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Sri Lanka Jetwing Yala-4

Jetwing Yala

This was the best hotel of the trip. Jetwing Yala is located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka on the Indian Ocean, right outside Yala National Park.   The main restaurant served an extravagant buffet of gourmet local fare and a second restaurant, Thambapanni, offered an Asian fusion menu and outdoor seating.   We loved […]

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Sri Lanka Arugam Bay-4

Arugam Bay: Surf & Sun

  We were eager to explore the surf communities of Sri Lanka, which are on the east coast. This region was hit especially hard during the decades-long civil war and the 2004 tsunami. The area was abandoned and villages and structures were left in ruins. Redevelopment began after 2007, and the result is still serene, […]

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Sri Lanka Seetha Amman Temple-3

Seetha Amman Temple

We stopped by this roadside temple on our way out of Nuwara Eliya. This is the only temple dedicated to Seeta Amman, consort of Lord Rama.   Here is where Seeta was held captive by King Ravana, after he kidnapped her from India over five thousand years ago. I don’t know much else about this, […]

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Sri Lanka Worlds End-2

World’s End

Well, this could have been spectacular. Despite the rainy, overcast conditions, we decided to try our luck and visit World’s End. With a name like that, how could we not at least try? World’s End is in Horton Plains National Park, at the edge of the hill country in Nuwara Eliya. It’s where the Horton […]

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Sri Lanka Heritance Tea Factory-10

Heritance Tea Factory

We loved our stay in this very unique luxury boutique hotel near Nuwara Eliya. It’s set high on a hilltop surrounded by tea estates. It was a picturesque approach, even though the sun didn’t appear the entire time we were there!   The building used to house the Hethersett Estate Tea Factory, which closed in […]

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Sri Lanka Blue Field Tea-9

Blue Field Tea Gardens

It would be challenging to drive through Hill Country and not visit at a tea plantation. Sri Lanka , formerly named Ceylon, is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea after China, India and Kenya. Tea accounts for 15% of the GDP. On our way from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, we stopped at the country’s oldest […]

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Workers dotting the landscape

Hill Country

Though this region was only a few hours from the Cultural Triangle, it was an entirely different topography, weather and ambiance. We started climbing the windy, steep, narrow roads and marveled at the lush tea plantations, thick foliage and gushing waterfalls. Fog blanketed the region, and the temps were chilly enough to warrant jackets.   […]

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Sri Lanka Raja Vaishyabhuganga-5

Polonnaruwa: Raja Vaishyabhuganga (Council Chamber)

The Council Chamber, or Raja Vaishyabhuganga, was where the king met with his ministers and officials. The wooden roof has long disappeared, but the elaborate base and carved pillars survive. Friezes of elephants, lions and dwarfs cover the base.  Steps are embellished with makara (these look like mythical dragons) balustrades, a pair of moonstones and […]

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Remnants of an ancient grand palace

Polonnaruwa: Vijayanta Prasada

Vijayanta Prasada is the first ruins after entering the grounds. This was the royal palace, built by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th Century. In its heyday, the palace stood seven stories tall and contained 1,000 rooms. Construction took a little over seven years. It was destroyed by South Indian invaders in the 13th century. Burned bricks […]

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