Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nature Weddings by Eco Team

Nature Wedding. Yet, not away from the culture.

Do you want make your wedding day different from what you see everyday? Do you want to make it an enjoyable day to you two and to your guests? In order to accomplish these and much more, would you like, to stand on a stone “Poruwa” on the riverbank of Belihuloya with water cascading down rocks as background, to light the oil lamp which is hanging from a tree, to register the marriage seated on short wall in a straw roofed summer hut, to cut Kiri Bath in a “kulla” (winnowing fan used traditionally to spread Kiri bath and rice as well winnowing) decorated with Manel flowers (the national flower), to sit on a couch made of sticks and creepers and to eat from an outdoor buffet with your guests seated on the ground on mats or benches ? They are all in our “Nature wedding - Yet not away from the culture” package.

LOCATIONS

“Belihuloya”

Belihuloya, a very picturesque and romantic hamlet situated 160km from Colombo in the historical Sabaragamuwa province, mid way between the hill country and low country is an ideal location not only for your honeymoon but also for your wedding. In this area, the River Garden premise offers you the best location. The beauty and the serenity of the location, surrounding mountain ranges, intermittent patches of forests and paddy fields and the famous Belihuloya River which borders it, makes it far above the most other locations.


“Babarakanda” Waterfall

This is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka [situated in the Uva province and getting to this waterfall it self is a fascinating experience for a nature lover. Wedding function will take place taking the fall as the backdrop.

“Singharaja” Rainforest.

Dense, Dark, Wet and mysterious 11187 Ha “Singharaja” primeval forest [virgin forest] is a rich treasure trove of nature with a great diversity of habitats and a vast repository of Sri Lanka’s endemic species found no where else in the world. Named as a world Heritage site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rain forest is steeped in deep legend and mystery.
The world “Sinharaja” means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja) and the popular beliefs that the legendary origin of Sinhala people in Sri Lanka is the descendants of the union the lion king who once lived in the forest and a princess.


“Waulpane” cave.
This cave is an isolated cavern set against the eastern slopes of the “Rakwana” range. [Sabargamuwe Province] It contains a large number of stalactites and stalagmites and is estimated to be approximately 500 million years old. While there are few fossils visible in the caverns wall, the main building process is still continuing.
The stream, which runs through this cave, becomes a beautiful waterfall at the center, giving you a mysterious and a thrilling experience. This is the third largest limestone cave in the world and entire wedding proceedings will take place near the rear entrance of the cave.

“Sigiriya” Fortress-8th wonder of the world
The Ancient city of Sigiriya was designated a cultural World Heritage Site in 1982. It is also proposed that this site should be named the eight wonder of the world. The topography of the area is flat except for the massive rock outcrop of the fortress itself, and a few distant hills. The wonder is that this massive rock outcrop has a flat top and the wonder of wonders is that this flat top, about three quarters of an acre in extent, was used in its entirety to build the kings complex, which fact is evident by the presence of ruins.

Special features on offer are
  • Arrangements in church or “Poruwa” traditions [traditional Sri Lankan platform] Person to recite “ashtaka”/blessings at “poruwa”. This “poruwa” will be designed in keeping with the location and the theme.
  • Special Nature Couch
  • Registration, License and Legal fees / English translation of the Marriage certificate
  • Witnesses if required
  • Specially decorated [according to the theme] cottage/Eco Lodge/Campsite/Tree house for the night of the wedding day.
  • Wedding Gift from Eco Team.
  • Kiri Bath in a “kulla”
  • Specially designed Bridal bouquet / Head dress /and button hole [if clients bring their costumes]
  • Dressing up the bride if it’s the traditional costume + Hairdressing and makeup.
  • “Jayamangala Gatha” traditional blessings- 5 village girls
  • 4 traditional dances/2 drummers/01 conch shell blower
  • Pre wedding briefing with the Nature Wedding co-ordinator.
  • Special decorations to go along with the theme.

Monday, December 8, 2008

SET A DATE FOR A WEEKEND IN THE HILLS

Hidden amidst the lush hills of Ambewela, making you feel there’s no one else but yourself, Jetwing Warwick Gardens promises you solitude, peace, tranquillity and soulful rejuvenation. Built in the 1800’s by a Scottish tea planter and located some 1850 metres above sea level, this little English bungalow is the ideal ‘get away’ for the busy, overworked and stressed out businessman eager to spend some quality time with his family.

This luxury bungalow is uniquely situated, being both secluded within the Ambewela mountain range and in close proximity to places such as the Ambewela farm, Hakgala Gardens and Horton Plains for exciting day trips. Leopard and Sambar can be spotted at Horton Plains.

Jetwing Warwick Gardens is also ideal for small groups who want the hills exclusively to themselves. It also caters well for couples on their honeymoon and for those who just want to getaway from it all. This bungalow boasts of ‘Warwick’ the master bedroom with a spectacular view of the garden and mountain range; ‘Netherleigh’, which is secretly hidden behind a drape of antique carpets sewn together, midway through the landing, is the honeymoon suite with its crisp white linen and furniture. There are three other deluxe rooms, each with varying views and experience. Four of the rooms including the sitting room have their own fire place, which is lit in the evenings on request. In addition, there is a cosy sitting room with a private fire place and a baby grand piano for beautiful melodies. A day room for morning meals and a comfortable library with an interesting selection of books can also be enjoyed.

A place filled with experiences, Jetwing Warwick Gardens gives guests the opportunity to laze around in the bungalow doing absolutely nothing or settle in to a cozy chat, enjoy a typical English breakfast in bed or on the lawn with fresh eggs from the Warwick Farm or even have a Sri Lankan picnic in the garden. The bungalow also features a selection of teas from Sri Lanka’s finest tea growing regions. The guest could also experience the local version of the traditional High Tea at any one of the stunning locations. To the delight of the guests a stone Bar-Be-Que in the garden can also be arranged. The men also have the luxury of enjoying a morning shave or a head massage by the local barber, in the outdoors.

