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Sri Lanka

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

A pilgrim tour to Anuradhapura is one of the things I do whenever I am in Sri Lanka. Few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura and spent time among Buddhist offerings. Although we came back to Sri Lanka again within few months, with my desire to visit Anuradhapura, I arranged another pilgrimage.

In Anuradhapura sacred city, there are many historical places to visit. As a UNESCO heritage site, this sacred city is a must visit place for anyone who loves historical places. All the main attractions are easily reached by a vehicle. So, previously we always used the vehicle to reach each of the temples and stupas in Anuradhapura. However this time we walked more.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

Walking From Thuparamaya to Ruwanwelisaya

In sacred city of Anuradhapura, all the temples and sacred places are located in walking distances between those. From Thuparamaya, you can easily walk to Ruwanwelisaya and it is around 15 minutes’ walk if you walk leisurely and slowly. The best thing is that this route is with beautiful views and some other ancient ruins.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Ancient ruins in front of Thuparamaya temple complex

In our walk, we had a glance to other historical buildings and ruins around Thuparamaya temple complex. Starting from the ruins of Thuparamaya temple complex, we could see some other ruins along the way to Ruwanwelisaya.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

On one side, it is a small lake with the views of nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
View of Jethawanaramaya behind the lake.

My son who is still 4 years old could enjoy this nature walk with the views of birds namely kingfisher, oriole and even a vulture. Sounds of peacocks allowed us to connect with nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
We enjoyed the nature in this morning while walking.
Helpful tips if you plan walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya Stupa
Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Near the Ruwanwalisaya end,you can buy flowers.
  • The distance between these stupas is less than 1 km when you walk.
  • The best time for walking is in the early morning or evening to avoid heat of the sun.
  • There is a foot path which you can easily walk.
  • Near the Ruwanwalisaya end, you can easily buy flowers to offer.
  • There are ancient ruins along the way. You will also watch natural views while walking.

 

Do you like such walking tours among the historical places?

 

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

When we are in Sri Lanka we always love to arrange pilgrimages with family members. As a country with lot of sacred cities, temples and historical sites, Sri Lanka offers many reasons for us to plan pilgrimages each year. It can be a pilgrimage to see temples and ruins of ancient city Polonnaruwa or it can be a pilgrimage to see Anuradhapura attractions, we always find these tours as a way to bond with family members while spending time in religious activities. Our trips to Kandy are also pilgrimages most of the times as temples are the main attractions, not only for visiting but also to spend time with religious and spiritual activities.

So, here is a travelogue of one of our recent pilgrimages to Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

It was last June that we were in another holiday in Sri Lanka. During this period, we spent time to visit Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka. I’ve visited Anuradhapura Buddhist attractions many time, but I still plan to visit the same places again simply due to the Buddhist beliefs and to spend time in spiritual activities.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Stopping at a fruit stall is a great way to have a break.

As of most pilgrimages, we left our home early in the morning with the hope of reaching Anuradhapura in the noon. On the way to Anuradhapura, we stopped in few places for breakfast and for short breaks. As there are fruit stalls along the road to Anuradhapura, it is always enjoyable to taste different fruits which are also fresh.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Travelling with a kid,we always like to have short breaks during road trips.

Finally, we reached Anuradhapura. After having lunch, our first visit was to the ‘Sri Maha Bodhi Tree’ which is one of the sacred places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Sri Maha Bodhi tree

It is believed that ‘Sri Maha Bodhi tree’ is a sapling of Bodhi tree that Buddha was sitting during his enlightenment.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Offerings at the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

As usual we always like to visit Ruwanwalisaya in the evening to avoid the sun. During the day time, it can be really hot and it is not easy to go around the stupa and do the offerings with proper concentration.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Ruwanwalisaya Stupa

