Monday, January 27, 2014



Negombo is a modest beach town located close to Bandaranaike International Airport.
In many ways it is a more salubrious introduction to the country than Colombo,and it’s a pleasant alternative to the monster traffic into and through the capital. In fact, some budget-conscious sun seekers just stay here, although doing this means missing the
much nicer beaches to the south. Bustling Negombo town is a historically interesting place, strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. 

The narrow strip of land to the south of the lagoon and the many canals make for good exploring. The Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it, then captured it
again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo
was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there
are still reminders of the European days.


Rising 200m straight up over the dusty plains of north central Sri Lanka, the flattopped
rock formation of Sigiriya is not only one of the island’s most impressive
geological formations but also one of its greatest archaeological legacies. The leafy
village that has grown up near its base serves the comings and goings of tourists and pilgrims and is of relatively recent


Originally called Sihagiri (Remembrance Rock) and later dubbed Sigiriya (Lion
Rock), the rock mass is actually the hardened magma plug of an extinct volcano that long
ago eroded away. Pocked with natural cave shelters and rock overhangs – supplemented
over the centuries by numerous hand-hewnadditions and modifications – the rock may
have been inhabited in prehistoric times.Popular myth says that the formation
served royal and military functions during the reign of King Kassapa (AD 477–495),
who allegedly built a garden and palace on the summit. According to this theory,
King Kassapa sought out an unassailable new residence after overthrowing and murdering
his own father, King Dhatusena of Anuradhapura.
A new theory, supported by archaeological, literary, religious and cultural evidence
rather than local legend, says that Sigiriya was never a fortress or palace, but rather
a long-standing Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist monastery built several centuries
before the time of King Kassapa. Monks were using it as a mountain hermitage by


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