Sky above, Water below and Surrounded by Beauty...

It was leading to a good weekend in Paradise. I was with the boys, having a regular wind-down to the week. We were at our usual watering-hole and the clock had rung long past midnight. Suddenly, B reminds me that we should call it quits and head home – apparently we have an appointment to see a man about a boat in Ambalangoda – 80-odd kilometers away from Colombo – at 5.30 in the morning.

Five friggin’ thirty in the morning on Saturday is far too early for my liking. Usually I get home closer to that time, and the weekends are supposed flow at a leisurely pace. I curse B for making such silly plans, but he assures me that everything is gonna be well worth the trouble.

Its still the curfew time, outside. The cops are on the streets – sniffing our bad breath. I suspect they are secretly conducting a research for Wrigley’s Gum, but my pals tell me they are cracking down on drunk drivers. I can spot a drunk a good few meters away even when I’m well-marinated; I don’t think the cops need to bring their lips closer to ours to know if we are sober. I think they are a bunch of kinky bastards anyway.

We head home once the road is clear, well past 4.00 in the morning. Home, quick shower, change. B calls me to remind me that I should pick him up in 10 minutes. It takes me barely three minutes to reach his place, I decide to make myself comfortable on the sofa. Five minutes of bliss before another long and adventurous day is just priceless.

Bang, Bang, Bang!!! And I get thrown out of my skin, and out of the sofa. B is at the door. I had dozed off for that little time. There’s a long list of missed calls on my mobile. He warned me not to catch a wink for a very good reason.

A little over an hour later, I find myself in a gray and misty surrounding that reminds me of those Chinese paintings. We are on a boat, in the middle of some vast emptiness, on a mirror..! A gigantic mirror – made of calm, still waters.

Sky above, water below and serenity surrounding us. Tranquility. Serendipity. Peace. I pinch myself to make sure I’m not day dreaming. This place is untouched, unspoilt and unruffled yet.

I struggle to capture the beauty around me, but I have forgotten my camera at home. Finally, the multi-purpose Sony Ericsson comes to my rescue.

Madu Ganga is an amazing place to watch the sunrise. Sri Lanka is, indeed Paradise.

We approach what looks like a barricade across the water in the distance to discover a shrimp-trap. The two brothers have been harvesting shrimps all their life. There’s a unique bond visible between them, the wetlands and the water...

As we weave our way past the islets, seeking the river that feeds it, we come across the odd-fishermen paddling across the twisted labyrinth of water-ways. We pause at one, and he proudly demonstrates his prize catch. But the fella was in no mood to model for us. So the dead-fish poses all by himself – fins digging two inches in to the styro-foam box:

There’s a whole lot of things to do, and see, in and around Madu Ganga. Exploring the islands, visiting the historic Koth Doowa temple which once housed the sacred tooth relic, learning more about the endangered and endemic flora and fauna at the conservation centre – or simple boat ride followed by a sumptuous lunch sitting by the water... the list is only limited to one’s imagination. Really.

Get there and discover yourself. I have learnt to trust B when he says, everything’s gonna be well worth the trouble!


  1. You bloody bastard!
    So had a good time it seems... This is indeed paradise!

  2. The world is beautiful early morning but hardly any of us get to see it. My mum's most at home in places like this. I'll tell her about it the next chance I get.

    Love how you've described it :) Enjoy your trip here - around for long?

  3. @Sach, you were there basking in the sun, down south, not so long ago!
    So shussh!!!

    @LD, yeah. Amazing.

    @Gypsy, thanks. This post is overdue – I made the trip a while ago. Did this post cos one of the anonymous readers wanted to see some pics of the Paradise. Sadly, my trip was too short this time – didn’t even have the time to taste a Durian!

  4. That does look most serene indeed....

  5. Thanks for the colorful writing and pictures! But hope the drink does not destroy your ability to function too much.

  6. Man..you are such a good story teller!!! Made me completely home sick...

  7. Sigma Delta, Santhoshi – yep, it is.

    Anonymous 1, I do drink – but I’m not an alcoholic or a menace to the society; yes I retain the ability to conduct myself in a decent manner always. :)

    Anonymous 2, you should make plans to head home for a break. Oh, you are coming home soon, right?

  8. You were tagged my friend!

  9. Did a boat trip along this river some time back and staying 2 hours in one of the islands. The boatman took us through some densely grown mangroves and it was amazing! Thanks for the elaborate descriptions and pictures!!