It has been 8 years since the Ellegala family (Sri Lankan/Dutch) started Polwaththa Eco-Lodges in their ancestral village near Kandy, Sri Lanka. The prime objectives of this venture was to protect the environment and uplift the livelihood of the villages which was achieved by hiring rooms to tourists. However, the surrounding lands were subject to deforestation by the owners of those lands for quick money which sadly continues even today. Although "buying" their trees to ensure the survival of the trees met with limited success, the only practical and permanent solution was to purchase their (now barren) lands for re-forestation.
With a generous contribution - in both funds and expertise from Henk Kieft from the Netherlands, the Forest Healing Project (FHP) was launched in October 2016 with the purchase of 2 hectares (5.5 acres) of barren land close to Polwaththa Eco-Lodges. Within the first 3 months, almost 300 new plants were planted, consisting of large forest trees - some endemic, wild flowering trees, Arabica coffee and a range of fruit trees, complete with protective nets against damage from wild animals such as deer, porcupine, wild-boar and monkey.
We can happily say that our efforts were worthwhile since almost all the new plants are doing well and we are well on our way to get the forest back. This investment, if restricted to re-forestation, has no return, and over a period of time, will be a drain on resources. In order to be self-sufficient, a few cabanas, fitting with the surroundings, are being built to generate an income to meet the expenses of maintaining the project.
If this works to it's true potential, FHP could purchase more such lands to further expand on the re-forestation project, or in the least, make it viable. At a time that the whole world is conscious of Global Warming, this project provides an ideal opportunity for those tourists taking a long flight to Sri Lanka to off-set their Carbon Foot-print (at a least a part thereof), by planting a tree.
If anyone is interested to participate in this project or would like to know more please feel free to contact us.
We look forward to your participation.
13/12/2016 09:11 PM
Online Feed from our Visitors
Wondering if you can see more pics? Well, here you can see pics taken through the lenses of our visitors. We have now collected pictures from Instagram users who are basically doing the job for us! Thank you!
The website is coming soon but here is what you can expect..
Kandy, the last kingdom and the second largest city of Sri Lanka, is visited by almost every foreign tourist to this country for her rich history, culture and beauty, and by large numbers of domestic tourists as pilgrims to the Temple of The Tooth (of The Buddha).
Nestled between mountains, 450 meters above sea level, the climate is relatively mild. Rain-fall is mostly from November to mid January (North-East monsoon) and to a lesser degree, from May to August (South-West monsoon).
In recent times, Kandy and her surroundings have become more popular amongst foreign tourists for the rich flora and fauna. Mountains, ever-green jungles, water-falls, rivers, rice-fields and tea-plantations are common sites just outside the city. Together with a local community whose lives are strongly influenced by the Buddhist way of life, where hospitality to strangers comes naturally to them, the Kandyan area has become a must-stay place for all those who love nature and culture.
The first of the Polwaththa Home-stays called “Polwaththa (Superior) Home-stays” - so called for it’s spacious new rooms with large verandas offering more comfort, is located 16 Km East of Kandy from where villages replace towns and water-buffaloes replace tractors, stretching right up to the East coast of Sri Lanka where the best beaches are. To offer a fine blend of nature and culture, this Home-stay is built in a small village, surrounded by trees and mountains and hosted by a typical village family who will enthusiastically show you how they live. For activities based on nature and adventure, guests can participate in all the treks offered by Polwaththa Eco-lodges (www.polwaththa-ecolodges.com) situated just 400 meters from the Home-stay. The two guest rooms are detached from the home – far enough to provide privacy when required (to both the guests and the host) and close enough to provide a real experience in village life in Sri lanka.
We grow our own Coffee, both Robusta and a type of Arabica in our 6 hectare land. Only the ripe berries are plucked and sorted to remove the bad-quality berries.
Thereafter the berries are sun-dried and pounded in the traditional way to remove the husk and cleaned again.The berries are then roasted in the traditional way on a hearth until they turn to dark brown - almost black in colour.
We now have a blend of Robusta and Arabica which is gaining in popularity.
A blender and sifter then convert the roasted beans into a fine powder.
The coffee is then immediately packed into glass bottles (Jam bottles re-used after cleaning and drying well).
The old-fashioned Italian Peculator is often used to cater to small numbers.
Our coffee powder is suitable for Cappuccino and espresso.
Simply check out Trip Advisor to find out what our guests think of it.
As we are very unique in relation to other hotels in the Kandy region there are certain things to consider.
a) Plenty of soft T-shirts and shorts - please understand that the Sri Lankan culture is very different to the West which require ladies to wear their shorts down to the knees and cover their bikinis with a T-shirt when bathing/swimming in public areas, but swimming in a bikini is fine in less popular areas (please speak to your guide on arrival)
c)Walking shoes for trekking
d)Swim-wear to swim in rivers and also waterfalls!
e)Light rain-coat in case of rain.
f) Insect Repellent in case you are fearful of small bugs when walking around. (All lodges are sealed and sprayed to avoid insects indoors)
08/07/2014 10:00 PM
Sounds of Polwaththa
Want to hear the sounds you can expect? Just listen to our teaser.