JETWING KURULUBEDDA, NATURE’S PERFECT LITTLE HIDEAWAY!



Wake up to the soothing sound of rustling leaves, the chirping of birds, the distant echo of temple bells and yet, be captivated with the stillness of perfect surroundings... this could be your morning at nature’s perfect little hideaway, Jetwing Kurulubedda.


A serene ten minute boat ride down the Kepu Ela in Mahamodera, Galle, a short waterway off the Gingganga, so near yet so far away from the hustle and bustle of life in Galle, leads you to two stilted dwellings situated amidst a mangrove on a quiet little village patch off the river.

Jetwing Kurulubedda, consisting of two luxury dwellings built on stilts boasts a bedroom suite, a large terrace with casual and relaxed seating and a spacious plunge pool below. A dining pavilion overlooking the marshes and paddy field, which is organically grown, a lounge surrounded by nature with a ramp leading to the edge of the river and a sprawling lawn for relaxation and lazing in a time wrap that is singularly yours to alter . This is a perfect location for small parties, quiet cosy chats or for couples seeking to reignite their passion.

Take a bath at the well where you can draw your own water in true village style, a drink of Kirala (Genus – Sonneratia Species – caseolaris) from the trees above, red rice from the paddy field around, organically grown vegetables and greens from the plots within and a smiling Sri Lankan butler to serve you any time of the day; the luxury of being truly pampered in style.

Experience a refreshing massage on the edge of the field followed by an evening cup of single estate hand rolled bio-tea with home styled patties and cutlets made in the kitchen. Take a dip in your private pool only to be greeted thereafter with a glass of Rosé wine from the cellar and then a dinner under the star studded sky.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Windsor Park Agri Holiday Resort, Hingurakgoda – Introducing Agro Tourism to Sri Lanka

Windsor Park is an Agri Holiday resort situated in Hingurakgoda (in the North central Province of Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka which is about 203 Kilometers away from Colombo. Hingurakgoda, located near Polonnaruwa, which is a historical kingdom of the ancient rulers of Sri Lanka, is a distinguished centre of Sri Lanka’s agro industry. Hingurakgoda, claiming kinship to a glorious past, during which an age-old hydro-culture flourished could be characterized as an oasis of those industrious and energetic people who conquered nature.

The Windsor Park is surrounded by the farmland spread around 1300 Acres for which is about 700 Acres are under paddy. This paddy cultivation is also considered as the biggest seed paddy production farm in the country. The highland area of the farm is utilized for the production of perennial crops & livestock. Minneriya sanctuary, Polonnaruwa ancient ruins, Sigiriya ancient ruins, Kawudulla Park are within the close proximity to the hotel.

The resort provides the luxury of relaxation with 7 cabanas provided with hot & cold water; air conditioned rooms, open verandah and a sitting area. All these cabanas are under fruitful tree shades to soothe your body & mind while the effect of the burning sun is dispelled by the winds that blow across the reservoirs. Restaurant allows you to taste all the Sri Lankan foods at your choice prepared with its own fresh herbs & vegetables picked from their own farmland. The daily rate of a single person is 65 US Dollars on Full Board Basis. The Inland reservoir & the ponds provide an excellent opportunity for the bird watchers to observe number of bird species for which are endemic birds to Sri Lanka. The flocks of peacocks that move about freely are the most spectacular natural sights in the Windsor Park.

Seed Paddy Cultivation: The seed paddy production of this farm is about 2.7 million of Kilograms a year with about 13 varieties ranging from 3 months to 4 & half months for the harvest.

Banana Cultivation: About 50 Acres of banana cultivation is maintained in the farm by using drip irrigation system and fertigation facilities. Cavendish SFC09 is being cultivated in 12 plots with an average of 5 acres of extent for a plot.

Dairy Farm: A herd of buffaloes and cattle are maintained at the farm for milk production and for breeding purposes. The farm produces about 500 liters of buffalo curd daily.

Traditional Home Garden: Wide varieties of Sri Lankan vegetables are grown by using only the traditional methods & fertilizing.

Vegetable Cultivation: About 10 acres of land are being cultivated the vegetables like chillie, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, brinjals etc. by using drip irrigation & micro irrigation system. Average production of vegetables is about 250 Kilograms a day.

Mango Cultivation: Around 40 acres of land are being used for the mango cultivation of the farm. Some of the varieties grown here are Karthakolumbun, Vilad, Hingurakgoda Vilad, Vellekolumbun etc. Hingurakgoda Vilad is an endemic fruit to Sri Lanka.

Fresh Water Fish/Prawns: The inland reservoir and three special ponds are maintained to grow fish under high intensity systems.

With all these unique facilities Hotel Windsor Park offers incomparable, cozy, unforgettable experience to the guests who choose to stay for a holiday. Also the Nature Park blessed with an amazing bio-diversity, is a wonderful forest park for environmentalists.

Some of the very attractive features the Hotel Windsor Park offers are

  • Elephants Safaris
  • Cycling through the farmland
  • Experience the traditional techniques of farming
  • Bird Watching
  • Cultural Visits to the Ancient ruins

Reservations: 0094773052873 Ganga

0094272247233 Indrajothy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Waterside Hotel, Bentota, Sri Lanka – A Perfect holiday experience in a tranquil location with its theme concept of a rural village life


The waterside hotel, Bentota situated in a tranquil location, which is about 70 kilometers south of the city of Colombo. With its very own theme concept of a simple village life, tranquility and the friendly atmosphere provides you incomparable holiday experience.

Waterside boosts with six rooms with a panoramic view of the Bentota River, towards the lagoon and the sea. Each room ensures its own luxury provided with Satellite TV, Mini bar, Telephone facilities, and attached bathroom with hot and cold water.

The open sided elegant fine dining restaurant overlooking the Bentota River, serves an exquisite array of International and Sri Lankan dishes with specialty of seafood varieties on ala carte menu.

