“Sri Lanka is an island that everyone loves at some level inside themselves. A very special island that travellers, from Sinbad to Marco Polo, dreamed about. A place where the contours of the land itself forms a kind of sinewy poetry.”
– Romesh Gunesekera.
There’s a reason why they call it the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is sheer poetry – a country where many streams of history, culture, ethnicity, landscape and terrain blend into a seamless confluence of tropical charm. Ancient forts and relics from another era, flora and fauna that takes your breath away, deep spirituality and a heritage of folklore and the arts, a colonial past and a kick back and relax beach vibe, make it a winner on every travel bucket list.
Shaped like a tear drop, Sri Lanka is poignant and poetic, a stunningly beautiful island surrounded by the Indian Ocean. This sliver of paradise is an ideal escape for those who seek their romance with touches of culture, adventure, wildlife and a bit of sun and surf thrown in for good measure. Hidden coves, beaches that glisten in the moonlight, starry skies with the sweet scent of Frangipani on the breeze, hint of romance and serendipity.
Whether you’re traveling with your parents, grand parents, siblings or kids – the charm of Sri Lanka is that it has something to offer everyone. This gorgeous destination is perfect for active travellers who enjoy hiking or bicycling, culture-junkies who are fascinated by ancient kingdoms, spiritualists who want to explore this abode of Buddha, water-babies who love to swim, snorkel, dive and surf, and foodies who want to delve into the cuisine. Friendly people, a laid back ambience, and a gentle pace, give it a balmy vibe that makes you want to just kick back and relax.
Few people think of Sri Lanka as a foodie destination, but it’s a hidden haven for those who seek out culinary bliss. The charm of it’s cuisine lies in the delicacy of the flavour and the lightness of it’s cooking. The abundance of fresh ingredients, many of which are indigenous to the region, make it fascinating. A range of fruit, vegetable, seafood, spices, herbs add to the taste.
Local cooking techniques like wrapping the fish in a banana leaf, and of course how can we forget the ubiquitous king coconut, specific to Sri Lanka, that adds that subtle flavour to every meal. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty as you learn to cook, visit markets and local bazaars, walk through plantations and orchards, and enjoy tastings of unusual and delectable varieties of foods that you never even knew existed.
Sri Lanka is a land that dates back a long way. The country has been written about in ancient texts and explorers from many empires have landed on her shores at some point or the other. Today the vestiges of ancient kingdoms remain as testimony to its illustrious past. The ruins of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla are just a handful of what it was like once upon a time. Sri Lanka is also a bastion of ancient Buddhism and the tooth relic of the Buddha in Kandy is considered profoundly sacred and one of a kind.
It’s also a country that is rich in folklore and folk traditions. Music and dance form a significant part of the culture and there are several indigenous instruments that echo this cultural rhythm. Colonialism has left a significant mark on the country and even today you can see the erstwhile precincts of the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British during the time they spent in the country.
Yala National Park in Sri Lanka has an abundance of leopards camouflaged amid the foliage, herds of trumpeting elephants in the grassland, and whales and dolphins swimming off its wild and rugged coast. We’ve road-tested these safaris first-hand, so you can be sure to see your favourite animals in their natural habitat.