In Thuparamaya, we also could see and  join another Buddhist offering which is called ‘Kap ruk Poojawa’.After visiting both Thuparamaya and Ruwanwelisaya which are must visit attractions in Anuradhapura, we reached our accommodation.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Kap Ruk poojawa at Thuparamaya

It was the day before June Full moon day which is also called ‘Poson Poya’.In Sri Lanka, full moon day is a holiday and it is a day for Buddhist activities. As a Majaor poya day,Pososn Poya is a crowded day for Anuradhapura and temples were full of devotees.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Thuparamaya Stupa after Kap ruk poojawa

We also spent time having meals and drinks from ‘Dan sal’.Dan Sal are the places that people offer food and drinks for anyone without any charge. It is completely free to drink or eat from a ‘Dansala’ and these events are mostly organized during the major full moon days.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Dan Sala (It was a Biscuit Dan sala organized by a major Biscuit brand of Sri Lanka which travellers to Anuradhapura received biscuits free. 🙂

As the city was fully crowded, we also experienced huge traffic jam. However we could visit the major attractions including Abhayagiriya and Jethwanaramaya.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Mirisawetiya stupa

We had great two days in Anuradhapura spending in spiritual activities. It was a pilgrimage that we like to remind again and again.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
It is easy to buy flowers and other necessary things for offerings at the entrance of each Buddhist places.
Useful tips for planning a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura

Leave early and reach Anuradhapura early morning to save time. So, you can visit more attractions during the few days of stay.

Follow the rules when you enter into the sacred city and the temples. Check this post on how to behave in a Buddhist temple if you are not sure.

Avoid bathing in lakes if you don’t know the designated places to have a bath or to enjoy water activities. Always read the sign boards and warnings before you go to the water/lakes.

Hiring a van from a car rental service is always our preferred way to reach Anuradhapura when we plan pilgrimages. This is a stress free way to reach Anuradhapura.

Accommodation in Anuradhapura

Book your accommodation before you reach Anuradhapura. During the crowded days, it is not easy to find proper accommodation.

We booked Creston Park Accomodation through Agoda which is a decent budget hotel that is great for family holidays. The good thing about Creston Park Accomodation is that their food is really delicious. Also staff is friendly.The location is strategic and near to sacred city of Anuradhapura. (Accomodation Near Anuradhapura Pooja Nagaraya)

If you look for booking a complete house for your group, then check AirBnb for such accommodation .Most of the houses offered are affordable in rates. Use this link to book and save up to $50 SGD travel credit.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

Have you been to Anuradhapura? Do you like pilgrimages? If so, do you plan such trips with family members and friends? Please share your thoughts below.

 

Sri Lanka Flowers
Wathusudda flowers

Having a holiday in Sri Lanka is always enjoyable. This is the time of the year that we enjoy time with our family members and friends. Other than spending time with family members, I also get time to spend among natural views of Sri Lanka.

I just started my Sri Lanka holiday. It is raining here. However I have enough flowers captures to share. As always this is the time I spend among flowers and flower photography.

Below are some white flowers I captured during these days. While sharing travel experiences and travel tips through this blog, I also like to document the flowers I find in Sri Lanka.

Wathusudda (Tabernaemontana divaricata,pinwheel flower) is a common flower find in Sri Lankan home gardens.These flowers can be found easily throughout the year.

Sri Lanka Flowers
White Flowers from Sri Lanka : Wathusudda flowers

With beautiful blooms and fresh flowers that cover the wathusudda plant,these flowers make pleasant views for any home.In Sri Lanka it is also used for offerings for Buddha.Also it is good for simple decorations.

pinwheel flowers
wathusudda flowers are good for simple home decorations with flowers.

Below is another type of wathusudda that is easy to find in Sri Lanka.The petals of these flowers are thicker than the common type of wathusudda which I shared above.

Sri Lanka Flowers
A type of wathusudda

Below is a bloom of the above wathusudda type.As the petals are thick,these flowers can remain a day or two without wilting.

