Landscapes and seascapes, big cats and catamarans, whales and waterfalls—the wonders of Sri Lanka

 

The online Indian lifestyle magazine Verve is in no doubt: “Nowhere is life’s excellence, its fullness, its force and its music, its mystery, its damage and radiance more apparent than in Sri Lanka.”

And acclaimed writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi should know, having spent precious time and 1,500 words of praise for an experience that left his heart skipping a beat.

It began at Yala National Park, where, “against a milky dawn horizon, atop a boulder, I saw a leopard’s silhouette. Indolently, with the muscular majesty of a formidable predator…”

 

He was staying at Wild Coast Tented Lodge, “a miracle of geography—a bleached sandy beach is at its stern—water-smoothened boulders, ocean whipping up a white shore.

“Pug marks on the shore and the lurching breeze reminded me that under this tremendous, daunting, uncharted beauty ran the full might of nature’s unpredictable turbulence.”

Later, Dunkeld cottage, part of Ceylon Tea Trails, where “my most exquisite gift had been the sleep I experienced…come here to restore the spirit and to recognise that life’s essential character is solitary”.

 

But it was where “an enormous sky meets an enormous sea” watching whales from the deck of a Sail Lanka catamaran, “a labour of love and passion, made with excellence in Sri Lanka for the world,” that struck a chord.

Sail Lanka founder Pierre Pringiers “has led a renaissance of sustainable ecological tourism in Sri Lanka, particularly around the spectacular belt of Cape Weligama, where Sail Lanka’s boats take visitors out to discreetly and respectfully study marine life”.

And finally, back to Colombo, “one of my favourite Asian capitals. I’d stayed at Maniumpathy—a gorgeous manor house restored thoughtfully by a British man, evoking a Colombo of yore, all white colonnades, ‘gossip corners’, and ancestral silver.”

Read more here.

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