• Ankitha Prakash

The Sri Lankan Tour: Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016

The visit to Sri Lanka was short but a memorable one! Booked a round trip from Chennai International Airport (Chennai, India) to Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo, Sri Lanka) through SpiceJet Airline services in less than twenty thousand rupees (around $300)! I know the number hit you, they are famous in India for their low-cost travel itineraries. Reached Colombo at around Eight in the morning (1.5h journey) and hired a taxi to get to the hotel. Checked in, had breakfast and later got ready to explore the city in the famous Sri Lankan Tuk Tuk! I felt travelling using the Tuk Tuk was the best. The drivers are very good at guiding the tour, they give you the time of the world to explore each place (very patient) plus, the rates are so low.

📍 Gangaramaya Temple

This was the most famous attractions of the Colombo city. The Buddhist Temple featured a Vihara (temple), the Cetiya (Pagada), Vihara Mandiraya (colorful Buddha statues), Seema Malakaya (assembly hall for monks), the bodhi tree, the Relic Chamber as well as a library and a museum. The temple has a serene look and it is a blend of Sri Lankan, Chinese, Thai, and Indian architecture. Though I enjoyed visiting all its features, Seema Malakaya remains to be my favorite. It is used as a meditation hall by the monks and was so peaceful to even watch it with the Beira Lake (a few hundred meters away) on one of its sides! Also, its three-fold-modern architecture, religious importance and cultural significance has paved the way for its popularity.

Keep this in the priority list while you are in Colombo city! 🙂

📍 Independence Memorial Hall

Next, the Tuk Tuk driver took to the Independence square in the Cinnamon Gardens in about five minutes from the Gangaramaya temple. The Independence Memorial hall which was built to mark the commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule. The building was designed by a group of eight notable architects and was quite impressive.

📍 Galle Face Beach

Finally, it was time to go to a point where I could relax and just kick in the mood to enjoy the Colombo city. In about 10 minutes (by Tuk Tuk again), we reached the Galle face beach. The beach is famous for the Galle face green, a huge green patch of land where you can sit and have a picnic or just relax with the sea breeze and having some of the amazing street food from stalls available just beside. I have been there during the sunset time which made relax to an extent that helped me have a good night’s sleep.

The next destination was to Matara city, as that was the sole purpose of my travel: to attend The Sri Lankan Wedding (Poruwa Ceremony)! You can read about it on my other blog post “The Sri Lankan Wedding”.