Those are the sounds of the wildlife you will wake up to. This includes over 60 species of birds, monkeys and giant squirrels jumping from tree to tree.
The certificate says it all! We would like to thank Trip Advisor for this award, but most importantly, all our guests who reviewed. us. We take all comments very seriously and we appreciate all the kind words. They continue to give us enthusiasm and belief in what we are doing.
For those looking to visit Sri Lanka for endemic birds and other wildlife, make sure to visit us. With over 60 species of birds including 17 endemics we are one the prime locations for bird watching in the central and Kandy district of the island.
We are trying to bring you as close to the birds as possible and with that we have constructed a birding spot which will be one of many to come.
Petr and Katerina stayed with us in January of this year. After unloading their bags we realised that most of their stuff was camera equipment! They did not take long to get it set up and before we knew it, they were ready to explore with their camera gear. Unfortunately the equipment did not make it possible to walk far but after spending a few days with us, mostly sitting in the rain and waiting on species of wildlife they were kind enough to share some pictures they took.
These pictures were taken mostly by Katerina, who spend hours waiting, capturing and eidting (while Petr was sleeping, so we were told). She now has her own website at http://www.kata-photo.com/svatby/ where you can see more of her great photography and pictures of Sri Lanka.
For those who do not know what the Esala Perahera is - it is an exhibition of the tooth relic of The Buddha (as a symbol, the inner cast is displayed on the back of a majestic elephant) which was brought to Sri Lanka from India about 2,000 years ago. The festival is also meant to evoke the Gods to produce rain for the cultivation of crops, good health and fertility. The Perahera consists of hundreds of dancers and drummers, about 70 colourful elephants, fire jugglers and other performers, which is generally about 2 km long. It is one of the busiest periods in Kandy as people from all corners of the country come here to pay homage to The Buddha and which has also turned out to be a big tourist attraction with an ever-increasing demand for tickets.
The festival takes place for about 12 days in August and is set to take place from the 11th to the 21st August, with the 5-day Randoli Perahera starting on the 16th and the Day-Perahera on the 21st. The Randoli Perahera is a larger and more beautiful procession with more elephants and drummers.
OUR GUESTS For our guests we will be giving a service of not only booking tickets, but also providing transport at a reasonable costs by our 4x4 jeep that can transport max. 9 persons. You will be brought and picked up behind the Dalada Maligawa (temple of the tooth) which is a 10 minute walk to the main entrance of the Temple where the processions starts.
Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly popular tourism destination, and travelling through the country using local transport has never been easier. Although there is plenty of room for improvement, the trains have seen an unprecetended demand, with foreigners hanging on the outside of the train - something only the locals would dare. As fun as that may be for some, our tip is this: Book train tickets as soon as possible. The upcoming holiday season (December/January) will see an even higher demand for tickets so dont count on getting tickets 10 minutes before departure unless you are willing to stand.
The trains to Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy have various classes; luxury, observation, 2nd and 3rd class. A 2nd class ticket does not guarantee you a seat so be there as early as possible. 30-45 mins if you want the chance to get a seat. The same applies for trains to Trinco and Matara.
Tickets can now be booked using exporail (www.exporail.lk) but this is only for the luxury class. This may not be the best way to experience the journey as you do not mingle with the locals as much as in the second class, but at least it guarantees you a seat. You can also book train tickets using a Mobitel sim card. The difference is that you can only book a ticket 14 days prior to the day of the journey. Simply dial 365 and book the journey that you want, but be prepared to wait on the line as you wont be the only one dialing to get a ticket. The rest is pretty simple and straightforward. Visit http://www.mobitel.lk/ticketing for more info. Ticket prices range from Rs. 150 to 1500 depending on the journey and class.
We strongly recommend the train to anyone who is thinking about travelling by train - it is not only cheap, it is quite comfortable as well (considering you get a seat) and it shows you Sri Lanka first hand. It is definitely better than sitting in an A/C car for the entire trip.
New Zealand is visiting Pallekele once more. The upcoming matches that will be played here are one T20 which will be played on the 30th of October and one ODI which is on the 1st of November.
For those either looking for accommodation during the matches or those that wish to experience the atmosphere of this lovely sport - We are providing free transport to and from the grounds. Picnic (parceled) dinner can be arranged as well.
For enquiries during the cricket matches please contact Mr. Gangoda on: 072 921 0 721. Polwaththa Eco lodges is situated 7km away from the grounds