Archive for July, 2012
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger in Sri Lanka
Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger and Sri Lanka
Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger [1856-1943], a German Orientalist in the fields of Indian and Iranian languages, specialist in Pali and Sinhala languages, the professor of philology [1891-1920] at the University of Erlangen, Germany and the third translator of “The Mahavamsa” [the first translation was by illustrious George Turnour, a British Colonial civil servant in Ceylon, in 1837–Mahavamsa Part 1 ; the second translation was by Mudliyar L. C. Wijesinha in 1889- Mahavamsa Part 2] or “The Great Chronicle of Ceylon” in 1912, loved Buddhism, Aryan Sinhalese Race and Sinhala language. His first travel narration on Sri Lanka titled “Ceylon: Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen” testifies to his love.
“The time I spent in Sri Lanka brought me manifold joys. I was firmly in the embrace of the people, its ancient glory and the natural splendor of Sri Lanka. In reciprocity, I too felt as if I have become an integral part of its life and times under the tropical sky. I hope, my memoirs of my times in Sri Lanka that I narrate with a certain spiritual joy may bring as much a joy to the dear readers too.”
Wilhelm Geiger and Buddhism
Geiger (1856-1943) too was attracted to the merits and virtues of Buddhism that attract all, no matter the roots of him is in the east or the west; more he read on Buddhism, more he got attracted. Wilhelm Geiger’s thoughts on Buddhism were heartfelt and passionate. The Buddhist concept of “the man being his own master of his destiny” made him contemplate deeply. He wrote:
“The strong points and weak points of the Buddhist doctrine are clear cut. The strong point of Buddhism is the liberation of each one is in his own hands. It isn’t subject to the judgment of a higher being.”
The south-western sea-port city of Galle, home to Sri Lanka Holidays attraction of VOC Galle Dutch Fort
It seems our Geiger [Is he not ours: he visited Sri Lanka three times; studied Sinhala; translated Mahavamsa to German from Pali; and we on our part commemorated him on a postal stamp in Sri Lanka in 1989 and still do pay homage to him as I, bunpeiris do now] had already been nourished by the ideas of his countryman Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche [1844 –1900]. Nietzsche refused to affirm the belief in a transcendent God and the man being subject to this higher being.
I hope that my condemnation of Christianity has not involved me in any injustice to a related religion with an even larger number of adherents: Buddhism. Both belong together as nihilistic religions—they are religions of decadence—but they differ most remarkably. For being in a position now to compare them, the critic of Christianity is profoundly grateful to the students of India. Buddhism is a hundred times more realistic than Christianity: posing problems objectively and coolly is part of its inheritance, for Buddhism comes after a philosophic movement which spanned centuries. The concept of “God” had long been disposed of when it arrived. Buddhism is the only genuinely positivistic religion in history. This applies even to its theory of knowledge (a strict phenomenalism): it no longer says “struggle against sin” but, duly respectful of reality, “struggle against suffering.” Buddhism is profoundly distinguished from Christianity by the fact that the self-deception of the moral concepts lies far behind it. In my terms, it stands beyond good and evil.
Wilhelm Geiger in front of Ruwanweliseya stupa [Ruwanveli Seya Stupa] at Anuradhpuara
During his sojourn in scholarly and hardworking Sri Lanka Holidays, our Geiger must have been having the ideas of Nietzsche simmering in his mind. How he felt about Buddhism is best be quoted in his own words:
“I have come to realize that the loveliest flower even born in the human heart is Buddhism”
At Anuradhapura, having stood in front of the Ruwanweliseya stupa [Ruwanveli Seya Stupa], his heart must have bubbled with serene thoughts:
“In spite of the stupendous dimensions of the Ruwanweliseya Stupa (Ruwanveli Seya Stupa), the great edifice contains a soothing being of lightness. The great stupa is a serene treasure that stands with majesty amidst the free environment. It rises in the skyline resplendent as if cloaked in a flame emanating rays of gold. Ruwanweliseya stupa’s [Ruwanveli Seya Stupa] stupendous yet serene presence seems to infuse, upon the onlooker, the very four sublime states of virtue outlined in Buddhism.”
Metta or caring, loving kindness displayed to all you meet;
Karuna: compassion or mercy, the special kindness shown to those who suffer;
Mudita or sympathetic joy, being happy for others, without a trace of envy;
Uppekha or equanimity or levelness, the ability to accept others as they are.
