Thanks to Mr.Santhosh George Kulangara for his episode on Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, in SriLanka. I believe it was more than 8 years ago, I saw that episode and which haunted me too long to visit SriLanka. Since last 4 years, I has been trying and tired but the trip was not materialized. This time, it was better planning. The mantra was- “Do not plan”.
Starting of 2011, I wanted to take a break from my office works and go unplugged. Everything in my office was going much fine this time. I had no idea of what-how-when-how much-where etc. of this trip. As a first step, I sought permissions from home department (Mother and Wife). I know my Father will not oppose my idea of touring, he always encourages these things ;-). Got a green signal from the home department also!! Thanks Amma and Latha for that!! Next big thing was setting a vacation period without affecting my work- That too went well. Now skies are below my foot.
Started searching for a good ticket deal. All my searches ended up with our own Karuna family’s – Sun Network’s -”SpiceJet”. Ticket prices varied from 4000 INR to 5000 INR. By the time I booked my ticket, it was around 4800 INR. “No looking back”… I booked my round trip tickets for Chennai to Colombo on 26-Feb-2011 and back on 5-Mar-2011. Getting a clean sweep of one whole week.
I had certain defined intentions in this trip. They were:
1. Experience a travel, alone in an alien land, where nobody knows you-you know nobody.
2. Experience a new culture, new kind of people, new kind of food.
3. Visit those places where there is some new kind of history, which I have not seen yet.
4. And Buddhism was a good reason.
5. Get some Visa stamped on my passport. No matter if it is SriLanka or Nepal! Some Visa.
6. An international vacation without much damage to your bank account.
7. To say- “Hey, I also went on a vacation to a foreign country”.
8. To find some good place where I can take my better half to. (Ding!)
Till the date I was about to depart, no one in my office was aware of where I am going and what I am going to do. Most of them asked me to bring banana chips when I return. On the last day, I revealed to some of my friends, that I am going not to Trivandrum but to SriLanka.
The time between my ticket booking and journey, I utilized some time to get a good idea on where to go and what to see. But mostly, I didn’t find out where to stay and left it open for the journey’s fun. My itinerary was as follows:
Negombo → Kandy → Nuwara Eliya → Kandy → Dambulla → Sigiriya → Polonnaruwa → Anuradhapura → Colombo → Galle → Negombo
Too much..huh! But this was my initial itinerary.
As usual, I tried to get out of my office a little ahead of time. As usual, I was not able to do so. As usual, I was rushing to reach home and start to Airport. One good thing was, my brother was at home. Later knew that, he came early to see me off to SriLanka. Sweet bro.. na? We went to the Meenam restaurant opposite to the Officers’ Training Academy and left to Airport. I just made sure I have nothing but my Passport and Ticket. All were good. In a few minutes, my long time dream is coming true. Good reason for an excitement.