Centre Of The Earth

The Greeks called it Taprobane. Ancient Sri Lankan chronicles speak of a kingdom called Tambapanni, ruled by the earliest recorded king of the island nation, King Vijaya. It was the 2nd century AD Greek mathematician, astronomer, cartographer and astrologer Ptolemy who is credited with creating the earliest map of Sri Lanka. He named it Thaprobana, and made it the centre of the earth! For a while, Ptolemy’s map became the polestar for sailors setting out from the west, eastwards to discover new lands or new routes. From the Arabs to the Portuguese, from the Dutch and Spanish to the British, they all came, across the centuries to Ceilao, or Sri Lanka. They discovered a fascinating land.

 

It is no wonder then that Marco Polo declared the atoll “the finest island of its size in the world; it was `Taprobane’ to the ancient Romans, `Serendib’ to Arab traders, `Ceilao’ as christened by the Portuguese, `Ceylan’ by the Dutch followed by `Ceylon’ by the British and finally Sri Lanka to the Sinhalese.

 

The teardrop shaped southernmost point of mainland Asia became an indispensable port of call for the earliest travelers awaiting favorable trade winds for onward journeys. This Great Emporium became a principal center of exchange and commerce between the Mediterranean trade of the Roman Empire and the wealth of imperial China. The Portuguese came with the sword and cross, the Dutch with ledger and law book and the British with roads and railways.

 

When Buddhism declined in the country of its birth, India, it took root in Ceylon; and here, so its adherents claim, it is still to be found in its purest form.

Discover Sri Lanka

This is Sri Lanka, the land of Serendipity – of pleasant surprises!

Let us take you on an exploratory journey to the pristine interiors and to the picturesque fringes of some of the most fascinating spaces that Sri Lanka has to offer. For those who may not be aware, the island nation boasts of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, incredibly numbering eight, all ensconced within its smallness!

 

Contemporary Sri Lanka is a land of sunny smiles that come from the heart and the beginning of the most extraordinary hospitality rooted in its people. When this meets with sun-warmed tropical climes and gastronomic delights, you know you are on the trip of a lifetime.

 

Sri Lanka has the most idyllic beaches and bays that promise surf and sand, crystalline lakes and cascades which tempt one for a dip. The green valleys and majestic highlands proudly hold up ancient fortresses to the sky. You can go on treks that end in the most divine sunrise you may have ever woken up to. Endemic and exotic species abound in the great wild outdoors and numerous reserves; large herds of elephants are known to amble across one’s path, or you could easily encounter a jungle cat basking in the sunshine!

Discover Sri Lanka

Every Sri Lankan city and town has a distinct character and homegrown culture: the quaintness of ocean-swept Galle with its Dutch and Portuguese influences, Colombo, the capital city where tradition meets a bustling cosmopolitan spirit, the culturally rich Kandy with its laidback charms and mist-laden balmy weather, and Jaffna of the red earth, devout shrines, colourful saris and a people proud of their ancestry.

 

Sri Lankan cuisine is simple yet nuanced, a burst of spices and colours. Herbs and spices get tossed about, fried, simmered, sizzled and roasted, and the outcomes are a tongue-tingling feast for the palate. Brace yourself for a wild culinary ride, whether it is street food or traditional cuisine; every dish is made with love and attention to detail – from the national staple, egg hoppers (fried egg ladled onto a crepe/pancake in a bowl shape) to the wholesome herbal porridge or “kola kenda” or the complexities of the delectable “lamprais” (a dish made up of two or three meat curries with rice boiled in stock and a host of ingredients all of which is wrapped in banana leaf and baked) of Dutch ancestry, or the water buffalo curd covered with palm syrup.

 

Sri Lanka ticks all the boxes for any traveller looking for that complete experience: there is history, culture, wildlife, nature reserves, pristine beaches, people interactions and cuisine. Add to that an infrastructure that is making strides, highways and roads assuring efficient connectivity especially from the international airport in Colombo to different parts of the pearl-shaped island, and the increasing presence of local and global hospitality brands.

 

If in Sri Lanka you get a pitch-perfect destination, then, in Authenticities you get the ultimate travel partner. We are determined to design for you an impeccable holiday, handcrafted to meet the requirements of the persona that you are, ensuring incredible memories of a lifetime. The premium we lay on evoking emotion and organising immersive and authentic experiences all around, while showcasing the splendours of the country, is something you will value and carry back with you. Allow Authenticities to be your guide and take you on that once in-a-lifetime journey.

 

More than just a nondescript travel plan, our emotions transcend traditional activities, integrating classic travel concepts with community interactions, facilitating close encounters with local cultures and traditional lifestyles, thus giving you a holistic experience.

 

Come and explore, discover and get to know intimately a culture upheld by its warm people, the glories of the past, heritage and habitats, a country that has beckoned inquisitive and intrepid travellers to its shores since times immemorial.

Culture & History

While we love introducing visitors to the legacies and stories of the past, we are also conscious of the adverse effects of over-tourism. We walk the talk, and ensure we are gentle with our resources. A consistent endeavour is to unearth lesser known historical elements and present them with the utmost care. And for this, we are indebted to our regional experts who play a significant role is supporting our ideology.

Impressions & Expressions

Today, travel is increasingly about meeting with people and getting to know them in their natural habitats.  It is about going beyond the superficial and sharing perspectives, enriching oneself and others in the process. What leaves a lasting impressions of a place or a journey are the people you have met along the way, the conversations you have had, and the stories you have exchanged. It is these deep-seated interfaces that enhance any travel experience. The best travel memories are made up of the most interesting people experiences.

Art & Architecture

The island is a haven for art, aesthetics and a gamut of architectural wonders. From ancient kings with elegant taste whose works have left lasting impressions, to modern day artists whose creations dazzle and inspire, they have all left a mark. Celebrated personalities, such as the great Geoffrey Bawa, the ’43 group of artists, have paved the way for an architectural revolution. Artists such as Ena de Silva who revived the country’s batik industry, Barbara Sansoni with her fabulous designs on cloth and paintings, Laki Senanayake master cratftsman and one who dons many hats, have all introduced unbridled vibrancy and colours in their many creations across mediums.

Spaces & Landscapes

The path less taken, the spaces lesser known, we love to explore the unexplored. Perhaps it is a trek through the wilderness, or a deeply satisfying meet with an indigenous community where a flow of perspectives takes place at an unhurried pace.

Exotic & Enigmatic

Tribes and exotic people, earthy rituals and beliefs, rusticity and the esoteric. We have an all-encompassing dialogue about all these elements. For instance, the vibrant colours and festivals of the Tamil community, their unique identity that piques the curiosity of many a mind.