Friday, January 29, 2010

Snake Charmer

Snake charming is the practice of apparently hypnotising a snake by simply playing an instrument. A typical performance may also include handling the snakes or performing other seemingly dangerous acts, as well as other street performance staples, like juggling and sleight of hand. The practice is most common in India, though other Asian nations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia are also home to performers, as are the North African countries of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Ancient Egypt was home to one form of snake charming, though the practice as it exists today likely arose in India. It eventually spread throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Despite a sort of golden age in the 20th century, snake charming is today in danger of dying out. This is due to a variety of factors, chief among them the recent enforcement of a 1972 law in India banning ownership of serpents. In retaliation, snake charmers have organised in recent years, protesting the loss of their only means of livelihood, and the government has made some overtures to them.

Many snake charmers live a wandering existence, visiting towns and villages on market days and during festivals. With a few rare exceptions, however, they typically make every effort to keep themselves from harm's way. For one, the charmer typically sits out of biting range, and his animal is sluggish and reluctant to attack anyway. More drastic means of protection include removing the creature's fangs or venom glands, or even sewing the snake's mouth shut. The most popular species are those native to the snake charmer's home region, typically various kinds of cobras, though vipers and other types are also used.

Info Taken from
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Climbing Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka

Here is a short video on climbing sigiriya rock..

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The 31 Places to Go in 2010 - The New York Times

( 1.) S R I   L A N K A
For a quarter century, Sri Lanka seems to have been plagued by misfortune, including a brutal civil war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and a separatist Tamil group. But the conflict finally ended last May, ushering in a more peaceful era for this teardrop-shaped island off India’s coast, rich in natural beauty and cultural splendors.

The island, with a population of just 20 million, feels like one big tropical zoo: elephants roam freely, water buffaloes idle in paddy fields and monkeys swing from trees. And then there’s the pristine coastline. The miles of sugary white sand flanked by bamboo groves that were off-limits to most visitors until recently are a happy, if unintended byproduct of the war.

Among the most scenic, if difficult stretches to reach, is Nilaveli Beach in the Tamil north. While a few military checkpoints remain, vacationers can lounge on poolside hammocks under palm trees or snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. Or they can order cocktails at the Nilaveli Beach Hotel (, a collection of recently renovated bungalows with private terraces.

An international airport in Matara, on the island’s southern shore, is under construction, which will make the gorgeous beaches near the seaside village of Galle easier to get to. Decimated by the tsunami in 2004, the surrounding coastline is now teeming with stylish guesthouses and boutique hotels. Unawatuna, a crescent-shaped beach a few miles south of Galle, may be furthest along. Higher-end hotels there include Thambapanni Retreat (, which features four-poster beds, yoga and an ayurvedic spa. The Sun House (, in Galle, looks like a place where the Queen of England might stay, with its mango courtyard and colonial d├ęcor. One stylish place tucked within Galle’s city walls is the Galle Fort Hotel (, a refurbished gem merchant’s house run by a couple of Aussies. — Lionel Beehner

Sri Lanka Travel guid can be purchased here in ( a Lonely planet guid) .

Song of Ceylon (1934) by Basil Wright

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saman Villas - Bentota

Relax, unwind and experience the luxury of Saman Villas; a paradise where emphasis is placed on privacy, comfort & unsurpassable hospitality.

Saman Villas is perched on a rocky headland dividing two long seemingly endless, surf swept unspoilt beaches of golden sand, backed by dense green coconut plantations, in the quiet-sleepy fishing village of Aturuwella in Bentota. The atmosphere is one of tranquility, disturbed only by the sounds of birds and the waves breaking on the rocks below. The views, from anywhere in the hotel, are magnificent.

In addition, to the restaurant’s cuisine, other Asian menus could be arranged on request with prior notice. Special dining can be arranged with prior notice for guests seeking for particular dietary requirements such as low fat, high-fiber, low in carbohydrates/protein, meals for diabetics, meals excluding all dairy products, onion, garlic, peppers (of all kinds), dry yeast, gluten and root vegetables or even catering to guests who require halal food.

The lounge bar beside the pool has breathtaking views of the different shades of blue from the sea and the pool. The sunset bar on the upper floor has a panoramic view of the coast and the central hills.

Other facilities include a well stocked library with a variety of books covering Sri Lanka and music CD’s, snooker table, table tennis, badminton, boardroom facilities that can house up to 12 people and jewellery shop.

Evening entertainment arranged on most evenings; include Ballet and soothing instrumental music.

The official website can be found here.

Hotel Seruwa - Polonnaruwa

Overlooking the scenic beauty of the Parakrama Samudra (sea of Parakrama), Hotel Seruwa is built on three acres of landscaped garden. In close proximity to many of the historic locations in the cultural Triangle, the famous Wasgamuwa Wild Life Park and Tivanka Image House, the hotel offers its guests, in addition to, bird watching - boat riding on the Parakrama Samudra, fishing and jungle trekking. Of course Seruwa’s main attraction is it’s proximity to the ruins of the palace of King Parakrama Bahu.

22 air-conditioned standard rooms
16 non-air conditioned standard rooms

Here you can find the official website of this hotel.
Sri Lanka Travel Guids can be purchased here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sigiriya Museum

Sigiriya Museum is new archaeological site museum, visitor information center, and research facility in one, opened on july 2009.

Managed by central cultural fund (CCF). The museum showcases the results of nearly three decades of archeological research at sigiriya Unesco world heritage site and the Sigiriya-Dambulla area.

The official website can be found here. And you can buy Sri Lankan maps here.
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