Early morning nature tour through the picturesque Bentota River by the boat-exciting feature that Waterside offers which provides unforgettable memories for the nature lovers. In the same time, this tour gives you the opportunity to observe number of bird species including some of the migrant species. Some of the birds you could observe while while you are on this tour are Stork Billed Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, White Throated Kingfisher, White Breasted water hen, Red Wattled Lapwing, Indian Pond heron, Purple heron, Little cormorant, Brahminy kite, White Bellied sea eagle, Common Kestrel, Spotted dove, Pompadour Green pigeon, Green imperial pigeon, Rose ringed parakeet, Asian koel, Blue tailed bee eater, Brown headed barbet, Barn swallow, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow wagtail, Red vented bulbul, Oriental magpie robin, Common tailor bird, Asian paradise flycatcher (Ceylon paradise flycatcher), Asian Paradise flycatcher (Indian paradise flycatcher), Purple rumped sunbird, Loten’s sunbird, Black hooded oriole, white bellied drongo, Common Iora, Common myna, Scaly breasted munia etc.

View of the swimming pool

Some of the very attractive features that Hotel Waterside offers are

  • Sri Lankan weddings including traditional poruwa etc.
  • Nature/Bird watching tours by the boat
  • Day trips to Galle, Ambalangoda mask factory, Kosgoda turtle hatchery etc.
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Tuk tuk rides
  • Fishing

Address : Yathramulla, Bentota, Sri Lanka

Telephone : 0094342270080/81

Fax : 0094342270084

Email : reservations@bentotawaterside.com

Website : www.bentotawaterside.com


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yaka Mala - The flower of Devil යකා මල

Honestly not sure, what is the exact English name for this flower but direct translation from Sinhala is "Devil's flower" which means the flower of Devil because its exact shape of a face of a Devil.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Indian Roller - දුම් ඛොන්නා



This colorful bird captured by me at Pinnawala very close to the Elephant orphanage while I am participating a wedding of one of my close relatives.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

AIDA Ayurveda & Holistic Health Resort,Bentota,Sri Lanka – Feel the Harmony of real Ayurveda Philosophy


AIDA Ayurveda & Holistic Health Resort is conveniently located in Mangala mawatha,Bentota which is about 70 kilometers away from the city of Colombo. The hotel features with 40 rooms for which 16 rooms are main house rooms & the rest of the rooms are riverside rooms. Each & every room provided with hot & cold water, Telephone facilities, A/C, TV, Electronic safe etc.


By the means of its name AIDA Ayurveda & Holistic Health Resort, is a special place for Ayurveda treatments in Sri Lanka. On arrival of the guest an experienced doctor will conduct a diagnose to design their individual health & wellness schedule to be followed during their stay in the hotel. This comprehensive diagnose will be followed by using its very own traditional methods of Ayurveda like pulse reading, palm reading, tongue diagnosing, eye diagnosing etc. These treatments include internal & external treatments. Development of emotional balance are followed by very comprehensive methods like conducting Yoga & Meditation programs, allowing them to hear very emotional music, allowing them to see & feel the fragrance of very impressive flowers etc. With its very own special surroundings, it naturally allows the guests to improve their internal spirit.

The physical treatments include number of holistic therapies, head massages, foot massages, body massages, flower baths, herbal baths, steams, sauna etc. Ayurveda, the secret of Asian beauty, the herbal beauty clinic of AIDA resort offers very special beauty treatments with the harmony of Ayurveda. Some of the beauty treatments are facials, Pedicure etc.


Herbal garden of AIDA resort which has number of herbs is an attractive place of the guests who stays in the hotel. They always love to hang around the bushes of herbs & breathe the fresh air blowing through the plants.


Traditional “Shanthi Karma”, a way of treatment for certain illnesses which has a proud history of the country is very interesting event that this hotel organizes. The scenic restaurant of the hotel provides an array of Ayurvedic friendly healthy foods with the recommendation of the doctor.

The riverside gallery restaurant with a view over Bentota River, serves lots of delicious food including seafood who are not on Ayurveda cure. Also the AIDA offers one day Ayurveda treatment package for the non residents of the hotel.

Address: 12A, Mangala Mawatha, Bentota, Sri Lanka

Reservations: 0094-34-2271137, 0094-34-2271138

Email: aida1@sltnet.lk, aida1@visual.lk

Website: www.aidaayurveda.com



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Monday, June 23, 2008

Field Trip to Palabaddala with FOGSL

Deciding at the last minute joined the FOGSL field trip to Palabaddala, a village that situated on the trekking track to Adam's peak bordering to the "Sri Pada" wildlife sanctuary in Ratnapura district. Situated within close proximity to the World Heritage site Sinharaja Rain Forest, the area has identified as rich in birdlife.

After enjoying a simple lunch but rich in nutrition value prepared with locally found greens, herbs etc. started proceeding to "MapalanaElla" a picturesque waterfall while observing birds on the way. With few yards of walking observed, a Hill Swallow landed on an electricity wire and that was a very good opportunity to learn how to differentiate a Hill Swallow from the Red Rumped Swallow because of the explanation given by our professional birder Amila Salgado as usual. Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Yellow fronted barbet, Red Rumped swallow, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Layard's parakeet, Sri Lanka Orange billed babblers, Hill Myna are some of the highlights of the first day birding.

Second day started with a big challenge to climb up to the Adam's peak but instructions were given to turn back at 2 pm irrespective of the place where you climbed up to ensure the safe return before the dawn. The group was scattered I was with Amila. We were the first to decide to return immediate after the breakfast because of the gloomy conditions and correctly identified as not a good day for birding by my colleague. On our return, we stepped to a village house due to the rain, with their hospitality they offered us two chairs nicely arranged facing the river allowing us to observe birds until rain is over. We spotted a Shikra, a pair of Sri Lanka Grey Horn bills, A number of Sri Lankan Myna's, a number of Crimson fronted barbets while we were enjoying a cup of tea offered by them. We stepped down to the base around 12.30 in the noon and finished our lunch with a plan of going for birding to the nearest 50-acre forest patch. The whole plan for the evening washed off by the torrential rain started around 2 pm continued up to 6 pm in the evening leaving us the only option to have a nap and relax a bit. Greater Flameback , Sri Lanka Yellow fronted barbet, Black capped bulbul, Yellow browed bulbul, Hill swallow, Red rumped swallow , Shikra, Sri Lanka grey Horn bill, Scarlet minivet, Black bulbul are some of the highlights for the second day birding.

