Iridescent Experience in Sri Lanka: As an Indian Youth Delegate

Sri Lanka. A beautiful island country in the Indian Ocean, which is sometimes rightly referred to as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

The Country needs no introduction. Bordering only India in the North and separated from India by the narrow Palk Strait, Sri Lanka is home to a rich and diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna, and more famously, its spectacular tropical beaches.

Sri Lanka has been inhabited since the prehistoric ages. Sri Lanka also finds mention in the Indian Epic Ramayana, as the home of Ravana. Sri Lanka is said to have been visited by Lord Buddha himself, as well as by Mahinda (son of the Indian Emperor Ashoka) for spreading Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Fast forwarding to the Modern era, Sri Lanka achieved its Independence from the British in 1948 CE and became a Republic in 1972 CE. The modern Sri Lanka is one of the Fastest Growing economies in the World.

I received an opportunity to pay a visit to Sri Lanka in December 2017, as a member of the Indian Youth Delegation, during my MBA studies in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Tiruchirappalli.

The Indian Youth Delegation is perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity accorded to select students studying in the flagship programmes of the Institutes of National Importance (INI) of India, which includes the prestigious IIMs, IITs, NITs, AIIMS, etc. and several social service organizations like NSS, NYKs, etc.

The Delegation is a rare opportunity to represent the Country abroad, as the official ambassador of India. The Delegate no longer remains a regular tourist traveling to places. In this arena of soft diplomacy, the Delegate should appreciate the ties that bind the host country with the home country (India at this point of time), learn the Best practices and culture of the Host, and avenues within his domain to enhance the ties between the Host and India, so as to benefit both.

To know more about the Business aspects of the Youth Delegation, the duties and the objectives, click here.

This post shall focus more on the travel part of the Delegation. Though I was unable to plan my journey and the modes / accommodations in this trip, yet, I shall try to share the splendid experiences I had in Sri Lanka, admiring its rich heritage and the beautiful facade of sights and scenes, created by nature.


Where


During the course of our Youth Delegation trip, we traveled extensively to a lot of places in Sri Lanka. Each place offered a significant amount of people to people interaction in areas away from the capital city Colombo. The areas we covered were quite diverse – some showcasing a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, while some showcased exemplary efforts of local people towards achieving a self-sustainable community. As a part of the Delegation, sometimes we met the esteemed officials who were a part of the Government of Sri Lanka, outlining the avenues for increased cultural exchanges and economic cooperation between both the two great nations. And sometimes, we just enjoyed at the beachfront and bought souvenirs like normal tourists.

A glimpse of the places we covered in Sri Lanka, not necessarily in the order as shown in the map. (Courtesy: Google Maps)

The main locations we covered were:

  1. Colombo (The Capital of Sri Lanka)
  2. Kandy
  3. Galle
  4. Dambulla

However, there were a lot many places which were covered with the aforesaid places serving as hubs.


When


The Delegation lasted from December 16, 2017 to December 24, 2017. About 30 delegates from various reputed Institutes of National Importance and Social Service Organizations, budding scientists, youth service personnel and more assembled in New Delhi for briefing by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Government of India) and left for Sri Lanka soon after.


Details


The Mythical hills of Sigiriya. Legends say this 200m rock fortress was built by King Kuvera, the father of Ravan (Ramayan). Archaeological evidences indicate prehistotic settlements as well as settlements of Buddhist monks from 300 BCE onwards. Lets find out more.

As previously mentioned, the details of the places we covered will be explained in subsequent articles of this series, which will be rolled out one after the other, starting from this week itself.

Stay tuned..!!

© Abirbhav Mukherjee

30 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this informative post. I haven’t been to Sri Lanka myself, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! A close friend of mine is from Sri Lanka, and she says it is a beautiful country. I can’t wait to see it for myself.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my post and sharing your thoughts.. 😊
      Yes, Sri Lanka should be in your bucket list. It’s very clean, organized and beautiful. Your Sri Lankan friend was right.. 😊
      Do check out my other posts on Sri Lanka as well.. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sono felice che tu possa rivisitare i tuoi ricordi dello Sri Lanka. Spero che tu visiti di nuovo. Vorrei ora leggere il tuo soggiorno in Sri Lanka. Sono sicuro che saranno fantastici .. 😊😊

        Like

    1. Indeed Madam, it was an amazing experience for me..!! Sri Lanka is a whole new world full of rich cultural heritage, architecture and pristine beaches.. 🙂 Hope you experience them yourself..!!
      Thank you so much Madam for stopping by and sharing your comments.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great opportunity for students. Sir Lanka has so much history it is amazing. The artist who did the illustrations for my book lives there. He is so talented. Do locals visit all the historic spots as often as tourists I am curious? Love 💕 Joni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right Madam.. Sri Lanka is blessed with a rich cultural heritage, which date back even centuries before Christ.
      In Sri Lanka, I found the local people visiting places, but they were mostly present in religious places like temples. I shall share a few more articles about Sri Lanka, hope you like those.. 😊
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your comments.. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sri Lanka is unarguably lovely. You should try to visit it and fall in love with it’s natural beauty, cleanliness and the rich culture.
      Thank you for your visit and your comment.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to reading your next post. We visited SL in 2014 or 2015. What struck us most is the cleanliness and hospitality of the people there. I think I’ve written a blog on our visit to Sri Lanka. It feels like long time ago now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Madam for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.. 😊
      It’s great to know that you paid a visit to Sri Lanka as well.. 😊 As you rightly said, the people of Sri Lanka are quite friendly, and the country as a whole is quite spic and span.
      I shall read your article on Sri Lanka now.. 😊 Hope when I post the subsequent ones, you will be able to relate quite a few places which might be common for both of us.. 😊

      Like

    1. Indeed Madam, it was a proud moment indeed to have represented the Country on a foreign pitch officially. Even when I retrospect about it, I can recall what a humbling yet enthralling experience it was..!!
      Thank you so much Madam for stopping by and sharing your comment.. 🙂 Hope the subsequent posts are good and upto your satisfaction.. 🙂

      Like

  4. For some reason I can’t “like“ this but I’m hoping that it will post my comment.

    I’ve been curious about Sri Lanka for years. Partly because of a Duran Duran video that was filmed there years ago. It made it look beautiful. But I guess there’s also been a lot of political upheaval.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Madam for stopping by and sharing your comment.. ☺️
      Well, I don’t know about the Duran Duran video, but I can tell you that Sri Lanka is very beautiful. Vast swathes of that country is still untouched by reckless development. Let me show you more about Sri Lanka in my subsequent posts, hope you find them good as well.. ☺️
      Don’t worry about political upheaval. That’s long gone, more than a decade has passed since peace returned to Sri Lanka with a finality. This has contributed to the inflow of tourists as well as investment.

      Like

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