ISOLATION ESCAPISM – SRI LANKA
The Teardrop of India
- 20th April 2020
Whilst we cannot physically transport you to our destinations themselves at present, we would like to offer you a little virtual escapism. We do hope that they will be a welcome distraction as we sit out these extraordinary times, and act as an inspiration for your next adventure.
In our fifth Isolation Escape we invite you to take a journey through Sri Lanka, the tear-drop island taking shelter off the south-east tip of India. Infamous for its mouth-watering cuisine, diverse landscapes, traditional culture, historical sites and blossoming wildlife, this colonial treasure is a gentle introduction to the Indian Subcontinent.
We begin our trip in the mid-north of the country, and the spectacular Cultural Triangle. Mapped out by the ancient capital of Anuradhapura, the ruins of Polonnaruwa, and the scared city of Kandy, the area is home to six of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including the rock fortress of Sigirya and the Dambulla Cave Temples. Each locale bears witness to the remarkably advanced civilisations that Sri Lanka’s historical kings developed, based on agriculture, Buddhism and the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda.
Moving southward through Sri Lanka, we leave the arid terrain of the mid north behind, settling instead in the island’s undulating Hill Country, comprising mountain streams, cascading waterfalls and its prominent peaks draped in emerald tea plantations. Steeped in colonial character, thanks to the British planters who flocked to the area in the 1800’s, refurbished planters bungalows are dotted throughout the area, making the most of the picturesque views on offer in abundance. Boasting one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, most commonly taken from Kandy, deep into the tea country, eyes are also drawn toward Horton Plains National Park, home to “World’s End”, where the expansive plateau comes to an abrupt end, dropping nearly 1000m, offering one of the most dramatic views in Sri Lanka.
Continuing our journey south-east through Sri Lanka, we arrive in Yala, the nation’s second largest national park, bordering the Indian Ocean. Best known for its variety of wild animals, Yala plays an important role in the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds. Harbouring 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka, the park has recorded 44 different species of mammal among its inhabitants including the charismatic Sloth Bear, and boasts one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
Our final stop on our journey through Sri Lanka brings us to the glorious Galle Coast, set on the southwest shores of the island. The fortified old town of Galle is a destination in itself, the 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site, bursting with shops selling antiques, gifts and art, cafes, museums, charming hotels and town houses. Outside the fort, the international cricket stadium and markets are a sight to behold. To the east and west, Galle gives way to beautiful beaches, colonial villas and stylish boutique hotels while delightful villages, lakes, rice paddies and plantations allow a glimpse of local village life.
If you’d like to start planning a holiday to Sri Lanka while waiting for this storm to pass, please drop us a line and we’ll be delighted to send you further information on this absorbing and hospitable destination.
‘[Ceylon is] undoubtedly the finest island of its size in all the world’