala , Palatuwawa entrance; you may reach the shrine after passing the blocks 1 and 2. This trip is surrounded by mystic beauty of nature , not to mention the difficulty of the challenging and costly trip. Without a minimal number of two 4wheeled vehicles, You will not be permitted to enter the block 2 ,to make the journey through scary backwoods , needing to be more careful. And this is the road that takes the longest time to reach the Devala Land.


2. You can use an alternative way from the entrance of “Galge” , and reach the shrine through block 3. Since this is a newly built road, it is believed to be have a fast trip, minimally taking a day.


3. You have another entrance through Kotiyagala (Monaragala), crossing the Kumbukkan Oya. We advise you to avoid this route, since the safety is not guaranteed by the Wildlife authorities. 


4. You can use the entrance of Kumana Bird Reserve , passing the shrine called “Okanda” Devala. Again , you may cross the “Kumbukkan Oya” , to reach the sacred “Siyabalape Devala”. Most of the Hindu devotees use this route, during the Perahera Festival season of the ancient Kataragama Devala. I must say this is another option that you can enjoy the colourful nature , on the way to Siyabalape Devala.


Our journey


We chose the second route, the one towards “Galge” entrance for our pilgrimage. We hired a 4x4 vehicle from Katharagama and started the trip to Kebaliththa around 7.45 am. We should thank for the helpful guidance of Mr.Madhushan – an officer of Wildlife Authority. It was the 1st time our driver Mr.Prasanna took the Galge route Kebiliththa. We stopped the vehicle for the traditional custom of praying for a safe journey , to be blessed by the God Gambhara,by hanging a branch of a tree , starting the way to Kebaliththa. It is a tradition practiced by folks, when travelling through sacred lands of Gods. We entered the Yala Park , with the blessings of God and with a sacred mind. At the “Thammita” sacred Bo tree, we did the religious prayers, observed Pansil, worshipping flowers and headed to the way to Kebaliththa. We reached the sacred Kebaliththa Devala premises around 11am. Not to forget and we thank the refreshments arranged at the Army camp -Kebaliththa.


Oh, we just reached the sacred land of God Skanda , and the next article will be dedicated to reveal the Devala customs , Pooja, and the amazing events that took place during the stay at Kebaliththa .


If you have any inquiry about the post, please don’t hesitate to contact



Contact Numbers :      +94714449162

                                           +94112178209


e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yala Safari - The Nature expedition

Wild Safari !


A popular destination – especially for nature watching. It is going to be a series of posts about a national park best known for its variety of wild animals. Hurry ! we have many things to introduce and explore !Yes , It is Yala wild life , green woods and lands of the giants in the jungle.


Yala National Park , is the second largest and the most visited national park in Sri Lanka. I have to take the chance of several and a series of posts to mention the beauty and the value of this nature reserve. Well, this is going to be the introductory article of Yala.


Yala and its Location


Yala national park lies in two provinces, Southern and Uva, and belongs to Hambantota and Monaragala districts in each. This nature park is maintained by the Ministry for Economical development and the Department of Wild life Conservation. It consists of five blocks all of which are now open to the public. There is a strict forest reserve not accessible by public, green native lands of inherited wild life species. We will dedicate separate posts for each block for you to enjoy some virtual nature trail with us.


There are 2 main entrances to Yala, the first entrance is from Palatupana, passing Tissa , kirinda and Nimalava. Here you get the chance to visit Block 1 and 2 in Yala. The second entrance is at ‘Galge’ on the highway of Katharagama-Buththala letting
you access the Blocks 3,4 and 5.


Let us have a look at some steps to preserve the beauty of Yala and to protect yourself from the giants, while you visit this national park. The variety of wild animals , are not indeed harmless , you have to be very careful , especially maintain the silence, without disturbing their natural noises and life styles .Yala is known as the largest collection of leopards and elephants , yet dangerous, if you distract them. Silence is the best practice for you to watch the most of the animals.


Please do not leave any Polythene item in the national park area , as it cause major poisoning to animals and pollute the green land. Make sure you bring only the ‘lovely memories’ home, and leave only your footsteps in green forests in Yala.


Yala is the most visited wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka. Most of the visitors stated that reasons for their visit are to see wild animals, and elephant is the most preferred animal. The visitors like to see bears, leopards, birds as well.


