The below are a few pictures of the Jaffna lagoon, Sri Lanka. Fishermen use these fiberglass boats at night to go fishing in the sea. They go about 5 km from the shore into the Indian Ocean. Some who could … Continue reading
On August 11, 2016, Meer Ali and I woke up early and headed to Yala National Park. We hired a safari jeep and traversed the park. Didn’t see as many wild animals as I used to see in Wilpattu National Park which is close to my village, Mahawilachchiya. A couple of wild elephants, wild boar, wild buffaloes, deer, crocodiles, big and small types of lizards, birds, etc. were seen but, to be honest, I wasn’t impressed with what Yala had to offer me. Maybe because of my first love is with Wilpattu.
Kirinda beach was beautiful and so were the makeshift huts that sold seashells, etc. We spent quite a time on the beach taking pictures. We left Kirinda around 11.30 am and again it was riding on dead straight newly repaired roads and a rider is naturally tempted to break the speed barrier despite the highway patrol present or rather hiding in ambush in hidden spots every 10 km or so.
There was this place which a lady sold kirala juice (kirala – Sonneratia caseolaris) and I stopped the bike just out of curiosity. It was found to be a very tasty drink and I had two glassfuls while Meer was contented with one. It was cheap and organic too. I do not know why we don’t promote coconuts, wood apple, kirala, orange, etc. juices instead of carbonated drinks. I can understand people drinking the carbonated drinks in the countries where there are less local fruits but in Sri Lanka, you get seasonal fruits from different terrains of the island no matter what season. Unfortunately, soda makers have been able to advertise in a way that the youth indulge in these unhealthy carbonated drinks.
On the way through the Galle Road we spent some time at a naval monument at Tangalle. I first thought this was a monument to remember the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami but it was not to be.
Meer Ali was excited when I took him to Matara beach as he was a fan of the legendary cricketer, Sanath Jayasuriya who was christened as “Matara Mauler” by the sportswriters and cricket commentators due to his hard-hitting batting style which made Sri Lankan team a formidable unit that could beat any cricketing nation during his time. Once, former Pakistani cricketer and the present cricket commentator, Rameez Raja used the word “carnage” to describe Jayasuriya’s batting. Whenever he went for a big score, it was just a ritual for the rest of the match to end up Sri Lanka winning. Jayasuriya was a product of Matara. Meer paused for a few shots on my motorbike on Matara beach.
When I passed Weligama, it was impossible not to remember Rekha, a pretty Nightingale whom I worked with at Asiri Hospital, Colombo 05. Hers was the sweetest smile I had ever seen. I could remember that she was from Weligama, this small coastal town but didn’t know any contact details of her. Besides, I had last seen her some 20 years ago.
It was around six in the evening when we passed Weligama and riding at night through Gall Road was not fun as most Sri Lankan motorists don’t use the dipped beam or the traffic beam of their head lamps and in an inconsiderate manner, almost always use their country beams to dazzle any oncoming fellow motorist. They simply drive with headlights on and you get mad when you get those high flash lights directly on your face. This is not considered as a serious traffic offence by the police, too. I get very irritated when the people do so but it will take eons for the Lankan motorists to learn this and become cultured motorists.
We stopped several times on the way to have tea, but my favorite was coffee. Coffee is my cup of tea 😊.
Riding some monotonous 150 km bracing myriads of non-dipping main beams of oncoming traffic, along the island’s south western coast we reached the metropolitan Mount Lavinia and were put up in a small hotel for the night. Usually riding such a long distance on a motorbike could be strenuous to a rider but when you have a companion like Meer who was a rare sort of guys when compared with most Indians, you don’t feel the discomfort of the journey. We both sang Hindi songs on the way and he was surprised that I knew more Hindi songs than he did. He said he never felt that he is away from India with Hindi songs being played in almost all small towns we passed. I find both Hindi and Spanish languages are very lyrical and this is why I love them. I had a chance of securing a lucrative job opportunity in Japan if I were ready to learn Japanese but if I will have to learn a second language other than English, it would be Hindi or Spanish. Not Japanese and not French at all even if I am to contest for the post of General Secretary of the United Nations!
