For a calming stay in the highlands near Kandy, we recommend to visit the tranquil Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre for lay people, officially called Galaha Kandy Nilambe Meditation Center. The former tea estate is situated on a hill with breathtaking views and in a beautiful rural setting, 13 km south of Kandy, at the road leading from Peradeniya to Galaha.
Basic accommodation without disturbing telephone and television is available. The rooms are called Kutis, like monk cells. Double and single Kutis are available. Pillow and a blanket will be provided. You should be willing to accept shared bathrooms. As there is no electricity in the Nilambe Meditation Centre, you should not come without a torch. Otherwise candles can be provided.
Meditation classes are offered daily, courses spread over a minimum of three-day periods. After a wake-up gong at 4.45 am, group meditation starts as early as 5.00 am. Lunch is at noon. Similarly to Buddhist monastic life, no dinner will be served.
Nilambe is one of Sri Lanka’s few meditation centres which are prepared to allow foreigners to take part in the Buddhist studies. Sessions are led by internationally experienced instructor Upul Nishantha Gamage. Reservations should be made through the website at least two weeks in advance, to be on the safe side, but travellers in a spur of a moment can try to turn up with just a day’s notice beforehand. Guests are invited to stay as long as they like. You should avoid noise and only talk in silence and at certain times.
For more background information, please visit http://nilambe.net/
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