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Archive for January, 2010

Sri Lanka Holidays: Anaconda in Ceylon

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Sri Lanka Anaconda (Anaconda of Ceylon) Vs. Amazon Anaconda

South American name Anaconda is said to have been derived from Sinhalese name, Henakadaya. Among many other dictionaries, The American Dictionary of the English Language indicates that the name could be an alteration of Sinhalese Henakandaya.
It is interesting to note Colonol Percy Fawcett (1867- 1925), who had close encounters, the run-ins with Anaconda while on an expedition to mark the borders of Bolivia, had served in Ceylon too where he met & married his wife.

Could it be possible, in Ceylon, that the tales of Anaconda had fallen into the ears of the Englishman? The Scots magazine, in the year 1768 (99 years prior to the year of birth of Col. Fawcett, 1867), published a narration of an encounter with a 33 feet long monster with a girth as thick as a man’s waist, devouring a leopard of monstrous size, in the island of Ceylon. The narrator, an Englishman by the name E. Edwin, said to had been a resident in Ceylon for many years.
The Ceylonese seemed to know the creature well; they call it Anaconda, talked of eating its flesh when they caught it. And according to E. Edwin they did. “He was cut up; and afforded a flesh whiter than veal, & as they said that ate of it, finer tasted than any flesh whatever”

However there is no record of  Sinhalese ever having taken to eat snake meat  in Sri Lanka.

Could it be possible, Colonel Fawcett carried the name, Anaconda to Bolivia from Ceylon? Fawcett had a run-in with one not long after he arrived in South America. In his diary he noted: “We were drifting easily along on the sluggish current not far below the confluence of Tiger and the Rio Negro when almost under the bow of the igarit’e (boat) there appeared a triangular head and several feet of undulating body. It was a giant anaconda. I sprang for my rifle as the creature began to make its way up the bank, and hardly waiting to aim smashed a .44 soft-nosed bullet into its spine, ten feet below the wicked head. At once there was a flurry of foam, and several heavy thumps against the boat’s keel, shaking us as though we had run on a snag… ”

The Colonel made seven expeditions between 1906 & 1924. On 29th Many 1925, a message was sent from Fawcett to his wife, indicating that they were ready to enter unexplored territory. The three were sending back the assistants that had helped them to this point & were ready to go on by themselves. Fawcett told his wife “You need have no fear of failure…” It was the last anyone ever heard of the expedition. They disappeared into the Jungle never to be seen again. Despite Fawcett’s wishes, several rescue expeditions tried to find him, but without success. Occasionally there were intriguing reports that he’d been seen, but none of these were ever confirmed. So what happened to Colonel Fawcett. What danger that had eluded in the past had gotten him this time? Hostile Indians? A giant Anaconda? Piranhas? Disease? Starvation? Or was it, as one told, he’d lost his memory & lived out the rest of his life as a chief among a tribe of cannibals? Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad? Red by Somerset Maugham?

The South American anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is a semi aquatic boa that inhabits swamps. The family Boidae (boas and pythons) includes the world’s largest snakes, the South American anaconda and the Asian reticulated python, as well as the smaller boa constrictor and the tree and sand boas. Python (Molurus molurus) (Southern India and Sri Lanka), is a large (maximum length 6-7 meters) & powerful carnivorous snake with a large girth.

During the British colonial period in (1805-1948), a considerable territory of the dense jungles in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka was cleared for coffee plantations & then for tea plantations, following the Coffee Blight. Could it be Sri Lanka Anaconda, which ambushed upon prey ranging from leopards to deer, in trees rather than in marshy areas as its cousins in the Amazon, gradually became extinct?  During Sri Lanka Holidays, you will have an opportunity to have a pet Python wrapped over your shoulders and pose for a photo shoot, if you are a lover of snakes.


 


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Sri Lanka Holidays: Ancient Mahinda and all living beings; Modern Mahinda and all Sri Lankans

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Sri Lanka Holidays: Ancient Mahinda and all living beings; Modern Mahinda and all Sri Lankans. Written by bunpeiris

This earth belongs to all living beings; My Sri Lanka, Our Island belongs to all Sri Lankans. Carbon Clean Sri Lanka: A Tourism Earth Lung; Free Sri Lanka: One nation Sri Lanka Holidays Skanda Pandia Lanka Light and Enlightenment strive to shed light on you all.

More than a couple millenniums before the modern terminology of green earth, sustainable environment, preserving ecology, eco-orientation, eco friendly environment, sustainable tourism, eco–oriented hotels etc. came into everyday vocabulary as a result of global warming caused by environmental pollution-hazardous wastes, loss of forest cover, depletion of Ozone layer-the concept of United Biology was rooted in the ancient Indian ocean island of Sri Lanka Holidays.

Mihintale, Sri Lanka Holidays

Mihintale, Sri Lanka Holidays

Mahinda makes the Deer Hunter to give a fair chase
As the very life begins with water, Mahinda too began with water: Arhath (supremely enlightened) Mahinda following water festival in ancient Sri Lanka; modern Mahinda, the Hero of Modern Sri Lanka, with the humanitarian operation watershed at opening the sluice gates of the reservoir at “Mother River”(Mavil Aru) closed down by the enemy of the nation.