Sri Lanka Flowers
Wathusudda blooms

A tour to Sri Lanka may not complete if you don’t have a look into the flora and fauna as Sri Lanka is a country blessed with nature’s beauty.Among the many flowers,wathusudda is popular simply because it is easy to grow and there are also different types.Below is another type of wathusudda easily find in Sri Lanka.

White Flowers from Sri Lanka
White Flowers from Sri Lanka : A kind of wathusudda flower

All above are different types of white flowers found in Sri Lanka.Among the white flowers,we cannot forget jasmine flowers (pichcha flowers) which also with good fragrance.Earlier I shared some posts about gata pichcha flowers and wild jasmine flowers.Below is a capture of Saman Pichcha flowers which is another type of Jasmine that emits good fragrance.

White Flowers from Sri Lanka
White Flowers from Sri Lanka : Saman Pichcha flower

If you like to know about the flowers of Sri Lanka,please check this post about Kadupul flower.This beautiful flower will make you surprised with its unique details!

Do you like to capture flowers?Do you like these beautiful white flowers from Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka: Dogs, Cats and a Holiday

These days I am spending another holiday in Sri Lanka. Although I planned few short trips to Indonesia and Thailand, finally we had to fly to Sri Lanka at the end of October due to a family emergency. This is earlier than our usual year-end Sri Lanka holiday. Also this time we don’t travel around the country, instead we stay with parents. While spending time at home I also get opportunity to talk with neighbours and to spend the time in Sri Lankan way.

Sri Lanka: Dogs, Cats and a Holiday

So, here come dogs and cats. Truly they are not from my parents’ home. But, in Sri Lanka, it is common to see such cats and dogs in many homes. Sometimes these cats look lazy and sleep everywhere freely. Dogs look lazy and sleepy, but they start barking even for a really soft sound.

Sri Lanka: Dogs, Cats and a Holiday
This cat sleeps whole day and his favourite place is the kitchen of it’s home.

Instead of a travel destination, I hope you like to see some of the cats and dogs from Sri Lanka in different actions!These are captures from Sri Lankan homes.But,if you really love to watch other animals and wildlife in Sri Lanka,there are many places to visit including Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Sri Lanka: Dogs, Cats and a Holiday
I found this cat sleeping on a chair forgetting others in the living room.

But, I just want to mention that most dog and cat owners keep their pets clean.

These photos are just to show lifestyle generally forgetting hygiene and other such things.

Sri Lanka: Dogs, Cats and a Holiday

Do you like such pets?

 

 

Sri-Lanka-Hambanthota

It was not planned. I was not expected to watch sunset on our way home from Hambantota. It was the tiresome first days of our recent tour to down south of Sri Lanka. In our each Sri Lanka holidays, we enjoy couple of road trips around Sri Lanka. Most of these trips are to visit family relatives in different areas of the country.

When I arranged another road trip to Kataragama, time was really limited as I had to return to Singapore in few days. So, we planned it for 2 days making it a trip with few stops. On our first day, we travelled till Kataragama and returned back to Colombo at the evening.

Sri-Lanka-Hambanthota
We were reaching Hambantota saltern area.The surrounding was spacious and with natural views.

All inside the vehicle were tired. It was so silent inside the vehicle. Suddenly, I found the magical moment. We were in Hambantota, one of the major cities in Southern Sri Lanka. We were passing the Hambantota Saltern (Hambantota Lunu Lewaya).

Sri Lanka : Watching Sunset at Hambantota
We were passing the Hambantota Lunu Lewaya.

The Saltern or Hambantota salt production area is spacious and spreads over a large area of lands making it the best place to watch sunset without many obstacles. I always admire sunset views.If I get a chance to watch sunset,that will make my day forgetting all the tiredness.

Sri-Lanka-Hambanthota

While we were enjoying sunset views, we also had a break from our long hour journey. And after all I could capture another collection of sunset views from Sri Lanka making it a memorable road trip.

