Back to School after 48 Years It’s a long time since I hung my boots from government service and now serving a private sector consultancy in Architecture and Engineering. A young colleague working with me on two hospital projects in Hambantota and Nuwara Eliya is Architect Danajaya Bandara [Dana]; a product of S Thomas’ College Bandarawela and is 20 years my junior. We are of two ...

FOGSL Camps in Gal-Oya Gal-Oya a rivulet in the eastern province of Sri Lanka is a perennial source of water originating in the luscious forested tea country of Passara located in the wet central massif. The Gal-Oya Valley Development Plan was the first multipurpose development scheme of post independent Sri Lanka. Irrigating the dry parched lands of the Ampara District and generating 11MW of ...

The Mist-laden Morningside of Sinharaja Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the largest rainforest landmass [22,000 Ac] of a series of fragmented rainforests in the South-west of Sri Lanka. A biodiversity hotspot with an international significance; Declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve, and a World Heritage Site of the UNESCO. It’s got three access ways; the Kudawa entrance via Kalawana with Pitadeniya and Morningside entrances via ...

MANNAR …where the Donkey Sleep Standing and the Birds a Galore Many of us from S Thomas’s Collage Gurutalawa [STCG]; a school in the central hills of Sri Lanka are fond of out-bound living and are very much into Bird watching. Professor Sarath W Kotagama was one who made ornithology his profession at the Zoology Department of the University of Colombo. He pioneered the forming of ‘The Field Ornithology Group ...

The Toque Macaque …has its way in the temple India and Sri Lanka are two prominent South Asian countries with similar religious beliefs; be it Hinduism or Buddhism both having links in the mainland India and Buddha himself being an Indian. Both religions are close to nature and much of the religious abbeys or temples are located in remote and wildly settings in close proximity to natural habitats away ...

Class of 66, Meets after 47 Years It was the beginning of the 6th decade of the 20th century. Year 1961 January to be precise, around 50 tiny brats mainly boys just completing the 5th year in life are entrusted to the care of a dedicated group of shepherds at St Thomas’ Prep School, Bandarawela [STPS] to be moulded into responsible adults in lifeBoarding schools then were ...

Dambulla the Best Preserved Cave Temple in Sri Lanka Dambulla a town situated in the border of the Central and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka has been in the limelight from ancient times. Today it is a bustling commercial hub ‘The Awakened City’ attributed for its banks being kept open 24/7 for business. The transit point for all agricultural and farm produce coming from the central hills ...

Somawathiya–the Stupa that gets Flooded Annually? Sri Lanka, this thrice blessed land by the Buddha, is said to have changed spiritually, culturally and politically with the arrival of Arahat Mahinda in the 2nd century BC during King Dewnapiyatissa’s reign. It is this cultural change that created the magnificent stone architecture of Samadhi and Auwkana Buddha statues of Anuradhapura and the immaculate Pollonnaruwa Gal Vihara. The immaculate ...

A Hummingbird to my Life List It was my third trip to Miami Florida. A trip undertaken with much financial constrains; to witness my son being conferred a Ph.D. I had been to Miami twice before and seen much of its wildlife, camped many a times in the Everglades and been out birding in the parks. However it was this time that I had been there ...

Identifying Silhouettes Bird Watching too is not free from assertion ….it is noted that certain birds are only identified by their silhouetted flight profile and one may not see them rested on a branch or sitting on a nest in one's lifetime.Two such birds have lingered my memory until resent. The Indian Swiftlet [Collocalia uniclor] and the Brown-backed Needle Tail [Hirundapus giganteus] ...

Paradise At Their Doorstep Paradise in a religious sense is a place with positive existence where life is harmonious and eternal. Generally, a place of contentment where peace and prosperity prevail. In a practical sense, a land of satisfaction but not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness. A tropical island where one feels as though everything is perfect and wonderful is also defined ...

Fishing Hut …..a reclusive spot in the foothills of Samanala. It is located in the most bizarre place; no sea front nor a lake front, but alongside a rivulet with no fish for the hook. Moray Estate is a remote tea plantation in the fringe of Sri Lanka’s peak wilderness; ‘Samanala Adaviya’, colloquial to the native or the ‘Adams Peak’ protected area.Samanala Kanda surrounded by the Peak WildernessMist setting in ...

Enchanting Horton Plains– a high plateau in Sri Lanka Horton Plains and its immediate of Ohiya and Idalgashinna has fascinated me ever since my schooldays at Gurutalawa; located at a distance of about 5 to 8 miles from these localities. None of these places were inhabited then in the 60’s as today. S Thomas’ College Gurutalawa was the only outbound boarding school in the country and these serene hillsides ...

Changing Landscapes and  Enhancing Milk Production..? Landscapes are definitive land areas that stand apart from each other. They are classed under different physical elements; mountains, hills, deserts, ices-capes, water-bodies, rivers, lakes, ponds and seas. They also vary on living elements as land-cover and vegetation. Human elements also create landscapes though land use practices; architecture, building construction, large scale farming and agriculture. Man’s association with natural landscapes ...

The Heron that Flew High Horton Planes has fascinated me ever since my school days at Gurutalawa. Many were the weekends spent on the planes in the 60’s when we hiked up there from school. July 13, 2012 was more like a family reunion when we spent the night at the Anderson / Ginihiriya Bungalow in Horton Planes.We scanned the Ohiya side of the planes ...

Living in a Country within a Country…..? Those of us who went to school before 1972 would recall when many specimen applications for government employment [self made Bio-Data’s was not the order then] had a question asking if you belonged in the “Up-Country or Low-Country”.This confused me ever since a schoolboy; I was born in Kandy in the so called Up-Country and my father too was born ...

It stands tall …..Tight in a wall Units of measurement were among the earliest tools invented by humans. Among them distance was primeval. . History records of a early Cubit used in the Indus valley in the 3rd millennium BC. The measures of length used in ancient India included the dhanus (bow), the krosa (cry, or cow-call) and the yojana (stage). Yojana may be the equivalent to ...

Those Engineering Marvels on the Sri Lankan Railway to Badulla Trains and train journeys have fascinated both children and adults ever since they were invented. Likewise railway lines on which they run have posed challenges to engineers and surveyors when laying them on difficult terrain. Railways are far more different to highways; they cannot negotiate sharp bends and inclines, and the specified gradients for railway lines have not changed much ...

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