Following a water festival in Anuradhpura, King Devanam Piya Tissa went on to enjoy royal hunting at Mihintale. Having tracked a deer and found it browsing in a thicket. The king, ever the sportsman thinking in line of gamesmanship “It is not proper to shoot an animal while it is inattentive” twanged his bow string so that the deer could be alerted for a fare chase. The deer took to flight and the king, hot in pursuit, was at the summit of the hill of Mihintale in no time.

That was no less than a couple of millenniums ago during the reign of King Devanam Piya Tissa, (307-266 BC), great grandson of Princess Unmada Chithra and Prince Digagamini of Sri Lanka, the destination of Total Holiday Experience, Sri Lanka Holidays.

Mahinda poses a close encounter of the third kind to the Deer Hunter.
It was at the summit that the king found himself at a close encounter of the third kind. The king asked “How did you come?” Arhath Mahinda replied, “Neither by land nor by water” The state of supreme spiritual enlightenment of Buddhist missionary Arahat Mahinda, is believed to have enabled him to travel by air. The soothsayers foresaw the consequences of Mahinda in no time: the earth has been taken by them. They will be lords of the island.”

Mahinda preaches Sinhalese the equal rights to all living beings
Foremost of all matters, Arhath Mahinda infused upon the fledging nation of Sinhalese the value of all life. “Oh! Great King, the birds of the air & the beasts have an equal right to live & move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the peoples & all other beings & thou art only the guardian of it” said Arahat Mahinda to King Devanam Piya Tissa. That was to follow the very words of Buddha “all fear death; comparing others with oneself, one should neither kill nor cause to kill”. Following the sermons by Arhath Mahinda, Mihintale was declared a wildlife sanctuary by the king. The royal hunting grounds of Mihintale of Sri Lanka Holidays became the first ever recorded wildlife sanctuary in the world.

Mahinda instill upon the Sinhalese the doctrine of Live and let live
“The forest is a unique organism of boundless compassion and benevolence that makes no demand for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity: it affords protection of all beings, offering shade and shelter even to the axe man, the lumberjack who destroys it.” Shakyamuni Gauthama Buddha’s concept of “Live and Let live” geared towards all living beings as preached by Arhath Mahinda took root in the glorious ancient Sinhalese civilization to run its due course.

Mahinda preaches the Sinhalese to arrive at conclusions only following reasoning and careful deductions.
The first ever sermon by Mahinda in Sri Lanka was Gauthama Buddha’s Chulla Hattipadopama Sutta or simile of Elephant Footprint. The simile brings to life how one must weigh all possibilities in a given situation prior to arrival at the deduction. An elephant hunter simply by seeing a large foot print wouldn’t come to the conclusion that the footprint was a tell tale sign of a large bull elephant. The footprint could well be that of specie of dwarf elephant (extinct today) with big feet. Then again scratch marks and tusk slashes high up wouldn’t allow for the conclusion either since a tall female elephant with prominent teeth & big feet could have been the cause. In the circumstance, these possibilities could call for conclusive evidence or even witnessing the elephant itself. During Sri Lanka Holidays you will enjoy elephants in national parks and reserves of Sri Lanka.

Mahinda’s arrival makes a singular watershed event in the history of Sri Lanka.
If ever a single event shaped and signalized the course of the Sinhala nation’s destiny, it was the arrival of Arhath Mahinda from India and subsequent conversion of whole populace of Sinhalese into Buddhism. The gentle sway of the doctrine was to take root in the Sinhalese civilization to last for 5000 years. Unbroken, recorded Sinhalese Buddhist Civilization has survived since 543 BC for 2553 years till today. We reveal for you to revel: Our Island, Our Nation and Our Faith will prevail for another 2547 years until the emergence of next Buddha, Maithri Buddha. Fear not, Prince Diyasena has arrived.

Mahinda, The Hero of Modern Sri Lanka

Mahinda, The Hero of Modern Sri Lanka

Mahinda hailing from Ruhuna rescues the nation and becomes the Hero of Modern Sri Lanka.
On 26th July 2006, having launched the unparalleled humanitarian operation liberation with “The Turn of the Screw” (opening the sluice gate of reservoir closed by the enemy of the nation) at “Mother River” (Mavil Aru) and overcoming the numerous meddle and muddle stands of western interferences and intimidations, peerless Prince Diyasena aka Don Percy Mahendra (Mahinda) Rajapakse, hailing from Buddiyagama Weeraketiya in the Ruhunu Giruwa Pattuwa, on 19th May 2009, at the ‘Sea of Conches” (Nanthikkadal) vanquished the enemy of the nation, who put the island to torch and sword, bullets and bombs for nearly three decades.

Mahinda proclaims we are one.
Having united the nation under one standard, the magnanimous victor, Mahinda proclaimed: “We no longer have any more minorities; we have patriots. And we have those who are not patriots, which is the minority”. This Land is My Land; This Land is Your Land, from Point Pedro to Dondra Head. This is My Sri Lanka, Your Island. What we see today is nothing less than the birth of Modern Sri Lanka and renaissance of the least promoted tourist destination in the world, the modern, medieval and ancient Sri Lanka Holidays.



