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IN PICS: Sri Lanka, a teardrop in the Indian Ocean

Last updated on: May 6, 2013 13:12 IST

IN PICS: Sri Lanka, a teardrop in the Indian Ocean

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Mridula Dwivedi

Snapshots of a stunning country recovering from a savage civil war.

We visited Sri Lanka in April and I have to admit it was not the best time to visit. October to January would be cooler but Sri Lanka was gorgeous. It has beautiful beaches and their stilt farmers are to be seen to be believed. This picture was taken at the Unawatuna Beach which is 8 km from Galle and around 150 km from Colombo International Airport.

GetAhead reader Mridula Dwivedi, an academician from Gurgaon who blogs at Travel Tales from India, visited Sri Lanka and sent us these amazing pictures.


Image: Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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The view from the temple at the Unawatuna Beach

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You can walk easily through the length of the Unawatuna beach. If you stand facing the sea and walk to your right you will reach a Buddhist temple. They ask you to go barefoot after a point and the road was really hot. But this was the view from the temple! 


Image: Unawatuna Beach
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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The view of the Galle City from the Fort ramparts

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Galle is a big city just 8 kilometers away from Unawatuna. During my pre-departure research I thought there was a fort at Galle. When we asked the auto driver (all the autos that we saw in Sri Lanka were either Bajaj or TVS) to take us to the fort he readily agreed. Only we could find no fort. By reading the boards around we figured that the tower and the rampart is all that is left of the fort. This was the view of the city from the fort near the clock tower.


Image: Galle
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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The walk on the Fort ramparts

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It is a long and pleasant walk along the fort ramparts at Galle. At one end of the walk there is an old clock tower and at the other end are the mosque and the light house. We were there around sunset and it was a lovely walk.


Image: Galle
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi
Tags: Galle , Fort

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Temple Island, Koggala Lake

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On the way from Unawatuna to Mirissa Beach is the Koggala region best known for its stilt fishermen and the Koggala Lake. The lake itself is huge and has two islands on which you are allowed to land if you take a boat ride. One is called Cinnamon Island and there are only four families on it! The other has a Buddhist temple and it was there we found this baby monitor lizard.


Image: A monitor lizard at the Temple Island, Koggala Lake
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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Mirissa Beach

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About 29 km away from Unawatuna is Mirissa Beach. It was quieter than Unawatuna but it still has shacks and a lot of tourists. There is a small hillock next to the beach and the water around it is shallow. We climbed to the top easily wading through the water and this was the view from the top.


Image: Mirissa Beach
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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The beach at Matara

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The next day we headed to Matara which is again a big city. Here the beach was quiet sans and shacks or noisy tourists. But it was popular with local couples who dotted the shoreline often sitting beneath an umbrella to keep the sun away.


Image: Matara Beach
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi
Tags: Matara

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The Buddhist Temple at Matara

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This small temple, popular amongst locals, was quite close to the beach as well as the bus stand. We had to remove the shoes here too and the road was so hot to walk on!


Image: Matara
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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The Stilt Fishermen of Koggala

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I often do a Google image search for a place I want to visit and Unawatuna was no exception. Hence even before leaving I had seen pictures of Stilt (also known as Stick) Fishing and it was very high on my agenda. Loads of tourists also come here with the same wish and the fishermen have rightly sensed a business opportunity. So they ask for money (small amounts) if you wish to click a picture!


Image: Koggala
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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A stilt fisherman at sunset, Koggala

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I had to wade into the water to click this picture and one of the fisherman constantly stood with me so that I would not trip or fall in the water. So even though they ask for money their interaction and concern left me with a lot of happiness. Watching and interacting with the stilt farmers has been one of my most memorable travel experiences.


Image: Koggala
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi
Tags: Koggala

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