A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts With But a Single Step
Tour in Sri Lanka from May 21, 1983 to May 25 1983 (5 days)
This was my maiden attempt to tour in a foreign country by myself, though I had visited America two times before, first with my late wife P. Balambal in the year 1974 ( August 21, 1974 to December 31, 1974) and again in 1982 with my sons. After staying in America, this time for more than a year, I left USA to India en route Sri Lanka, in 1983.
May 20, 1983: Left New York via Sri Lanka Airlines to Frankfurt to Colombo, Sri Lanka
Formerly Ceylon, Island republic in the Indian Ocean, off Southern India. Sri Lanka heavily depends on the export of tea, rubber and coconuts. Rice is the chief import. Some 72 percent of the inhabitants are Buddhist Sinhalese and 21 percent are Hindu Tamils.
Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a port on the west coast of the island near the mouth of the Kelani River. It is noted for gem and ivory carving.
May 21, 1983: Landed in Colombo Airport, Sri Lanka. At the airport, my friends from India, Janab Shukkoor Bai and Mr. Sampath were waiting for my arrival. One friend from Colombo came to the airport to receive me. He took us (all three) to his residence. After breakfast in his house, he dropped us in the TamilNadu Hotel which belonged to my friend Maharajan Pillai. He had provided free boarding and lodging for our whole stay in his hotel. We strolled through the city and came back to the hotel to take rest.
May 22, 1983: Visited the Parliament House and the Presidential residence only from outside (not open to public), visited Hindu and Buddhist temples in the city, downtown and shopping centers. In the evening we spent our time on the Colombo beach. Night halt back at the hotel.
May 23 & 24, 1983: One of my friends in Kandy came to the hotel and took us to his house in Kandy in his car. I stayed for 2 days and 1 night in Kandy. Kandy is a city in the central tea-growing district in Sri Lanka. It was the seat of the Singhalese kings until the British occupation in 1815.
Visited Hindu Temple and Buddha Pagoda in the city and the tea plantations outside of the city. Next day we visited the Victoria Dam, which was under construction at that time. When returning from Kandy to Colombo we travelled in the train as desired by us and reached the hotel.
May 25, 1983: In the morning, we visited the Duty Free Shop in Colombo and I bought a Sony Color Television set for my use in Trichy.
Left Colombo Airport via Sri Lanka Airlines and arrived in Tiruchirapalli International Airport, India.
My first attempted tour was successful. Arrived and reached home safe.