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Archive for June, 2012

Malu Malu Resort

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah

Location of Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah
Malu Malu Resort & Spa is located on the beach of Passekudah of the Eastern coast of  Sri Lanka halfway between Arugambay and Trincomalee: 115km north of Passekudah in the eastern coast is Trincomalee; 145km south of Passekudha is Sri Lanka Holidays surf beach of Arugam Bay [Arugambay].

Reaching Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah, Eastern coast
Passekudah can be reached from Sri Lanka Holidays Polonnaruwa [a UNSECO World Heritage Site], the eastern point of the Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle. Distance from Polonnaruwa to Passekudah is 68km.
Distance from Colombo to Polonnaruwa via Kurunegala [48 km to the north along Hiripitiya Road and Madagalla Road is Sri Lanka Holidays cultural attraction of Yapahuwa] and Dambulla [home to Sri Lanka Holidays Golden Dambulla Rock Temple-a UNSECO World Heritage Site encompassed in Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle] is 223 km [4 1/2 hours drive]

Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah

Tourist Season
The tourist season for the eastern coast is during April to September. Pasekudah Bay is safe for swimming during this secondary tourist season.
The season for the western and south western coastal belts studded with loveliest palm-fringed bay beaches is during the months of October to April- the main tourist season of Sri Lanka.

Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah

Setting of  Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah
Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah is set up in a block of land spanning a 2-acres in the pristine beach of silvery sands of Passikudha bay of shallow waters. So shallow are the waters the tourists holidaying in Sri Lnka Holidays are able to wade out 30-50 meters into the lagoon like waveless sea of turquoise waters.

Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah Beach

Sri Lanka Holidays Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials of Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah:
To be edited

Architectural concept of Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah
Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah is not at all a modern architectural marvel; it is a far cry from such a concept. The beach resort is fashioned out of the layout of the traditional cluster of fishing huts: it is set up in an arc facing the beach resembling a wadiya [Sinhala: fishing village],
Still more, the front view of  chalets at Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah, has an exterior appearance somewhat resembling that of a primitive fishing village hut; but then once in, there awaits the luxury.

Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah

Accommodation at Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah
Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah consists of 40 chalets of high sloping roofs. Most of the exterior walls are paneled with timber. The bedrooms are softly furnished with double or twin beds draped over with crisp white linen.
The air-conditioned rooms are equipped with  tea/coffee facility, mini-bar, safe, overhead fan and LCD TV with satellite channels,
Ensuite bathrooms are of polished cement walls and the flooring are contemporary in design with, h/w showers.

The First wedding at Malu Malu: Olga Yurievna Gorbacheva married Vladimir Alexandroich Luchakovskiy on 18th February 2012

The First wedding at Malu Malu: Olga Yurievna Gorbacheva married Vladimir Alexandroich Luchakovskiy on 18th February 2012

Deluxe Chalets
24 Deluxe Chalets at Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah consists of two floors. While the ground floor opens out to a private terrace, the upper floor houses a double room that opens out to a balcony bringing in spectacular views of the beach of shallow waters.
8 of the 24 Deluxe Chalets have interconnecting doors.

Deluxe Chalets with Attic
8 chalets of Malu Malu Resort & Spa,  Passekudah feature an attic room furnished with twin beds in addition to the double bedroom on the ground floor. These 8 chalets are ideal for the families with grown up children and friends holidaying together.

Ocean Suites and Panoramic Suites
Ocean Suites and Panoramic Suites are the closest chalets to the beach. These eight suites are set up in groups of four. Each group is provided with steam room,Jacuzzi, exclusive private dining deck, and 24 hour butler service.

Facilities at Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah
Karadiya [Sinhala: sea water], the main restaurant with open sides brings in grand views of the beach and the swimming pool. Karadiya restaurant serves International cuisine as well as Sri Lankan cuisine.
Habala [Sinhala: boating paddle] and Ruwala [Sinhala: sail cloth] are seafood restaurant cum bar located closer to the beach.
The air-conditioned jazz bar and night club serves a range of alcoholic beverages in the evenings.
Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah is also equipped with an Ayurvedic Spa and a gym. It also provide facilities for surfing, snorkelling and boating.