A 4-wheeled vehicle is the best for a safari tour inside Yala. You have facilities to hire a 4-wheeled vehicle from the entrances, and please verify it is a real 4-wheeled, before you start! If it is a long safari tour (more than 2 days) , make it a must to have a 4x4. If you visit only for a day, you have no harm choosing a normal but a safe suitable vehicle.


Yala story is not over. Soon I am going to write about the 5 blocks of Yala, variety of wild animals, bungalows, camp sites and ‘Kabaliththa’ ancient shrine inside the sanctuary.


Want to see wild life in Yala ? call us or email :


Contact Numbers :      +94714449162


                                       +94112178209
e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Explore Lanka International – One stop Party and Event Consultancy Service

Explore Lanka international is proudly announcing the tailor-made event management services for all kinds of gatherings taking place in Sri Lanka. If you are a party lover , this article would be a definite bookmark for you. How did you manage your corporate gathering last time? Were you one of the organizers who missed the party fun and took all pressures till the end? How about a responsible event Manager organizing, coordinating and handling the entire occasion, while you ‘Party to the fullest’? All you need to do is attend on the day! Not a bad idea, ha?


Which Event?


Is it your annual workshop at a star hotel? An outbound training program? A Christmas dinner dance? A corporate entertainment event? A formal seminar? A product launch? A Family gathering ? A wedding? A graduation ball? A theme party ?a religious ceremony?


We are delighted to give you a truly wonderful hassle-free event.


Memories of Explore Lanka as Trip Organizers


Recall the wonderful memories we- Explore Lanka International have achieved as your leisure travel organizer. Still remember the outstanding service of explore Lanka international?


We supported you to decide and find the best destination, delicious food and affordable hotels
with the exact facilities and room rates of your choice.


We guaranteed the quality Vehicles in the best condition, safety driving even suitable for long
distance traveling .


So, don’t plan your next party without the party organizers Explore Lanka International!


Music – That keeps Going !


Some of you , will never want to miss Music - classical , jazz , calypso , rock or whatever you wish to listen , to lighten and brighten the event! Live music can change the atmosphere in to a wonderful one. A One that keeps event going in a lively and a creative way. The bands and tracks you like , no longer be needed to plan for days, instead, let us just know your taste. We – the explore Lanka international – the highly experienced solution provider for even handling will make things happen your way !


A hassle-free Event


if you are the organizer, sure you haven’t enjoyed till the end, last time. Your concern was to organize, not to party with your colleagues. Why not let us organize everything for you. Explore Lanka is passionate to take the responsibility of the total event , and lets you have fun !


Explore Lanka is catering all kinds events as excellent event managers, while being providers of party materials and resources as well. A corporate gathering, family trip, a leadership training, a seminar or a DJ night, a farewell, a birthday party of your kid, or simply any adults or children’s event you need proper planning – now is not a hassle anymore.


If you are out of the country, but still you need someone’s hand to plan, reserve and manage everything here, Explore Lanka International guarantees the best. Until you arrive, we can coordinate the event as you need.


Resource Supply


We supply a huge range of outstanding hotels , vehicles , resource provides, entertainers, party huts and décor , saving your entire time for having fun . We spend time coordinating every moment , spending the total duration with you, and we will be right there for any need.


Our Packages


The rentals and our rates are totally negotiable . Well, it fully depends on your requirements . Explore Lanka international will design at least 4 packages for your event from Luxury to Economy levels. You are given freedom to pick and choose things for your need, these can be as structured or as relaxed as you would like.


Some Memories


Have a look at some of the events we have organized . We - in explore Lanka International are delighted to help whether it is for a small private party at home to a full-blown corporate event to make your dream event a perfect and a hassle-free one!


We guarantee that you will not find any company as passionate about making your event special like Explore Lanka International !


Contact us


So why take the pressure of next event ?? We can help make your next event a success – and with less effort too! Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions or queries


Contact Numbers :      +94714449162


                                       +94112178209

e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lets Camp Again at Meemure ! (Meemure Camping Article 2 )


 Part 01 

It made me write this at my earliest possibility after noticing your positive and promising comments for Article 1. So, I thought of bringing you package 2 and 3 as soon as possible.

However Many Readers had doubts about few aspects which I didn’t mention in the previous article, specially about kids participation and sanitary facilities.

