Other Red Dot Sites: Maldives
The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Samadhi, in the words of its owners, is ‘a pilgrimage you owe yourself’. Samadhi is a Buddhist term, and is achieved by meditating upon one of 40 different topics: upon achieving samadhi, the mind becomes calm, concentration is enhanced and you eventually obtain release from all suffering. Samadhi Centre was built in this spirit, created from an abandoned tea plantation on the edge of the Dumbara valley by Waruna Jayasinghe, antique dealer, organic farmer and erstwhile hippy. He lives with Yumi, his Japanese wife, who is a yoga teacher. Here, there are no mobile phone connections, television or insistent demands. City life is replaced by the soothing sounds of a flowing river, rustling leaves, bird song and crickets. Samadhi Centre’s chalets are scattered on a hillock providing much privacy and tranquillity and there are several small pavilions surrounded by trees, ideal for quiet contemplation. A large Yoga pavilion sits atop the hill with beautiful views of the mountains. Traditional rice and curries are made with organic produce and prepared in clay pots over a hearth.
The saffron-coloured chalets at Samadhi are designed in the form of a village home with verandas overlooking the wilderness and mountains beyond. There are one-bedroom and two-bedroom chalets, all immersed in tropical foliage and facing different angles. The two-bedroom chalets share a single bathroom equipped with h/w shower. The simple and rustic interiors are aesthetically pleasing, decorated with antiques, art, and sculptures from across the island. Each bedroom is furnished with a double bed, antique couch and almairah. The cool hill country climate keeps the rooms comfortable, but a pedestal fan can be provided upon request. Being in the tropical wilderness, you may encounter the occasional frog in your chalet. Living with nature is part and parcel of Samadhi.
An open-sided pavilion (Ambalama) located at the entrance serves as the reception area, lounge and dining area. From here, numerous steps up the hill lead to the individual chalets. The large Yoga pavilion is ideal for group Yoga or meditation sessions, and guests are welcome to use any of the pavilions scattered around the gardens for their own Yoga, meditation, reading, or writing. The meals – mainly vegetarian rice and curries and fish cooked in a traditional Kandyan style – are served in the main Ambalama, while coffee or tea is brought to your chalet. Fresh vegetables and fruit are picked from their own organic gardens and homemade jaggery is available. Alcoholic beverages are not served. Samadhi follows an eco-friendly philosophy, encouraging minimum use of electrical light bulbs which are supplemented by oil lamps at night. Water is drawn directly from springs that flow down from the mountains. You can partake in Ayurveda, barefoot Shiatsu, astrology, Reiki, or go river bathing, bird watching or on woodland walks. Requests for cooking lessons are also kindly welcomed.
This rural and relaxed Buddhist meditative and yoga centre is situated in 20 acres of wilderness, surrounded by the Knuckles Mountain Range and edged by the Hulu Ganga (river). It is located about 45 minutes north-east of Kandy.
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