The First wedding at Malu Malu: Olga Yurievna Gorbacheva married Vladimir Alexandroich Luchakovskiy on 18th February 2012

The First wedding at Malu Malu: Olga Yurievna Gorbacheva married Vladimir Alexandroich Luchakovskiy on 18th February 2012

Excursions
Kalkudah beach located 2km from Passikudaha beach
Polonnaruwa located 68 km east of Passikudha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plolonnaruwa, a prime cultural attraction of Sri Lanka is replete with ruins, restored ruins, ancient monuments and the lifeline to the region: ancient irrigation reservoirs

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Sinhalese Buddhist Heritage

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Sri Lanka’s Contributions to the World Heritage 1

Perseverance of Theravada Buddhism
“From its inception, the Tipitaka, the universal and sacred scriptures of the Buddhasasana [Sinhala: Buddhist doctrine], and Pali, its sublime language, enlightened the Asian civilization. It is through the Tipitaka and the bearers of the Tipitaka that both South Asia and Southeast Asia learned to read and write, found peace and prosperity, and developed cultural and friendly ties among civilized countries of the world.”
Don Percy Mahendra Rajapakse aka Prince Diyasena, the Hero of Modern Sri Lanka at the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Colombo on March 6, B.E. 2549 (2006)pali tipitaka

1st century BC
While the hoards of painted barbarians were still fighting the two legions of Julius Caesar at the beachhead (modern Wilmer) on the coast of Kent (55 BC) of England, Sinhalese of Sri Lanka had already emerged a civilized and highly literate nation.
The epitome of Theravada Buddhism, the Pali canon called Tipitaka (3 books) was committed to writing by 500 Buddhist monks on processed and polished Ola palm leaves in Pali language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language of north Indian origin, related to Old Indo-Aryan Vedic and Sanskrit dialects, at Aluvihara Temple in Matale, close to Kandy during 88 -76 BC, under the patronage of Sinhalese King Vattagamini Abbaya (Valagambahu) [108 BC, 89-76 BC] , the builder of Golden Dambulla Rock Cave Temple.
Until then the words of Buddha (6th century BC), the most profound religion ever, had been handed down by means of committing to memory and oral recitations for generations.Tipitaka
5th century AD
The most significant contribution in translation and dissemination of Theravada Buddhism was made by Indian Buddhist scholar named Buddhaghosa (Pali: Voice of Buddha), who arrived in Sri Lanka Holidays Anuradhapura in the 5th century AD. Buddhaghosa settled down to peruse his studies on an enormous volume of commentarial texts that had been assembled and preserved by the monks of the Mahavihara at Sri Lanka HolidaysSacred City of Anuradhapura, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buddhaghosa presents his Visuddhimagga (P?li: Path of Purification), a comprehensive manual of Theravada Buddhism that is still read and studied today:  a panel of the murals at Kelaniya Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Buddhaghosa, a panel of the murals at Kelaniya Temple, Sri Lanka

While Tripitaka was preserved in Pali language (a literary form of the vernacular which the Buddha used in his discourses), the commentaries elucidating it were produced in Sri Lanka in Sinhala language. Having studied the text in its entirety, the indomitable Buddhist scholar sought permission to synthesize the assembled Sinhalese-language commentaries into an all encompassing, encapsulating single commentary composed in Pali language.
Taken aback with Buddhaghosa’s request, the Sinhalese Buddhist monks at Aluvihara put the Indian scholar to the test: he was assigned the task of elaborating the doctrine regarding two verses of the suttas (discourses). The result was an unparalleled classic: Visuddhimagga (Pali: Path of Purification), a comprehensive manual of Theravada Buddhism that is still read and studied today.
The Sinhalese Buddhist monks at Mahavihara, Anuradhpura, having reviewed the works of Buddhagosha and pleased to no ends, acceded to his request and provided him with the entire mass of their Sinhalese commentaries.

12th century AD
In the 12th century, during the glorious reign of King Parakramabahu the Great, the Sinhalese Buddhist monk Sariputta added his own interpretations imbued with literal accuracy as well as essential meaning to the works of Buddhaghosa enhancing the reputation of Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka throughout Southeast Asia.

20th century AD
2500th anniversary of the final extinction (end of the cycle of birth, death and rebirth-cause and result) of Shakyamuni Gauthama Buddha fell in the Vesak (May) month of the 1956 AD. In commemoration of Buddha Jayanthi, Myanmar rose to the occasion to host the sixth Buddhist Convention (Chatta Sangayana) in Myanmar, to recite the Pali Tripitaka (The Buddhist Canon).
Buddhists all-over the world drew up programs to contribute to the celebrate Buddha Jayanthi. Sri Lanka, the custodian of pure Theravada Buddhism in the world launched the literary project of translating Tripitaka Pali language into Sinhala language. Sri Lanka Holidays provides you the opportunity to visit Aluvihare rock temple, where the Tripitaka was first committed to writing.