Sri-Lanka-Hambanthota
Finally,we watched the best sunset over the Hambantota Lewaya.The windmills add beauty to the view.

These days I travel with my kid.So,instead of DSLR camera,I always use my phone to capture the moments.Although these are not the best photographs technically,I know these are the best travel memories for the life! 🙂

Do you like to watch sunset? Please let me know how you enjoy such spectacular moments!

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Kadupul flower

Popular as one of the most expensive flowers in the world, Kadupul Flower is a rare flower which perishes after few hours of blooming. These flowers perish before the dawn, making it more precious too see in natural!

Kadupul Flower captures from Sri Lanka

Kadupul flower
Kadupul flower with a bloom

As I love gardening and flower photography, I never missed my chance of capturing these kadupul flowers during my recent Sri Lanka holiday! For me Travelling is all about experiencing new things including flora and fauna in different destinations. This is why I have many flower captures in this blog. So, this time I am all in for writing this post about one of the rare flowers in the world!

Kadupul flower
Kadupul flower – side look

Kadupul flower is a legendary flower native to Sri Lanka which is also popular as the Queen of the night! It is not easy to watch these flowers, reason is simple. Kadupul flowers are with really short lifespan. Other than the short lifespan, these flowers bloom during the night time. So, you need to wait till midnight to see the flowers if you see some blooms on the plant.

In my parents’ home garden there are some Kadupul flower plants. But, until recent I was not lucky enough to see a kadupul flower in real. Whenever it was blooming, I was not in Sri Lanka.

During my recent holiday to Sri Lanka, I was lucky enough to see these beautiful and priceless flowers in real. It was timely. I saw some blooms in our Kadupul plant, so I was waiting everyday till mid night to see the flowers blooming. Not only me; we all were waiting to see the kadupul flowers!

Bit from legendry stories about Kadupul flowers:

As per legends, Kadupul is the legendary flower of the Nagas. In Sri Lanka It is believed when the Kadupul flowers bloom the Celestial Nagas come and offer these flowers to the Lord Buddha. I read about different believes in India and China with the same plant and flowers.

Kadupul flower

The plant:

Botanically named as Epiphyllum oxypetalum, kadupul plants are kind of cactus which is easy to cultivate.

Anyway, these flowers are with really strange but really attractive fragrance. It is difficult to explain. With the pure white appearance this is really a miracle at the mid night!

I’d love to see these flowers again in real experience the fragrance! Have you seen these flowers?

If you love gardening you can also check these flower plants here.

 

 

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka

Gadaladeniya Temple or Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya is an ancient temple of Sri Lanka along the Colombo Kandy road. With beautiful views and lot of attractions, it is always interesting to travel along the Kandy road towards the Temple of Tooth Relic which is a must visit attraction in Sri Lanka. Although I’ve been to Kandy tooth relic temple many times, this is my second visit to the Gadaladeniya Temple as we were always rushing with our Sri Lanka holiday plans. Finally we visited Gadaladeniya temple during our 2016 Sri Lanka holiday and it was really memorable with other nearby attractions till we reached Kandy.

Bit of History about Gadaladeniya Temple

Gadaladeniya Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple which was built in year 1344 and it has influence of South Indian architectural style. Currently it is maintained under the Department of Archeology, Sri Lanka as it is considered as a historical heritage site.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Three generations ,Grand father,father and son

If you like history and culture, then Gadaladeniya Temple is a must visit place in Kandy, Pilimathalawa. We reached the temple around 2pm, but it was little bit sunny. However among the ancient Buddha statues and paintings, I could not feel any difficulty. Instead we spent our time watching the temple and reading the history of it. My little explorer too spent his time walking around the temple and he did not show any signs of tiredness.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka

First we entered into the shrine room at the entrance of the Gadaladeniya viharaya which also looks so old and faded.However as a heritage site,these statues and paintings are well protected in their original condition.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Ancient paintings found in Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Below is another buddha statue in a small shrine room.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Buddha statue inside the Gadaladeniya temple

