The drive to Kahanda Kanda is 25 minutes inland from Galle. Turn off the main road just outside Galle and for 15 minutes drive through rural SL. Beaches are beaches anywhere in the world but it is often said that the interior of a country is where the true spirit lies. Sri Lanka is no different. This final 15 minutes of your journey takes you along a narrow road through paddy fields; past temples and a huge colourful-seated Buddha meditating amongst the trees; through small villages; and into the very heart of this tropical Eden.
Kahanda Kanda (Yellow Moon Mountain) is a 10-acre tea estate perched high above Koggala Lake with stunning views across the lake and jungle.The collaboration of the owner, a leading English interior designer, and the architect, an Australian whose credits include several highly acclaimed private houses, has produced a villa that stands alone in SL in terms of ethnic luxury and style.
The backbone of this spectacular villa is an 80 metre saffron wall that runs along the length of the property and acts as a divider between views across Koggala Lake from those across the tea and jungle. Glassless windows in the wall provide frames for the jungle beyond and accentuate the creative flair that has conceived this villa.
Accommodation is offered in terraced stand alone en suite pavilions whilst the living and dining areas are also housed in their own pavilions as if to emphasise that in SL, doing one thing at a time is the preferred path. Each pavilion features polished cement flooring and exposed timber ceilings with tiled roof.
There are large lily ponds either side of the sitting pavilion and a floating stepping-stone path provides access to the dining pavilion. These lily ponds spring to life as day melts into night with an orchestra of tropical song. Kahanda Kanda is a working tea estate and is well managed undergoing a revival employing 9 workers. True to tradition the men carry out the heavy work whilst the women are responsible for the delicate task of picking the leaves. Join them if you wish, Mahenda (Estate Manager) will be delighted to show you around, or simply lie back and watch others at work. Kahanda Kanda is an oasis of style set within a Garden of Eden that enables you to live the life of rural Sri Lanka.
Enjoy the experience.
The 5 double bedrooms are divided into 4 free standing pavilions. The master bedroom has a private garden and floor to ceiling shutters facing south that look across jungle and Koggala Lake. Getting up for dawn is to some so much more enjoyable when you don't have to actually get out of bed. The open shutters give the feeling of being able to touch nature whilst you watch her cast her magic spell over the tropical scenery laid before you. Two pavilions have private terraces overlooking the tea estate whilst the other bedrooms enjoy the privacy of a landscape garden flooded with fragrant flowers and plants.
Knowing there are very few places to enjoy complete privacy the master bedroom has two bathrooms, each with an outdoor shower that gazes up to the sky. Two other bedrooms have outdoor showers set in a private terraced garden whilst the other two bedrooms have bathrooms with twin showers. All bathrooms are en suite.
Dining and common areas
Laid out in its own pavilion with views across Koggala Lake, the tea estate, and the jungle beyond you can lie or sit in divine comfort whilst listening to the roar of the Indian Ocean in the distance. This pavilion is stylishly decorated in Asian antiques that somehow seem to encapsulate the spirit of surrounding scenery. There is a platform along one end of this open area with views over Koggala Lake that encourages you to lie or sit and watch the passing day . Lily ponds on either side ensure the air around you is cool as well as providing an alternative to your CDs as dusk sets in and the noise of the tropical night wraps you in its warm and entertaining sounds.
Perched along the ridge adjacent to the sitting pavilion sits the open sided dining pavilion. A teak table set for 10 that can be divided to accommodate smaller parties lies in the centre. With stunning views similar to those of its 'sitting' neighbour the dining pavilion is responsible for a feast of all the senses.
Kitchen / Staff
Should you ever go near it you will find a fully modern kitchen enjoying the solitude of its own pavilion. There is a resident chef, an assistant chef, 2 houseboys and a maid who are there to look after you. In addition there are 9 workers on the tea estate who's smile grows should you greet them with a 'kohomada' (Hi, How are you?) and two night watch man to ensure that the monkeys do not become too inquisitive.
Breakfast of local delicacies, an abundance of fruit, bread, organic jams and honey combs, tea (of course) and coffee is provided. The chef (Nihal) speaks fluent English and specialises in Western, Thai, and Sri Lankan dishes. A menu awaits your your consideration and he will discuss with you when you are free, a selection for every meal either on a day-to-day basis or, for the whole of your stay if you prefer not to have to think about such things every day. All herbs are grown on the estate but he will require cash for all other purchases. Keeping an account book he will present the details to you at a convenient moment during the day. Staff take their own meals separate from the food you purchase. Whilst wine is not readily available near the villa it can be bought on this web site and delivered to you.
A 21 by 9 metre pool with a dark green polished cement finish allows the energetic to do 'lengths' and the others to simply float around. On one side is an infinity edge that runs off into views of Koggala Lake and the jungle. A cascade at the deep end falls from a carved opening in the end wall.
Things to see and do
Kahanda Kanda rests approx 9 kms from the historic town of Galle containing two of Sri Lankan's famous sites. The World Heritage 300 year old Galle Fort largely built by the Dutch, and the Galle International Cricket Pitch. The Fort, one of the largest living Forts in the world, is a fascinating look at how life can be in Sri Lanka. A Buddhist Temple; a Mosque housed in a converted Church; an Anglican Church; and a Dutch Reform Church all lie within a bell or chant of each other proving that peace is the desired and easily possible course for this island. The Muslim community have passed their jewellery manufacturing skills from generation to generation and the Fort, and indeed the whole of Galle, contains an abundance of Gem stores that like their 'tailor' cousins of HK will help you select, design, and manufacture a suitable 'rock' for your finger in a matter of days.
When an international cricket match is being played the Fort Ramparts provide you with as close to a bird's eye view as possible, played against a backdrop of tropical scenery. It is possible, if you have brought the required number, to hire the pitch for a nominal sum should no other matches be booked and with enough notice we can arrange this for you.
Closer to Kahanda Kanda - approx 5 kms - lies 'one of the world's top 10 beaches' at Unawatuna. With a Buddhist temple at one end the beach leads a charmed life but if a less well know, but equally beautiful beach is your preference we will tell you where they are when you get here. PADI sub aqua courses can be arranged in this area. Nihal will prepared a picnic hamper. If all of this sounds too much then simply lie back, watch migrating birds return to the Lake for the evening and let the distant chants of Buddhist monks carry you away to a different world.