Ceylon Soul Activities

Taste of the East

Highlights & Features

  • Learn to cook Biryani with a 4th generation for resident in Galle.
  • Adopt a hands-on role in the creation of your lunch with your host and her daughters.
  • The class takes place in your host's home, pick some ingredients from her garden.
Includes: Host & lunch.
Times: 11.00 am - 2.00 pm.
Children: More for older kids.

The Full Experience

Cook Biryani in a hands-on class with descendants of Muslim settlers. Pick, marinade and season ingredients from your host's garden for your delicious dishes.

Galle was once a trading hub for Arab merchants and with them came many dishes, perhaps the most quintessential is Biryani. Often served at Muslim family celebrations and festivities, Biryani comprises side dishes such as raita, cashew curry, Malay pickle, curried peas and meats and other spiced vegetables that accompany flavoured rice. This lesson in your host’s own kitchen is authentic and fun as you join her daughters to craft a meal which you will all sit down and eat together as a family.

Hosted by Family

Your host and her family will greet you as warmly as they would each other. She is renowned in the Galle area for her passion for food and skill to create exquisite dishes which she loves to share in her cooking classes where her three daughters assist her.

Mask Carving & Painting 

Highlights & Features

  • Take part in a tradition embedded in Sri Lankan beliefs and rituals.
  • Your host will tell stories of carving from the past and the techniques involved.
  • Create your own souvenir of your trip to UNESCO World heritage awarded, Galle Fort.
Includes: Materials, tools, refreshments, mask.
Times: 9.00am - 11.30am.
To wear/bring: Light, cool clothing

The Full Experience

Visit an arts and crafts shop hidden in Galle Fort and learn the history of mask making in Sri Lanka before your host guides you through creating your own.

Masks are used more for performance and ritual in modern day Sri Lanka but their past is rooted in ancient beliefs and the ideology that they have healing and protective powers. Learn the fascinating and age-old techniques from your host in Kolam where masks are usually made from a light wood called “Kaduru”. Follow your host’s guidance and observe his techniques as together you mould your creation using traditional and sustainable resources such as recycled paper, kithul (treacle), kurundu (cinnamon), clay, broken tiles, bees wax and even cow dung!

Hosted by Craftsman

Now a main trader with Barefoot since 1999, your host has always been involved in craft beginning with his parents who worked in the batik industry in his home town of Ambalangoda. Before crafting with pulp, he learnt traditional Sinhala motifs and ornamental styles adopted in the arts at college and initially was interested in creating and painting pottery in his own style.

Lunch with A Galle Gem Family

Includes: Host, lunch and cooking demo
Duration: 3 hrs
Starting times: 12 noon
What to wear and bring: Cool light clothing

The Full Experience

The gemstones unearthed from our island have held the world’s intrigue since ancient times. Her rich alluvial deposits are abundant in precious and semi-precious stones of immense value. Their trade, inevitably, has always been a part of the nation’s economy and our collective identity.
The ‘Gem Stories’ experience revolves around an individual who has played a vital role in the continuation of this trade — Ifthikar Mahuroof. He is a fourth-generation member of a distinguished gem family hailing from the coastal city of Galle. His life is a treasure trove of emotionally-moving anecdotes, descriptive narratives, and personal accounts. Stories on world personalities that he has met, epic travels to far-off lands, and the romantic history of Ceylon’s gem trade, unravel slowly during the course of this one-of-a-kind experience.

Galle Fort Walks

Cook Like A Local

Contact Us: +947 7724 0077 (Phone & WhatsApp)
(8 am to 8 pm local time)

Email: bookings@otphotel.com