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Sri Lanka Holidays Stone Temple by bunpeiris

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The Stone Temple of Sri Lanka Holidays versus bunpeiris

Big Buddha & Little I at the Stone Temple (Gal Vihara) of Sri Lanka Holidays
My inspiration from Buddhism. Written by bunpeiris.

gal-vihara-6
Robert Knox, escaping in 1679 from a long captivity among the Sinhalese, had brought home stories of “a world of hewn stone pillars” he had passed during his flight through Anuradhapura of Sri lanka Holidays. His narrative was printed in 1817. Nearly a century & a half after Knox’s journey, a pioneer officer, Lieutenant Mitchell Henry Fagan of the 2nd Ceylon Regiment, forcing his way through almost impenetrable undergrowth in 1820 had come face to face with a colossal statue gazing out at him from the foliage: Gal Vihara.
A colossal figure of Buddha cut from a granite wall was most serenely gazing at him from out of the foliage. “I cannot describe what I felt at that moment,” he wrote.

Neither could I when I first saw the great statues at the tender age of 8. It was like dream that you dream when just about to wake up. And you wake up with the dream & still on a cloud. But the upright Big Buddha most definitely smiled at me. Am I dreaming? No, Big Buddha smiled again.

Since then, for a decade, I had been traveling yearly with my maternal grandfather Prangige Silmon Peter Peiris Gunaratne ( P. S. P.Gunaratne-Podi Veda Mahataya, Sri Wijaya Ayurveda Medical Hall, Ratmalana) of Lakshapatiya, Moratuwa, who used to take all his relations & friends numbering around 30 for pilgrimage of fortnight at his expense on yearly basis during his prosperous days. Imagine 4 a.m. Lakshpatiya, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 1970s, young & old relations & friends all in full swing, pilgrim mode, spellbinding stories of village serpent medic Grand uncle Romeal (still tall and as straight as an arrow in Clint Eastwood style), Pol mal (coconut fronds), Ebert Silva passenger bus, Buddhist Homage Gathas (Thunyam sarane), large metal cauldrons & large clay pots, stuff & goods, baskets & sacks, dhal & dry fish, spices & local Palm honey sweet. How do you begin to write, how do you end writing? I have no idea.
My father (Baminaheennadige Donald Benedict Peiris, Lakshapatiya Rd., Moratuwa read “THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH” in www.bunpeiris.com) had been warning my maternal grandfather against excessive advertisements. Headstrong & flamboyant to the boot, my maternal grand father (Prangige Silmon Peter Peiris Gunaratne, Lakshapatiya, Moratuwa) had a devil may care attitude & paid scent respect to book keeping. Somebody had been following his two page advertisements in newspapers, musical advertisement at 11 am on Radio Ceylon: Aswaya gone tik tik. (then kids hit song Come’n Let’s ride the horse) Kumara Shanthiya (meaning Blessings to the Prince in Sanskrit) sure-fire Ayurvedic medication syrup of infants, toddlers, the tender young for all stomach upsets. The high flying stalwart was destined, most unfortunately, to have his wings clipped.
Another decade later, the greatest spoil sport of all time, Department of Inland Revenue of Ceylon made Ayu. Dr. Prangige Silmon Peter Peiris Gunaratne of Sri Vijaya Oushada Shalwa (Shri Vijaya Medical Hall, next to Vijitha Cinema, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka) bankrupt. How the mighty have fallen! Like an enormous tree that gave shade to all who came. My flamboyant philanthropist grandfather who had a couple of 1 Shri licence plate British made Austin Cambridge cars & a sizeable property of lands & houses lost all.
The concept of Sri Lanka Holidays commenced forming in the hearts of hearts.
Another decade later when I remarked I would love to set up luxury tour operations to draw in foreign tourists to show off my land & name the tour packages My Sri Lanka Holidays and Peter Peiris Fortnight, my father chuckled that my maternal grandfather would turn in his grave: his was charity pilgrimage with no pretensions of comforts at all; my dreams were of luxury travel with a view to profit. Not exactly, this is Sri Lanka Holidays, the Total Holiday Experience, I protested. I went on pushing my point. All the same, it’s a fair deal, I take my country to them, or rather bring them to my land, I argued. I reveal for them to revel with Sri Lanka Holidays. The concept of Sri Lanka Holidays commenced simmering in my mind.
In time, my grandfather was to provide me the inspiration to compose 108 web page website on Sri Lanka with great emphasis on the numerous Buddhist cultural attractions of Sri Lanka Holidays.
Unlike the German tourists, the British tourists seek for touring holiday packages with cultural orientation. After all it was them who rediscovered the lost cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya of Sri Lanka Holidays.


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Vil Uyana

Kandalama Heritance

Amangalla

Amanwella

Amaya Hills

Saman Villas

Elephant Corridor

Deer Park Hotel


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