Let us first clarify and discuss your comments and questions.

Question 1 : How about the Payment rates for kids ?
Answer : You may have to bear a cost of only 50% of the total per person rate, for your kid/s between 6 to 12     years of age. And here we offer a 100% discount for the little ones below 6 years of age. It’s totally FREE !

Question 2 : How about the sanitary facilities and services provided by Explore Lanka International ?
Answer : Don’t worry ! We set clean , movable, temporary lavatories. One set for shared use by 5 tourists.

Question 3 : Can the tourist group be larger than 12? Is there any package set for large groups ?
Answer : Of course , yes . There is. We can arrange the tour for a maximum of 22 tourists.

Question 4 : How about a small group ? A group lesser than 12 ?
Answer : Still , YES ! Please check the package 2 and 3 below for more details.


Package 2

I really doubt, this package suits Meemure, but I promise, you deserve this package if you love to stay few days in a luxury hotel while enjoying the beauty and comfort of wonderful climate at Meemure. Especially this suits for a group with little kids, and for those in special physical or medical conditions, still be fond of tasting the nature’s beauty. Here we bring a luxury hotel at the knuckles range, with all amenities. (Please see the Photograph below) . You can choose to stay in luxury tents or cabanas, and taste delicious meals provided by the hotel. You can enjoy the hospitality of the friendly, hotel service staff, 100% assured security and every luxury facility you need, at a rate of SLR 5500.00 per person. Explore Lanka International is ready to arrange comfortable acccomodation for you, while sight-seeing the mountain range , Meemure village at the lowest rate.




Package 3
This package is totally designed and supported by Explore Lanka International. Why not Young and Energetic you, try an unforgettable journey to Meemure, full of PURE ADVENTURE and FUN ???? I bet this is so fun, and interesting and this is full of team work, youth adventure and freedom! How about us, learn and try making a Camp tent on a rocky plain? Make some BBQ at night? Cook a rugged but delicious dinner at the camp fire? Do you remember the rocky plain and the waterfall where the movie “Suriya Arana” was filmed? It is exactly where we camp! Sure you need help , to make this pure adventure true ! Yes, we will come and help you have that adventure night . We all are practically camping out there! Camp fire, BBQ, and the Maximum FUN! This will only cost about SLR 3500.00 per person. Here is the travel plan for reaching Meemure . A train - trip to Kandy (via the Colombo-Kandy Intercity Train) should be taken, and you will have to take a bus to “Lool Kandura”. After all , and an interesting energetic walk of 13KM ! (Yes, it is exclusively for young adventurers! And it is an exclusive Adventure Trail! )




Here we brought all our information , Now it’s time for your reservations. And it’s all designed to suit anyoneof any age , any group and any requirement you are looking for.

We- Explore Lanka International – are here for organizing this EXCLUSIVE experience of Falling in love with Knuckles Mountains and Meemure Nature Enchantment ! Call us on,

Contact Numbers   :    +94714449162
                                       +94715364077
                                       +94815658758
e- mail address      : abeetha0325@gmail.com



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meemure – Experience the luxury Camping and flavor of the real country life !


Its Travelling time for few of our cyber-buddies once again. I heard they are really busy planning for a trip to Meemure!!!

I bet this is going to be one of the best outdoor experiences in their various nature trails. And Meemure is the Best Camping you can ever have in Sri Lanka.

Geographically, this small isolated village is located near the border between Kandy district and Matale District, in the Knuckles Mountain Range. Meemure is one of the most remote villages in Sri Lanka, with the only access via a 14km trail from the town of Loolwatte. (Wikipedia)

This is exactly for travelers seeking to taste the village life style and some rugged walk experience, away from urban lives and sophisticated technologies. Some may prefer to have a luxurious stay in a hotel while sightseeing the village, where as most of the others prefer camping experience. And the campsite cannot be compared to any, especially at Meemure, I bet.

We, Explore Lanka international the pioneers for providing all standard facilities at any destination have set a special package for camping at Meemure.

Package 1

In fact - this is my favorite mode of stay at Meemure. Well, this is a luxury Campsite, inside the jungle!! The package includes, meals, BBQ, Campfire at night, Music and interesting adventure activities too. If you wish, we may arrange beverages and liquor as well.

It is a 100% tent camping night u spends, supported by comfortable furniture and linen.