In the morning of the final day, we were lucky to spot a pair of Sri Lanka White faced starling on a fruit tree while we were waiting for the breakfast. After the break fast we proceeded to the 50 Acre forest patch for birding where we managed to observe Sri Lanka Orange billed babblers, Sri Lanka White faced starlings, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted Barbet, Common Iora, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Layard's Parakeet and some other few bird species.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hotel Yala Village – A Blend of Untamed Beauty of Nature, Adventure & Luxury of Relaxation


Hotel Yala Village is situated in Kirinda,Sri Lanka (in deep south of Sri Lanka) bordered by the Yala Wildlife Sanctuary which is about 280km away from Colombo International Airport. Approximately it takes about 5 to 6 hours drive via Ratnapura. Yala Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the Sri Lanka’s best preserved areas for which is the shelter for hundreds of elephants,crocodiles,wild boar,peacocks,about 56 species of birds,12 species of mammals,20 species of butterflies,15 species of reptiles etc.

It is a tranquil location spread over 10 acres of vegetation scattered with 61 chalets. Each chalet is unique in design with animal inspired themes in décor ensuring that each guest enjoys the untamed beauty of nature while allowing you the luxury of relaxation in absolute privacy. Wild elephant, Wild Boar, Peacocks, Spotted deer, many species of birds can be commonly seen in the hotel park. All the chalets are air conditioned and it includes with a private verandah, satellite TV, well stocked Mini Bar, Telephone/IDD provided with hot & clod water. Chalets are categorized as Fisherman’s, Beach, Round, Stilt, Traditional Village and Tarzan Suite ranging from 165 US dollars to 415 US Dollars on Full Board basis.




Observation Desk is a very attractive place in the hotel which allows the guests to have a panoramic view of the vastness while the picturesque swimming pool provides an invigorating swim with a spectacular pool bar serving up delightful concoctions. Eastern & Western cuisine can be enjoyed at the hotel restaurant with Ala carte and table d’hote menus. Also the hotel enriches with a Naturalist (Mr. Dilan Peiris) who has a sound knowledge about the Sri Lankan birds, Animals, Reptiles, Mammals and the Nature.



Some of the very attractive features the Hotel Yala Village offers are

· Bird Trails (Bundala Sanctuary & Inside the Hotel park)

· Adventure Safaris – Yala Wildlife Sanctuary

· Cultural Visits – Kataragama, Thissamaharamaya, Sithulapawwa etc.

· Nature walk with the Naturalist

· Airport pickups

· Participation of Sri Lankan cookery workshops on request

Safety Tips

Remember you stay in a part of the jungle so wild animals are freely roaming through the hotel park. Always seeks the assistance of the hotel staff while you walk in the evening & the night because meet the Wild elephant is a common incident in this hotel. Also please refrain from giving foods to the wild animals & remember not to leave any fruits in your vehicle.

Telephone : 0094112320862,0094112439049-51

0094472239450

Reservations : htlres@keells.com

Ratnaloka Tour Inn, Kosgala, Kahangama, Ratnapura – Promising Charm Holiday with the only star class hotel in the city of Gem in Sri Lanka

Ratnaloka Tour Inn, the only star class hotel situated in the city of gem in Sri Lanka is located in a tranquil village called Kosgala (around 8 kilometers away from the city of Ratnapura). Ratnapura which is 101 kilometers away form Colombo is always a blessing to the pearl of the Indian Ocean. With it’s charm environment the Ratnaloka Tour Inn always ensures their unique ability to provide a totally relaxed holiday experience by touching the hearts of the guests whoever who chooses this hotel to spend a holiday.




The hotel features 53 rooms with 11 deluxe rooms provided with air conditioning, Mini bar, attached bathroom provided with hot & cold water. Surrounded 50 acres of land with tea cultivation, trees of tropical fruits, number of herbs provides the luxury to each & every guest to breath with fresh air to soothe their body & mind from the morning they wakeup. The picturesque swimming pool shaded by an array of cardamom trees provides with an invigorating swim. Some of the other facilities are the main restaurant facing the tea estate, the air conditioned Orchid restaurant, bar etc.





Some of the very unique facilities this hotel offers are the Gem Museum & the Gem Shop which has kept large collection of local & foreign gems for display. Blue sapphire, Yellow sapphire, Cats eye are some of the local gems they displays in the museum while Opals, Lapise, Amber are examples for the foreign gems that they displays in the Gem Museum. Also there are many gem studded jewelries made out of silver & 14K, 18K gold are kept for sale.

Within the hotel premises there are few gem mining sites are maintained by the hotel to experience their guests in gem mining in Sri Lanka. Tea plucking competitions, Rubber tapping competition are some of very special events that the hotel organizes.

Besides the main restaurant there is a small pond shaded with tea bushes & perennial fruit trees. This area provides an excellent opportunity to observe number of bird species in the morning & in the evening for the people who enjoys bird watching. Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted barbet, Brown Headed Barbet, Black Hooded Oriole, Indian Robin, Pied Thrush, Red Vented Bulbul are some of the bird species can be observed in the hotel garden.

Some of the very special features the Ratnaloka Tour Inn offers are

  • Try Your Luck (Gem Mining Competition)
  • Tea Plucking Competition
  • Rubber Tapping Competition
  • Bird Trails to Sinharaja Rain forest
  • Safari trips to Uda Walawe park
  • Cultural trips to Maha Saman Devalaya, Pothgul Rajamaha Viharaya, Nedun Rajamaha Viharaya, Iddamalgoda Rajamaha Viharaya etc.

