World through my eyes
Have you ever wondered, that how and where you can watch the biggest living animal on this planet without having to part with a fortune! Where you can watch the Blue Whale closest to India? Actually, despite having spotted a Blue Whale some years back off the Malwan coast in Konkan region, there is no place in India from where you can spot whales with regularity, hence there is no whale watching in India as per se. India does have dolphins in large number- fresh water as well as salt water. Fresh water dolphins can be seen in Ganges and Brahmaputra. While ocean dolphins can be seen at Chilika in Odisha and at many places off the coast in Arabian Sea including Goa and Lakshdweep. But even these dolphin sightings are brief and by chance, and that too from quite a distance.
So, now coming back to the point, do you know there is a place very close to India which is famous world over for whale and dolphin watching in open sea. You will also be surprised to know that visiting that place from Delhi will be just like having a luxury holiday in Goa, in terms of load to your pocket. I am really surprised that when Indians plan to travel abroad for an adventure filled or even a luxury holiday, Sri Lanka isn’t among their top choices. I really wonder, what they are missing. It needs a change. Pygmy blue whales are often found in the sea around Sri Lanka, which is home to one of their largest permanent feeding grounds. Blue whales are also regularly spotted along the Pakistani coast as they make their annual journey from Antarctica to the north and back.
Mirissa in Sri Lanka is one of the top places in world to see Blu Whales, Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins. Marine mammal safari off the coast here is an ultimate experience. Some of these amazing safaris are brought to you by Cinnamon Nature Trails. Mirissa is on south coast of Sri Lanka. It is on the road link from Galle to Dondra, the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Mirissa is in Matara district. Matara is famous for its Matara Star fort. Mirissa is a popular Beach Destination and you can hear many tourists calling it as a paradise.
Sea facing resort of Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon brings the best of trance music, sea-side adventure and eclectic comfort in the party capital of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka. You can engage in exhilarating activities offered by the property like diving, jet skiing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and an ultimate Marine Mammal Safari off Mirissa.
Sri Lanka is a treasure trove for whale watching; Mirissa being one of the leading hotspots among locals and foreign tourists that travel miles to witness this spectacle. You can embark on a three-hour excursion from Mirissa Harbour with Cinnamon Nature Trails on a quest of viewing the most amazing aquatic species like Spinner Dolphins, Blue Whales and Sperm whales among other marine mammals.
You can simply revel in the sight of massive pods of friendly Spinner Dolphins swim by the boats as they play, dance and show off their acrobatic skills and flare. You can spot the rare Blue Whale, the largest animal ever known to have lived on earth measuring upto a 100 feet long and weighing around 200 tons. If luck favours you, you can watch them exhale as they spray water 30 feet up into the air from their blowhole. Another sea marvel that you are likely to come across on the safari is the Sperm Whale, the largest toothed whale on the planet. They are deep divers who seldom take a break and rest at the surface. However, the sea specialists at Cinnamon Nature Trails hold years of knowledge in understanding the behavior and calls of these underwater giants to ensure visitors get a bucket list experience. Cinnamon Nature Trails is an award-winning wildlife adventure tourism division of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts that conducts these oceanic safaris for guests staying at Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon.
So, make the most of your sea side exploration with a visit to Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon until mid April to spot these extraordinary marine mammals at Mirissa. December to April is said to be the best time to visit Mirissa. Mattala towards south-east also has an international airport which is roughly 125 kms from Mirissa, but it has less connectivity as of now.
How to reach: Colombo’s Bandarnayake Airport is closest international Airport to Mirissa. But it is almost 185 kilometres far. You can take buses, taxis or even trains from Colombo to Mirissa. Taxis are costlier but buses and trains are very cheap means. The route is indeed scenic as it runs along the sea coast at most of the parts. Galle, 40 kms from Mirissa also has a domestic airport, but you need to check connectivity and price.
Cost: When I say that going to Sri Lanka can be as good as going to Goa, I presume that we plan early for such trips. And, when I checked, then in many days one month from now, return air fare to Colombo from Delhi was largely equal to return air fare to Panaji from Delhi. Similarly, you can get a 4-star accommodation for less than 10K INR per night. Package deals could be even lot cheaper. With Sri Lankan rupee cheaper than Indian rupee, even shopping there would be fun.
Have you ever watched whales in open sea? Have you been to Mirissa? Let us know the experience in the comments section below.
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