Sri Lankan Traditional Wedding

The main ethnic groups in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalese, who make up the majority of the population. Buddhism is the most common religion in the island country, and Buddhist Sri Lankan weddings borrow a lot from Hindu traditions.  Things like horoscopes and formal family proposals are equally apart of both traditions though they play out slightly different between them.

One of the main elements of a traditional wedding is the Poruwa Ceremony

The Poruwa Ceremony – Central to a Sinhala wedding is an event known as the Poruwa ceremony. The Poruwa is the altar where the couple stands during the wedding ceremony. It is a raised wooden platform. The Poruwa faces the auspicious direction specified by the astrologer. On the floor of the Poruwa is a mat, and on it certain kinds of grains, including unhusked paddy, unhusked rice, and millet. Under the canopy that serves as its roof are hung several varieties of ceremonial leaves including betel, mango, banyan, woodapple, and margosa (Kohomba).

Firstly, the couple will step on the Poruwa at an auspicious moment specified by the astrologer. In fact, modern weddings cards invariable carry this information in a phrase such as “Poruwa ceremony at 9.32 am” implying that it is the most crucial moment of the ceremony.

One of the most important rites is the tying of the little fingers of the right hands of the couple with a fine thread. This act of tying symbolizes marriage. After tying the two little fingers the priest will pour water from a golden pitcher into their hands.

Bird Watching Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a island in the Indian Ocean. Its 437km long from north to south and only 225km at its widest and a area of 66,000sq km. Sri Lanka’s equatorial position gives its lowlands a tropical climate, with year round temperatures of 27-28ºC.
Sri Lanka has a total list of over 430 species of birds. Of these, 233 are resident and these include the most important 26 species that are recognised as endemic to the country. Most of the resident species are shared with the Asian mainland. A further 198 species have been recorded as migrants to the country. The majority of these migrate to Sri  from about August/September to April/May. In contrast, pelagic species of seabirds like Shearwaters, Petrels, Storm-Petrels etc migrate to Sri Lankan waters from southern oceanic islands during the southern hemisphere`s winter. Of the migrants, about 100 species regularly visit the country. The rest are occasional visitors and vagrants.

Birding sites
There are many good birding sites but Sinharaja World Heritage Wilderness area, Bundala Ramsar site, Yala and Uda Walawe National Parks; Horton Plains are imperative for any birder.

Endemic species

Sri Lanka spurfowl

Sri Lanka spurfowl

Sri Lanka junglefowl

Sri Lanka junglefowl

Sri Lanka wood-pigeon

Sri Lanka wood-pigeon

Sri Lanka green pigeon

Sri Lanka green pigeon

 

Sri Lanka hanging parrot

Sri Lanka hanging parrot

Sri Lanka emerald-collared parakeet

Sri Lanka emerald-collared parakeet

Sri Lanka red-faced malkoha

Sri Lanka red-faced malkoha

Sri Lanka green-billed coucal

Sri Lanka green-billed coucal

Sri Lanka chestnut-backed owlet

Sri Lanka chestnut-backed owlet

Crimson-fronted barbet

Crimson-fronted barbet

To see all endemic birds of Sri Lanka

Beaches of Sri Lanka

BEACHES – Sri Lanka has some of the best beaches in the world and certainly the finest in South Asia. Being an island Sri Lanka is blessed with endless golden beaches no matter in which direction you plan to go!! Have fun under the sun; there’s plenty to do – sea bathing, surfing, diving, fishing or just relaxing and rejuvenating. Escape to some extremely gorgeous beaches, each one renowned for its own exclusivity; beach buffs! no matter what time of the year you visit the island, there’s a beautiful beach waiting to be explored!

 

NORTH COAST – The North Coast is the least frequented making it the ideal destination for those seeking a secluded and peaceful beach retreat. The beautiful Casuarina Beach situated in Karainagar, about 20 kilometers away from the main city of Jaffna is the best beach offering in the Peninsula. It boasts of calm waters that allows long walks into the sea. There is also the Kilali Beach in Jaffna and the Vankalai Beach in Mannar offering secluded beach tours and wayside fresh seafood cuisine served with a touch of local flavor.

SOUTH COAST – The South Coast stretching all the way from Beruwala and going up to Yala is considered as one of the finest and certainly the most popular beach coast in Sri Lanka. The crystal clear waters are made for engaging in the various water sports while the miles of golden beaches, coral reefs and secluded coves are waiting to be explored.

The most frequented of them are Beruwala, Bentota, Unawatuna, Polhena, Dickwella, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Koggala, Tangalle and Mt. Lavinia, each one with its own characteristics and exclusivity. A brief description of each beach would say it like this; Unawatuna is a jungle beach famed for its roots in the great epic Ramayana and for being named the World’s Best Beach by the Discovery Channel in 2004. Hikkaduwa offers a marvelous underwater display, Weligama unique stilt fishermen, Polhena its natural coral reef & Dickwella its headlands and sand-bars making it excellent for safe sea bathing. Mirissa the best places in the world for Blue Whale watching and Beruwala and Bentota for its sensational offering of sun, sand, sea and surf!

 

EAST COAST – The East Coast is a beach buffs dream come true. Trincomalee with its natural harbor and sheltered coves offer a different beach experience. There are plenty of attractions such as swimming, snorkeling, wind surfing, water skiing, scuba diving but most importantly the wow beaches, exotic underwater marine life and whale watching opportunities. The most frequented and favoured beach destination in Trincomalee is Nilaveli and the Pigeon Island Marine National Park which boasts of crystal clear waters making it ideal for diving and snorkeling in search of some magical underwater wonders. On the East Coast in Batticaloe are the stunning beaches of Kalkudah and Pasikudah with miles of golden sand protected by an off shore reef and bay that permits walking miles into the ocean with the water just knee deep. Also situated on the East Coast is Arugam Bay, known as the surfer’s paradise and recognized as the fourth finest surfing destination in South East Asia.

WEST COAST – One of the most favoured beach destinations in the West Coast is Negombo, a thriving fishing village situated just 8 kilometers away from the International Airport, making it an ideal destination from where to begin and conclude your tour to Sri Lanka. Negombo is blessed with the best beach in the West Coast affording beach buffs to indulge in various water sports. Further up on the West Coast is Kalpitiya – a peninsula set between the deep lagoon of Puttalam to the East and the Indian Ocean to the West. Kalpitiya surrounded by a bar reef, saltpans flat coastal plains, mangrove swamps and sand dunes is best known for Whale and Dolphin watching.

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