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The southern coast

Travelling across the southern coastline of Sri Lanka took us from Tissa to Galle (pronounced as Gaul), our next main destination. We took our time though, completing this journey of about 150 kilometres over 4-5 hours time. We had short stops along the way so we can indulged in spots of photography, plus we also visited a blowhole and a 2004 tsunami memorial site.

The initial part of the road to Galle saw us exiting Tissa but passing by vast open fields and notable turn offs to get to Bundala National Park. Not long thereafter, we began to sight the coastline and stayed driving pretty much along this scenic route. And like everywhere else in the country, we soon also spotted a number of Buddhas along the route, but more notably, we began to notice Buddha in standing position and in different poses. Up until now, those which we have noted tend to be of sitting or sleeping positions.

A little over an hour after departure, we went past Tangalle and soon arriving to Kudawella. This was a short stop recommended by Nilan – to visit the Hoo-maniya (or Hoomanaya) blowhole. We were not aware of the presence of the only blowhole in Sri Lanka (well, given how little trip preparation we did, it is not a surprise really) and according to Nilan, this is also one of the largest in the world (Wikipedia says possibly second largest but another blowhole in Mexico claims that spot, so who knows?). Claire and I looked at each other and said, why not, right? We were already here, we should seized the opportunity!

When we were there, the sea condition was relatively calm. This translates into a nice viewing of blowhole activities but it didn’t reach the maximum height that it could have. There is a small information centre adjacent to the site (you also get the ticket here, at 200 LKR per person) and accordingly, heights reached by Hoo-maniya could be up to 25m. Now, that would be very impressive to witness indeed!

Not far from Kudawella we had another stop, this time at Dondra, the southernmost point of Sri Lanka (if you head southward from here, you’re on your way to the south pole!). A former religious centre known as Dewa Nuwara (“City of the Gods”), little remained of the old temple dedicated to Vishnu except for an ancient shrine called Galge. Today the main sights that attract attention are Devi Nuwara Devalaya, a new temple complex with a tall standing Buddha outside of it and resident elephant, and Devundara Vishnu Shrine, a distinctive three-storey devale in blue (or as we were told, Vishnu-blue, of course).

We continued to make our way towards Galle and started to come upon rolling sea. Despite the day being a relatively calm one, the waves were crashing on the shorelines rather impressively. I remember thinking to myself – if this height is achieved on a normal day, I could see how the tidal waves brought about by the tsunami nearly a decade ago be amplified to the scale that they were; the constantly blowing wind would have also attenuate their effects.

And alas, we also caught sight of fishermen on stilts around Ahangama (or maybe the next town up or before?). Not many, just a couple of them. There were plenty of these traditional stilts along the coast, but I guess it was also not a practical time to be out sitting on the petta under the afternoon hot sun. Not only that, the fishermen we spotted were not even really there to fish but to bait for tips from tourists. I understand that life hasn’t been easy for many in the region, but it was also slightly scary to see a determined fisherman stalking towards you in full speed upon seeing a single camera out and taking a focus on the men out on the stilts…


All posts in this series:
Sri Lanka: Ceylonese Tales
Sri Lanka: Trekking Sigiriya | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Cave temples of Dambulla | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Cultural evening in Kandy | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: We sort of saw Nuwara Eliya… | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Morning hike at Horton Plains | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: A room with a view in Ella | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Tissa, Yala and safari | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: The southern coast | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: The old fort of Galle | Flickr Photoset
Sri Lanka: Roadtrip ended in Colombo | Flickr Photoset

Category: Asia, Sri Lanka, Travel

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. medca says:

    Great pics!!! and that gif image!!! should get ur articles to Sri Lanka tourism board lil hehehe..its good ;)

    • Lil says:

      there are other bloggers out there writing about sri lanka too, and they’re doing excellent jobs. the tourism board doesn’t need me ;)

  2. Chloé says:

    Awesome animated image of the blowhole indeed! :)

    • Lil says:

      hehehe… it was kinda fun building that gif. taking pics continuously without tripod was a tad tricky though!

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