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MADOL DUWA -THE ISLAND OF LITERATURE, THEATRE, AND MANGROVES

In the serene setting of Koggala Lake, less than half an hour from CoCo Bay Unawatuna is an island that is a household name among every Sri Lankan: Madol Duwa. Duwa, meaning island, Madol refers to the mangroves that are holding the island in its grasp. Madol Duwa became famous among the locals with the publishing of a young adult novel of the same name, which describes the adventures of two teenagers running away from home seeking refuge on the island. Akin to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin, the novel became so popular that it was made into a movie in the 1970s, and is now translated into English, and is a part of the local curriculum as well.

Visiting Madol Duwa should be among your list of things to do in Unawatuna, Galle, Hikkaduwa, or Koggala due to its unique beauty. The island can be reached only by a boat. Set off towards the island late in the evening and you will be greeted with beautiful views of the lake mirroring the blue skies above. The island has a clear route marked through the trees, that will lead you through it. There are a stone mortar and pestle in the middle of the shrubbery, a well that is falling apart, and if you look closely, you will be able to see the fallen roof of a cave that inspired the whole story. Walking through the island is not a tiring task, but be careful not to stray from the path for there could be vipers around. However, the island is rather small that if you keep walking in one direction for a steady 20 minutes, you would reach the other end. When you visit Madol Duwa, do not forget to climb to the mound at the west end of the island. If you are lucky, a lone fisherman would be out at the lake, and you will be able to capture a panoramic view of the lake and its lonely companion with a setting sun.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

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