The lure of ancient ruins
Ancient ruins are bound to afford opportunities for intellectual enlightenment. The lure of the ruins are all-encompassing to those with an artistic or a literary bent, and to those with a sense of history as well as to the archeologists and the historians. It is said, of the artists, among the most enraptured by the grandeur of Roman Ruins was the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi [1720 – 1778] famous for his “Etchings of Rome”. In Rome from 1740-1743 and from 1745 until his death in 1778, his commitment in depicting resplendent antiquity was noted by a no less connoisseur than Horace Walpole or Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717 –1797), an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and British politician:
The sublime dreams of Piranesi who seems to have conceived visions of Rome beyond what is boasted even in the meridian of its splendor.”
Indeed, Walpole, overcome with rapacious consumerism, had portfolios crammed with prints of his favorite Roman ruins. He fervently wrote: “I would buy the Colosseum if I could.” Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger’s countryman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [1749-1832], who wandered awestruck among the Roman ruins of Rome, Naples and Sicily by the moonlight, too, was overcome with admiration for Piranesi’s views of ancient Roman ruins. In conversations with German poet and author Johann Peter Eckermann [1792 –1854], Goethe effusively recounted how moved he was by Piranesi’s prints.
Nevertheless acclaimed writers have often confessed of their inability to express the strong emotions invoked by the grandeur of ruins of glorious civilizations. In his autobiography , Edward Gibbon [1737 – 1794], the English historian and member of parliament and the author of “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, a masterpiece of a critical analysis of Roman history published between 1776 and 1788 in six great volumes, reminisced and revealed on his encounter with Roman Ruins:
“At the distance of twenty-five years, I can neither forget nor express the strong emotions which agitated my mind as I first approached and entered the Eternal City. After a sleepless night, I trod with a lofty step, the ruins of the forum”
In the 1896, Geiger too found his words wouldn’t do justice to the grandeur of ruins and living monuments at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka:
“It would best be left to you to imagine how those historical sites, until then mere unknown destinations and mere fleeting moments of thoughts, came alive and stood vibrant.”
Geiger narrated in the same vein that a historian, upon being enlightened by the rich archeological and historical attractions of Greece was moved, he too was enlightened and moved at the summit of Mihintale which brought into view the monuments at pura in the land of Buddha’s heritage. Geiger’s narration reveals that it his very first visit to Sri Lanka itself secured the foundation and induction to all his scholarly works in time to unfold.
Stupas at Anuradhapura, a view from Mihintale: to the far left is Mirisavatiya stupa; at the center is Ruwanweliseya stupa; to the right, the blurred image is that of Jetavana Stupa. Image by courtesy of Thorondo.
Wilhelm Geiger and Sinhala Language
Wilhelm Geiger had already studied Sinhala language prior to his first visit to Sri Lanka. His overwhelming enthusiasm in studying Sinhala language was revealed in an article titled “Singhalesiches” written by him in the year 1895 to the memorial issue “Gurupujakaumadee” dedicated to the Sanskrit scholar, Indologist and historian lbrecht Friedrich Weber (1825 –1901). Answering to a question posed by a reporter from Ceylon Independent of Sri Lanka, Geiger said that he was conversant in Sinhala language to a certain extent. Geiger was profiecent in Sanskrit. Buddhist monk Gunaratna of Mihintale who had been conversing with Geiger in Sanskrit language was taken by surprise to learn of Geiger’s knowledge in Sinhala language.
Geiger’s conclusions on the origin of Sinhala Language
Geiger was the one of the first scholars who concluded that according to etymology, Sinhala language is an Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. In the year 1937 writing a forward to the work titled “The grammar of Sinhalese Languages”, Geiger once again found an opportunity to declare his earlier conclusion that Sinhala was an Indo-Aryan language.
Wilhelm Geiger and Sinhalese Chronicles
Even at the early times of year 1895, i.e. during his very first visit to Sri Lanka, Geiger’s in depth knowledge of the Sinhala Vamsa kata [Sinhala: Sinhalese chronicles, i.e. Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Chulaamsa, Thupavamsa, Sinhala Bodhivamsa] was of exceptional virtue. Geiger’s narration on the trustworthiness of the Sinhalese chronicles is especially noteworthy:
“If we pause first at internal evidence then the Ceylonese Chronicles will assuredly at once win approval in that they at least wished to write the truth. Certainly the writers could not go beyond the ideas determined by their age and their social position, and beheld the events of a past time in mirror of a one-sided tradition. But they certainly did not intend to deceive hearer or readers. This is clear from the remarkably objective standpoint from which they judge even the mortal foes of the Aryan race. That certainly deserves to be emphasized. It is true not only of dominating personalities 9such as, to all appearance, Elara was) but also of the two usurpers Sena and Guttika it is said, Dipavamsa 18.47 and Mahavamsa. 21.11; rajjam dhammena karayum. Besides, the obvious endeavor to make out a systematic chronology is such as to inspire confidence at the outset. Indeed, whole sections of Dipavamsa consist entirely of synchronistic connections of the ecclesiastical tradition with profane history and of the history of India with that of Ceylon.”