On the third day of our motorcycle journey, August 10, 2016, Meer Ali and I left the guest house in Nuwara Eliya around 9.00 am. The Lake Gregory nestled among the misty hills was beckoning and we rode towards the Lake Gregory, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the cool breeze for a while, before getting back on the road once again towards the Nuwara Eliya City. Lake Gregory, which is situated at an elevation of 1,874 meters created by the British who ruled the island for some 150 years from 1815 till 1948 and named it after one of the British Governors in Colombo. The English liked Nuwara Eliya because of its temperate climate. In fact, Nuwara Eliya is also known as “Little England” to date due to its colder climate, British style architecture and a host of other similarities. For some time, we did not feel like leaving such a beautiful garden city like Nuwara Eliya, probably the most beautiful in the whole country. But we had a mission to complete and continued with our motorcycle journey once again.
If you want to read more on Nuwara Eliya, please read the passages below courtesy of some other sources.
“The city of Nuwara Eliya ( City of Light) was founded by the Englishman Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya’s climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and coffee, tea & rubber planters in Ceylon (or present-day Sri Lanka.) Nuwara Eliya, is also known as Little England, was a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.
Although the town was founded in the 19th century by the British, the district is today visited by native travelers, especially during April, the season of flowers, pony races, go cart races and auto rally.
Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, St Andrew’s Hotel and Town Post Office. New hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Visitors the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting the landmark buildings. Many private homes maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.
Due to its highland location, Nuwara Eliya has a subtropical highland climate having no pronounced dry season, a monsoon-like cloudy season and with a mean annual temperature of 16 °C (61 °F).
In the winter months, there can be frost at night, but it warms up rapidly during the day because of the high sun angle.
The town’s attractions include a golf course, trout streams, Victoria Park, and boating or fishing on Lake Gregory. Victoria Park is an attractive and well-used oasis. It is popular with birdwatchers at quieter times because of the good opportunities for seeing species, particularly the Indian blue robin, pied thrush or scaly thrush lurking in the denser undergrowth. The Kashmir flycatcher is another attractive bird species in the park.
Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary, close to Lake Gregory, is an area of montane forest a few kilometers east of the town. Covering an area of 0.6 km, it is home to many bird and mammal species endemic to Sri Lanka, including wild boar and barking deer.”
Our next stop was at the spectacular Post Office building in the city which is located in the center of Nuwara Eliya town and is one of the oldest post offices in Sri Lanka. The Tudor-style two-storey red-brick building with a clock spire, was constructed in 1894 by the British. We took pictures of this Post Office. I am certain this may be a strong contender to be one of the world’s ten most beautiful post office buildings. There were some rumors a few months back, that this 124-year-old post office was to be sold to an Indian businessman who intended to convert it into an Indian restaurant. The proposal was met with angry protests by the city folks and the workers of the postal department in Nuwara Eliya. Hence, the plan was temporarily withheld. Read more here: https://www.pressreader.com/sri-lanka/sunday-times-sri-lanka/20170604/281668254940656.
Our next stop was at the famous Seetha Amman Temple in Sita Eliya (Sita is written as Seetha by being more faithful to the way it is pronounced by Sri Lankans.) Legend says that this is the area where the Indian princess Sita was said to have been held in captivity by the all-powerful Sri Lankan king Ravana, to hurt the pride of the Indian prince Rama who was the husband of Sita.
(I will publish a separate post on the Ramayana epic once I finish writing about our own epic 5-day motorcycle journey.)
History and legends apart, the temple (also called kovil by Hindus) is a beautiful structure and both Meer and I took a lot of pictures of it from various angles. It is well-maintained and clean.
We stopped by famous Hakgala Botanical Gardens one of the oldest botanical gardens in this part of the world around 1.00 pm. (The garden was established in 1861, under George Henry Kendrick Thwaites as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Once the Tea replaced the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden. Since then many sub-tropical and some temperate plants planted in the gardens. – Wikipedia)
It was a mesmerizing place full of various flowers and huge fern trees (which might have left unharmed since the Jurassic Age I guess.) When you see these treasures of nature, it is apparent that you feel antagonized about the British colonialists, the only Western power who were able to capture the whole of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) as to what damage they have inflicted to this otherwise evergreen rain-forest in the Central Hills of Sri Lanka by introducing coffee, cinchona, then tea and various non-endemic flora for mere industrial and commercial purposes by uprooting and decimating (in my words, by raping, savaging and ravaging) the island’s virgin rain forest canopy, especially right throughout these hilly terrains, eventually causing in the process long periods of droughts in other parts of the country, as can be seen today. Since I am not an ecologist or an environmentalist but a naturalist, I had do better wind up the commentary on how the English planters completely bared vast swaths of island’s pristine primordial forestation.)
