The next place on my Sri Lanka itinerary was Bentota. You can read my previous blog post of Sri Lankan journey here. Bentota is all about sun & sand. We had stayed at Cinnamon Bey Resort. The hotel is located at beach front, so we had access to beach 24*7.
Our hotel was surrounded by coconut trees and vast lawns. It all presented a beautiful picture for the eye. Most of our days were spent sunbathing on the beach or in the pool. The beach remains sparsely populated and has few eateries to enjoy local delicacies.
The rooms had private balcony facing the seaside & it gave us breathtaking views of the sunset & sunrise. Who doesn’t love such a view? There is also a Turtle farm nearby set up by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) in association with the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka.
For our last day in Srilanka, we travelled from Bentota to Colombo. The day was spent in local sightseeing and shopping.
Places to visit in Colombo-
Odel Shopping Centre
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihar
I had an amazing trip and there is so much left to explore. What other places have you visited in Srilanka and what did you like most about it? Do share your travel tales! 🙂
If you ever visit Tamil Nadu, it’s a must to witness sunrise at Kanyakumari. Day 1 of my trip was spent in sightseeing around Kanyakumari town. You can visit the previous post here.
We woke up early to enjoy the first ray of light adorning the sea. The bright hues falling over the sea & the soft sound of waves crashing over rocks form a rhythmic pattern. And, if you don’t reach here early you wont get a place to stand.
We had hired a cab for day tour. Enroute we stopped at Thanumalayan temple – Sthanumalayan Kovil located at Suchindram. The three supreme powers – Shiva,Vishnu & Brahma are worshipped as a single entity.It also has one of the tallest statues of Lord Hanuman in the same complex.
Next stop for the day was Padmanabhapuram Palace. The palace is made of wood & influenced by Chinese architecture. There are some interesting facts about the palace,like,
Room full of Chinese jars gifted to the King by chinese merchants.
Hall which could seat 1000 people at a time for feast
Clock which has been running for a very long time
There are guides at equidistant who are lovely people to talk to & will tell you all the stories of the palace. It’s here that I met a sweet lady Sri Lalitha & her smile was infectious. She was happy to see two crazy girls on a vacation alone & blessed us to keep living a happy life. That’s the beauty of travelling – strangers that touch your heart.
There is another tourist spot nearby ‘Poovar Islands’, where you can enjoy boat ride through mangroves & backwaters. We had already visited similar places & decided to skip it.You can read about my experience of boating in mangroves here.
Our journey moved further towards Trivandrum & we had a quick stop at Kovalam beach. The Leela Resort, Kovalam is the perfect stop to enjoy beach seats,sunbathe & play in the clear water.
The final & most awaited part of the day was visiting Padmanabaswamy Temple.Temple is famous for its hidden treasures which make it one of the richest organizations. Words fail me in trying to describe this architectural marvel. The minute details can be observed in the carvings on the walls. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is strict dress code to be followed by devotees to enter temple premises & women need to wear saree. I had to buy saree from a nearby shop.All electronic items are to be submitted at counter.
We were lucky to meet another devotee who enlightened us with legends associated with temple. He took us around the temple complex & told facts like how the butter applied on the Lord Hanuman statue never melts or the Statue of Natraja facing with feet pointed in opposite direction than usual. Unfortunately, we could not take a photo with him as no cameras are allowed inside. Are you aware of anymore interesting stories about the temple ? Do share it in comments !
The day was well spent & we returned to Nagercoil to spend the night in a lodge. I hope you enjoyed reading this post & stay tuned for the next part in the series.
I am taking part in the #DailyChatter challenge by Team Blog Chatter. If you like the post, then do like, share, subscribe & comment. 🙂
Pondicherry, officially called Puducherry, is reminiscent of the French colonial era. The street signs in French & Tamil, both are the official language. Strolling across the French Quarters or feeling the sea breeze at Promenade Beach is just few of the perks of visiting Pondy.
It’s easy to reach Pondy from Bangalore or Chennai for a weekend getaway. You can drive down or take a bus ride for few hours. It took us approx. 7 hours from Bangalore by bus. Best way to travel in Pondy is to rent a two-wheeler. Make sure to get your ride early in the morning!
You can plan up ahead & mark all the places you want to cover. Sharing my travel plans for visiting Pondicherry.
Day 1 –
Our travel for the day started late so we could not get an Activa. Rented a cab for the day. Visited Auroville City, it’s an experimental global township established by Mirra Alfassa (known as The Mother).
In the center of this city lies Matrimandir & passes are required to visit it. The cafe in the premises serves yummy food & fresh flower juices.
Then we visited the nearby Auro Beach. Also, covered Sri Aurobindo Ashram on the same day. Few steps ahead lay the French Consulate. The old buildings in these French Quarters carry you to an all together different time. I could spend hours just walking down those lanes.
Took blessings from the temple elephant Laxmi at Manakula Vinayagar Temple.
Highlight of my day was the evening on the Promenade beach. Just to give you a small picture, it felt like sitting on the Marine Drive in Mumbai. Facing the sea & watching the sun go down.
Day 2 –
It’s Beach Time…The must visit place in Pondicherry is the Paradise Beach. You can reach there by a 15 minutes boat ride from Chunnambar Boat House.
Mind you, it’s not easy to get that 15 minutes ride. On the busy weekend, it took us 1.5 hrs just to get onto the boat after waiting in the long queue for tickets. But, all despair is lost after landing on the Paradise beach. It’s definitely the cleanest beach in Pondy. Spend hours in the sea. Sit back, relax, sun bath….
Our evening search for good food took us to “The Promenade” at Goubert Avenue. It’s location near the sea is a plus point. Make sure that you get to have dinner on their rooftop restaurant which is towered by an old abandoned Lighthouse.
Walked on the Beach Road, crossing the French War Memorial & Gandhi Statue.
Day 3 –
It was our last day of Pondy visit & we were lucky enough to get two-wheeler for the day. Went to Le Cafe for the early morning breakfast. It’s a sea-side cafe & best part is that it stays open 24 hours!
We visited the Auroville again. Went to the nearby Serenity Beach. I had heard it was a good clean beach to go, alas it’s not so now…
If time permits, one should definitely visit the Botanical Gardens & the churches – The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This marks the end of my happy weekend.
I had also wanted to visit- Pichavaram Mangrove Forest. Its located 80 km. ahead of Pondicherry, near Chidambaram. One can enjoy boat rides in between the tree caves. It would be breathtaking sight. There is always a next time for everything…