Mahavamsa or The Great Chronicle of Ceylon was translated into English by Wilhelm Geiger, Ph.D. in the year 1912. ISBN 955-8540-83-8 [2003 reprint] Some of the conclusions on the history of Sri Lanka were a gradual systematic evolution of his knowledge. For example while Wilhelm Geiger during his first visit wasn’t convinced of the historic significance of Mihintale in terms of spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. However in the year 1926, this doubt too being cleared, Geiger in his work titled “Concise History of Ceylon” said that he believed Sri Lanka Holidays Mihintale located 17km north east of pura, was the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
A print from Ernst Haeckel's 1905 Wanderbilder (Travel Pictures). It is a chromolithograph by W. Koehler, after Haeckel's 1882 painting, depicting a jungle scene on the Kelany-Ganga (Kelani River) in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka).
Wilhelm Geiger and the natural splendor of the tropical island of Sri Lanka
Geiger was at once a lover of joys, little and big and a lover of nature: his book titled Ceylon. Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen is splattered with the narrations of admiration of the natural splendor of the tropical island of Sri Lanka:
Up on a hill in Kandy, Geiger sees the River Mahaweli Ganga that loops around the hills of the medieval natural fortress, as if a strand of silver laid over the Dumbara plains.
Enjoying a view from the iron bridge at Kalutara, Geiger sees River Kalurtara ganga as if a wide road cut through the tropical jungle. Wherever Geiger visited, he narrated of the sceneries all round at all times.
He narrated loftily of the weather, climate, evergreen vegetation, wildlife and birdlife of Sri Lanka:
The tropical downpour reigned for two hours sans pauses. No clouds are seen anymore in the vicinity: all seems to have vanished off the horizon. The silver moon peeping though tall topical trees brought in a spectacle of resplendence: zillions of drops of rain water that drenched the coconut palm canopy made the tall trunks look like as if sunk in a bubbling river of silver. Seated in the verandah and recollecting thoughts on my home, I watched the dawn of the New Year.
Geiger narrated the loveliest of sceneries were seen in his boat ride over the River Kalu Ganga from the Sri Lanka Holidays attraction of Ratnapura [Sinhala: city of Gems] to Kalutara. He compared those tropical sceneries of Sri Lanka to the loveliest sceneries of the fairy tales that he heard during his childhood. Wilhelm Geiger and Sinhalese Buddhist scholars in Sri Lanka During his first visit to Sri Lanka Wilhelm Geiger made acquaintances with prominent scholars of the island: Buddhist Monk Sri Sumangala of Hikkaduwa, Buddhist monk Sri Subutu of Waskaduwa, Mudliyar Abraham Mendis Gunasekera and Mudliyar Simon De Silva. Geiger was called into an examination on Pali language at Colombo Vidyodaya pirivena [ Sinhala: Vidyodaya Buddhist Academy of Buddhist studies] by Buddhist Monk Sri Sumangala of Hikkaduwa. Following the success at the examination, Wilhelm Geiger was allowed make use of Buddhist books and manuscripts at the Colombo Vidyodaya Buddhist Academy at Peliyagoda, Colombo.
In his memoirs Geiger stressed that the close friendship that developed between him and Buddhist monk Sri Subutu of Waskaduwa wouldn’t be harmed by the geographical distances between their motherlands. True to his words, since his return to Gemany, the correspondence between them was profuse. Sri Subutu of Waskaduwa was also Geiger’s contact in Sri Lanka to secure books by post in Germany from Sri Lanka. Geiger found Sri Subutu of Waskaduwa was closer to western system in his research; he also found the Buddhist monk was closer to western ways in his general conduct.
Geiger was full of praise of Mudliyar Abraham Mendis Gunasekera, a leading literary light of Sri Lanka for his invaluable assistance in scholarly matters and research:
“Mudliyar Abraham Mendis Gunasekera was tall and slender. His lively eyes revealed his mental alertness and vibrancy in physical activity. In the time to come his name will be duly honored in all works of history, Buddhism, Sinhala languages and Aryan Sinhalese Buddhist civilization of Sri Lanka.”
Mudliyar Simon de Silva, a renowned scholar of Sinhala language and literature was instrumental in further development in Geiger’s knowledge of Sinhala language. The extensive and profound knowledge of Mudliyar Simon de Slva was a major factor in Geiger concluding eastern scholars were superior to western scholars in terms of innate wisdom. Geiger contemplated of combining eastern innate wisdom with western critical analysis.
