The word ‘paradise’ is a continuous debate for travelers around the world. Almost every stretch of white sand beach or rainforest is conveniently termed ‘paradise’.
While tourists today include ‘#paradise’ next to every picture posted on Instagram, in the case of Sri Lanka identified as Paradise on Earth, there is a genuine reason. Here are some literary references to prove those:
- Author: Alan Walters
Book: Palms And Pearls: Or Scenes In Ceylon (Published in 1891)
In this book, a 14th Century Icelandic work is highlighted by the author and named as ‘Paradise’ – which is an island off India and is ‘studded with flowers’. Ceylon was renamed as Sri Lanka in 1972.
- The largest existing medieval map known as The Hereford Mappa Mundi identified Paradise as a circle shaped island off the coast of India.
- Hugo Victor, a French author is believed to be addressing Sri Lanka when he writes the following sentence:
“Paradise is a spot in the Orient productive of all kinds of woods and pomiferous trees: it contains the Tree of Life; there is neither cold nor heat but perpetual equable temperature.”
While the hustle bustle of Colombo and the rough driving by bus drivers on the roads of Sri Lanka may seem not so Paradise-like, the natural beauty makes the Paradise description absolutely apt.
Sri Lanka boasts a collection of 26 national parks, each one swarming with wildlife.
For the adventure lovers, Chena Huts located in the Yala National Park is a good accommodation choice with its safari style suites and plunge pools. The intimate atmosphere of the hotel – with only 14 luxury suites, ensures maximum privacy for guests. Signs on the pathway of the hotel premises are proof that elephants are sighted regularly around the area.
Let us discuss some guest experiences in the safari world of Sri Lanka:
- A few friends were enjoying a lunchtime martini at the bar when four monkeys appeared and made themselves comfortable just a few yards away from the group of friends.
- The same group of friends once walked to the sandbanks below the Chena Huts resort and suddenly heard a huge crash. They slowly turned around, only to see they were face to face with an elephant!
- The best people to give you experiences are the staff of the hotel. They are nowhere close to being freaked out even after encounters with leopards, crocodiles, elephants and wild boars strolling into hotel grounds.
Every morning you have the option of heading on for a safari tour of the National Park within which you are camping. Safari rides are available at 6.30am or 3.30pm every day but the morning ones have a better chance of sighting the much sought after wild ones.
Driving through the Yala National Park, you will suddenly come to an open scenery which looks like you have arrived to Africa – huge lakes are covered with water and mountains loom in the backdrop. Toucans, elephants, leopards, monkeys and water buffalo sightings are included in the wonderful safari experiences in Sri Lanka.
And now, moving on to the surfer’s Paradise…
After an adventurous stay in the wild, a few days in the popular surfing resort of Weligama (southern coast) should not be missed.
Perched on a cliff top, Cape Weligama resort is amongst the favorite hotels with its spectacular views of the ocean. The activities center at the resort offers surfboards, snorkels and paddleboards for rent along with lessons for scuba diving.
The Moon Pool – loved by author Alan Walters, is where you must spend a few hours. It is more like an infinity pool with palm fringed trees where you can relax and watch surfers eagerly waiting for the next big wave.
Apart from the southern coast of Weligama, more Paradise beaches that should not be missed during your Sri Lanka tour are found in places like Kalpitiya in the west and Arugam Bay in the East.