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Wijaya Holiday Resort framed by Nature

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It is close enough so that you don’t spend too much time on the road getting there and back.  It is far enough from Colombo to make you feel you have entered a different country altogether. Sabaragamuwa is a separate province, after all.  More importantly unlike the Western, which is mostly flat, Sabaragamuwa is hilly and mostly green.  All of that has been noted and made use of by the folk who run Wijaya Holiday Resort, a 60-acre recreational and holiday facility located at the peak of an emerald green tea plantation in Kiriella.

Thalagahahena Estate, a luscious tea plantation at Epitawela, Kiriella is located around 60km from Colombo, but then again distances now appear shorter courtesy to the Southern Expressway.  You would reach the Gelanigama exit, a few minutes after entering the Expressway at Kottawa.  The resort is nestled off the Panadura-Ratnapura road, a few miles beyond Ingiriya.  If you prefer a leisurely drive then of course you can take the High Level Road, turn right at Meepa and proceed to Ingiriya and then take a left towards Ratnapura.  Either way, you will breeze through lush vegetation, rubber estates, paddy fields and eventually hills covered with tea bushes often blurred by mist, making quite an idyllic picture.
 The land, the people and the pace will tell you soon enough that you’ve entered another country and even a different century.  It’s not Nuwara Eliya, but it is cool enough at certain times of the year, and is certainly shaded even in the hottest months.  The resort itself has been crafted from the natural landscape but with little indication of intrusion.  There are two natural waterfalls located within the precincts of the resort while the waters of the Thalagahahena Ela flowing down from the Kabaragala Kanda feed the swimming pool.

If you want to stay, there are 10 luxury guest rooms which include two suites.  These are equipped with AC, hot/cold water and television with room service available for those who need it.  The Resort, which began operations in August 2000 with just four guest rooms is now equipped with two banquet halls as well as an open hall/restaurant capable of catering to approximately 1,000 guests.  The beauty of the place which probably obtains for the efficient and tasteful use of space is that it meets multiple requirements, be it a weekend getaway for a family, a day-outing for companies, an out-of-Colombo workshop, team-building projects, adventure training or even weddings or other fetes.  Today it is a popular honeymoon destination, thanks to the beautiful landscape and cool climate.

http://www.nation.lk/edition/images/2015/04/12/Insight/Wajira%20Pathirana.jpgThe Resort, in addition to constantly upgrading its complement of facilities, also strives to add value to the resort-experience of guests.  This year, for example, there will be an Aluth Avurudu festival replete with avurudu kreeda and rasakewili. 

Throughout the year countless visitors make use of the recreation facilities which include a kiddies’ park, a playground for volleyball, basketball and a badminton courts. There’s even a large cricket ground.  They also organize excursions to an old graphite mine located close to the resort.  For those who opt for longer stays, excursions can be arranged to places of historic or other interest in the Sabaragamuwa Province including the Sinharaja Rainforest which is a World Heritage Site and a Biodiversity Hotspot.

There is vegetation; diversity of vegetation, to be more accurate.  This is why Wijaya Resort is an ornithologists’ delight. It is home to over 100 species of wet zone avifauna. You can make a pick among many pathways if you want to watch birds or just walk around absorbing tranquility and rural fragrance.

Currently only 17 acres of the overall estate are used by the Resort, but the Operations Manager, Wijaya Group of Companies Wajira Pathirana announced that 30 additional acres would be used to develop ‘Wijaya Eco Village’ based on a concept of Pinisiri Wijepala who is the Chairman and Managing director of Wijaya Gems and Group of Companies. At this facility, guests can enjoy a perfect hideaway where the home-away-from-home atmosphere brings them extremely closer to nature with absolutely no disturbance from urban or semi-urban noise and clutter.

The Management plans to have live gem mine shows and provide options for guests to cook their own meals.  Even today, guests can enjoy a demonstrative gem mine and a free gem cutting demonstration. They can watch gems being cut and visit the gem mine both within the premises and just outside.

Speaking to The Nation, Group operations Manager Wajira Pathirana said, “The resort is an ideal place to relax and to enjoy a break with a difference. The resort is not far away from the capital city Colombo. People, who are bored with their busy routines and living in the dusty environs surrounded by skyscrapers, can feel the serenity of the natural environment, inhale clean air instead of the polluted air, whilst having a relaxing weekend with fantastic experiences at Wijaya Resort.”

“We are catering to larger groups and especially to Sri Lankan guests, who are willing to spend unforgettable vacations. We also cater to the growing Mass market from conference to wedding ceremonies as well, according to the guest’s requirements. Wijaya Resort has hospitable staff, which is always ready to serve guest’s requirements without any hesitation,” he added.

Wijaya Holiday Resort is owned and managed by the Wijaya Gems & Group (Wijaya Gems, Wijaya Gems and Tours, Christina Jewelry, Sipna Educational Institute, Bambalapitiya, Wijaya Holiday Resort and Adventure Park, Wijaya Eco Village-Kiriella). WG was originally a gem company.  Its Chairman, Pinsiri Wijepala won the International Trophy for Technology and Quality (New Millennium) for Gems in Geneva, Switzerland. The other director is Himali Wijepala. WG & Groups head office is located at 730, Galle Road, Colombo.
www.wijayaholidayresort.com

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