Address : Kosgala, Kahangama, Ratnapura

Reservations : 0094452222455, 0094452224565, 0094455440011

Email : ratnaloka@eureka.lk

Website : www.ratnaloka.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Amaya Hills, Heerassagala, Kandy, Sri Lanka - A Memorable stay in one of the most beautiful hills in the country



Amaya Hills, a palace in the hills nestled in a tranquil location high above the city of Kandy which is 115 kilometers away from the city of Colombo. Kandy, the capital of the central province of Sri Lanka, the last ancient kingdom always has the blessings of Sri Dalada, the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. Heerassagala, one of the most beautiful locations in Sri Lanka within the Hanthana range of hills richest with lovely fauna & flora, the comfortable climate, breathtaking nature surroundings etc.The world famous Peradeniya botanical garden is within very close proximity to the hotel. Some of the Orchid varieties found in Peradeniya botanical garden are found only in Sri Lanka.With all these Amaya Hills ensures its incomparable holiday experience boasting with 100 rooms comprising with 4 Suite rooms, 5 Junior Suite rooms, 48 Deluxe rooms and 43 Standard rooms.





All these rooms are specially designed to indulge the guests with a panoramic view of a range of picturesque hills. Each & every room ensures its luxury provided with Cable TV, well stocked Mini Bar, Electronic safe, Air conditioning, hot & cold water etc.

The Tea room of Amaya Hills is very special has its own warm & inviting atmosphere to enjoy a cup of world famous Sri Lankan tea. You could enjoy the all Sri Lankan tea flavors including High grown tea (Comes from Nuwara-eliya region), mid grown tea (comes from Hanthana, Gampola, Kandy area) and Low grown tea (comes from Rantapura, Deniyaya area). Also the Dumbara Bar allowing you to have an evening drink
In a relaxed setting inspired by woven mats of Dumbara, Kandy while the Rasawasala restaurant serves an array of Sri Lankan & International cuisine by an expert chef in an indoor & terrace seating.

Le Garage the underground night club in a high mountain setting opens on every Saturday till 2am in the morning.


With its own techniques for a deep relaxation, the Ayurvedic Spa offers number of holistic therapies & Ayurveda treatments including one week & two week wellness programs. Some of the most popular treatments are Herbal Oil Body Treatment (Herbal body massage, Herbal steam and Herbal bath), Vashpa Sveda (Herbal oil & Steam treatment), Avagaha Sveda (Rejuvenating herbal bath), Herbal Oil Head Treatment (Head massage with vital point treatment), Vaktra Chikitsa (Herbal facial treatment) and Reflexology (Foot massage treatments with whole body effects).

Spend few hours with nature, the morning & evening bird trails are one of the most attractive features the Amaya Hills offers. Mr. Susantha (the Naturalist of the hotel) will take you through the breathtaking Hanthana hills to observe number of bird species. About 380 bird species (including endemics & migrant birds) are recorded from this area. Sri Lanka Spur Fowl, Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted Barbet, Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Layard's Parakeet, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, White Browed Fantail, Brown Fish Owl are some of the bird species you could observe during this trail. Also about 65 species of butterflies & mammals, number of coffee varieties, number of spices including cardamom, pepper etc. could be observed while you are on the bird watching.

Nice flower arrangements & the friendly staff is something that specially has to be mentioned about this hotel.

Some of the other very attractive features the Amaya Hills offers are
  • Tractor rides through the jungle
  • Safari trips to Kaudulla, Minneriya & Wasgomuwa National parks
  • Flat water rafting through the Mahaweli river
  • Visit the Udawattekale
  • Cultural visits to Sri Dalada Maligawa, Gadaladeniya, Ambakke etc.
  • Cultural drama & dancing lessons
  • Traditional sports
  • Cooking demonstrations by the chef
  • Yoga lessons
  • Golf tours
  • Visit to a meditation center


Address: Heerassagala, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Reservations: sales@amayaresorts.com, amayahills@amayaresorts.com

Telephone : 0094114767888, 0094812233521, 2

Website : www.amayaresorts.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vil Uyana, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka







Marawila beach - Sri Lanka

Some pictures of the Marawila beach…





Negombo Fishing

In most of the coastal areas in Sri Lanka, fishing has become their livelihood among the villagers who lives in those villages. Among them Negombo is very famous because of its high volume and the major contribution to the national production. Apart from the modern techniques of fishing, traditional ways of fishing is still remains unspoiled in this area hence it has become a popular tourist attraction.

Here are some captures of the day-to-day activities of the angler's.








Monday, June 2, 2008

The Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana – Affordable indulgence in the heart of the Cultural Triangle

The Cinnamon lodge is a tranquil location nestled in the heart of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, Just 178 kilometers away from the city of Colombo. It is about 4 hours drive from the Colombo International Airport. Kaudulla wildlife sanctuary, Minneriya wildlife sanctuary, Ritigala cultural site, Polonnaruwa ancient ruins, Anuradhapura ancient ruins, Dambulla cave temple and the Sigiriya ancient ruins which is also considered as the 8th wonder of the world are within close proximity to the hotel.

The Kaudulla & Minneriya sanctuaries are the shelter for hundreds of wild elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, peacocks, fishing cat, sambar, about 150 species of birds including number of endemic species and even the elusive leopards. Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White bellied fish eagle, Grey headed fish eagle, and Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill can be seen in Minneriya & Kaudulla sanctuaries. Also these two parks are very famous to see the biggest herd of wild elephants in Sri Lanka.

With its unique special butler service allows the luxury to the guests to arrange everything on their behalf from the moment they arrives to the hotel or even from the moment they arrives the country till they leaves the hotel or even till they leaves the country.

The hotel boasts with 72 superior rooms, 40 deluxe rooms and 4 Suites set on a 27 acre land ensuring that each guest enjoys the untamed beauty of nature from the privacy of his own space. Each room provides with IDD facilities, Color Satellite TV, in room safe, comprehensive mini bar, and fully individually controlled air conditioning. By hosting a specially designed room for the disabled guests Cinnamon Lodge ensures the interest they have taken to provide the special care for them.

