Old Ceylon Photos

I never really got to share most of the photos I had taken during my visit to Sri Lanka long ago. So, I will share a few of the interesting ones among them right here – they are the pictures which I haven’t shared yet, and are not really the perfectly shot photos of the major tourist attractions. I have shared a few pictures already, but I have been looking forward to sharing more with some variations for a long time. Do you have a favourite picture among these? Well I love them all and hope to visit the island nation again some day! 🙂

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***All the images shared in this blog post were taken by me in Sri Lanka.

TeNy

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A Special Ceylon Rewind

My journey to Ceylon is something that I rewind and play very often in my mind. There are many things that I was sure about, but one thing among them was that I had a fantastic time with the Ramayana Tour arranged by Riya Travels with the company of the newfound “spiritual uncles”, all of them who seemed to be above the age of sixty and myself being the not-so-little kid 😀 Here, I am sharing a few places that I wish to recollect – my little packages of joy.

10. The Ravana Ella: There have been a number of waterfalls during our journey through the high altitude areas of Ceylon, and among them, this waterfalls named after Ravana has the first say. This has a background story going back to Ramayana, and it is believed that Ravana hid Seetha in the caves behind this waterfalls.

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9. The Kandy Lake: This man-made lake is a beautiful sight to witness. Built by the last king of the place, Vikrama Rajasinha, before going under the British occupation, this is a nice place in the heart of the city, located next to the Temple of the Tooth. Here is one for your favourite lakes list.

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8. Hakgala Botanical Garden: Often connected to Ravana’s Ashoka Vatika in Ramayana, this is now a botanical garden with nice collection of trees, plants and flowers. The climate is nice and cold, with the place having some beautiful spots for taking photos. Yes, the tea is also around for us.

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7. St. Xavier’s Church, Nuwara Eliya: A walk through the cool climate of the place felt good, and during one of those walks through the hilly town, we came across this church, and an attempt to enter with chappals left on the outside almost lead to the freezing effect. The structure is nicely built and things were nicely arranged.

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6. St. Anthony’s Church, Bandarawela: When we were wandering around the town with lots of spare time having nothing else to do, we found out this hidden gem. It was not a big structure, but managed to be different in its style. It is located at a higher area of the town, and with its attractive looks, has a calm atmosphere.

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5. Seetha Amman Temple, Seetha Eliya: This is where Ravana is supposed to have hidden Seetha after abducting her. It is not a big town or anything, but a peaceful place which seems to have its own spiritual significance for anyone who wishes for some serenity during their journey. This a small, but beautiful structure which stretches from the rocks below to the heights of the road.

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4. The Negombo Beaches: We didn’t have much to spend at Colombo, and therefore the adjustment was made whatever was left with the beaches of Negombo. There were some nice, beautiful scenery there, and some spots which reminds us of home, in an extremely positive manner. There was a lot of Kerala at parts of Negombo, and I didn’t feel away from home at all.

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3. Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Factory, Nuwara Eliya: Providing us with breath-taking scenery of the tea plantations and also for providing us with the much needed awesome tea, the cold climate contributes with a sudden blow of wind which takes out breath away and then we realized that we need to drink more tea.

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2. Temple of the Tooth, Kandy: A royal palace and a temple complex, with the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha – I don’t think that it could get any better on that trip. It was actually the first Buddhist temple I had ever visited, if my memory is correct; and yes it was not like anything I had seen before.

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1. The Kelaniya Temple: This is where our journey ended, as we went directly to the airporty at Colombo after the visit here. The temple takes us back to the time of the final visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka. It has wonderful paintings and sculptures all around, and special mention is needed for the reclining Buddha. The paintings show the life of the Buddha, incidents related to Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also a few things from the Jataka tales.

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*The photos used in this blog post are all taken by me using a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and a Sony Cybershot DSC-W180 – had two cameras with me in case one gave me trouble 😀

TeNy

That Aroma of Tea

There is no denying the fact that our travel is for the sake for visiting tourist destinations and having a peek at those places where we haven’t gone before and taking snaps to remember the journey. But some of those journeys are about smell, the fragrance that rises above what is visible, and makes us feel like never before, and I talk about such a journey here which stayed in my mind due to the fragrance factor.

There are not many things that have interested me more than the fragrance that the tea provides, even as it is a known fact that there will be more talks about the smell of coffee. The fragrance of tea leaves have been something that has inspired me, and that is evident from the name and header of this blog. I have never really left any doubt about the same either, it has been clear to me since an early childhood visit to Munnar in Kerala.

Can't wait to enter and have the much needed tea :D

Can’t wait to enter and have the much needed tea 😀

This is where my journey to Ceylon comes to the picture. The Sri Lankan journey happened in July 2010 which started with a fire on the flight which I boarded. But that was never really the beginning to the wonderful journey, which actually started somewhere higher in altitude – no not Kandy, much higher; and that should be the city of Nuwara Eliya as we travelled from Kandy to that place which was relatively unknown to us.

Our bus was going between the tea plantations until it stopped near a building which had a certain amount of beauty and could boast of having a scenic background that is close enough to a traveller’s paradise. I had decided at that moment that Nuwara Eliya was to be something special for my mind, forever. The guide brought us into the building which had that smell which filled the soul like nothing ever before. It was the fragrance of the tea leaves.

It might not be what most of people would wish to smell, but I found the fragrance like nothing ever before, even as I have been to tea factories before at least twice. It is like heaven to be at such a place, and the description of tea production never really caught my ears as this fragrance captured myself as a whole. There is beauty in the fragrance of tea, something which enchants and inspires us. It had transformed into a beautiful land of awesome tea.

There was the need to taste tea, and this opportunity only came later after minutes of living in that fragrance, hoping for the drink to grace my tongue; it was finally achieved by a cup of Orange Pekoe tea and one of the finest I have ever had, and the ambiance which was there for having that cup was simply mesmerizing. I wished I could stay there forever, but that was one of the shortest time periods spend anywhere during that journey. The only dose of happiness that we brought back was related to the Ceylon Tea packets which we brought home and a few photos which I keep as my wallpaper.

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

This blog entry is in relation to the #InspireAFragrance contest by Godrej aer: http://www.godrejaer.com/ – the contest was to inspire with an evocative travel experience to create the first crowd-inspired fragrances for Godrej aer. It always feels good to have one of such a thing for our cars, doesn’t it? Even if it is a new experience with the same, it never hurts to try. The fragrance is very important, as it is something which has become an unavoidable part of our lives, even related to the food and drinks.

TeNy