Next, we proceeded to Bandarawela, one of the best honeymoon locations (which I too had the pleasure of enjoying in 2006) in the world. As we crossed the Nuwara Eliya district boundary, the landscape began to change. The closer the Badulla district, the more you get to see vegetable farms than tea estates. Still, it is a beautiful sight to behold and I wonder if anyone would complain about the change.
We reached Ravana Falls passing beautiful mountain ranges via Bandarawela and Ella, one of the most visited places by the foreign tourists in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. Once you pass Ella and reach Ravana Falls, you begin to feel that the climate has had a drastic change. Till Ella, misty mountains with with intermittent showers, drizzles, rainbows, endless tea gardens, beautiful waterfalls, and so forth kept soothing our souls and bodies, but the moment you go down to Ravana Falls, you are in the Dry Zone. The precipice is so steep and one cannot understand how a whole climate system changes within such a small distance. I doubt whether similar places are elsewhere in Sri Lanka to see such a sudden and vast climatic difference within such a short time and distance.
Meer and I spent quite a time at Ravana Falls and here a crafty vender of corn cobs locked horns with me as I bought corn cobs for Meer also for the Sri Lankan rates. He immediately recognized Meer was not Sri Lankan and has to pay more for corn cobs. The funny part of this is that not a single traffic policeman could recognize Meer was not a Sri Lankan during almost 1000 km motorcycle journey to issue him a ticket for not having an international driving license authenticated or attested by the Department of Motor Traffic in Sri Lanka😊. Meer and I took turns in riding the bike.
*Thanks Mr. Lionel Balasuriya (USA) and Mr. Sunil Rutnayake (Sri Lanka) for giving me a hand with providing more facts and editing the post.
We started from Naula and bypassed Kandy as it is an utter waist of time to go through the city. So, we went via Katugasthota to Peradeniya, then to Nuwara Eliya via Gampola. The road was amazing and the vegetation was so green and beautiful. It was colder when we reached Nuwara Eliya, the paradise in Sri Lanka due to lapse rate. We spent the night at a small guest house opposite famous Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya. We also walked around the lake at night which was a beautiful experience.
Day one was not that difficult as we mostly rode on flat terrain. Both Meet and I took turns while riding. Meer did not have an Indian bike license with a Sri Lankan attestation by the Department of Motor Traffic in Sri Lanka but the police never stopped the bike while he was riding. They thought Meer was Sri Lankan.
We met a girl in Dambulla who could do nice painting and we took a few pictures of her paintings too. I thought I would write about her painting in my blog but she did not want it. We stopped at a guest house in Naula for the first night.
In August, 2016 I finished a 5-day-long motorcycle journey with Meer Ali, the first volunteer for Horizon Lanka from India. This was the longest sojourn I embarked on a bike so far. It was high fun riding the bike through all those cities, towns and villages with Meer Ali, my friend from India. We took turns while riding and after the long ride with Benjamin Pages from France who was an excellent rider, Meer was the next one to win my admiration for safe riding. It was very comfortable to be at the pillion of the bike when his turn came. I have never been comfortable like with Ben and Meer so far in the pillion of a bike.
We took the following routes.
Day 2 – From Naula to Nuwara Eliya via Katugasthota bypassing Kandy (129 km)
Day 3 – From Nuwara Eliya to Tissamaharama via Bandarawela, Ella, Wellawaya, Thanamalvila. (143)
Day 4 – From Tissamaharama to Yala National Park and back and to Thissamaharama. Then to Mount Lavinia through Hambanthota, Matara and Galle. (310 Km) – The longest distance I rode by bike within a single day.
Day 5 – From Mount Lavinia to Mahawilachchiya via Colombo, Ja Ela, Minuwangoda, Narammala, Kobeygane, Padeniya, Thambuththegama and Anuradhapura (263 km)
Total is 962 km within 5 days. It cost Meer only 2500 (LKR) worth petrol for the bike for the whole distance. It was close to 20 liters of petrol. Still half of the last 500 LKR remained in the tank after we returned home. This is a good advertisement for my Bajaj Pulsar 150.
