Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines as part of my story, Eternal Bentota, which ran in the November 2016 issue.
The Modergam Aru, in northwestern Sri Lanka, forms the southern boundary of the Wilpattu Ntional Park, the country’s largest nature reserve. February 2016.
Thunhis Gala (literally, the Three-Headed Rock), part of the Knuckles Mountain Range, towers over the A26 Highway that drops 600m down the eastern face of the Central Highlands, from Digana to the flatlands around Mahiyanganaya. The highway, which includes the hair-raising Dhaha Ata Wanguwa (Eighteen Bends), is one of the best driving roads in Sri Lanka. Leave Digana as early as you dare and beat the traffic. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine, as part of my road trip piece, The Temple of War, which appeared in the April 2016 issue.
Nimal Wickramasiri, a master drum maker, from a long line of traditional Sri Lankan drum makers, at work with his apprentices, in his workshop in Battaramulla, close to Sri Lanka’s administrative capital, Kotte. Three stages in the making of a drum can be seen in this photograph. The woman in the foreground is stripping lengths of heavy-duty rawhide which will be used as cords on drums similar to the one Nimal is stringing in the background. The other apprentice is smoothening the ends of a wooden geta bera body to receive the leather drumheads. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, A Beat of the Ages, which appears in the December 2016 issue.
The Colombo docks, with the Ports Authority building in the foreground, shot from the Harbour Room of the Grand Oriental Hotel, Sri Lanka. September 2016.
“The hands and fingers seemed to work to an inner beat, to a pulse, only the drum-maker himself could hear. As wood was smoothed, leather cords tightened, and cowhide stretched, they would be periodically tested, plucked, tapped, thrummed by the fingers, searching for a quality defined by sound…”
In Battaramulla, a master drum maker stretches and ties layers of animal hide to form the drumhead of a Yak bera, a traditional Sri Lankan drum. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines, as part of my story, A Beat of the Ages, runs in the December 2016 issue.
“…He tries out various beats with his palms, his fingers, and the kadippuwa – a drumstick – the sound is almost hair raising, like the heartbeat of Lanka, racing and slowing and then racing again, unbroken through the ages.”
A drum maker tunes a freshly made dawula, a traditional Sri Lankan drum. Next to him stands his own well-used geta bera, as well as several tabla bodies awaiting varnishing and finishing. Shot on assignment for Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines. My story on traditional drum making, A Beat of the Ages, appears in the December 2016 issue. Check it out when you fly SriLankan this month, or follow the link.
Garlands and crushed flowers decorate the Nagadeepa Viharaya, close to Mahiyanganaya, in eastern Sri Lanka. The stupa is believed to date to the 2nd century BC, when it was built by King Dutugemunu of Anuradhapura in gratitude for his victory over the Chola king, Elara. Shot on assignment for Explore Sri Lanka magazine. My road trip piece, The Temple of War, appeared in the April 2016 issue.