The stupa of the Gadaladeniya temple is not huge as most of Sri Lankan stupas found around the country. Instead it is a small stupa (Pagoda) surrounded by another four smaller stupa. The main stupa is surrounded by four pillars and a roof which is unique to this temple in Pilimathalawa, Kandy.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Stupa of the Gadaladeniya Viharaya – Sri Lanka

There are stone guardians around the corners of the stupa which are symbolic elephants.These sculptures are great examples of the rich history of ancient Sri Lanka and its culture.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Guard stones

After spending time around the stupa,we entered into the main Shrine hall which is also full of ancient paintings.The main Buddha statue represents the seating posture of Buddha and thereare carvings and other sculptures around it.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Buddha statue of the main shrine – Gadaladeniya ancient temple

You will also find the relic casket with in front of the Buddha statue which is also the table for offerings.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka

We were impressed by the ancient sculptures and buddha statues in this Gadaladeniya temple as it is full of statues.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka

There is also a Bodhi tree in Gadaladeniya temple which is a must have in any temple.Other than the photos shared here,there are lot of things to see including the paintings and even an ancient inscription.

Gadaladeniya Temple –Kandy-Sri Lanka
Bodhi Tree – Gadaladeniya ancient temple

If you visit Kandy Sri Lanka,dont forget to spend few hours to visit this Gadaladeniya Viharaya which is just around 1 km away from Pilimathalawa.(Pilimathalawa is a small town along the way to Kandy).Also there are other 2 historical attractions you can visit after Gadaladeniya viharaya.Embakke Dewalaya and Lankathilaka Viharaya are other places you must visit in the same trip as those were also located in just few kilo metres away.

How to Reach Gadaladeniya Temple:

It is located in Pilimathalawa along the Colombo Kandy road.If you reach by public transport,it is easy to hire a tuk tuk from Pilimathalawa.Otherwise it is easy to arrange private car or tour operator to visit Kandy including this temple.

Things to know before you visit:

It is a historical attraction.If you have interest on ancient temples and culture then this will be an ideal place to visit.Also check the dress code and behavior before you plan your trip to Sri Lanka temples.

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Or do you like to visit historical sites?Please share your thoughts.

 

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Not all elephants are chained at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

I thought our kid would be happy with the view of elephants. At the time we were visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, kid hadn’t see a real elephant. So, we wanted to give him an exciting experience among the large animals. However Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was not a really attractive place for him. Instead he wanted to go out of the place! 🙁

Why? Well, it was same for me too. I remember few years ago I visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage as a school student in one of our school trips. That time this place was really attractive and looked lush. There were baby elephants who could really attract us.

Then I visited the elephant orphanage again in around 2009-2010 and the place looked totally deserted. Anyway that’s part of the stories and experiences we had before.

But, now the place looks different than before. It looks beautiful even at the entrance and it is with more facilities for the visitors including clean washrooms. We visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in November 2016 and pleased with the first view. So, here is our real experience with some tips which can be helpful for you if you plan a visit to this orphanage where elephants live!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage entrance

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one of the best attractions for kids if you visit Sri Lanka. So we wanted to visit with our kid too thinking of watching elephants in action!

 Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
At the entrance of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
What is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

The idea behind this elephant orphanage is really worth to protect the elephants. It is an orphanage founded with the aim of providing care and breeding facilities for the wild elephants who find in forests of Sri Lanka. With such care the orphanage helps to protect the wild elephants and helps to breed them. Under the care of the staff, young elephants who found abandoned by their mothers get a new shelter to live. Though the concept is in a debate among some activists around the world, it helps to save the lives of these abandoned young elephants. If there is no such place, such elephant calves will die in the wild without care and protection!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Things to do and see at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Elephants in this orphanage have a daily schedule to follow. If you visit there on the right time, you can easily watch these activities and even join with the activities such as feeding the elephants. Watching them bathing is another interesting thing you must watch during the visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Below are some of the things you can do in your visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Though the thoughts about the elephants in this orphanage are different for different people, it is better to prepare for the activities if you visit there.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage schedule
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage daily schedule (As of November 2016)

