Pearl of the Indian Ocean

sri lanka relationTo the Greeks it was Salike, to the Portuguese Trapobana, English named it Ceylon, and Arabs Tenerism. So many names for a little piece of earth. It lies in the ocean and effortlessly carries the weight of 2000 plus years of different cultures, traditions, beliefs, lives and deaths, being a witness of the time, of its transience and eternity.

You have just walked into the place where there is more to see than there ever can be. Blinking, step into the sun, because you are near the beginning. And this is not a metaphor. By climbing several thousand steps you will reach the place where primordial man first set foot on Earth. For over a thousand years Adam’s peak, also called Samanalakanda (Butterfly Mountain), has been a sacred mountain for followers of four of the world’s major religions. According to the Sri Lankans, Adam, Shiva, and Buddha left a giant footprint on the top of the last paradise on earth. Many mortals are drawn by the beauty of the place and the sense of divine; enchanted by an alluring beauty of the unbearable lightness of being. in this true place of quiet.

The sacred mountain is located in Nuwara Eliya, a city in the hill country of Sri Lanka. To reach the city of light (meaning of the city name) get on to “Udarata Menike” train from Colombo /Kandy. The train is traveling through the tea plantations of the world tea exporter. During a couple of hour’s spectacular journey, you will find yourself breaking free. There is a saying that earth has music for those who listen. This little island sounds exactly like a music of the spheres, perfect harmony of existence. It will simply inflate your lungs with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people.

Sri Lankan nature, culture, traditions & religion are intertwined and representing a perfect circle of life. The majestic grandeur and simplicity of Sri Lankan temples will leave you breathless. Welcome to Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings’ era, the holy city, a beautiful spiritual place, home to “The Temple of the Tooth Relic” (Sri Dalada Maligawa), one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. One of the famous attractions here is “The Kandy Esala Perahera”. Grand festival, a unique symbol of Sri Lanka, consists of many traditional local dances such as whip-dances, fire-dances, and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually embellished with lavish garments.

A sacred animal and a national symbol of Sri Lanka, the elephant has always lived alongside farmers. It was not a long time ago when every Sri Lankan boy used to dream of becoming a mahouts, an elephant keeper. The Elephant orphanage is yet another attraction that is a must-see here. From the beautiful orphanage to elephant showers to elephant riding this place offers it all.

In “the garden city of the East”, you will find bustling, but quiet and restful life. Colombo has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes, ruled by several different colonizers. It is the city of endless contradictions, imbued with wisdom of Buddhism and history of communism; with colonial architecture and temples sitting side by side; with pure nature and growing cosmopolitanism, and still creating the perfect circle of life.

To earth it is Indian’s teardrop, a unique pearl of the Ocean. Friendly, peaceful, fascinating. It is simply a little piece of heaven on earth. (Khaleej Times)

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