Tourism should ideally, in countries such as Sri Lanka, be a means of renewing abandoned
environments which once supported cultural heritage. In these circumstances, the
vitality of our value systems combined with the tranquil balance of our lives could
be shared with guests who seek our hospitality. It is only then that the experiences
they seek for which they travel to distant lands, may be truly fulfilled.
The pursuit of this endeavour brought Galkadawala to the fore. Maulie, her architect
Vijitha Basnayaka and their uncle Hema, contributed to a common vision of re-discovering,
nourishing and moulding a landscape that once flourished but was no more. They sought
many sites, which though neglected deserved upliftment. Their trail brought them
finally to Galkadawala, which at first displayed typical Dry Zone characteristics
inflicted by the slash, burn and plant modes of cultivation adopted by rural colonists.
Over many decades such approaches denuded the land, sustaining thereafter only a
cover of scrub jungle.
From the outset, the aim was to transform this barren patch to a jungle habitation,
creating a haven for guests to enjoy a setting in which Man and Nature lived in
harmony with each other - the pastoral scene of the rural peasantry in which animals,
birds, reptiles and insects also have their due place.