Watch the beautiful elephants

Yes, this is one of the things anyone does there at the elephant orphanage. However, don’t just watch them. Elephants are really beautiful and you will see they love each other, care each other, walk, bath and many activities. Spend time to watch them closely and you’ll find that it is really worth watching them closely.

Feed the elephants

If you visit there at the right time, you can feed the baby elephants. This will be an interesting activity for anyone.

Watch the elephants leaving to the river (leaving for a bath)

This is one of the best views for me at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. The herd of elephants will leave the orphanage, cross the road and walk to the nearby river (Ma Oya) and they look so disciplined. They walk in a group but still in a line. In this recent trip we missed watching them walking across the road, but it is really a beautiful attraction you should not miss in Pinnawala!

Watch them bathing

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Bathing time @ Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Yes, elephants will be happily bath at the river (Ma Oya) and this is the best time to watch the happy elephants. If you visit with kids they will be happy to see the elephants having a bath playing with water and splashing water! Don’t miss the photo opportunities of these giants!

Shop local products and souvenirs

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Souvenir shops near the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Other than watching animals, you can also spend time shopping around. There are souvenir shops which sell items for a range of prices. You will also find souvenirs such as small elephant magnets for less than $1 which can be a good memory for any kid. Other than that there are clothing, leather bags and many other items which you can shop around. Don’t forget to spend some time for shopping!

Enjoy a Sri Lankan Meal

 Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage travel guide

There are restaurants around which you can enjoy Sri Lankan food. We had buffet lunch at the nearest restaurant in front of the Elephant Orphanage which served buffet which we found really worth trying.

Visit other nearby attractions

If you visit Pinnawala, the elephant orphanage is not the only attraction to visit. There are other attractions too including the Pinnawala Zoo which is less than 10 minutes walking distance away. Read about our visit to Pinnawala Zoo which we liked much!

Things to know before you visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Below are some helpful tips for you to prepare and plan your visit. Hope these details are helpful for you to enjoy a relaxing day at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

  • It will be really hot in a sunny day. Prepare with caps, sunscreens, sunglasses and simple clothing to beat the heat.
  • You need to buy tickets to enter into the orphanage.(Different rates for Sri Lankans/locals)
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage entrance fee (as of November 2016,in Sri Lankan Rupees)
  • Opening hours are 8.30am – 6pm.However if I visit there again, I will try to reach there in the morning or may be late afternoon to avoid the heat. We reached there around 11am which was really hot, so we (specially the kid) didn’t enjoy the place.
  • Prepare with water
  • Snacks and water will be helpful for you to spend the time there. You can easily buy food and water at Pinnawala as there are many local shops around.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
An effort to take a picture when this elephant splashes dust! 🙂

 

  • Finally, enjoy your day. Don’t spoil your time watching the chained elephants, criticizing the orphanage. Instead spend time to watch them growing under good care. They are abandoned young elephants and they are under care of the orphanage management!
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Is it worth visiting? Is it ethical?

Is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage an ethical place to visit? This is a common argument that is in doubt or debate these days. Though I don’t want to write most of my views, I simply want to highlight few of my thoughts and observations.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

First, it is a place for raising abandoned elephants or elephants that are violent. If there is no such place to take care of these baby elephants, they would have died in the wild. At the same time, do you know that there are people dying in Sri Lanka rural places due to elephant attacks? The Human Elephant Conflict is a raising problem in Sri Lanka due to many reasons. There are political reasons and other reasons behind this problem. But, still the solutions do not work well!

