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


Reservations :

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 :

Website :

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


Telephone : 0094114767888, 0094812233521, 2

Website :

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 :

Website :

Inquiries :

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 :

Website :

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 :

Website :