We welcome you, and start at Kandy and bring you from Kandy to Meemure camp site by a 4-wheeled vehicle. During the journey, you have the opportunity to try the adventure activities and walks set by the organizers. (Please see the captures)

Explore Lanka International takes the responsibility for safety and security of their travelers, (except the leeches ) . This is an enjoyable experience for anyone who loves travelling and nature.

Explore Lanka International welcomes a minimum number of 12 travelers for this package, at a reasonable cost of SLR 5200 per traveler(inclusive food, vehicle, tents, beds, linen and other equipment).

Call us, Reserve this journey with us, explore and feel the nature and village life at Meemure with the best outdoor campsite you ever had – with Explore Lanka International.














Please await the details of 2nd and 3rd packages soon !


Contact Numbers :      +94714449162
                                       +94715364077

                                       +94815658758
e- mail address   : abeetha0325@gmail.com



 Part 02 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Are You Looking for the best self-driven or Chauffeur Driven Vehicle?

Hi Friends.. Explore Lanka International is now ready to introduce another service of us.

( We will be continuing our post series on the journey to Galle , as the second post for the week) Yes , Here we discuss about the ‘Rent A Car’ Service provided by the Explore Lanka International. Our Mission is to give you the best vehicle you are looking for, for the most reasonable rate .

We know it isn’t that easy to find a reliable self – driven vehicle as a wedding car , or when you are back to Sri Lanka for your vacation. Explore Lanka International is ready to cater your self- driven vehicle need , in a jiffy ! (Although some conditions may apply)

Here are the conditions to rent a car from explore Lanka International, 

Number one requirement is to prove your identity and permanent Residence. Please forward your request through one of our premium customer’s approval, otherwise.

A Payment of 10,000/= is essential in advance.

Our Customer Service Agreement should be agreed and signed before acquiring the service.

Our Staff is ready to work out, to select the winning combination of vehicle scale with maximum quality and safety assured on negotiable conditions!

The Rental for a vehicle, it purely depends on the type and brand of the vehicle and the rental period. The Monthly Rent ranges from SLR 30,000 to SLR 200,000. If you wish to rent a vehicle on daily basis , the vehicle rent may vary from SLR 1500 to SLR 20,000 . We guarantee the best and the most reasonable rental in Sri Lanka , with the safest and Most Reliable transportation medium.

At Any Time of the Day, Our customer service is open for inquiries and booking via the contacts provided below.

Here is another service for those who own vehicles.

Are you willing to lend your vehicle for a reliable rent a car service? We are ready to join hands with you as a vehicle provider, to Explore Lanka International , at attractive Payment schemes.

Explore Lanka’s mission is to expand and improve the quality of services provided to all kinds of your Transportation needs throughout the country; thus treating you truly as a royalty.

Remember us , when you need a vehicle !

Call us on


Contact Numbers : +94714449162
                                       +94112178209

e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Would you join us on a trip to Galle along Western coast? Part 02

 Part 01 

You might remember from the first chapter of this series we arrived at wadduwa from Colombo. From here onwards, our route becomes a village face. Except Kaluthara, all the other cities were built around the tourism industry, also around all these cities there is a tragic memory one can hardly forget. On December 26, 2004, a giant tsunami wave hit the coast and destroyed everything it met with. Many people lost their lives, even those who survived lost either their property or family, and for some both. However, now a visitor can witness how the courage and the motivation they earned through the tragedy have brought these city dwellers back to their feet.

When you move passing Wadduwa, the first destination is historical Kaluthara city. It is said that Kaluthara was previously a port of river Kalu. In Sinhala, it was known as Kaluthota, and by usage, it has become Kaluthara. The majestic pagoda and the Bo tree near the river Kalu automatically add a historical touch to the city. Almost every vehicle moving along the road stops at the Bo tree. The railway bridge, which passes parallel to the main bridge spanning more than 40m, enhances the tourist attraction. Star hotels like, Tangerin, Ramada, Hibiscus, Royal Palm Beach and also some inexpensive hotels along the coast solves the problem of accommodation in Kaluthara.

Richmond Castle, Kaluthara


Have you visited Richmond castle? You meet this glorious house, when you take a left turn from Kaluthara. This is a house with history of more than 100 years and has a marvelous architecture. The proud owner of this house is Mudliyar Pandikaara mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena.  Natural Air conditioning systems, stunning glass windows enhances the marvel of this house. Now this house belongs to the public trustee.