Thanks to the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, all the main roads are completely renovated wherever we went. I think almost all roads are like this everywhere in Sri Lanka. Hope the Maithripala government also continue the good work of Mr. Rajapaksa and renovate the remaining by roads.
We never had any life-threatening moments while riding a distance close to 1000 km. Well, except for the scary moment when Meer lost the balance when he went over a pot hole which we traveled in Kobeygane – away from the main road to see a sick child. But Meer took the bike back in control before we fell and I don’t think it was his fault. Meer is an excellent, fast and mindful rider. In fact, if one has ridden a motorbike in a country like India where drivers’ discipline is hardly heard of, one can ride a bike even in Mars too.
I was surprised about the cleanliness of all the cities, towns and villages during this epic ride. I didn’t see much difference in the places of the developed world and in Sri Lanka. Drivers were also fairly disciplined despite the cliché of bad Sri Lankan drivers. Only problem was that some buses and trucks never dimmed the headlights when they saw we were coming from the front.
During all these 5 days my friend Meer had to tolerate my singing of Hindi, Sinhala, Tamil and English songs while riding. According to my son Abhilash, my voice is too deep that it comes close only to Fred Flintstone, supposed to be the world’s second worst voice. (Well, the worst voice is supposed to be Cacofonix. Meer must have been surprised of the huge number of Hindi songs I sang. I remember more than 500 song lyrics since my elder brother Nayanasena bought us a high-quality Akai cassette recorder in 1980s. With my deep voice, the only singer I can come anywhere close to must be Kishore Kumar. But I can never compare myself with the legend.
I am an avid bike hiker. Astride my bike, I have been to all the cities in all districts in Sri Lanka except Jaffna. The planned Jaffna trip had to be postponed after the freak bike accident I met with last September. But that accident won’t dampen my spirits and I will go on the much-awaited trip to Jaffna as soon as I get my bike repaired. At the moment it lies in a motorcycle workshop awaiting to devour 30,000 – 40,000 LKR (195 – 260 USD) for the repairs which I can ill-afford at the moment under the circumstances that prevail.
In fact, if you knew about my childhood, nobody would have imagined that I would end up as a biker at all. The reason being that I could not ride a push cycle till I was almost 16. Kids in my village (both boys and girls) start riding regular bicycles even before they start going to school. But, poor me, had to tolerate the humiliation of not being able to ride a bicycle till I was 16!!! Kids rode bicycles and my younger brother rode bicycles and I was dead angry with the innovator who created this nonsensical device called the bicycle so much so that if I could get hold of him, I would have sent him to hell to be with his honorable ancestors. There was an old Raleigh bicycle at our home and it was a very prestigious brand those days and it still is. Anyway, I was so angry and frustrated that I could not ride a bicycle while everyone else could. The big question I had was how someone balances himself/herself on two wheels, against the universal truth the natural position of a two-wheeler is not vertical but horizontal or rather fallen down on the ground.
Anyway, Udara Mama (Uncle Udara) a close relative of ours came to the rescue when I was around 16. He taught me the art of cycling with a lot of patience. I kept total faith in him that he wouldn’t let me fall on two wheels and while I was riding I was under the impression that he was holding the bicycle from the back of the luggage not letting it fall. But Alas! It was much later I knew that he had already let me go on my own and was not holding the bicycle nor following me at all. This was the trick he used to teach me. I thank him even today for giving me this totally new experience at a later stage of my teenage years. Thank You Udara Mama.
Let’s come back to motorbike riding. My eldest brother bought a Honda C70 secondhand motorbike for our family. That was a hit bike those days as it was a versatile piece of machinery for all the work one needs to do at home or farm. Now that I was good at riding the regular bicycle, I wanted to learn riding the motorbike too. So, my eldest brother (Nayanasena Wanninayake) asked me to take the bike out to teach me and I pushed it to the road. And he asked me to get onto the seat and I thought he would be sitting behind me in the pillion till I was able to learn the basics. But, what he told was shocking to me. He told, “Look brother, there is no point in both you and I getting injured if something happens and now you are on your own! Luckily, I did not have a single fall and I mastered the game in no time. Besides, Honda C70 was a model that made riding easy as it did not have the clutch (C70 has the same clutch assembly inside the motor as its clutched counterpart CD70. In the former the clutch is semi-automatic. Besides, the ‘Postal or Mail model is a domestic production model and better-built than the export models. C70 is better than C/CD50 and C/CD90) to break the gear into different ones. It was all about smooth sailing.