Perseverance of an unparalleled Historical Chronicle of Sri Lanka: Mahavamsa
“One of the greatest contributions of the Sinhalese people to the cultural development of South & South East Asia & to world literature is the creation of a historic literature. It is well-known that on the Indian sub continent before the invasion of the Islamic conquerors virtually no historic literature had developed. Sri Lanka tells a different story. In the Dipavamsa & Mahavamsa & in various other Sinhalese texts, we are given an account of the political & cultural history of the island from earliest times until the present time’
(Wilhelm Geiger- His Life & Works, Heinz Bechert, 2nd ed., 69)Mahavamsa

The Sinhalese of Sri Lanka are adorned with the unrivaled distinction of being in possession of uninterrupted chronicled history of theirs exceeding monumental 2550 years, which commenced with the arrival of Prince Vijaya from Bengal, East India in 543 BC. No nation in the world, inclusive of India and China, has a historical chronicle comparable to Mahavamsa. The Mahawamsa is written in Pali-the lingua franca of the Theravada Buddhist world at different times in Sri Lanka’s history by a succession of learned and pious Buddhist monks beginning with Mahanama Maha Thera (sixth century AD). Buddhist scholar Mahanama Maha Thera is believed to be an uncle of King Dhathusena, whose flamboyant son Kashaypa (479-497 AD), who reigned in great splendor and aspired to be god king, is credited with the glory of Sri Lanka Holidays Lion Rock Citadel of Sigiriya.
Today, Mahanama seems a man ahead of his time: definitely he must have valued to no ends propagating the cause of fledging Aryan Sinhalese nation to the world. His medium of publicity was the language of Pali: his eye was focused on a wider readership, at least South-East Asia; he opted to make matters easier for would be touring scholars of the caliber of Buddhgohsa who had, first of all, to be proficient in Sinhala language to translate Sinhalese commentaries on the epitome of Theravada Buddhism, the Pali canon called Tipitaka (3 books) into Pali.
The first part of Mahavamsa narrates the era spanning the reign of 54 rulers of Sri Lanka from King Vijaya (543-505 BC) to King Mahasena (273-301 AD). The second part of Mahavamsa named Chulavamsa narrates the era spanning the reign of 111 rulers beginning with King Sirimeghavanna (302-330 AD) to the last King of Lanka Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe (1798-1815 AD).
It is believed Mahanama Maha Thera made use of Dipavamsa, a historical chronicle written a couple of centuries before and Sinhala-Attha-katha-Mahavamsa, composed in Sinhala from various earlier sources, which included Purana-style genealogies & lineages of the Buddhist order. Author of commentaries upon Mahavamsa called Mahavamsa Tika that was written between 1000 AD & 1100 AD is not known. Since Mahavamsa Tika contains information not found in Mahavamsa or Deepavamsa, it is believed that the author of Tika had access to Mahavamsa Attha-katha. From his narrations, it could be deduced that author of commentaries (tika) also supposed Mahavamsa Attha-katha to be known to his readers & accessible to all.

Authenticity of history of Sri Lanka chronicled in Mahavamsa is amply borne out by archaeological, epigraphical and numismatic evidence which corroborates supplements and clarifies the wealth of information recorded in it. The Aryan civilization in Sri Lanka, at least two centuries before the advent of Buddhism in Sri Lanka (Third century BC) and emergence of learned Buddhist monks as historiographers, had already taken to record the dynastic history of the then fledging island nation of the Sinhalese. If such stuff is for the scholars and serious readers of archeology and history, we can make it much easier to the Tourists at Sri Lanka Holidays.

Ruins, renovated and restored monuments, thousands of restored ancient irrigation networks that consists of man-made rainwater reservoirs of epic scale, stupendous Buddhist stupas (dagobas) at UNESCO World Heritage Sites (cultural of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and numerous other cultural sites throughout the island bear tangible and living testimony to the records of Mahavamsa. Visits to Golden Sand Stupa (Ruwan Weli Seya) and The Sea of Parakrama (Parakrama Samudraya) rainwater reservoir of Sri Lanka Holidays alone would give credence to your satisfaction as to the veracity of Mahavamsa.

