In Search of the Past: Part 4: Magical Kandy

It’s been awhile. In case you don’t know, writing can take over your life. Then there was that Honolulu conference. Now, let’s return to Sri Lanka. 

One day way while researching book locations in the Kandy hills, I discovered a famous old hotel, Helga’s Folly–a quirky marvel of art and antiques decorated by Madame Helga Desilva Blow Perera herself, a Sri Lankan aristocrat, former Dior model, and grande artiste. Above is a garden gate with the Sri Lankan lion, a unicorn, and the three monkeys advising us not to see, hear, or speak evil.

The entry.

Some interior fun. 

The hotel remains one of a kind, which offers:

LOVELY ADVENTUROUS SENIOR CITIZENS WITH AN OPEN MIND..LIVED THE 60’s.. FEELING a prisoner? NOT READY for ‘that’ bath chair? NOT WANTING to burden ‘loved ones’? TAX MAN kept at bay and NOW.. FEAR ‘those loved ones’ turfing you out? PATRONIZED? SURROUNDED AND YET FEELING ALONE? Helga’s Folly welcomes Senior Citizens with adventure in their blood, wanting more than the bland, and not ready for the geriatric ward, with an all inclusive special rate for long stays. FEAR NOT… FORGET heating bills!!! NEW exciting door opens .. THINK an exotic place in the sun with like minded souls!! THE COOL of the hills, and jaunts to the coast. Bring your easel and paint. Cards at the ready. Ink pots full!! YOUR life ain’t over, until you decide it is!!!

If you are on a budget, please let us know and we will try and ‘sort’ something out for you. We could, given your entire budget, and what you propose to do, arrange a car,English speaking driver/guide, hotel accommodation etc, and not have any extras on this side apart from your personal shopping !

A view of the city and lake from the property.

A friend’s mother, former Yale professor Ranjini Obeyesekere invited us to her artistic home for the best dinner of our trip. That afternoon she took us to a little known local site, the Degaldoruwa Cave Temple, hand-carved from the rocks. We climbed these steps in the rain.

The cave walls are hand-painted with stories of the Buddha’s life.

Inside, we meet some young scholars and art preservationists of the government’s cultural affairs office. The temple is a precious jewel as are its two Buddha figures. 

Here is the seated Buddha.

Back at the hotel, we are greeted by this fellow. 

Next: Real elephants and more Sri Lankan magic.

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