Wilhelm Geiger and Sinhalese Buddhist renaissance of Sri Lanka
During Geiger’s first visit to Sri Lanka in the year 1895, Sri Lanka then called Ceylon was in social and political transition. The Sinhalese Buddhists of Sri Lanka, who had been battered for centuries by the colonial powers [Portuguese:1505-1658; Dutch:1656-1796; English:1815- 1948], were slowly raising their heads. Geiger was steadfast in his condemnation of the colonial powers in Ceylon:
“I should remind all that the atrocities committed by the Western Christen missionaries and so called civilized people of the western countries in Ceylon can be read only with utter disgust.”
Fortunately, during those days, the Sinhalese Buddhist Renaissance had begun with scholars of the caliber of Buddhist monk Mohottiawatte Gunananda and the great religious debate between the Buddhist and the Christian scholars called Panaduara Vadaya [Sinhala: The great debate of Panadura]. Theosophical Society, Colombo of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott [a well known American civil war veteran, much respected American lawyer and Buddhist revivalist in Ceylon] [1832 –1907] established several Buddhist schools in Ceylon, most notably Ananda College in Colombo, Dharmaraja College in Kandy, Mahinda College in Galle [home to Sri Lanka Holidays VOC Galle Dutch Fort, today a UNESCO World heritage Site], and Maliyadeva College in Kurunegala close to Sri Lanka Holidays Yapahuwa.
Wilhelm Geiger’s second visit to Sri Lanka
Following the end of the First World War, the government of British Ceylon invited Wilhelm Geiger to assist edit the second part of Mahvamsa called “Chulvamsa [Sinhala: The Lesser genealogy] Geiger having published more than 110 works on Sri Lanka, Sinhala Language, Pali language, Pali chronicles, Sinhalese vamsa chronicles had already earned a great reputation as a scholar of Indology. Geiger arrived from Liverpool to Colombo, Sri Lanka by the passenger vessel “Lancashire” together with his wife Magdalene, a scholar on 21st November 1925. Geiger narrated his wife Magdaleine was seduced by the ruins at pura, the greatest monastic city of the ancient world.
However, there were matters of great consternation to Geiger: some of the renovations to the ancient Buddhist temples weren’t to his liking. He was particularly disturbed that the medieval wooden veranda of Golden Dambulla Rock Cave temple was replaced by a white washed verandah built of brick. Furthermore, Geiger was disappointed to see Sinhalese Buddhists gradually becoming westernized. Geiger narrated:
“Sinhalese Buddhist have begun to betray their great social traditions, conventions, Sinhala language as if none of those of any value at all, I sincerely hope that Sinhalese would realize the value of Sri Lanka, value of its culture, value of Sinhala language, value of its civilization soon enough. Still it’s not too late.”
During his second stay in Sri Lanka, Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger received an invitation from Rabindranath Tagore, the great Bengali polymath, the noble laureate for literature , the author of Gitanjali, the greatest poem ever, to visit India.
However, Geiger wasn’t able to make the visit. Having visited Borobudur Buddhist temple in Java, Geiger returned to Germany. I (bunpeiris), for one, mourn that Geiger wasn’t able to accept the invitation of Sage like Tagor and visit India, the heart of the ancient oriental fountains of humanity. Together those two stalwarts of humanity, Wilhelm Geiger and Rabindranath Tagor [1861-1941] would have made a still more [Tagor having already done and his name already written in golden letters in Indian annals] significant contributions in scholarly works on ancient glory of India.
Ancient stone cut Lotus Pond at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka Holidays
Wilhelm Geiger’s third visit to Sri Lanka
Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger’s third visit to Sri Lanka was on 18th December 1931. That was to assist Ceylonese statesman, educationist and diplomat Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka [1868 - 1944] to compile Dictionary of Sinhala. Subsequently Sir D. B. Jayatillake was assisted by the Ceylonese scholar, Julius de Lanerolle too. Being stung by a poisonous insect, Geiger suffered for about three months. However, such was the love of Geiger towards Sri Lanka, Sinhalese, Buddhism, language of Pali and language of Sinhala, he refused being treated at a hospital in view of the time that would be lost to his work on the Sinhala dictionary.
We Sri Lankans owe this German Scholar a great debt of gratitude to his immense contributions to our heritage.
Geiger ends his Sri Lanka Holidays travel narrative titled Ceylon: Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen saying
“I have eaten root bulbs of lotus. I have enjoyed the scintillating beauty of the Lotus flower.”
A gift from China: Lotus Pond Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Ananda Kumaraswamy Mawata, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka Holidays
The Colombo Lotus Tower, a multifunctional telecommunications tower will reach 350 meters in height and will be completed in 30 months. Under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Beijing will finance the project for a total cost of 104.3 million dollars (80.9 million euros). In addition, the Aerospace Long-March International Trade co. Ltd (Alit) and China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (Ceiec) will be in charge of building the tower that will be constructed on the waterfront of the city's picturesque Beira Lake of Colombo.