Construction of The Sea of Parakrama (Parakrama Samudraya) Quote Chulavamsa.
To put away the sufferings of famine from living creatures that most excellent of men hand many tanks and canals made in diverse places. By damming up the Karaganga river by a great barrier between the hills and bringing its mighty flood of waters hither by means of vast canal called the Akasaganga river, the Ruler created that king of reservoirs continually filled with water and known by the name of Parakama Samudra in which there was an island resplendent with a superb royal palace and which was like to a second ocean. He also built the great Parakrama Samudra with a sluice of a hundred cubits, and which was made fast by stone construction.
Unquote Chulamvamsa, being the more recent part of the Mahavamsa. Translated from Pali to English by Dr. Wilhelm Geiger, 1929, London. The hills referred above are Sri Lanka Holidays Central Highlands.

Construction of Golden Sand Stupa (Ruwan Weli Seya) Quote Mahavamsa.
When the resources were thus obtained he commenced the work for the Great Thupa as the Visakha constellation appeared on the full-moon day of the month of Vesakha (April-May). Having got the pillar removed, the ruler of the earth had the site of the thupa there dug to a depth of seven cubits so as to make it firm in various ways. He who knew the advantages and disadvantages, had round stones brought there by warriors and had them broken with hammers; then for the sake of firmness of the site, he had the crushed stones stamped by elephants with feet covered in leather.
The clay at the place where the celestial river descends-being ever drenched-is fine all around there for thirty yojans; on account of its fineness, it is called ‘butter-clay.’ Arahant samaneras brought clay from there. He had clay spread there over the layer of stone. The lord over the clay, rough plaster over it, quartz over that, network of iron over it and, above that, fragrant marumba brought by samaneras from the Himalayas.
Unquote “The great chronicle of Sri Lanka Mahavamsa chapters one to thirty seven. An annotated new translation with prolegomena” by Dr. Ananada W. P. Guruge. 2005, Colombo.

The identification of the most inspiring and stirring appeal to eschew war and violence
Mahavamsa’s comprehensive account resulted in identification of Devanam Piadassi narrated in the edicts and pillar inscriptions of Mauryan Emperor Asoka of India. The identification of great missionaries whose relics were found enshrined in the stupas of Sanchi Sonari of India could never have been made without the information recorded in Mahavamsa on the missions sent out to propagate Buddhism in the reign of Emperor Asoka. Edict attributed to Emperor Asoka are of no mean contribution to the world heritage and the future of the world: the most inspiring and stirring appeal to eschew war and violence ever by a king was made in the Kalinga Edict of Asoka the Great.
In the year 1815, the last king and the island nation was betrayed by king’s own ministers in Kandy led by Pilimathalawwe, to the heinous and hypocritical invader, the British ending the 2357 years of sovereignty of Lanka. The Kandyan nobles disinherited the tradition of the heroic lion-hearted kings of Sri Lanka who repulsed intermittent invasions from Southern India at Anuradahapura and Polonnaruwa of north central plains and then repulsed the Portuguese and Dutch at Sitawake and Kandy for 2357 years.

The modern extension (period: 1815- 1948 AD) at its best is disappointing; at worst is incompetent.
Each chapter of Mahavamsa ends with stating the objective for the compilation of the historical narrative: “for the serene joy and emotion of the pious”. In 2003, Mahawamsa was extended by a few modern historians to include the period from1815 AD to 1948 AD, the year of independence from the British. The modern extension brings about dismay and disappointment at the act of omission and commission contrary to the serene joy and emotion that was intended by the succession of its previous authors.

An acknowledgement
Some of the content above owe much to the narrations by Dr. Ananda P. Guruge:  The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, Mahavamsa. Chapters one to thirty seven. An Annotated New Translation with Prolegomena. ISBN 955-20-8963-8

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Irrigation

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Irrigation Department of Sri Lanka
Irrigation in Sri Lanka has been practiced for a period of more than 2500 years. It is believed that our ancestors had acquired the technology of Irrigation from the ancient irrigation systems which existed in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, the Indus valley and China since 4000 BC. The massive irrigation systems built by our ancient kings freed our people from the need for the country to depend on external sources for the purpose of feeding her people. Unfortunately after this illustrious period from 500 BC to 1200 AD, due to invasions, disease and other unknown reasons, the irrigation system in the country went into disuse and the glorious hydraulic civilization collapsed.

Ruins of  the Valve Pit of Kantalai reservoir

A wood carving of the ruined valve pit of ancient Kantalai Reservoir

During the colonial period, British Governors realizing the great potential in the ancient irrigation works, a separate department distinct from the former Public Works Department to handle irrigation works, was established in 1900.

