Saturday, 28 July 2007

Trip to Kotmale

Kotmale is mostly known for its reservoir , but there are plenty of other beautiful sites in the near vicinity if you feel like visiting , especially since you need special permission to go near the dam. We went to Kotmale as one of our annual trips of the office. We stayed at the Kotmale holiday resort which is run by the Ceylon Hotel Corporation. Its a nice place with small houses where about five people can stay in one house. The food is good and the climate is wonderful after all the heat we get in Colombo. It took us about four hours to get there from Colombo.
During the evening we went to see the Kotmale Dam. You have to get special permission if you want to go near the dam and the power plant , otherwise you have to be content with the viewing pavilion built near the main road. A little further away from the dam you can visit the Kotmale Maha Seya , shown in the above picture. It was still being built when we got there so we had the opportunity to go inside the building. It was a pretty impressive sight.
In the next morning we went to clime Ambuluwawa. Its kind of a botanical garden with a temple , church a mosque and many other things on top. If you are daring enough you can climb to the top of the seya and your blessed with a beautiful site. Its a hard clime up the mountain , but its worth it. you can travel to the top of the mountain if you have a light vehicle with a little load. Below are some photos taken during the trip.

Inside the Mahaweli Maha Seya

Ambuluwawa seya , you can clime to the top ( only if your not afraid of heights )

Kotmale Dam from a distance. Follow this link for more photos.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Wasgomuwa National Park

After what happened at Habarana , one might think I would stop going to National Parks with Elephants , But the thing about going on trips with friends is majority rules. So we went on another trip to Wasgomuwa National Park. Because of the heavy flooding we had a hard time getting there , so the journey took us about 10 hours. But usually you can get there in about 5-6 hours. This time also we stayed at a bungalow , there are plenty of bungalows around the park so lodging want be that hard to find. Since we got there by night fall we decided to go into the part next day. Had a grand time during the night with the guys singing baila and etc.
Next day we went to the Park at about 9.30 a.m. , which is not the best time to go to a park. Best time to visit is between 4pm-6pm and between 7am-9am. During those time elephants are very close to the road , so you video or take photos much easily. During the whole tour we only met one herd of Elephants close up. But we saw more types of animals here that in Habarana. The guide even took us to close to the Mahaweli river giving us a little break by allowing us to get down from the jeeps. So although not as exiting as the Habarana trip we enjoyed this one as well. Be sure not to make the same mistake we did and go early if you want to see the animals closely. Follow this link for more photos.