When you pass Kaluthara, you see the first coast, which runs along the main road at Payagala. The beauty of this beach is enhanced by the coconut cult beside the beach. Have you ever looked at the top of the coconut tree? The coconut toddy distilling areas start here. However, do not rush to drink toddy. I will tell you where you can find the best toddy in the area.


Passing Payagala and Maggona  next destination is Aluthgama. Aluthgama kande viharaya, a sacred temple, is always filled with devotees. Before you enter aluth gama city there is a beautiful hidden beach. Have you heard about Kaluwamodara beach? As soon as you pass the Bentara beach you’re your right is the Benthara National tourist zone. 

Water Sports at Bentota


Benthota is the second tourist paradise on this route. Many star class hotels, tourist Bungalows, and cheap hotels are there to fulfill the accommodation needs of the tourists. Basking under the sun, spas, gymnasiums, gem, Batik, masks shops are some of the facilities that tourists can enjoy in this zone. This zone is very popular for water sports such as Jet skiing, donut boat, banana boat rides, high speed boat rides as well as fishing in the deep sea. 

When you are passing Bentara, you come across Benthota restaurant in the seaside. A restaurant governed by the Ceylon Hotel Cooperation, this provides you with delicious and clean meals. If you are going for a day trip this is the best place to have breakfast.

Next, you enter the city Induruwa, a hard hit area of tsunami and also a village with a beautiful beach. One of the most popular star class hotels in Sri Lanka, Induruwa beach hotel is situated here. Here you can see toddy barrels along the sides of the main road. Remember I told you not to rush at Payagala. Now it is the right place. If you are passing this place between six to ten in the morning do not forget to taste a glass of toddy with salt.



Our next destination is Kosgoda. Most popular here is the Sea Turtle Conservation center. For those who are interested on turtles, this is the ideal place to be. You get the opportunity to see turtle eggs, infant turtles, and also different turtle species. If you are lucky enough you can join to find turtle babies. Around 200m from left from the conservation center is the Sanchi pickle shop. You can taste jaadi, a food made from fish found only in the southern Sri lanka, at this place.

Now we will come to Ahungalla. One of the Five star class hotels in Sri Lanka, Heritance ahungalla is situated here. Sometimes ago there was another zoo in Ahungalla. Now the hotel is built in that land.

Mangrooves Safari at Madu River


Passing Ahungalla, next you enter Balapitiya. Here you have the opportunity to go on a boat ride at the beautiful River Madhu. Madhu River being one of the best places to see Kadolana Mangroves, you can visit Kothdoowa Raja maha viharaya and cinnamon manufacturing at the Cinnamon island as a part of the tour. If you take all the needful, you can also camp at one of the islands at the river. 

It is enough for today, right? A little longer post. Then let us meet again from our third chapter. Buckle up to leave Balapitiya and go up to Galle. As usually I must tell you, if you want to get these tours arranged or for more details call on the following numbers or email.  



Contact Numbers : +94714449162
                                  +94112178209
e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Would you join us on a trip to Galle along Western coast? Part 01

You have been reading my various travel notes on this blog site. In addition to those notes, I am hoping to write an article series like this. What I meant by a series here is that it is impossible to write a travel journal on a trip to Galle from Colombo from one blog post. However, all of you know that the Galle Road starts from the famous tourist paradise Galle Face green. Therefore, let us start from that point.

Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green is one of the most stunning and historical places in our country. Built during the colonial period, this open space was used to give punishments like hang and shoot people in public. However, now this beautiful green space is used for important state occasions. The evenings of the Galle Face green are always eventful. Filled with locals and foreigners, it is the place to relax in Colombo. Most of the top hotels of the country Galadari Hotel, Ceylon Continental Hotel, Taj Samudra Hotel and a hotel with a rich heritage, Galle Face hotel overlooks Galle Face Green.

When we travel ahead passing the Galle Face green, what we meet next are the most magnificent areas of the Colombo city. What we call as Colombo 3 and Colombo 4 are Kolpity and Bamabalapitiya towns. If you are into clubbing and casinos this is the area. Not only those, these are also places great for a shopping spree. Two popular shopping malls, Liberty Plaza and Majestic City, are also situated here.

