Why ‘Jungle Tide’?

Lotus Pool, Polonnaruwa

Lotus Pool, Polonnaruwa

Jungle Tide – the book

We named our business from a book published in 1930, written by John Still, an English eccentric, telling of his wanderings in Sri Lanka and his philosophy. The Jungle Tide of the title refers to the transience of humans who create magnificent cities and civilisations which eventually crumble and are overtaken by the relentless jungle. This is what happened to Anaradhapura, Polonnoruwa and other less well known places, which for centuries were known only to the Veddah, the original tribal inhabitants of the island a few of whom still live in the interior. The opening up of Sri Lanka by the British colonialists and the explosion in population and demand for land inevitably led to the rediscovery, sometimes by complete accident, of the remains of ancient cities deep in what was presumed to be virgin rainforest. He discovered the Lotus Pool at Polonnaruwa, pictured above, through falling into it by accident, it being at the time covered in dense jungle. What he thought was just a hole in the ground turned out to have regular patterned sides. As he raised his eyes he realised that many of what he had assumed were trees were the remains of colonnaded buildings. The jungle tide had taken over what had once been a vast city.

Jungle Tide was out of print for a long while but is now readily available both in Sri Lanka and from on-line booksellers.