A total of 136 different bird species have been recorded from the hotel premises, belonging to 12 orders & 22 families. An average of 60 species can be observed early morning or during the evening bird walk.



The main open air restaurant ‘EHALA’ offers an exquisite array of dishes with its special Ala Minute menu allowing the guest to select the ingredients at their preference to cook the dish in their presence. You may try your own salad by selecting the ingredients at your choice with your favorite dressings. The ‘Lotus’ restaurant serves a selection of inspired dishes offering both outdoor & indoor seating.

If you are in the mood, you could try number of holistic therapies (the ancient secrets of Asian beauty) to nourish the soul by using the herbs, leaves and greenery collected from the jungle. The Ayurveda & Wellness centre of the Cinnamon Lodge offers number of stress releasing therapies to celebrate the harmony of transforming the mind, beautifying the body and nurturing the soul.

Some of the very attractive features the Cinnamon Lodge offers are

  • Cultural visits to Sigiriya ancient ruins, Ritigala , Polonnaruwa & Anuradhapura ancient ruins
  • Elephant safaris around the Habarana lake
  • Wildlife safaris to Kaudulla & Minneriya sanctuaries
  • Bird trails
  • Biking
  • Nature trails
  • Bullock cart rides
  • Participation of Sri Lankan cookery workshops
  • Sri Lankan Wedding packages
  • Awareness programs of Sri Lankan reptiles by the trained naturalists
  • Preparation & serving meals at the excursions
  • Picking up your preferred fresh vegetables for your own meal from the organic farm maintained by the hotel

Reservations : 0094112439049 – 51 Arini

Email : arini.khms@keells.com

Website : www.cinnamonhotels.com

Inquiries : terrence@cinnamonhotels.com

Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy, Sri Lanka – The most succeeded hotel in the capital of Hill country in Sri Lanka


The Mahaweli Reach hotel is nestled on the banks of Mahweli River in P.B.A.Weerakoon mawatha which is about 120 kilometers away from the city of Colombo. Sri Dalada Maligawa (The temple of tooth relic of Lord Buddha), beautiful range of Hanthana hills, Udawattekele forest reserve are within close proximity to the hotel.

The Mahaweli Reach boasts with 112 rooms comprising of 108 deluxe rooms, 3 Executive rooms & One President suite. All the rooms ensures its luxury provided with fans & air conditioning, mini bar, piped music, satellite TV, boarded floors and electronic safe etc. Main restaurant opens to lawn sloping down to the majestic Mahaweli allows you to indulge in exotic Sri Lankan cuisine and excellent Table d’hote choices while the Bar Lounge overlooks the pool & garden serves snacks & refreshments throughout the day. Kandy’s largest free form swimming pool owns by Mahaweli Reach which spreads over a large area of the garden under the shade of mango, olive and jak trees.

With its special business centre allows their guests to keep in touch with any part of the world. This business centre provides high speed internet access, photocopy facilities, fax facilities etc. Also is consists of a small meeting room.

Weddings in Paradise, Mahaweli Reach is very special for arranging the weddings in very traditional Sri Lankan style. Guests enjoy the luxury of having their ceremony outdoors with spectacular mountain backdrop or opt for a ceremony on a boat on the tranquil waters of Mahaweli. This comprehensive wedding arrangements includes Kandyan dancers/drummers, Traditional singing of wedding blessings by young Sri Lankan girls, conducting of traditional Kandyan wedding ceremony by the Master of Ceremonies, Decorated Poruwa ( platform of which ceremony is performed) , hair makeup and dressing of the bride in traditional attire comprising of saree & jewellery, Registration of the ceremony by the Government Registrar of marriages, Caparisoned elephant on which groom will be brought to the wedding venue, Palanquin in which bride will be carried to the wedding venue, Bridal bouquet/head dress and décor for the venue including traditional oil lamp etc.

The Mahaweli Reach hotel can be described as the most succeeded hotel in Kandy. It has started as a four roomed guest house more than quarter of a century ago and today it has obtained 5 stars rating because of its determination and the intangible feeling of warmth and hospitality with exuded by the management and the staff.

The spacious banquet hall comprising with sophisticated audio visual equipments can be used for any occasion.

Some of the very special features the Mahaweli Reach offers are

  • Cultural visits to Sri Dalada Maligawa (The temple of tooth relic of Lord Buddha), Gadaladeniya temple, Embekke temple etc.
  • Golf Tours to the scenic Victoria Golf links with views of the sweeping water of the Victoria reservoir
  • Visits to the Peradeniya Botanical garden
  • Special Theme nights & Cultural shows
  • One day & half a day city tours to Kandy
  • Nature trails to Udawattekele Forest Reserve
  • Bird trails to Hanthana hills
  • Experiencing the traditional Sri Lankan life style
  • Cooking demonstrations etc.

Address : 35, P.B.A. Weerakoon Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Reservations : 0094814472727

Email : sales@mahaweli.com

mareach@slt.lk

Website : www.mahaweli.com

Amaya Lake, Dambulla, Sri Lanka - Reflection of Culture, Nature, and Luxury of Relaxation in the heart of the Cultural Triangle




Located in Dambulla on the shores of the breathtaking Kandalama lake, a retreat dedicated to its environment with an innate understanding of what is required to enjoy the spoils of this rich land without compromising on location, creating a sense of calm, sweeping vistas with dramatic sunsets and dancing foliage, Amaya Lake provides an unparalleled holiday experience with leaves your worldly cares behind.


The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (an affiliate of the Birdlife International) has identified rich in birdlife, Amaya Lake as a bird friendly resort. Enjoy the beautiful song of the White Rumped Shama on your nature walk in the morning while observing number of bird species including the Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, the national bird of Sri Lanka. Some of the highlights are Black capped bulbul, White bellied sea eagle, Tawny bellied babblers, Dark fronted babblers etc. In addition, some of the animals like Black napped hare, Giant squirrel etc. and some of the butterfly species can observe.