Having restored Minneriya, Kala Wewa, Parakrama Samudra, Nachchcduwa, Kantalai and many other major works inclusive of almost all the important ancient tanks and anicuts during the first 50 years of its existence, the Department undertook the construction of the Gal Oya Project. Even today Gal Oya can be considered as the biggest reservoir  so far constructed by the irrigation Department or any other organization in the country. Its service to the nation during first 50 years to the nation was celebrated last year. The Rajangana Reservoir Project is one of the most successful irrigation projects in the country today. Inginimitiya, Kirundi Oya and Neelabemma are some of the entirely new projects recently undertaken by the Department and successfully completed.

Nachchaduwa ancient reservoir

Nachchaduwa ancient reservoir

The irrigation Department played a unique role in planning of the Uda Walawe and Samanala wewa reservoirs and the preparation of the master plan and early implementation of the gigantic Mahaweli development programme. Having realized the social and political changes taking place in the society, the Department shifted its emphasis towards farmer organizations, institutional development and integrated management of irrigation schemes during the latter part of the century.

Parakrama Samudra Sea of Parakrama ancient irrigation reservoir, Polonnaruwa

Parakrama Samudra Sea of Parakrama ancient irrigation reservoir, Polonnaruwa

Today, after enjoying the benefits of the contributions made by the Department over the last 100 years, I have no doubt that it can play a vital role in the area of water resources planning and development in view of the anticipated changes in the global climate and economy in the future.
The efforts and capabilities of the staff of the Irrigation Department can be judged from the nature and quality of this publication. In addition it has to be emphasized that this publication will be a testimony to the great heritage of record keeping, which is an essential feature in the education process of the younger generation. This publication also transfers the vast experience gathered by our engineers and scientists during the 20th century to the 21st century.
15th May, 2000, W. P. Jinadasa, Director General of Irrigation

Above is reproduced herein by kind courtsey of Director General of Irrigation in Sri Lanka. The text is an excerpt off the Forward written by W. P. Jinadasa, Director General of Irrigation in Sri Lanka to the centenary commemoration volume [1900-2000]. ISBN 955-8431-00-1. During your Sri Lanka Holidays do not fail to visit the ancient irrigation reservoirs of Minneriya  at Sri Lanka Holidays close to Polonnaruwa, Kala Wewa close to Dambulla and Parakrama Samudra at  Sri Lanka Holidays Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Dimbulagala

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery

Location of  Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery
Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery, a forest hermitage then in the ancient era, and now a Buddhist temple as well as an archeological site is located 20km south east of Sri Lanka Holidays  Polonnaruwa, the ancient kingdom of reservoirs (846 AD-1302 AD). Dimbulagala was known as Dhumarakka Pabbatha in The Mahavamsa or Great Chronicle, Sri Lanka’s non-stop epic. It was also known by the names “Udumbara Giri” [Sinahala: Hill of Woodapple] & “Dola Pabbatha”

Physical nature of the site
Rising 545m above the denuded surrounding plains, the imposing rock spire of Dimbulagala is surrounded by over 100 rock caves.

Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery, Sri Lanka

Dimbulagala Buddhist Monastery, Sri Lanka

Off the beaten track Monastery
The rock caves at Dimbulagala have been in continuous use since the 3rd century BC. While the caves are intact, the scattered ruins of buildings surrounding it have been discovered from various periods between 300 BC- AD1200

Monks who lived at Dimbulagala monastery during ancient and medieval eras.
Dimbulagala also made its name for being the abode of Buddhist monk Ven. Kuntha Gantha Tissa who summoned a council of monks & set about to inscribe the Tripitake,(three books of Buddhist doctrine) in the ancient script of Pali without leaving same to oral tradition that had been continued since the time of Buddha. The monumental work was completed under the patronage of King Wattha Gamini Abhaya (Valagambahu) [89-76 BC] at Aluwihare Temple, Matale, Kandy
‘Saddharmalankarya’, one of the prominent literary works in Sinhala language narrates that the last arahat (the supremely enlightened one who broke free from the almost eternal cycle of birth & rebirth), Maliyadeva Thero lived in Sandamaha cave in Sri Lanka Holidays Dimbulagala. It is recorded, in the thirteenth century Buddhist monk Maha Kassapa Thera at Dimbulagala assisted King Parakrambahu the Great [1164-1197 AD] to summon a Vinaya Sangayana (reciting of the code of discipline) & to engage in renewal of Buddhist order.