Above article is inspired by “Asiritimath Lanka” [Sinhala: Splendorous Lanka] [ISBN: 978-955-656-164-7], the Sinhalese translation of Ceylon: Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen written in German language by Wilhelm Geiger. Translation of the Geiger’s memoirs in Sri Lanka was done by Mahinda Patirana of Division of Languages of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka in the year 2003. Mahinda Pathirana acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Anuradha Seneviratna, Professor of Sinhala Language division of University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
The German language memoirs of Geiger’s time in Sri Lanka titled “Ceylon: Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen” was found in a wayside bookstall in Germany by Dr. Anuradha Seneviratna, a distinguished scholar on the Sinhalese Buddhist civilization of Sri Lanka. Among the numerous books written by him are “Ancient Anuradhapura, The Monastic City [ISBN 978-955-573-791-3], Springs of Sinhala Civilization [ISBN 955-20-5319-6], Kandy Esala Perahera, Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla: caves of infinite Buddhas, Dalada Maligawa: the Sacred Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy Sri Lanka.
German language edition of Ceylon: Tagebuchblätter und Reiseerinnerungen can be bought from amazon.com while Sinhala translation [Suriya Prakashakayo, Colombo 10] can be bought in Sri Lanka.
Monday, July 16th, 2012
Location of Casa Colombo
Casa Colombo is located at Bambalapitiya [Colombo 4], 6km south of Fort, the heart of Colombo and 7km north of Mount Lavinia. Mount Lavinia has the one and only Sri Lanka Holidays bay beach of Colombo district. Sri Lanka Holidays beaches of the South western and southern coasts begins at Kalutara, 23km south of the bay beach in Mount Lavinia. The zone of Bambalapitiya [Colombo 4] and surroundings is home to high end shops, restaurants, casinos and nightclubs. Furthermore Colombo affords the opportunity to play golf at Royal Colombo Golf Club [18-hole par 71 course], an international class golf course.
The main motor road southwards of Colombo, A2 Colombo-Galle road that runs parallel to the southern railway line takes Sri Lanka Holidays tourists to the south western and southern beaches of Sri Lanka replete with fine palm fringed beaches of golden sand.
Setting of Casa Colombo
For those who wish to have privacy, the location of Casa Colombo is ideal: it sits well at a dead end of a road off the main A2 Colombo Galle road at Bambalapitiya [Colombo 4]: a cul-de-sac.
Casa Colombo Sri Lanka Holidays Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials: to be edited.
Architectural concept of Casa Colombo
Casa Colombo is a retro-cool [at once appeals to the latest fashion yet retain a nostalgic revival of the age old style] 12-room boutique hotel set up following a restoration of a magnificent heritage propertyof Colombo: a 200 year old Moorish mansion. While the prominent features of the heritage property, i.e. ornate balconies and window awnings intricate mosaic floors, molded ceilings, elaborate columns and arches have been retained, contemporary furniture, upholstering and feature have been blended in. Colors are vibrant; floor is of polished cement; lighting is neon; metal fitting consists of brushed steel and copper; drapes are raw silk; furniture is made of tropical hard wood.
Casa Colombo’s juxtaposition between old and new is heavenly: it is an extraordinary, unusual and exceptional example of a boutique hotel.
As the newspaper Sunday Times published in Colombo, Sri Lanka put it, Casa Colombo is an opulent and eclectic hotel, where old and new blend in startling contrast. Travel+ Leisure found Casa Colombo blends edgy contemporary with classic elegance effortlessly.
Casa Colombo, one of the most remarkable contemporary hotels was entirely reinterpreted by a talented Sri Lanka designer Lalin Jinasena. I think Geoffrey Bawa has a worthy successor who knows how to draw his inspiration from the teacher’s genius, to renew the Singhalese creation and architecture. A name that will rank, I am sure, amongst the greatest names of the international scene.
Sandra Rude, Chief Editor of the lifestyle TV series l’ emission “Hotels”, Films Concept Associes, France.
Accommodation at Casa Colombo
Casa Colombo consists of 12 air-conditioned luxury suites with a floor space in between 500 to 1000 sq. ft.: three Leisure Suites, eight Corporate Suites and one Royal Suite. Each suit is individually designed with an open plan and consists of a sleeping area, work space, lounge and ensuite bathroom. Each suit is well furnished with large comfortable bed, desk and lounge chairs.
In addition to above, each Corporate Suite consists of laptop within the work area, super King-size bed, exquisite copper bathtub within the room right within your room, and a laptop within the work area while the luxurious Royal Suite also has a Jacuzzi in the balcony. Luxurious Royal Suite also has access to a roof top attic for candle-lit dinning.
