Photo Quiz- Sam



Old pictures of SriLankan Rest Houses



Sri Lankan rest houses are memorable  places that we grew up with , particularly during our travels to different parts of the Island. Some of them were used as gathering spots for socialization by those of us who had to endure “out station” assignments. I have posted 10 old pictures of rest houses identified by numbers 1-10.

Q: Can you identify them by the name of the town? 

(You may click on the photos to get a close up view)





15 thoughts on “Photo Quiz- Sam

  1. I think, I have a few in the bag !

    1- Polonnaruwa – Parakrama Samudraya in the background .
    2- Gampola-
    3. Trincomalee

    4- not sure- could be Matara .

    5. Belihuloya,- went there for my HM !!
    6.Sigiriya 7.
    7. Kitulgala remember this well- as we went there as kids, then on my HM and again with the kids when they were little, and again, in 2011 .

    .8 Kurunegala- big rock behind is unmistakable .

    9. Negombo– lovely old building .

    #10– too old , even for me !!!!

    Sam– Thanks a lot !– Great old photos !

    – this is all from me- enjoyed the fun project !
    Have a good weekend !

    Deepthie –


  2. Dear Dilisena Tharuwa,
    Reporting from Havelock North, NZ
    Our time difference must be huge
    How the hell you can identify virtually
    Every rest house in Sri Lanka?


  3. Dear prof Dilisena Tharuwa,
    Reporting from Havelock North, NZ
    Our time difference must be huge
    How the hell you can identify virtually
    Every Rest House in Sri Lanka?


  4. Deepthie seems to know everything. I have not stayed in any rest houses. But I remember Deva Irriyagolle came to Jaffna & stayed at the Jaffna Rest house during one of our Block days vacation . I took him to a place called Anaicoddai ( direct translation :- Elephant’s testicles ) where there was a very good Toddy tavern. After that I cant remember much !!!! I don’t know how I took him back to the rest house!!
    If you send pictures of Toddy Taverns, I might recognize, but not rest houses. They were beyond my reach. I will leave it to people like Deepthie


  5. Maha Rani– what is MENSA ?
    I am NOt that smart- just thinking a bit differently on different things, how to view what I see a bit differently .
    I have always been a bit ‘different ‘ to say the least !!

    Ariya- the time difference must be around 16 hrs.- I have to look up my trusty source of info – for this .
    Enjoy the Little Three Sisters , even though it is winter down there .
    Glad that you can still find some time to write to us.

    Sam– Kitulgala- its Claim to Fame- is the move The Bridge Over River Kwaii – with Alec Guinness that was a real hit back then , as the movie was filmed in Kitulgala , as Burma was out of bounds for political reasons .
    Keleni Ganga- and the surrounding tropical rain forest was the closest Hollywood could get to si Many years later in the mid 80’s my father actually visited Burma and I have some neat photos of him, framed and hung in my home, with him standing on the Bridge over River Kwaii .
    Kitulgala- has been one of my very favourite Rest Houses , for more than one reason , and I have visited, stayed there many times .
    Now, it is a real posh place , and when I last visited there in 2011 with my son- lots of tourists and lots of white water rafting etc .

    So was Belihulpya .– a real white water rafting place , for the tourists today .

    Also-the old Habarana Rest House- at the turn off to Polonnaruwa I think, it was in the old days- was another ‘watering hole’ for us as a family, during our many road trips with my parents and young siblings , back in the early 50’s .
    Now, Habarana is a real posh place, ( Habarana Chaya real lovely spot now ) where as back in the day, it was just a ‘stick in the woods ‘ so to speak , and we would take ‘dry rations’ for the cook in the rest house to feed all of us !

    Rest Houses- were a part of our lives back then, as a very young child -when my father was the D.R.O., and he would have the whole place for the 8 of us- my parents, 4 kids, my young uncle, for help and an aiya to help my mom with the 4 of us .
    What with 4 kids, my father could not afford fancy hotel stays anywhere !

    So, sharing a bit of ‘family history’ with the Class of 64 !

    By the way- Seelan- I dont know any Toddy places – I am a good convent girl !!!

    eagledepthie .


  6. I forgot that Deepthie’s dad was DRO. She must be the most travelled Batch mate. She got 8 out of 10. 4 is Bandarawela and 10 is Horton Plains. I will update photos with names


  7. Good job Deepthi. I was able to identify Kurunegala , that being my home town. I have not stayed in any of the rest houses but used them , for afternoon tea and as a “pee” stop. As you may remember if you stop in any one of them to use the bathroom, there was a cover charge.

    As it does Deepthi it reminds me of my travels in “Ceylon” years gone by.



  8. Oh Yes- good old B’wela !
    How could I miss this !
    The photo #4really does not give a good view of it , as I remember it having steps to climb up and very lovely front view and the rest of the posh hotel was all white .
    We would go there for ‘cool drinks and ice cream’ as that was all we could afford !

    We spent the hot april school holidays with our uncle and aunty who were school teachers in B’ wela , and we would take the train from Fort Railway station, all the way to B’wela – a real picnic on the train it was, and real thrill to see the ‘up country hill stations ‘ as the train went on .
    Then, from the B’wela station, we would lug our stuff and walk down the hill to our uncle’s place , and stay there for the next 3 wks .
    It was too hot at this time of the year to spend time in Matara with my grandparents, or in Galle with my other relatives .

    Even as late as I was in med school ( year 1 and 2 ) I would go with some teachers at Good Shep convent- here my amma was a teacher , and stay in some convent in B’wela, as by then my folks had moved out of B’wela .

    So, another bit of ‘family history ‘ ! of course, back then, we never really took photos either !

    Sam- thanks a lot for that great trip down Memory Lane !- believe it or not, I still dream of those good old train trips to B’wela and back !!!!

    Deepthie .


  9. Dear Deepthie.
    MENSA means a round table in Latin,a society where race,colour,creed,national origin,age,Politics, educational or social background , is irrelevant.

    MENSANS must achieve a score at or above 98th PERCENTILE on a standard intelligent test.


  10. Thanks Rani for the MENSA meaning .
    I did not know about this at all – time to learn something new.

    MENSANS- wow- 98th percentile- this is a bit too much for my old head now- anyway I will try and remember all this .
    whats in my head is all old stuff- that is now being ‘regurgitated ‘ !!
    Thanks for the complement !– eagledeepthie .


  11. I love the chit chat, questions and answers ongoing
    I love that a good number of mates are participating
    Result is everyday our mates ideas are crisscrossing
    What Sam has done to the 64 batch is a real blessing

    Even though number writing may be small
    Many do enjoy reading the blog, I am told
    To have another reunion is everyone’s wish
    Meeting of minds in the web, gives it a push


  12. I could not identify any of the rest houses even though I have stayed at Belihul oya where the food was excellent ..proper Sri Lanka food. White rice, pol sambol dahl curry and devilled dry fish and Aubergines and chicken of fish curry and of course papadams….yum yum.Praxy


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