Royals at the Dimbulagal monastery
It is believed that King Pandukabhaya [437-367 BC], son of Princess Unmada Chithra & Prince Diga Gamani, lived at Dimbulagala with Princess Swranapali for a brief period in the 4th century BC, hospitality being accorded by two demon captains Chitra Raja & Kala Vela, in human form. King Mutasiva, the successor of King Pandukabhaya was born to Princess Swaranpali at Dimbulagala.
Royal Patronage
King Devanampiya Tissa [307-267] in whose reign Buddhism took root in the island, was credited with the establishment of monastery at Sri Lanka Holidays Dimbulagala.
Being pleased with the contribution towards the Buddhism by Ven. Kuntha Gantha Tissa at Aluwihare Temple , King Wattha Gamini Abhaya (Valagambahu), nephew of the hero of the nation, King Duttha Gamini, had the caves had renovated & donated to the Order of Buddhist Bhikkus (monks), one of the triple gems of Buddhism, the other two being Buddha, the founder & his Doctrine.
During the 2nd century 1057 BC, King Vijayabahu [1065-1120 AD] restored the Dimbulagala monastery which had suffered at the hands of marauding Dravidian invaders from Southern India.

Rock Inscriptions at t Dimbulagala
A number of caves with inscriptions over the drip ledges provide the historians valuable information. One Brahmi inscription indicates Queen Sundari, daughter-in-law of King Vijayabahu of Polonnaruwa, once lived at Sri Lanka Holidays Dimbulagala of. An inscription at Sundaramaha devi cave in the 12th century indicates that 500 monks resided there at that time. The Brahmi inscriptions depict the earliest form of Sinhala writing.

Irreverence at Dimbulagala by the British colonialists [1815-1948]
The legendary ancient monastery of the order of Buddhism, a non-violent doctrine, was rechristened “Gunner’s Quoin” by the British in Ceylon. During the colonial era, the island of  Sri Lanka was known by the name of Ceylon. Such was the unfathomable irreverence of the British during the colonial era.

The modern Dimbulagala temple
The temple at the base of the rock is built in a large cave where over 300 pilgrims could be accommodated. With a bit of bent of adventure, you can take the path past a sequence of caves to a stupa at the summit of the rock. The hot climb with Sri Lanka Holidays is rewarded with grand views of dry-zone landscape at the summit.

Pulligoda Rock Cave close to t Dimbulagala Monastery
On a rocky outcrop next to the lovely Hitcha Pitcha weva reservoir is a shallow rock cave, home to a series of frescoes, though in a much dilapidated state unable to hide its artistic elegance and archeological value. According to the archeologist Dr. Raja de Silva the artistic style is of some similarities to that of acclaimed Sigiriya frescoes at Sigiriya Lion Rock Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka.


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Black Tea

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Everybody loves Black Tea, Coffee & Chocolate, the premier beverages. Of all of them Black Tea (oxidized tea) is the most consumed & healthiest beverage. While Green Tea (minimally oxidized tea) from Japan & China has become fashionable, Oolongs tea (semi oxidized tea) from Taiwan too has achieved its rightful place among the beverages. Meanwhile White tea (unoxidized tea) has been reaching out for a fair share in the tea market. All of them are products of a leaf from single specie of plant: Camellia Sinensis, popularly called tea plant.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Sri Lanka and India are the leading producers of high quality Black Tea. Of all the Black Tea produced in the world, the finest Black Tea is from the tropical island of Sri Lanka branded and marketed “Ceylon Tea” with unmistakable logo of a stylized, upright lion bearing a sword depicting justice in a steadfast stand. Go for unadulterated Pure Ceylon Tea.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea by another name: Red Tea
Black Tea when prepared and served plain without milk is called Red Tea in some of the Middle Eastern countries & Asian countries in view of the reddish tint of the beverage.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea is not Black Tea
To mince no words, Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea is no Black Tea. To pull no punches, Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea has nothing to do with Black Tea or White Tea or Green Tea. To hit the last nail on the coffin, so called Red Tea aka Roobios Tea is not manufactured from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Rooibos Tea is a bush tea manufactured in the wilderness of South Africa & marketed mainly in U. S. A. As Such, herein we pay last respects to Roobias Tea aka Red Tea. We make a steadfast stand and tolerate no fakes when it comes to Black Tea.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

