Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sri Lanka Travel Pt 3: Maduwa, An Island In A River

We have often heard of islands in an ocean but an island in a river sounds like an interesting phenomenon. I decided to visit one such island which happens to be the biggest island in Madu River.
Maduwa Island is just a few km from the resort where I stayed. We got Asela, a tuk-tuk driver who lives one door away from the resort to bring us there one afternoon. Piyal his neighbour decided to tag along.
Asela, our tuk-tuk driver and tour guide
There is a bridge that connects the mainland to this island, well in fact two bridges. We have to get to Mahala Duwa Island by a long bridge and then cross over to Maduwa Island via a short bridge. (see map above)
This bridge used to be accessible to the three-wheeled tuk-tuks but many parts have rusted and some platforms are giving way due to wear and tear. Nowadays only bicycles and motorbikes are allowed to use the bridge. Asela's tuk-tuk was parked at the mainland and we decided to walk across.
This bridge is narrow and very
very long. It measures 338metre.
Taking a breather and enjoying the river breeze at the centre of the bridge.
We spotted a number of cormorants , perched at some stilts in Madu River waiting for their preys.
Kothduwa temple which stood on another smaller island in the river is visible from the bridge.
We reached Mahala Duwa Island.
We were soon on the short bridge. A few men were seen fishing.
Piyal, Asela's neighbour who tagged along went to check the fishes caught by the men.
There are a couple of hundred families living in Maduwa Island and cinnamon cultivation is their main source of income.
I am seeing cinnamon trees for the first time. Asela and Piyal are good guides, explaining details of the things we encountered along the way. We even ate young shoots of the cinnamon tree. It is as sweet smelling as the barks we use to cook curry back home.
The villagers of Maduwa Island.
At a pier in Maduwa.

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