Our next destination is Wellawatta or area known as Colombo 06. This is also a highly populated city with often traffic blocks. Wellawatta Beach is the most beautiful beach belongs to the Colombo municipality. Day and night beach is filled with joggers, fun lovers, Romoes, and Juliets. It is the ideal place for the foreigners who have the hobby of fishing.

The next city is Dehiwala. Turning left from Dehiwala Junction, and taking another left turn from the Karagampitya junction leads you to the Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens. Many local and foreign animals reside here. Pay a visit here to see the beautiful world of animals.

Mount Lavinia Beach
When you pass Dehiwala, the next destination is the world famous Mount Lavinia Beach. Crowded all throughout the day, this is a beautiful and fun filled coast. Tourists come here very often to swim in the Indian Ocean, to play water games, to bask under the hot sun and to play on the golden sandy beach. Mount Lavinia Hotel, which has a dreamy fairy tale love story hidden inside the hotel walls, is also situated in this famous beach.

Next, you meet the cities Ratmalana, Moratuwa, and Panadura. Beautiful Bolgoda Lake, Moratu River and an urbanized environment can be witnessed here. Then you enter a quiet Wadduwa Beach. The beauty of the serene beach is enhanced by the coconut lands along the coast. The three star hotel Blue waters, and other hotels like Wadduwa Holiday Resort, Villa Ocean View are some of the hotels in Wadduwa.

So, here we conclude the first episode of our journey to Galle. If you want more information on places, we mentioned here, or about the hotels nearby, call on the number below or send us an email.


Let us go to Balapitiya from Kaluthara from our next episode.


Contact Numbers : +94714449162
                               +94112178209
e- mail address   : abeetha@explorelankainternational.com

 Part 02 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rocky Cliff Wooden Bungalow…


Today we are going to tell you about a perfect tourist destination where you can relax yourself after a busy routined life. How do you like to spend a night at a wooden Bungalow isolated among high serene mountains? Count stars from the balcony and watch the glittering lights on the mountains, we believe that the description itself takes you to a dreamy world. Then here is what you are looking for. The Place is Rocky Cliff Wooden Bungalow…


Let us describe the adoring cottage. This wooden cottage has one bedroom, living room, balcony, dining room and a kitchen. This is a spacious cottage, which can easily accommodate from two people up to six people. If it is a group of boys, this cottage can even accommodate up to 10. In addition to that, visitors can use tents for extra persons.


Now your concern is about food, right? Do not worry about that. If you provide all the supplies to the caretakers, they will prepare you a great meal. Of course, they will take care of the bites as well. If one is yearning for a meal with rice and curry or for an Indian meal, wait until the best meal on Earth is served. However, make sure you provide the needful.

What do you need to know now? Sanitary facilities? The main wooden cottage has a super clean toilet and a bathroom. For those who use the tents have clean washrooms and open shower facilities. There is also beautiful waterfall and a waterspout at the end of the land to have showers with the nature.

Now lights, there is no light bulbs at the Bungalow. Lanterns and Gas Lamps will chase away the darkness for you. The torch kept at every bed will be there for you in an emergency. The management will take the responsibility of charging mobile phones. All you need to do is hand them over the switched off phone at night, and in the morning you will have a fully charged phone.


With all these, what is there for sightseeing in Kotmale? You can go for a tour at the Kotmale Hydraulic Power station and Upper Kotmale Hydraulic power station. Since Kandy is just 40km away and Nuwaraeliya is 30km away, you have the capability of visiting places around those areas too. If anyone does not want to leave the premises, they can also spend the leisure time by playing outdoor activities like Badminton, Volley Ball, and indoor activities like Chess, and Carom. If you are into cycling, the management will also provide the necessary equipments for cycling around the area. In addition to that, facilities for hiking in the jungle and bird watching are also available. Also, for those who love adventure, there is a special package with adventure sports.


Now, let us talk about money. The cost only to spend a night here is Rs. 7500. If camping at the premises Rs. 500 will be charged from each person. If anybody is expecting to camp here, then there should be at least five in the group. Additionally, charges will differ according to the service. As an example, the honeymooners will get discounts and the adventure lovers have special packages.

For more information about the place or for bookings 
+94714449162
abeetha@explorelankainternational.com