In room facilities at Casa Colombo
29-inch Nakamitchi LCD TV which affords viewing from bed room as well as from sitting room
Nakamitchi high-fidelity sound system by Nakamitchi
Movies on an Apple ipod, Complementary Wi-Fi
The ensuite bathroom with twin vanities, a waterfall shower with hot and cold water, and w/c.
In-room spa services at Casa Colombo
Casa Colombo in collaboration with Angsana Spa provide in room spa services to its clients.
In house Facilities at Casa Colombo
While High Tea is served in the afternoon with Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the World at the T-REPUBLIC located on the front lawn, cocktails are served at the lounge bar.
The pink swimming pool has cement and glass sun beds and canopied sun beds are set in the shade of a large tropical tree.
Half day Excursion off Casa Colombo
Mount Lavinia Beach at Mount Lavinia, 7km south of Casa Colombo
Kelaniya Buddhist Temple at Kelaniya [home to exquisite modern murals depicting landmarks of Sinhalese Buddhist civilization of Sri Lanka], 15km north-east of Casa Colombo
Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya [home to magnificent modern Buddha statues and paintings], 9km south of Casa Colombo, Bambalapitiya
Gangaramaya Temple by the Colombo Beira lake [home to a multitude of Buddha statues], 5km north of Casa Colombo
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Weligama Bay Marriott Resort and Spa Weligama, a beachfront 5 star 200 room, 11-story property is scheduled to be opened in the year 2014. Marriott International has signed an agreement with Weligama Hotel Properties Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of East West Properties PLC on the project. Weligama Bay Marriott Resort and Spa is being built according to Marriott International’s five star brand standards, with a beach frontage of 115 meters on the Galle-Matara road. The seaport city of Galle is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of VOC Galle Duch Fort, the best preserved colonial Dutch For in Asia.
Weligama located 144km from Colombo in the south western coastal belt of Sri Lanka is a pristine beach of golden sand sheltered with groves of coconut palm trees.The images of stilt-fishermen perched on a cross bar of a single pole planted into the sea bed have become iconic reperesentation of the popular beach of Weligama.
With a flexiable ball room space of some 640 sq meters, Weligama Bay Marriott Resort and Spa will be geared to serve Sri Lanka Holidays tourists as well as to the MICE market, i.e. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition.
Commenting on the project of Weligama Bay Marriott Resort and Spa at Sri Lanka Holidays Weligama Mr. Nihal Wijesuriya, Chairman of East West Properties PLC, Sri Lanka said: “We are among the first companies in Sri Lanka to sign up with an international branded hotel company and to open as early as 2014. The is being built according to International’s five star brand standards, with a beach frontage of 115 meters on the Galle-Matara road in the South-West of the country. The construction is being carried out in-house by East West Engineering Services (Pvt) Ltd., Sri Lanka so we have direct control of every aspect of the construction of the and are confident that it will be of the highest standards and quality.”
Marriott International is a world renowned operator and franchiser of a broad portfolio of hotels and which include Bulgari Hotels and s and The Ritz Carlton. International currently operates over 3,700 hotels in over 73 countries and territories around the globe. Marriott Hotels and Resorts are Marriott International’s signature and most widely distributed brand and is also known for the world’s largest loyalty program, Rewards.
Marriott International, Inc. is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with more than 3,700 properties in 73 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2011. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership s under 17 brands, including Hotels & s, The Ritz-Carlton, JW , Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by , Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Executive Apartments, Vacation Club, Grand Residences by , and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club. There are approximately 300,000 employees at headquarters, managed and franchised properties. is consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business operations, which it conducts based on five core values: put people first, pursue excellence, embrace change, act with integrity, and serve our world.
Monday, July 9th, 2012
Location Randholee Luxury Resort , Kandy
Randholee is located at Heerasagala, Kandy at a distance of 120km from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Kandy, home to the Sacred Temple of the Tooth and numerous late medieval era Buddhist temples, is the central transportation hub of Sri Lanka Holidays.
While A1 main motor way leads eastwards to Kandy from Colombo, A 26 main motor way run further eastwards from Kandy to link up with the roads leading to the eastern coast.
Kandy [altitude: 500 meters above sea level] is the gateway to the Central Highlands: the A5 main road that climbs up winding and twisting over rings of hills to Sri Lanka Holidays sanatoriums of Nuwara Eliya [altitude:1800 meters above sea level], Haputale, Diyatalawa, Bandarawela and Ella.
A9 main motor way that descends northwards from Kandy [a UNESCO World Heritage Site] to the great north central plains takes the tourists to Sri Lanka Holidays Cultural Triangle which encompass the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla together with numerous other attractions including Ritigala and Mihintale.
