18 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: Eight cyclists of Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC) recently completed an adventurous journey of 800 kms among the mountains and jungles of Sri Lanka as its flagship International Adventure.
As an annual event, BCAC conducts an International Ride for its members since its inception. In the past, during 2015, BCAC members cycled from Bhubaneswar to Bhutan, Vietnam to Cambodia in 2016, Katak (Cuttack) to Kathmandu in 2017 and Manali-Leh-KhardungLa in 2018 with a message of “Peace and Friendship”.
Continuing the trend of International Cycling Expeditions, 8 members of BCAC set out on an adventurous journey in the highlands and plains of Sri Lanka in 2019. With a theme of “Reconnecting Buddhism”, these BCACians covered the most significant Buddhist Monuments and Pagodas in Sri Lanka drawing a route-map of “Numeric 8” on the land of Sri Lanka.
The cyclists who started their adventure from the coastal metropolis of Colombo, covered Portuguese Fort city of Galle, passed through the beautiful beaches of Matara and Weligama on the spice route through Udawalawe, and Dehiowita to world famous Buddhist heritages in Dambulla, Sigiriya and Kandy before coming back to Colombo to finish their adventure.
On the way, they explored the history and present day Sri Lanka through the lenses of Buddhism, culture, traditions, people, innovation and development. They paid their homage to the Tsunami affected at Peraliya in Hikkaduwa district and witnessed the wrath of Tsunami through the museums and monuments. They also witnessed the resilience of people of Sri Lanka after the hit of Tsunami in 2004.
Speaking about this adventure, Ajay Nanda shares, “While cycling through the landscapes of Sri Lanka, we interacted with people and found them to be quite welcoming, humble and helpful. We received a warm welcome and smiling faces, everywhere we moved inside the island. The traffic here is quite systematic, except a few instances of rough driving. But the alert police force keeps everything in order with surprise checking at places. We are delighted to see the cops helping school children and elderly people to pass the roads smoothly during rush-hours. The people here are quite humble and stop their vehicles whenever they see pedestrians or cyclists trying to cross the roads. The sense of compassion and awareness about the convenience of others is what we witnessed most in this beautiful country.”
This tour, which started with a message of “Peace and Friendship”, touched the places of Buddhist importance and was an eye-opener for the members. The rich heritage of Buddhism is quite well-preserved in this country with a significant Buddhist population.