Sunday, 24 March 2002  
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Tissawewa Resthouse - the old world charm of Anuradhapura

Built as 'the Grand Hotel' in 1907 by the British the early colonial-style hotel, Tissawewa Resthouse in Anuradhapura is set in a park, full of fine trees. The two storeyed tile roofed building stands in eleven acres of parkland.

Front view of Tissawewa Resthouse.

The 'Grand Hotel' was taken over by the Ceylon Tourist Bureau 50 years after it was opened, and re-named 'Tissawewa Resthouse.' Although it remains a 'listed building', the resthouse offers the same old fashioned hospitality.

Located in the Sacred City in Anuradhapura, Tissawewa enjoys the luxury of huge park like grounds the selection of indigenous trees making it a virtual botanical garden. Across the road is the newly restored Mirisavetiya Chetiya, and a little further, the charming Archaeological Museum, the Bodhi Tree Shrine, the Ruwanveliseya.

Comfortably furnished, wit attached toilet facilities to all rooms, Tissawewa's verandahs and balcony entice the leisure traveller into staying far longer than they intend. Twenty rooms with attached toilets, with seven air conditioned including one suite, make up the resthouse.

When I visited the Tissawewa Resthouse last week, from the gateway, I saw a beautiful lawn, dotted with trees, a long low colonial building just visible through the foliage. This is Tissawewa Resthouse. Stepping out of my vehicle into the lobby, I was greeted with a warm 'Ayubowan' by the young and energetic Manager, Chaminda Perera. The wooden stairs led me to a wide balcony, ideal for reading, painting, or just contemplating.

The garden of Tissawewa is an arboretum, you find tropical hardwoods, Camphor trees, Ironwood, Margosa, as well as rhesus monkeys and languors. Watch them sit in solumn conclave, with their babies gambolling around, a typical site of a jungle hide out. From a cane easy chair on the balcony, my eyes focused on the white dome of King Dutugemunu's Mirisavetiya Stupa (shrine). Both Sri Lankan and Eastern, Western cuisine are available, and the chefs at Tissawewa specialise in utilising regional fish and vegetables, if you indicate interest. Fresh juices and herb soups are a speciality.

A short walk takes you to the Sacred Bodhi Tree, the Ruvanveli Dagaba, two museums, the Isurumuniya temple and its ancient bathing ponds. The enormous archaeological site which is Anuradhapura, is best seen by bicycle. Ask the hotel to arrange one for you, and if you wish, a guide and a picnic lunch, are also offered by the hotel. Savour all these wonders and facilities for a pleasant holiday and site seeing of the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, at Tissawewa Resthouse at the Old Town, Anuradhapura which is managed by Quickshaws Ltd. Colombo 5.

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