Newly added Amaya Superior, the suite room equipped with all modern amenities, spacious bathroom, a pantry with all kitchen utensils, dinning area, plunge pool and a butler service.

Samara restaurant, open-air restaurant with refreshing breezes and views of the lake offers an exquisite array of dishes including Sri Lankan, Western and Indian dishes followed by a flute player weaves a tune from his treetop perch and cultural shows in the night. In addition, homegrown herbal teas, native herbs cultivated at Amaya Lake, a light brew of coriander seeds prepared with the guidance of the Ayurvedic spa serves nightly at Samara restaurant. Healthy specialties cooked on a traditional wooden stove serve at Wewekade Ayurvedic restaurant.

The Ayurvedic Spa offers deep relaxation techniques with a range of indigenous Ayurvedic treatments and tailored treatments in specially designed thatched lodges. Indulge a body massage with medical oils, warm herbal baths in a carved rock tub or a couple’s bath in a tub carved from Diya Labu tree, herbal facial treatments, herbal steam in a Kohoba wood steam bath or a facial massage with herbal oils.

Some of the very attractive features Amaya Lake offers are

  • Bullock cart rides through the village
  • Bird watching
  • Nature walks
  • Barge boat rides on the lake
  • Trips to Kaludiya Pokuna
  • Yoga meditation sessions
  • Night safaris to Minneriya park
  • Cultural shows
  • Barbeque terrace
  • Cultural shows
  • Magic shows
  • Sport facilities

Address : Kap Ela, Kandalama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Telephone : 0094664461800, 0094662231822, 0094114767888

Reservations : sales@amayaresorts.com

Website : www.amayaresorts.com

Friday, May 30, 2008

Warana Cave Temple, Sri Lanka


Warana Cave Temple, situated in Gampaha district surrounded by a tranquil village called "Warana" in Attanagalla area has a proud history of over 1000 years built by King Walagamba and it is a fine display of ancient architecture. These statues of Lord Buddha are inside the cave temple are some of the fine examples of the Creativity of the ancient people. Some of the ancient ruins exist with few kilometer radiuses from this temple and most of the people are not aware of it. Maligathanne Cave Temple, Pilikuththuwa cave temple, Urugala Walagamba cave temple are few examples.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Simple Dwelling


Simple house completely made out of natural materials with only the very basic facilities but provides healthy life while foster you to the nature. Especially in the areas where you find many farmers, you still can see these houses. Life is complicated when people tend to seek more luxury; People born with a simple life still manage to survive in these small dwellings with a healthy life.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Polhena Beach , Matara, Sri Lanka

Polhena beach, one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in my life. Naturally, grown coral reef softens the peak waves so that it is safe to swim in this area throughout the year. A hotspot for colorful fishes around the reef which also has become a good source of income for the unemployed youths to catch them for exporting for domestic fish tanks kept for delight the houses. Located just about two kilometers away from the city of Matara.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka


Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated in the Sabaragamuwa province of Sri Lanka which is about 87 Kilometers away from Colombo. To reach Pinnawala you have to turn from the 82nd kilometer post of the Colombo - Kandy main road and come through Rambukkana road. If you travel by train the nearest railway station to reach Pinnawala is Rambukkana (2 Kilometers from this railway station).

The orphanage has a bunch of 84 elephants at the moment which is also considered as the biggest bunch of elephants in the world that are living under the human supervision. The age groups of these elephants are from One week to 50 years of old.

The orphanage starts at 8.30 am daily for the visitors. At about 10.00 am this bunch of elephants starts walking towards Ma-Oya where they refresh with their daily bathing. Ma-Oya provides the water for drinking bathing for these elephants. The Elephant bathing at Ma-Oya provides a picturesque scene every morning & evening. Most of the visitors enjoy this scene every day while 84 elephants having their bath in this picturesque river according to their own rhythm.

At 13.15 pm the staff of the orphanage starts feeding baby elephants with milk. This is another eye catching event for which most of the visitors enjoys themselves. At 14.00 pm again these elephants are accompanied for bathing at Ma-Oya. They bring back to the orphanage at about 16.00 pm and they are sent to the respective cages where they stay the night.

The elephant orphanage enriches with a restaurant to provide delicious foods & refreshments for the visitors who likes to have some refreshment.

The daily routine of the Orphanage is

  • 08.30 AM - Open for visitors
  • 09.15 AM - Feeding the baby elephants with milk
  • 10.00 AM - Accompanying the elephants for bathing
  • 12.00 - Return to the orphanage after bathing
  • 13.15 AM - Feeding the baby elephants with milk
  • 14.00 PM - Accompanying the elephants for bathing
  • 16.00 PM - Return to the orphanage after bathing
  • 17.00 PM - Feeding the baby elephants with milk
  • 18.00 PM - Close the Orphanage


Safety Tips

  • Please do not enter the restricted areas
  • Smoke only the allocated areas
  • Keep the distance with the elephants
  • Keep the ticket with you
  • Do not disturb the elephants
  • Do not bring the pets



Destination: Asia/Sri Lanka

Special interests: Elephants bathing

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Fortress Hotel, Koggala, Sri Lanka


The Fortress, a luxury boutique resort boasts with 11 fortress rooms, 12 Beach rooms, 18 Ocean rooms, 6 Ocean lofts and 2 Fortress residences, nestled on the shore of the Indian Ocean at Koggala, Sri Lanka. Sensual living spaces, open plan bathrooms, cutting edge entertainment systems with plasma screens, private bar, day bed, in-room safe and IDD telephone facilities ensures its unparalleled luxury resort experience. Lime Spa of the Fortress offers a range of Ayurveda treatments, Homeopathic treatments, international therapies and tailored treatments to stay tuned by using deep relaxation techniques. Adam & Eve massage, Relax foot massage, Head Neck & Shoulder massage, Relaxing back massage, Balinesian back massage are some of the very special treatments they offers at Lime Spa. Also Ritual Ayurvedic one day package including Sublime Awakening(Steam,Sauna,Jacuzzi) , Traditional Ayurvedic massage, Indian head & shoulder massage, Shirodhara is very attractive among the guests who enjoys the luxury at Lime Spa.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hotel Elephant Corridor,Sigiriya


