In July, the Esala Full Moon Poya day is celebrated throughout the country in places such as Kandy, Kataragama, Devinuwara, Kotte and Belanwila to commemorate Lord Buddha’s renouncement of worldly indulgences to attain enlightenment with the likes of various forms of Esala Perahera.
Kataragama Fesitval – 12 July 2014
The Katharagama festival is a major Esala, Festival. Katharagama in the south-East corner of the island is a jungle shrine dedicated to Gord Skanda and is popular pilgrim center for Buddhists and Hindus.
Rekawa Turtle Attractions
Globally, all seven species of marine turtles are endangered. Of these, five species – the Hawksbill, Leatherback, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley, and Greenback all come ashore to nest in Sri Lanka. These marine turtles are best observed on the coast of Rekawa located in the Deep South near Tangalle. This strip of beach is a traditional nesting site for marine turtles and is protected by Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department offices that stays vigil all night on Rekawa beach to protect the turtle eggs from poaches and other animals. Set off late at night to Rekawa beach and watch quietly as these giant turtles make their way ever so slowly out of the ocean and on to the beach where the nesting process happens. Up to about 150 eggs are layed in a nest that is methodically dug into the sand. After several hours, the exhausted turtle heads back to sea only to return time and again. A phenomenal ritual that is fascinating to observe.
Whale Watching – Trincomalee
The waters around Trincomalee are inhabited by Dolphins, Marine Turtles and Whales including Blue Whales and Sperm Whales. This is the best time to go whale watching off the coast of Trincomalee. Snorkelling is possible around Pigeon Island off the coast of Nilaveli. This is a protected National Park under the Department of Wildlife & Conservation. A breeding site for Blue Rock Pigeon, these islands are surrounded by coral reefs and soft coral which are ideal for snorkeling.
Kitesurf over the turquoise seas that surrounds this paradise island or skim the waters of a tranquil lagoon. Sri Lanka has excellent kite surfing spots for beginners as well as the more experienced. The best season for kitesurfing on the North West coast is from May to December.