Pearl of the Island

       There was a time when rifles were used by colonialist to pepper the sky with frequent blasts during bird hunts at two little islands that are situated on the east coast of Sri Lanka. These islands are scenic and green. They are surrounded by bright blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. The tides froth in anticipatory lust to touch the shores of these islands, close to the city of Trincomalee. The two islands together are known as Pigeon Island.

       After a casual drive through Alles Garden, which is along the coast prepared with an occasional farm house, a guest house and the ever so popular " Potti Kadai" which when translated to English would be termed as "itsy bitsy store". These Potti Kadai's carry within their confines a plethora of items that a traveler would need such as chilled Coca Cola , Pepsi ,other kinds of soda, bites to munch on, tender coconut and more.

      Along the route to Pigeon island, the vehicle passes a wondrous temple that is dedicated to the Lords of Indralogam, which is the Hindu Pantheon. The winding road finally reaches the shores past the town of Nilaveli, where the gentle sounds of surf is heard as the tide wafts over casually to envelope the coast with its blanket. At that juncture, I could sense that we were at our destination. On descending from the vehicle and sauntering over the soft white sands, we strolled under the warmth of the ever present sun to the boats that were to transport us to Pigeon Island. The Boat was comfortable and life jackets were provided. The boatman offered to rent us scuba diving equipment and goggles. Cheerfully, we rented what we needed and boarded the boat. The waters were calm, the wind was cool and the sun was warm. This was sublime weather that brought a feeling of contentment within my soul. Ten minutes later, we were at Pigeon Island.

        Coral reef on one side and rocks on the other side. Clear waters and good vistas. This was a romantic place. It is place where fairy tales were evoked within the minds of visiting adults. The beauty of the two islands, so named due to the abundance of rock pigeons cannot be described with a few words. This is paradise to be savored and experienced. The abundance of flora and fauna is matched by the beauty of the bright blue waters which is so clear that even the landlubber could enjoy the beauty of the coral reefs as much as the diver and swimmers in the water.

         The mighty hordes of rainbow fish and their cousins of every color and stripe swim leisurely amidst the corals forming a kaleidoscope of heavenly formations of color that is unimaginable. This is an experience that cannot be described with mere words. I urge everyone to pay homage to nature by visiting this glorious romantic place in Sri Lanka's Eastern Province.

the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Kalaivani Muralitharan

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