Hotel Elephant Corridor, a luxury boutique hotel situated in Kibissa within the close proximity to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an archeological site considers as the eight wonder of the world, surrounded by 200 acres of untamed jungle with stunning views over Pothana Lake.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Baya Weaver's Nest

Baya Weaver, a famous bird for its very creative nest. The mail bird starts weaving the nest and after weaving to a certain point (top part of the nest), starts singing on it to attract the female bird. Female birds come and inspect the nest to ensure whether it has the capacity to maintain a family. If they satisfied then both get together & complete the nest. Because of their inexperience in weaving nests, the female birds do not attract most of the first time weavers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Practise lighting


This picture is a try out of using only the available candle light.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bullock cart


Bullock carts, a popular mode of transport in the past still remains in the rural areas.

A pair of Oriental White Eye in my home garden

This pair of Oriental White Eye captured on Saturday 19 April in my home garden.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya Forest Complex (A bio-diversity Hotspot in Sri Lanka)

The KDN complex is situated in the southern part of Sri Lanka which is about 147 kilometers away from Colombo. The total forest spread over 10139.3 hectares. The forest complex occupies the interfluves between two rivers the GinGanga and the Nilwala Ganga consists of series of ridges and valleys and the elevation ranges from 60-425M above mean sea level. The mean monthly temperature is around 27C with a diurnal range of 4-5C, Maximum temperature has been recoded from mid May while the annual rainfall in Kanneliya is around 3750 mm.

The Kanneliya forest as a whole are among the most important natural forests in the southern province for protection of the head waters of the Gin and Nilwala which are critically important for socio-economic development in the Galle and Matara districts. This region has identified as floristically one of the richest areas in South Asia. There is a high proportion of endemism among the identified woody plants, with 159 species belonging to 94 genera and 41 families being endemic to Sri Lanka. Some 220 faunal species with 41 endemics have been recorded from the KDN and adjacent forests. Majority of the 20 endemic birds in Sri Lanka are restricted to the rain forests of the Southwest. Large numbers of medicinal plants are found in the KDN forest complex. Some of these plants are
+ Weniwelgata - Concinium fenestratum
+ Kudahedaya - Lycopodium Squarrosum
+ Maha hedaya - Lycopodium phlegmaria
+ Kothala Himbutu - Salacia reticulate
+ Rasakinda - Tinopora cordifolia

Snakes of Kanneliya Forest: A total of 36 species snakes, including 17 endemic forms belonging to six families have been recorded from Kanneliya.

Lizards of Kanneliya Forest: A total of 23 species of lizards including 13 endemic species belonging to four families have been recorded from Kanneliya forest.

Freshwater Fishes of Kanneliya Forest: A total of 38 species of fishes belonging to 14 families have been recorded from Kanneliya forest and among them are 20 endemic species. The Gin Ganga, Udugama Ela, Kanneliya Ela and their shady forest streams provide extremely suitable habitats for their fishes.

Also the Kanneliya forest is an ideal location for bird watching. Numbers of endemic bird species are recoded from Kanneliya forest. Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Orange Billed Babbler, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie can be seen in the Kanneliya forest.
Some Useful Tips:
+ To enter Kanneliya Forest Reserve, tickets should be purchased from the Forest Department office at the entrance.
+ Start the trail early, at least by 8am
+ Wear light colored, comfortable clothes
+ Be prepared for external practices such as Leeches and ticks. Leech proof socks, preferably boots and a suitable external parasite repellent would be very useful
+ Be prepared for sudden changes in weather - it rains often (a cap and a rain coat would come in handy)
+ Avoid walking alone. Always seek the assistance of a trained nature guide from the Forest Department office.
+ Make sure you carry sufficient water, food and a basic first aid kit

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ancient temples & sacred places


Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya situated in Pilikuththuwa, a tranquil village situated in gampaha district.















Walagamba Raja Maha Viharaya near Maligathanne in Gampaha district.

Try out a Lighting theory in photography

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Unspoiled village life in Meemure


Meemure, a charm village situated in the beautiful range of Knuckles Mountains is one of the most beautiful villages I have seen in my life. After walking on a difficult road about 10 kilometers running through beautiful streams, shrubs and valleys we were able to reach this most spectacular village. Simple unspoiled village life remains in this village. Almost all the people are humble enough to smile with us. This picture captured while I am returning from Meemure.

An unusual coconut tree














This coconut tree is rather unusual and I found this creation of nature on the bank of the Sembukulama tank in Anamaduwa area.

Evening beauty of the sky


Photography is another main hobby of mine I do with a very keen interest. Always like to try out some beautiful photographs to enhance my photography skills. This beautiful scenery captured in Kiridiwita in Ganemulla area during the evening sunset over a paddy field.

Birding at Amaya Lake, Kandalama

As a part of my write up and as a hobby I do wherever I go did some birding around this sanctuary where I was able to hear the beautiful song of the White Rumped Shama for the first time of birding in 2008. This property has identified as a bird friendly resort by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka because of its rich birdlife. I did two sessions of birding for which the first session was fifth April 4.30 to 6.30 pm and the second session was on 6th morning from 6.30 to 10.30 am. During my first session, I was able to observe more than 25 species whereas I was able to see more than 40 species on the other session. Some of the highlights are Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, Black capped bulbul, Red Rumped Swallow, Orange breasted green pigeon, Tickell's blue flycatcher, Tawny bellied babbler, White bellied fish eagle. In the same time, I was able to see some animals like black naped hare, giant squirrel and some butterfly species.

Amaya Lake, Kandalama, Sri Lanka