Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

Sri Lanka, some useful tips to spend 10 days on the road in this country and don't miss some of the most interesting things. A travelogue for those who want to explore Sri Lanka.

Last summer I decided to take a beautiful tour of the Sri Lanka on the road in August. The Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island state that lies just below India. Hence the definition Pearl or Tear of India.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

Sri Lanka on the road: when to go

In theory, August shouldn't be the best time to visit this beautiful country. In truth, they were beautiful days, with only half an hour of rain on the penultimate day. So I recommend you go there, regardless of the season.

We left Venice with an Etihad flight to Columbo, the former capital of Sri Lanka, which has 600.000 inhabitants. They will seem many but many more, in fact, considering that in the urban agglomeration there are 2 million people.

Colombo, what to expect

The city is the most total delusion, cars, tuk-tuks, animals and people running everywhere and everywhere, from the first light of dawn. Colombo was our starting point and also our arrival point, from there we organized a intensive tour of Sri Lanka lasted ten days.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

The tour included the following stops: Colombo - Kandy - Dambulla - Polonnaruwa - Trincomalee - Anuradhapura - Colombo.

The train experience

Once in Colombo we took the bus to the center and from there a tuk-tuk which quickly took us to the train station, beautiful and evocative, where we immediately took a train to Kandy, a very important center of Sri Lanka. The train was a very nice experience, although we had taken first class, the journey was incredibly bumpy and hectic. Almost a roller coaster ride. The view from the train was really beautiful: houses immersed in the wildest nature.

In about three hours by train we arrived in Kandy, an ancient city in the central part of the state. Also once the capital, home to the temple where the relic of the sacred tooth of the Buddha, Sri Dalada Maligawa, is kept.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

This temple is located within the Kandy Royal Palace complex. According to legend, when the Buddha died, when his body was cremated on a sandalwood pyre in India, his canine tooth was stolen and taken to Sri Lanka. From that moment this relic became the property of the rulers and the very reason of the king's right to govern. In fact, there were various ups and downs and even wars to hold the sacred tooth.

Also, if you happen to be there in August, remember that Esala Perahera is at that time. It is a huge Buddhist festival that includes an immense parade of beautiful, richly decorated elephants, accompanied by dancers. When we were there, they were just making preparations and the atmosphere was already special.

During our stay we also visited a gigantic park filled with beautiful elephants, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Maybe a little touristy but with a breathtaking view.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

After two days in Kandy we moved, thanks to a driver recommended to us by the hotel (I assure you that this is a transfer mode in any case at a good price for a little longer journeys). We have come to Dambulla e Polonnaruwa where we settled in a splendid guesthouse in Sigiriya. Here we lived and ate with this beautiful family consisting of a wife, husband and two children. I leave you only to imagine the goodness of the curry rice cooked for us by this lady with golden hands according to the original recipe.

The wonders of Sri Lanka on the road

From here we visited the beautiful surroundings and especially the Sigiriya rock. A World Heritage archaeological site, which contains the ruins of an ancient palace. If you look at it and, above all, if you climb it, you will really wonder how human beings could have built it in 477 - 495 AD The view from up there is breathtaking and climbing, perhaps under a scorching sun, is a very strange, articulated path sometimes overhanging, but truly incredible. The ticket is not really cheap but it is worth all the money they ask for.

Less touristy, indeed I would say almost not at all, is the climb to another rock that is located right near Sigiriya, Pidurangala Rock.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

The climb is not guided, as for Sigiriya, on the contrary you will have to make do. You will need to have gym shoes and a minimum of agility, but up there it will be beautiful I guarantee you. You will feel like you are on lunar ground, with rocks that have been positioned one above the other without an apparent why. You will have a beautiful view over the plain of Central Sri Lanka and there, in front of you, will be Sigiriya.

Visit to Trincomalee

After another couple of days here we moved towards the sea in Trincomalee, a northeastern coast town built on a peninsula. Here the beaches are gigantic and very beautiful but not very white. And the sun really burns, don't forget the protection. Here we relaxed for three days, eating typical foods and enjoying the beach.

Also very pleasant to do is the excursion to Pigeon Island National Park, a very small islet that is located as the crow flies 1 km in front of the Trincomalee bay, precisely from Nilaveli beach. The island's name derives from the bird species that colonized it. Here you will find a beautiful coral reef suitable for both children, like me, and adults. I did snorkeling I too, who am afraid of water and three small sharks, about a meter long, swam around me in the shallow water as if nothing had happened. Here, if you wish, a guide will take you to some special snorkeling spots to see the big, real fish.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

Anuradhapura: last stop

After these relaxing days we finally moved, calmly thanks to a tuk-tuk and its driver / guide, to our last stop, Anuradhapura, one of the oldest capitals of Sri Lanka. This city is famous as it preserves some very particular ruins of ancient civilizations. This archaeological site also belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where we suffered the most from the sun: bring a hat or, even better, a linen scarf to use as a turban.

But even more beautiful than the ruins of Anuradhapura, it was for me the site of Mihintale which is located not far from the ruins of the city. It is a historical and religious location located on the peak of a mountain. It is believed to have been the meeting place between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which led to the birth and development of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka on the road in 10 days

Currently it is configured as a place of pilgrimage, in fact you will find many pilgrims, always behave with respect, they will respond with continuous smiles. About 1840 stone steps will take you to the top and three levels of the complex. It is also possible to get to the top directly with a tuk-tuk or other means of transport, but do you want to put the satisfaction of the steps? The view over the region from the top of the complex is splendid.

Here ours tour of Sri Lanka it ends with a return to Colombo airport to leave for new destinations.

An unforgettable journey, among breathtaking landscapes, smiling faces and lots and lots of curry rice.

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