Anyway, the place can be kept only as a place for taking care of elephants, not for earning tourist income. But, we may need to consider the cost of maintaining this place as well.

It is common that many writers and tourists point out the chained elephants in Elephant Orphanage. With incidents of history and even recent stories, I will never visit a place which elephants are roaming freely and happily without guides or mahouts. I know they can attack human anytime! In Sri Lanka it is common to see elephants under the guard of mahouts. Therefore as someone born and raised in Sri Lanka, these chained elephants walking with mahouts is a common sight which I do not see anything wrong. The Sri Lankan culture is attached with elephants in many events including ‘Perahara festival’.

Finally,to the topic!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Is it a Must Visit in Sri Lanka?

Above are all about tips to visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage including our experiences there. Think twice before you visit this place. If you are against animal tourism, then avoid Pinnawala. Save time to other attractions along the Colombo Kandy road. There are many other historical places you can admire and most of those are free attractions!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Not all elephants are chained at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

If you travel with kids or if you love to watch elephants closely and want to take some photographs, Pinnawala can be an ideal place for you. Then don’t miss this Elephant Orphanage. There is also a mini zoo which you can consider visiting. Pinnawala can be the best place for some souvenir hunting too!

However, for me this is not the best place to watch elephants. It is not a zoo either. If you really like to watch elephants who roam freely in the wild, there are many such natural places in Sri Lanka. Udawalawa or Yala national parks are few of the places only. If you visit Minneriya National Park, you can watch elephants or if you use the Habarana road to visit Polonnaruwa, you will see places which elephants cross the road. Plan your Sri Lanka tour including such national parks and avoid the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. However, if your tour plan includes Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, then Pinnawala is along the way to Kandy (Colombo Kandy Road). So, it is easy to stop here and spend few hours!

Accommodation in Pinnawala

In Pinnawala you will find many beautiful locations to stay.The village itself is a beautiful area with the beautiful river view of Ma Oya.

Check  Agoda for accommodation recommendations.

Also check Airbnb for accommodation for reasonable rates.Using my link you will get upto $50 travel credits for your first booking.

 

How to reach Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located at Pinnawala (Kegalle district) which is easy to access via Colombo Kandy road. If you are a foreign tourist, joining with a tour planner in Sri Lanka will be much easier or otherwise Rambukkana railway station is the nearby railway station.

Hope this post will be a helpful travel guide to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage if you plan a Sri Lanka holiday. Have you been to Sri Lanka before?

 

Pinnawala Zoo

Our visit to the Pinnawala Open zoo was really enjoyable. Although there are few animals there, it is a great place to unwind. Waddling ducks, hopping rabbits and ready to fight roosters and other fowls at the entrance of the Pinnawala Zoo invited us to enter into the zoo. So, we bought tickets and entered into the zoo to watch this newly built mini zoo of Sri Lanka.

Check this post about Pinnawala Zoo  if you like to see the photos of animals in the zoo.

Pinnawala Open Zoo
Peaceful views of the Pinnawala open Zoo

It is spacious. It is relaxing and it is peaceful. While our son enjoying his time watching animals, I spent time experiencing the fresh air and beautiful views. The views relaxed me and helped me to unwind. Like in many other places we visited, I did not want to pay close attention for my kid as it was less crowded and safe for kids to run here and there. He was happily spending his time with his father, so I could have some sort of ‘me time’ for me.

Pinnawala Open Zoo
Our kid enjoyed his time freely.

 

Pinnawala  Zoo
Lot of running till he was tired! 🙂

Here are some of the views I captured from the Pinnawala open Zoo. Hope you like to go through these views around the zoo.

