There are some travellers who take keen interest in the history and culture of the place where they travel to. So they end up reading all that they can before arriving at their destination. There are some others who find the idea of visiting a completely different place for the first time, not knowing what to expect, a bit unnerving.
For both these kinds of travellers, reading books or novels about the place is a great way to immerse themselves in that country’s culture and get accustomed to it before arriving. To make your stay in Sri Lanka truly memorable, you can stay at the beauteous Nuwara Eliya rest house. Here’s our list of top books to read before travelling to Sri Lanka.
Running in the Family
One of the greatest Sri Lankan novels of all time, it is written by the eminent author Michael Ondaatje, who also wrote ‘The English Patient’. Set in the 1970s, it tells the story of man returning to his roots in Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful family memoir of a baroque Dutch-Ceylonese family, full of eccentric characters and captivating stories set against the exotic landscape of a colonial empire in decline.
Cinnamon and Elephants: Sri Lanka and the Netherlands From 1600
Spanning about 150 years, the Dutch colonial rule was a big part of Sri Lanka’s history. Cinnamon and Elephants is a collection of images and illustrations from the Rijksmuseum collection, which tell the story of all that happened during the rule of the Dutch East India Company. Reading this will help visitors in understanding better what they see and experience in the island country.
A Village in the Jungle
This novel was written by Leonard Woolf after spending seven years in Sri Lanka working as a colonial officer. It tells the story of the hardships and perplexities in the life of isolated communities living in the deep and intense jungles of the tropics.
Cinnamon Gardens is set in a neighbourhood of the same name in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of a family and history in the heart of the island. It has been written by Shyam Selvadurai, one of the best-loved contemporary writers from Sri Lanka.
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
This book tells the story of a Tamil girl and a Sinhala girl which surpasses the conflict of their cultures. Written by Nayomi Munaweera, another talented contemporary Sri Lankan writer, it offers a fresh perspective on the conflict that ravaged the nation for several years.
Round the Tea Totum: When Sri Lanka Was Ceylon
Written by David Ebbels, this book gives an outstanding description of life in Sri Lanka before and after independence. It gives delightful insights into Sri Lanka’s culture, geography and the business of tea, all with a touch of good humour.
When you visit Sri Lanka, you’ll be mesmerised by its beauty and probably write a book of your own. For affordable accommodations, you can stay at the hostels in Ella while exploring beautiful sights by the day.