The finest Black Tea in the world: Ceylon Tea
Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the world has been a cornerstone of the economy of the island since the beverage from Sri Lanka rose to prominence in the world with the entrepreneurship of Scotsman Thomas Lipton [1848 –1931], who closed ranks with the pioneer tea planter, Scotsman James Taylor [1835 -1892] at Loolecondera estate in Galaha, Sri Lanka Holidays Kandy. The consummate combination of Lipton and Taylor took Ceylon Tea to the Top of the World with a kind of hush. A hush reserved for awe.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Today, Sri Lanka, the 3rd largest producer of Black Tea in the world, has a total extent of 202,347 hectares of Black Tea plantations, with most of it running along the highland motorway and railway line from Sri Lanka Holidays Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands and the medieval capital of Sri Lanka Holidays to Badulla of the Central Highlands of resplendent tropical island of Sri Lanka. Badulla is the terminal point of Sri Lanka’s highland railway line laid out to transport tea from the highlands to seaport of Colombo by the British colonialists [1815-1948]. Highland railway line and highland motorway twisting, winding and ascending hill after hill are overwhelmed with immaculately cultivated vast seamless Black Tea plantations that follow the contours of the land with incredibly trim, short and tight bushes of tea plants. So trim, so tight, so neat, so vast so green hill after hill lulls you all into a dreamy world in the salubrious climate of the Central Highlands, the one and only mountain mass of Sri Lanka. Then the bubble, babble and gaggle of streams and waterfalls awake you to the reality. It’s for real.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Above rare poster is reproduced herein by kind courtesy of Getty Images. www.gettyimages.com

Fine plucking Ceylon Tea
Sri Lanka’s seemingly seamless shimmering Black Tea plantation, that if left untended shoot up to become tall trees, are immaculately pruned to waist height so that manual fine plucking of two tender leaves and a bud are carried out with great swiftness. Plucking is done throughout the year except for the short period following pruning. No less than 300,000 plantation workers, the descendents of the indentured labor force brought down by the British colonialists in Sri Lanka pluck millions of superior quality Black Tea by hand day after day. The swift hands of the women tea puckers collect the youngest leaves of tea with both hands as if all of those thousands of women are equally ambidextrous. Their busy bee, butterfly swift mode of nipping off the youngest and topmost leaves (to maximize the flavor and aroma of the beverage) by snapping the stem with index and middle fingers, then tossing their pickings into large baskets hanging over the shoulders to the rear takes you by surprise. It takes the plucking from some 150 tea bushes to make one pound of Black Tea. The small and swift feminine hands coupled with the superior temperament in womanly virtue of patience are instrumental to great extent for high yield plucking. What would you do without them? In Sri Lanka, we say we can do without them, and then on the same breath that we say, we cannot do without them. The human condition is same all over the world from west to east, from east to west.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea processing; as green as you would like
In Black Tea processing leaves and flushes from the tea plant Camelia sinensis are transformed into the dried leaves for brewing tea. Processing Black Tea consists of important stages: oxidizing the leaves, stopping the oxidation, forming the tea and drying it. That’s it: not overly complicated; still better, no artificial additives at all. Black Teais as green as you would like. Of these steps, the degree of oxidation plays to a great extent in determining the final flavor of the beverage, with rest of the process being instrumental to a lesser extent.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea manufacturing process: withering
Each and every major tea plantation of Sri Lanka has its own airy fairy factory by the side of a stream. On wide lofts one above the other with abundant space the Black Tealeaves are spread on long tables to wither in warm waves of dry air for twelve hours.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black tea manufacturing proceeds: rolling
Then the leaves are subjected to a slow rolling process by means of heavy machinery making the tea leaves roll over and around in a twisting and crushing action till each leaf end up with an attractive twist. After all, everybody love a twist. The rolling process break up the cells of the tea leaf, releasing moisture, enzymes [the flavenoids and alkaloids] & Tea tannin. The distinctive flavor of the beverage comes out in rolling.

Black Tea manufacturing process: roll breaking
Roll breaking process breaks up the twisted balls or lumps of leaves and allows them to cool. The roll-breaker is a long mechanized sieve that vibrates while pushing the leaves over sloping mesh from one end to other.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea manufacturing process: fermentation
Then the mass of twisted green wisps are sifted according to the size & placed in a very cool room to ferment for a short time. Since there is no growth of yeast in the process, fermentation is a misnomer. The process herein is oxidation. Following the release of chemical enzymes from the ruptured cells, the mass of twisted & crushed ea leaves undergo an oxidation of the tea tannin. Oxidation changes the leaf to a coppery red-brown.

