"Kirinda" Kirinda by Maxus

Kirinda Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 5 photos

For those in peril

The small port of Kirinda on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka is full of ghosts for me, it was here that I reached the end of one journey and began to reflect on where I was going next.

People in the UK had been supportive when I’d arrived home in the January of 2005 they would never really know what it was really like, how could they but Kirinda knows only too well and you can still see it on the faces of the people who the tsunami hadn’t taken, who unlike me had not been able to fly away from it all.

Within a year, the area was already showing signs of recovery, helped (according to the writing on the wall of Kirinda Muslim School) by the people of the Irish Republic. However, around the shells of the most substantial buildings it wasn’t difficult to gauge the full extent of the catastrophe,

Kirinda’s principle tourist attraction, the Buddhist Temple atop its steep little hill, was left physically unscathed by the waters which had crashed around it, taking hundreds of lives. In the Temple I was left physically unscathed, as though on an island surrounded by somebody else’s nightmare.

Wooden shacks selling drinks and sweets to Temple goers have been rebuilt, acres of ground had been cleared and work was apparently underway to rebuild the community. The only NGO I saw in operation was financed by a British charity which employed guys to catch stray dogs, who were then castrated, 300 hundred of them so far according to the man at the shop who, being Buddhist didn’t think castrating dogs was right. No doubt the dogs weren’t too keen on it either

The Temple and the views from it are well worth the climb up the steep little uneven stone steps and you might as well go up because there is nothing else to see here, not since the tsunami. On the hill there is a dreamlike feel, your senses dulled by the dazzling blue seascape and the constant sea breeze singing in your ears.

Even during my most recent visit in 2010 I still found it impossible to speak about what happened here to anyone who wasn’t here at the time.

  • Last visit to Kirinda: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Kirinda is a very special place for you...I do have places that make me nostalgic (like where I grew up in Philippines)...Kirinda is a nice-sounding name for a place too...Norman :)


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