Sri Lanka ChichiChic Top 10 Highlights Chichi Chic

Sri Lanka’s documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.

According to Wikipedia, Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972. Sri Lanka’s recent history has been marred by a 30-year civil war, which decisively ended when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

We got to explore lush green tea plantations as well as one of the main tea factories in Sri Lanka. Of note, Ceylon Silver Tips, commonly known as White Tea/ Silver needle, is a very rare and expensive Ceylon tea in Sri Lanka. Only a small team of experienced pickers handpick just the buds from select bushes. Ceylon Tea Plantation Tea Factory in Sri Lanka 3. Lots of Hiking

One of the most physically challenging things I have ever done (apart from giving birth to a 9 lb baby boy without an epidural or any pain medications whatsoever 😲😣) was my climb up Sigiriya in Sri Lanka @sigiriyasrilanka . Sigiriya (considered to be the 8th wonder of the world by Sri Lankans) is a fortress complex that includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhabited for several thousand years. Since 3rd century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here. After his death Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned. It became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya stands 660 feet tall and it takes 1200 steps up to climb to the top. Sigiriya–the 8th Wonder of the World The King’s Swimming Pool on top of Sigiriya Lion’s Paw Sigiriya (Sigiriya means Lion Rock)

There is something for every traveler type from luxury and boutique hotels to eco-adventure types. We stayed at the Heritance Kandalama in Dambulla—it is located in a serene area of the mountainside overlooking the Kandalama Lake and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, providing guests an ambience of luxury and sophistication. Heritance Kandalama, Dambulla set amidst the all green tropical landscape is eco-friendly and luxurious all at once. From timber paneled rooms to an infinity pool and restaurants to relish local and international cuisine as well as luxurious spa treatments, the service quality of the hotel was a (VERY) welcome retreat after a tough day’s hike. Aerial View: Heritance Kandalama Heritance Kandalama Hotel Room at Heritance Kandalama The Infinity Pool at Heritance Kandalama 6. Caves

Considered endangered, the Sri Lankan subspecies of Elephants is the largest and darkest of the Asian Elephants. The herd size in Sri Lanka ranges from 12-20 individuals or more. It is led by the oldest female, or matriarch. The Sri Lankan elephant population has fallen almost 65% since the turn of the 19th century. Today, the Sri Lanka elephant is protected under the Sri Lankan law and killing one carries the death penalty (yikes!) Sri Lankan Elephants Majestic Beasts

The Sacred Relic of the tooth of Buddha ( Pali danta dhātuya) is venerated in Sri Lanka as a cetiya “relic” of Gautama Buddha, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died in 543 BC, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kushinagar and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by his disciple, Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte’s country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (modern Puri, Odisha).

A lot of the Sri Lankan landscape (especially in the rural regions) reminded me so much of my home country, Nigeria, all the way almost 5000 miles away in West Africa. During one of our excursions, we rode on a horse-drawn carriage to a banana boat which we sailed on to small village where we ate authentic Sri Lankan food. We then drove back to the urban center in a Tuk Tuk. Sri Lankan Tuk Tuk Horse Power: Sri Lanka Get on the boat… Sri Lanka Pounding Millet Seeds in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan dishes include rice and curry, pittu, kiribath, wholemeal roti, string hoppers, wattalapam (a rich pudding of Malay origin made of coconut milk, jaggery, cashew nuts, eggs, and spices including cinnamon and nutmeg), kottu, and hoppers. Jackfruit may sometimes replace rice. Traditionally food is served on a plantain leaf or lotus leaf. Traditional Sri Lankan food Sri Lankan Feast 10. Sri Lankans

From the most amazing tour guides ever to all the people we met along the way during our visit, we were treated with so much welcome, love and hospitality. I hope to be back for another visit (especially since I still need to ride on the train in Sri Lanka from Ella to Kandy–often dubbed the most beautiful train journey in the world.) Koshala Rathnayake