KURULU BEDDA – “HAMLET”
As a continuation of the article “ Traveller’s Tale” which described our travel “ in June 2011” to Sri Lanka after touring in Thailand ,this episode relates visiting an eco retreat model village called “ Kurulu bedda” in the close vicinity to the city of Galle and also making a short trip to see the Martin Wicramasinghe museum near Koggala – old Air Base .
‘Kurulu Bedda’ means literarily , a jungle environment set aside for a bird sanctuary.
‘Kurulu -Paluwa ‘ has been constructed for a different purpose. According to Dr Cyril Kariyawasam from university of Ruhuna , when paddy farmers prior to cultivating their rice fields , they set aside a small area for birds. About two weeks before starting to work on their main paddy fields, the village farmers collectively cultivate a small area for birds and insects. Birds and insects get used to feeding the paddy of this small area. Once the birds form a habit of eating paddy in this small area, they never bother to seek another area for their feeding. This is how village farmers have protected their main paddy fields from destruction by birds. Literarily , Kurulu Paluwa means “ the area devastated by birds” .
As I stepped into this model village , Kurulu bedda , my mind went back to over seventy years with re collection of my father’s vegetable garden. He developed the vegetable garden (“Elavalu Koratuwa” ) during his spare times. We as young boys (Six brothers ) had to work with him after school and during week-ends .
This kurulu bedda hamlet reminded me of my childhood days. Vegetable “ koratuwa” with plants that creep along ground and up (“ messa”) wooden structures with vege – fruits hanging seemed you are in a different world; especially the little cottage made of mud and bamboo walls with thatched roof, a small dwelling which has been built by the side of the model paddy field, take you back to your childhood days. There are no such dwellings to be seen in our village or other suburbs of Galle nowadays. Buffalo grazing in pasture and monkeys on fruit trees give an added attraction to the model village. Surrounding the jungle area of the village there are hundreds of birds singing and flying in flocks. An expert resident naturalist , has recorded over 56 species of birds in the area. We were invited to assist the farmers with the cultivation of the paddy and harvesting of the many variety of vegetables grown.
Kurulu bedda is part of the (Jet wing ) Lighthouse Hotel and is only a ten minutes boat ride up the Mahamodara river from the Hotel. Elevated wooden decked walkways took us to see the beautiful areas of the model village. The historic city of Galle is within a fifteen minute drive from Kurulu bedda .We spent a day here with the eco tranquil environment, while my family members engaged in other activities , I was meditating on ‘meththa’ ( loving kindness to all living beings ) and calming the mind thereby rejuvenating my brain cells.
Dr.Karu Liyanaratchi O.A.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Take a boat ride along a quiet rivulet that leads up to Jetwing Kurulubedda, a scenic refuge in the coastal city of Galle that lies tucked away amidst lush greenery. Lose yourself in the peace and tranquillity of a tropical paradise and enjoy your very own contemporary luxury villa complete with a private plunge pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jetwing Kurulubedda Hotel Galle District