My first experience with a bike with a clutch also was equally enthralling. I was living at my friend Pubudu’s house in Anuradhapura those days and a young couple (Ravi Ayya and his wife) lived in their annex. One day, Ravi Ayya came in a hurry and asked me to get a helmet and sit in the back of his bike. I complied. And then he rode fast to his office and told me that he was going to Kandy in an office vehicle and asked me to take the bike back home. Oops! I had never ridden a bike with a clutch. Besides, this was a pretty bigger bike. I was having butterflies in my stomach but Ravi Ayya had already vanished into thin air. So, I started the bike with a few hiccups and took the bike to the road slowly. And yard by yard the bike was on its way home. I changed the gears as I had seen other guys do it and the bike had terrible jerks every time I changed a gear. On top of that, Anuradhapura is a city where you get a large number of roundabouts in Sri Lanka. My bike stopped stubbornly in every roundabout I passed and other vehicle drivers were annoyed and they kept sounding their horns (a deplorable motoring trait in unruly countries) till I managed to get the machine started and leave peacefully. Anyway, by the time I reached Pubudu’s home, I had mastered the bike with a clutch too. And here I am still in one piece after riding motorbike for 30 long years!!!
Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia and I were woken up by Jayaweera Jayasundara in the morning of May 17, 2017 as we had asked him to do so to see how his “students” practiced physical exercises early hours of the day in the village playground. Jayaweera arranged a three wheeler for us and I felt bad as to why we can’t walk while others in the village just walk or jog to the playground. But he wanted us to be comfortable I guess.
I was ashamed of traveling to the playground by a vehicle as there were 50 odd people – young, middle aged and very old – were already there and they all had walked to the place before 5.00 am. How many things do we take for granted when there is an initiative like this? (I will write a lengthier blog post on this later to do the right justice to Jayaweera and his followers.)
Jayaweera’s wife took the pain of cooking us Kiribath and Katta Sambola for breakfast. She was very caring for us and arranged two lunch packets also for us to have on the way. We said goodbye to the family and Koradekumbura.
On the way to Nuwara Eliya we stopped at Seetha Amman Temple to take few pictures. This is a temple which the Indians value and respect more than the Sri Lankans. The temple is situated in Sita Eliya and is believed to be the place where the King Ravana, the all-powerful ancient Sri Lankan king kept the Indian princess Sita imprisoned to take revenge from her husband Rama who insulted Ravana’s sister Shurpanakha . Read Ramayana to learn more details. This is just a legend than history.
We went to Nuwara Eliya and spent some time at the Lake Gregory which was a very picturesque site. Water level was low as Nuwara Eliya does not get sufficient rain in the summer. I wanted to ride a horse here but we did not have enough time for it as we had a long way to go back to Mahawilachchiya.
We spent some time to take pictures of spectacular extensive tea estates. The greenery and the intermittent fog with the mist made the place very romantic. I was lucky to spend the whole year 2006 surrounded by this type of stunning environment. I want to return to the hills for good. In fact, I was planning this since I was a kid and saw the beauty of Nuwara Eliya in Sarath Madhu’s comic ඉතිං ඊට පස්සේ (Ithin Eeta Passe) in the comic weekly සිත්තර (Siththara) where the story was wound around the hills in Sri Lanka. The only thing which prevented me settling down in here was my commitments to Horizon Lanka at Mahawilachchiya. But now I am planning to transfer the project to the safe hands of the youths in Mahawilachchiya who are being given responsibilities to run the place on their own. It will take time, but I am confident about them.
We had some tea at a small tea shop in Pussellawa and it was not hot enough. I complained the shop keeper and he apologized and waved off the price of the two tea cups. We paid for bananas we had there though.
We did not want to go via Kandy City as Aleksandar had already visited Kandy the previous week. Kandy is a congested city with a lot of traffic and I didn’t like to get stuck in there. The only time I loved Kandy was when I was in love, a long time ago. I loved to walk along the Lake Nuwara Wewa holding hands with my sweet ex-girlfriend. Those were the days….. Aah….