Setting of Randholee , Kandy
Setting of Randholee , Kandy nestles in the hills of the village of Heerasagala, 6km south west of the heart of the city of Kandy. The location of the hotel at the higher elevation brings about bird’s eye view of the picturesque mountain ranges in Kandy: Hunnasgiriya, Knuckles, Uragala and Laggala.
Randholee , Kandy Sri Lanka Holidays Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials
Randholee , Kandy follows an eco-friendly policy of recycling waste and harvesting rain water which is used to keep the gardens green.
Accommodation at Randholee , Kandy
Randholee , Kandy consists of 25 rooms. Eighteen of the rooms afford panoramic view of the mountain ranges, while seven brings in the view of the garden. All rooms are furnished with twin or double beds, headboards of which are decorated with Kandyan art.
Facilities at Randholee , Kandy
The main restaurant that opens up spectacular views of the mountain range, is reached by a wooden bridge from the lounge area. Sri Lankan, Eastern and Western cuisine is served here prepared with fresh local produce.
The restaurant serves an a la carte menu as well as buffets. Still more the chef accepts requests for personalized meal at a location of your choice anywhere within the hotel premises, i.e. poolside, hotel garden and balcony of the room etc.
Randholee , Kandy also consists of a small gymnasium, business centre, and games room with a pool table and indoor games such as carom and chess.
Infinity swimming pool
Randholee , Kandy with its lifts and ramps has made it wheel chair accessible.
The sprawling terraced garden of hotel is rich in birdlife attracted by the flowering plants and tropical fruit trees. The vantage points of the garden including the summer hut and swimming pool afford the spectacular view of the mountain ranges.
In room facilities at Randholee , Kandy
Writing desk, electronic safe and wardrobe.
Air-conditioning and overhead fan
Satellite TV, DVD player on request, IDD, internet,
Minibar, tea / coffee facility
En-suite bathrooms equipped with hot water and cold water showers.
24 hour in-room dining and room service.
Excursions off Randholee , Kandy
Nature trails: hiking over and around the scenic Hanthana mountain range of Kandy.
A walk down the hills to the tea Museum that exhibits the colonial era machinery such as tea rollers and dryers used the in manufacture of Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the World.
Sacred Temple of the Tooth located by the side of the man-made decorative lake in the city center of Kandy.
The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, one of the finest botanical gardens of Asia at Peradeniya located over the Peradeniya bridge at Kandy.
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
Location of WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
WildGrass Nature Resort, a jungle hideaway is located at 175 km away from Colombo in Lenawa of the Kumbukkadanwala village in the background of the forest of Sigiriya. Proudest feature in the zone of Sigiriya is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya Lion Rock Citadel. WildGrass Nature Resort is within 15 minutes drive from Sri Lanka Holidays Sigiriya Lion Rock Citadel as well as from Golden Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Kaludiya Pokuna [Sinhala: Black Water Pond], an ancient large bathing pond enchantingly set within the all green surroundings, is 5 minutes away from this eco resort.
The location of WildGrass hotel at Sigiriya, the at the heart of Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle make it a convenient base to do excursions to the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Golden Dambulla Rock Temple.
Setting of WildGrass Nature Resort
WildGrass Nature Resort is luxurious eco-retreat set amidst the 30 acres unfenced wilderness bordering the of all green forests over the village of Kumbukkadanwala. The premises of the resort, rich in birdlife is visited by deer, rabbits and wild boar.
Sri Lanka Holidays Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials of WildGrass Nature Resort
WildGrass Nature Resort had adopted a nature conservation philosophy preserving the natural eco-systems of the rural area. Out of the requirements of fruits and vegetables at the resort, some are cultivated within the premises by using Organic farming methods. The shortfall is bought from the villagers of the surrounding areas.
Architectural concept of WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
The villas at WildGrass Nature Resort is built in Sri Lankan traditions in architecture is blended with modern day requirements of luxury living. The floor to ceiling glass windows of spacious villas are designed to afford panoramic views of the wilderness.
Accommodation at WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
Accommodation at WildGrass Nature Resort is set with a 5 beautifuly designed villas equipped with modern amenities each one at least 50 feet away from others so that total privacy is secured at all times. Each villa consists of a living room with a comfortable sofa that can also be used as a day bed; dining room with a six-seater dining table; open-air terrace.
One bedroom villas
One bedroom villas with floor space of 1,800 sq ft are designed for 3 guests features a living room, dining room on the ground floor. On the upper floor is air-conditioned room with en-suite bathroom
Two bed room villas
Family villas with floor space of 2,600 sq ft are designed for families consists of a luxurious master suite and an additional double bedroom which can accommodate up to four guests. Each bedroom has cable TV and en-suite bathrooms with open air hot water and cold water showers.