Black tea manufacturing process: firing
It all ends up with fire: following the fermentation is the torment. The leaves are fired and dried for 21 minutes in an enormous dryer on a series of trays exposing them to temperatures as high as 260 degrees Fahrenheit [120 degrees Celsius]. The tea leaf now goes black and brittle, the Black Teaas you know, is ready to brew in your kitchen.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea: Premium Black Tea
The ordinary beverage of tea consumed from Colombo to London, Dubai to Moscow, is not necessarily premium quality Black Tea. Most of the products could well be blends of good quality Black tea with low quality Black Tea. Never be satisfied unless your beverage is brewed from premium quality Black Tea from Sri Lanka, branded Ceylon Tea. Always go for Pure Ceylon Tea. While the affluent society would enjoy premium quality Black Tea from Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tea, some humble folks too find themselves lucky to live in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka where among the tea sold for everyday consumption is also the premium quality Black Tea though with a significant price disparity against the lower quality Black Tea. The well-to-do residents of hill country resorts of Sri Lanka Holidays Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Haputale and Bandarawela etc. would agree, to the boot.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea: High grown, medium grown and low grown tea
Sri Lanka’s varieties of Black Tea draw their distinctive essence and flavor thanks to the climatic conditions of the tea growing areas of the tropical island. Sri Lanka’s Black Tea, still branded and marketed as Ceylon Tea since the era of British Colonial period of Sri Lanka [1815-1948], is categorized high grown, medium grown and low grown in line with the altitude of the zone. For a small island with no more than 25620 sq. km in area, Sri Lanka has a pretty good range of altitude in the Central Highlands. High grown teas from Nuwara Eliya [altitude: 1800meters; distance from Colombo: 180km], the prime hill country resort produces the ultimate Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the world: rich, pure and fragrant.

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Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Location of The Rock Hotel at Nuwara Eliya
Rock Hotel is located in the Sri Lanka’s prime hill country sanatorium of Sri Lanka Holidays Nuwara Eliya (altitude: 1800meters; distance from Colombo; 180km) of Central Highlands. 77 km long winding, twisting, climbing spectacular Kandy-Nuwara Eliya main motor road takes you all to the Rock Hotel for your Sri Lanka Holidays in the hill country.

Though The Rock Hotel isn’t in the city center where the Grand Hotel, Windsor Hotel, Grand Hotel, Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel, Alpine Hotel, Galway Forest Lodge, Hotel Glendower  and The Hill Club are located, the Unique View Road that leads to it [No. 60] is littered with a number of Middle Range and Budget Range hotels and guest houses: No. 15, Mount Wave Serendib Hotel; No.16 A Green Garden Hotel; No. 18, Hotel Sunhill; No. 26, Sprout Hill Bungalow; No. 81/3 Hotel Tanosa; No. 88/3, Ashley Resorts.

Rock Hotel Nuwar Eliya, Sri Lanka Holidays

Rock Hotel Nuwar Eliya, Sri Lanka Holidays

Setting of The Rock Hotel at Nuwara Eliya
The Rock Hotel is nestled on a steep hill of a Ceylon Tea plantation bringing in spectacular view across the valley to the forest and lovely Lake Gregory.

Lake Gregory in the vicinity of Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Lake Gregory in the vicinity of Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Holidays Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials of The Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya
To be edited

Accommodation at The Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya
The Rock Hotel houses 10 comfortable rooms

In room facilities The Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Fireplace, TV , Large desk with chair, WiFi, Carpeted floor
Attached bathroom with separate shower cabin with overhead rain shower and hand shower, hot water, hair dryer

In house facilities The Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Car parking, hotel lobby, TV lounge, smoking area, safety deposit boxes, internet access, bicycle renal
Garden, laundry service, meeting facility, business center

Rock Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Rock Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Dining at The Rock Hotel
The restaurant at the elegantly decorated The Rock Terrace opens up panaromic views of surrounding greenery and the Gregory Lake

Lobby Bar at The Rock Hotel
Lobby Bar serves high tea as well as refreshing

Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya, Central Highlands

Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya, Central Highlands

Nightingale Karaoke Lounge at Rock– Friday night club with DJ
Nightingale Karaoke Lounge at Rock Hotel is set up with a cozy atmosphere to enjoy a Karaoke sing along, with friends and family.

Excursions [half day or one-day] off The Rock Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Sri Lanka Holidays Horton Plains UNESCO World Heritage Site, Baker’s Falls and the escarpment called “World’s End” therein.
CONTACT THE ROCK HOTEL DIRECTLY

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