Last year, this time, I was planning my first trip outside India, to Srilanka, triggered by an ultra cheap spicejet fare of Rs 4008 for the return trip.(Sadly spicejet has discontinued that low fare and convenient timing, else I had plans of one more visit)
If you want to escape to a tropical paradise then Sri Lanka is the place to be. Well known for the monuments, beaches, art galleries and museums Sri Lanka has visitors from all over the world. There are several events and festivals as well, which can attract you.The historical sites here are Anuradhapura, Mihintale, Sigiriya, Dambula. Kandy and Colombo are popularly visited places along with beaches like, Negombo, Beruwela, Bentota, Weligama and Mount Lavinia. The wildlife sanctuaries, which are popular in Sri Lanka are Yala National Park, Maduru Oya National Park and Horton Plains National Park. Sri Lanka is also referred as the emerald isle in the Indian Ocean.
The former capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is the biggest city and a main port as well. It is a financial hub and popular tourist destination. Here you can see several entertaining spots like Dehiwala Zoo, Dutch Period Museum, Fort Clock Tower, Gangaramaya Temple and Mt Lavinia Beach.
Ancient cities of Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka you will find several old cities which will provide you a glimpse of its ancient and rich history. A city like Anuradhapura, which was the first capital of Sri Lanka, is a symbol of supremacy and it has historical buildings like Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, National Museum and Wolvendaal Church.
National Museum Colombo is the largest in the country and is maintained by the government. National Museum is located in a nice white building complex in the heart of city. Only a part of it housed artifacts and was open to tourists.
After watching foreign tourists paying an exorbitant amount at tourist destinations in India (At Tajmahal foreign nationals pay about 700 Rs while Indians pay Rs 60), it was our turn to pay the higher amount. Being foreign nationals in SL, we paid 500 Srilankan Rupees each ( about INR 200), several times what localities had to pay
The Museum was built in 1877. Besides the regular items you would find in any museum (historical stones, swords, weapons, dress materials, photos etc) a huge whale skeleton was added attraction.
There were no hotels around, thankfully museum had a canteen which served decent food. By the time we went most of it was over though.