We bypassed Kandy and directly reached Katugastota via Gannoruwa. Had our lunch by the roadside and proceeded to Anuradhapura. We had some delicious jackfruits in a small village between Matale and Dambulla. Aleks loved jackfruits. He had earlier eaten cooked raw jackfruit as a curry and it was here he ate the ripe ones first.
We reached Anuradhapura by the evening and had tea at my sister’s house. Then we proceeded to Mahawilachchiya around 6.30 pm. The whole journey was a fascinating ride for me. But my friend was exhausted as he had to be on the pillion of the bike throughout the whole bike hike as he was not comfortable riding my bike model (Bajaj Pulsar 150) despite having an international driving license. Thus we ended 630 km – 3 day- bike hike. The whole ride was a “chanceless” one. There was not a single බුදු අම්මෝ! (Oh My God!) moment throughout the ride. At least not for me. I don’t know about Aleks though.
In the morning of May 16, 2017, Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia and I went to Devananda Public School (Sri Devananda Madya Maha Vidyalaya) in Mirahawatta with Nimal Gunarathna, the ICT teacher of the school and did a presentation on how the school can be benefitted with foreign volunteers as teachers.
In the afternoon we had a similar presentation at a private tuition class at Bandarawela town to the students and the parents that had gathered there. The problem with the students there is that, despite attending to some of the best public schools in the town, still their English knowledge is not satisfactory. I don’t know why the big monies spent by the Ministry of Education on teacher training do not reflect in the students’ English knowledge.
In the evening, we went to Koradekumbura to meet a retired Physical Health Inspector (PHI) who was introduced to me by a friend of mine called Daya Wijesinghe from Kandana. The PHI’s name is Jayaweera Jayasundara and he runs this wonderful program where he teaches martial arts (mainly karate) to the villagers. You will be surprised to hear that men and women who are even over 80 years of age practice karate with him. (I will write a comprehensive story about him in the coming days.)
The road to Koradekumbura is not carpeted still it is decent and travelable. (Now that most of the roads are nicely carpeted by the former government, we expect them everywhere we go.) We reached the village around 7.00 pm and had a good shower at the bathroom of Jayaweera’s massive house. His wife is a sweet lady and she cooked a huge feast with a lot of delicious dishes. We were treated like princes there. I can never forget the kind of hospitality they extended to Aleks and me.
I started the trip to Bandarawela from Mahawilachchiya around 7.00 am on May 15, 2017 with Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia and reached Mirahawatta (off Bandarawela) via Mahiyanganaya the first day. Despite having an international license, Aleksander could not ride the bike as my Bajaj Pulsar 150 is not a model he had any experience with. In fact, it was my fault that I did not give him enough time to get accustomed to my bike during his stay in Mahawilachchiya.
We had breakfast at my sister’s house in Anuradhapura and proceeded to Dambulla first. From Dambulla, we took the road via Kandalama – Bakamuna – Laggala up to Mahiyanganaya. The road from Dambulla to Bakamuna was not carpeted as yet but it was still a pretty good road and we never had any problems with the road condition. We had lunch at a small place at Girandurukotte. It was a delicious lunch with fresh vegetables and freshwater fish.
After lunch, we proceeded to Mahiyanganaya then to Dambana where the Vedda (a Sri Lankan aboriginal ingenious tribe) people live. I have been to this place several times and hence I personally know Vedda tribal chief, Mr. Uruwarige Waniyaleththo. The houses in Dambana are very eco-friendly. They are made with mud walls and hay stacks roof. You don’t feel the heat that thrust upon the village by the hot sun. We had a chat with the chief and then came back to Mahiyanganaya and then proceeded to Bandarawela. Roads are very well done, thanks to the previous government.
We took some pictures at beautiful Loggaloya Lake. This place is so beautiful and even if you spend hours here you won’t feel enough.
We resumed the journey to Badulla and spent some time in Badulla, the small town where I spent honeymoon for year!!! Badulla is a very peaceful and beautiful small town. I love this place.
We left for Bandarawela and met my friend Nimal Gunarathna there. He is a computer teacher in Devananda School, Mirahawatta. He also conducts some private tuition classes in Bandarawela town. We spent night at his house and had a delicious dinner cooked by Nimal’s wife. We had a wonderful tight sleep as the weather was cool and there was not a single mosquito to disturb with their buzz.