In-room facilities at WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
Flat-screen TV with satellite channels, wireless internet, IDD telephone
Minibar, tea/coffee facility
Reading material, board and card games.
Each villa is provided with two mountain bicycles to ride to dining pavilion and slso to explore the village
Activities at WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
Bird watching, hiking along the jungle treks, fishing in the lake, meditation and yoga.
One day excursions off WildGrass Nature Resort, Sigiriya
Touring main Sri Lanka Holidays cultural attractions located within the Sri Lanka Cultural Triangle:
Golden Dambulla Rock Cave temple and Sigiriya Lion Rock Citadel
Ancient city of Anuradhapura
Ancient city of Polonnaruwa and neighboring Minneriya National Park is also located nearby.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Location of Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is located at the fishing of Weligama of the Southern Coastal Belt, at a distance of 140km from Colombo, the capital city and the main transportation hub of Sri Lanka. South Western Coast and Southern Coast of Sri Lanka are studded with the loveliest pristine bay beaches of golden sand. All the bay beaches are fringed with groves of coconut palm running along each one of those, providing shelter and shade from the tropical sun to the Sri Lanka Holidays tourists on touring holidays in the beaches.
Weligama is halfway between Dondre Head [Devi Nuwara or Devundara], the southernmost point of Sri Lanka to the east [25km] and Unawatuna, a lovely palm fringed bay beach to the west [22km]. Tissamaharama, at once the main Sri Lanka Holidays Cultural Attraction in the Deep South and the gateway to the popular Ruhuna Yala National Park [Yala West] is 124km to the east.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of VOC Galle Dutch Fort is 28km to the west of Weligma on the south western coast.
Barberyn Beach Hotel, Weligama, Sri Lanka Holidays
Eco credentials of Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama: To be edited
Setting of Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is scenically set upon a small hill by the sea at Weligama. Flanked by two beautiful verdant valleys on the east and west, the hill slopes down to the beach at Red Cliff bay, where the guests do swim when the tide is low. On the other side of the resort is the Palm Beach.
Barberyn Beach Hotel, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama’s targeted clientele
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort isn’t just another beach resort: it is a dedicated Ayurveda Resort. Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort has restricted itself strictly to the clientele who arrives for Sri Lanka Holidays with a view to undergo Ayurvedic treatments and therapies to rejuvenate their bodies and lives. A minimum of 14 days treatments being required for effective Ayurvedic therapies and treatments, the rates are all inclusive: accommodation, all vegetarian meals and meals with fish, up to four treatments a day including massages and herbal baths, all the Ayurvedic medicines used during your entire stay at Barberyn.
No alcohol is served or allowed at all during your stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama.
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama has been renowned for its Ayurvedic Spa throughout Europe and Asia for its Ayurvedic treatments for more than a couple of decades. The resort offers effective treatments for shoulder pain, back ache – sciatica, insomnia, gastritis ulcers, skin disorders, psoriasis, allergies, arthritis and many other ailments.
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Accommodation at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama
The bright, airy and high-ceilinged rooms at Sri Lanka Holidays Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is furnished, wherever possible with natural materials. All rooms are equipped with ceiling fans, mosquito net. Each and every room has its own balcony and en suite toilets.
Deluxe Studio Rooms appr. 450 sq. ft.
Deluxe Rooms appr. 400 sq. ft
Standard Rooms appr. 300 sq. ft
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama’s Facilities: Dining
The dining room, that is open in two sides, brings in grand views of beach on one side and hill on another. All meals are carefully prepared and served to support and enhance the effects of the Ayurvedic therapies and treatments.
Fresh tropical fruits, fruit juices, an array of traditional porridge prepared by boiling herbs and rice together, yam, eastern and western styled bread is served for the breakfast.
Buffet lunch features vegetables and fresh fish, followed by fruits, yogurt like local delicacy called curd sweetened with palm treacle.
Dinner is a set meal with a soup, main meal and desert. Guests may have the vegetarian main course or dinner served with fish.
Saturday evening features “Sri Lanka night”: hot, spicy hot and delicious dishes of Sri Lanka, some of it cooked at the Buffet table, and eastern music played by a group of traditional musicians.
Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Facilities at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama
Ayurveda health center, Yoga and medicine pavilion, Shrine room, Reading room
Sea view room serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
Reception pavilion, Swimming pool overlooking the beach
Conference facility, Asian skills and crafts shop
Food demonstrations, Ayurvedic lectures, Cultural evenings
IDD, Laundry, Tailoring, Foreign Currency Exchange
Excursions off Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, Weligama
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of VOC Galle Dutch Fort at Galle
Matara Dutch Fort at Matara
Folk Museum at Koggala
Buddhist temple at Dondre Head