John Gimlette takes us from Sri Lanka's exuberant capital city of Colombo to the dry interior where more than 5,300 wild elephants congregate around its ancient reservoirs; from the Portuguese-built forts of cinnamon country to the tsunami-ravaged south-east; from the tea plantations of the highlands and the Shangri-la-ish city of Kandy to the desiccated Jaffna Peninsula in the north. He examines Sri Lanka's colonial history (Portuguese, British, Dutch and Arab); the centuries-old strife between Sinhalese and Tamils; and the most recent civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2009. He describes his encounters with world-class cricketers, terrorists, a former president, ancient tribesmen, British expats, survivors of the civil war massacres, and with the island's amazing flora and fauna, including the world's greatest concentration of leopards. He discovers a place of both extravagant beauty and profound devastation, a place capable of being both heavenly and hellish at the same time.
Format: Paperback, 444 pages
Publisher: Vintage, March 2017
Product Dimensions: 8 L × 5.3 W × 1.1 H
* Subject to availability