Pinnawala Open Zoo
Pinnawala Open Zoo

 

Pinnawala Open Zoo
Beautiful trees and spacious land added more beauty to the Pinnawala open zoo

 

Pinnawala Open Zoo
I like these views with man-made structures

 

Pinnawala Open Zoo
A viewing point at the Pinnawala Zoo

 

Father and son had great bonding time there 🙂

Have you been to Sri Lanka?In Sri Lanka,Kandy is a must visit location.Pinnawala is located in Colombo Kandy road near Kegalle/Rambukkana. If you visit Sri Lanka,Kandy then don’t forget to stop at Pinnawala and visit this zoo and the most popular Elephant Orphanage!

 

Pinnawala Zoo

When it comes to travel with kids, a visit to a zoo is always exciting and interesting for them. That is why we decided to visit Pinnawala Zoo during our recent Sri Lanka holiday thinking this would be a good experience for our kid. When it comes to Pinnawala Sri Lanka, we cannot miss a visit to the popular attraction of Pinnawala. That is elephant orphanage of Pinnawala. After our visit to the Elephant Orphanage then we visited the Pinnawala open concept zoo which is a kind of a mini zoo. This zoo is located in few minutes walking distance from the pinnawala elephant orphanage.

Pinnawala Zoo Sri Lanka
At the entrance of the zoo there are domestic animals roaming freely.
 Sri Lanka Pinnawala Zoo
Waddling ducks create a beautiful scene for kids
 Sri Lanka Pinnawala Zoo
A moment from the Pinnawala Zoo
 Sri Lanka Pinnawala Zoo
We also found a star tortoise

Still, the zoo is with few exhibits, but is beautiful and looks natural. Although buildings and structures look new, the landscapes are really beautiful. Our kid enjoyed the Pinnawala zoo than the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. He loved to watch the animals and enjoyed his time running here and there along the beautiful and spacious foot paths of the zoo. For a family bonding time, it is really worth visiting this Pinnawala zoo.

Pinnawala Zoo
It is a bear!

Just see some of our moments and photographs from the Sri Lankan Pinnawala Zoo!

Pinnawala Zoo Sri Lanka Review
We found this baby pangolin with his caretaker.

Here are some more moments from our visit.

This donkey was eating straw when we were at the Pinnawala zoo 🙂 (Nothing special to mention here)
Spotted deer
Is it worth visiting the Pinnawala Zoo Sri Lanka?

Well, this is my opinion. Still this zoo is with few animals. So, if you really want to watch different animals, this is not the zoo you have to visit. Instead, Colombo zoo is with lot of different species. However, if you like to spend time with kids and family or if you love to enjoy your time among the beautiful and spacious landscapes, then this mini zoo in Pinnawala is ideal.

Pinnawala Zoo Sri Lanka
The Pinnawala Zoo is with lot of beautiful views and landscapes

If you live in Sri Lanka,Pinnawala can be an ideal getaway for a holiday or even on a weekend.Other than this Pinnawala Zoo,there are few other attractions in Pinnawala including Elephant Orphanage and Pinnawala Iperanigama Theme Park.You can easily spend a day in activities with the family and kids.

If you are travelling with kids to Sri Lanka and if you visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage while you are on the way to Kandy,  then Pinnawala Zoo can be a good place to entertain the kids. My kid  loved this zoo than the elephant orphanage.

Pinnawala Zoo
The Pinnawala zoo is ideal to spend quality time with kids.It is not crowded.Also it is spacious and relaxing.

However,if you are in Sri Lanka for a really short or few days holiday, then there are many other attractions which are ancient and unique to Sri Lanka. I believe visiting such ancient sites which are along the Colombo Kandy road is worth considering the short period of time you stay in Sri Lanka. We also visited places such as Gadaladeniya Viharaya, Lankathilaka Viharaya and Ambakke which are with some ancient value.

But, it seems the pinnawala zoo is still under development. It will be a major attraction in Pinnawala in near future!

How to reach Pinnawala Zoo?

Pinnawala zoo is located along the Rambukkana Road just near to the Elephant Orphanage.

You may need at least 2 hours to cover this zoo.

Have you been to Sri Lanka before? How was your experience among the attractions?

 

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