Friday, February 2, 2018

Colombo to Sigiriya via Anuradhapura

We celebrated Jurgen's birthday last night with a special dinner in the seafood restaurant at Galle Face Hotel - a beautiful meal in a wonderful setting with the sound of Indian Ocean waves breaking in the background. We'll never forget this birthday dinner Jurgen!
We had a long drive ahead of us today so it was goodbye Colombo and back on the road before 8.00am - heading north along the coast and then north east towards Sri Lanka's ancient capital, Anuradhapura.

It was a long drive but very interesting to see the sights along the way ......




 including a stop for a "King Coconut" drink ...........

 And a close up sighting of one of Sri Lanka's Giant Squirrels (eating one of Sri Lanka's 18 different varieties of bananas) .............
 After a lunch break at a "tourist rest stop" it was around 2.00pm by the time we'd arrived at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world - going back to the 4th century BC, and a UNESCO World heritage site). It's considered sacred to the Buddhist world and it's HUGE in scale - we only saw a few edited highlights in our short visit today ........
First, the sacred Bodhi tree  - which is over 2,000 years old - grown from a sapling of the original Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment (brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC).


 knotted poems (horoscopes) .......

 The Bodhi tree leaf .....
 Next stop was the beautiful Mirisawetiya Stupa (built in the 2nd century BC) - thought to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha (his hair?). I really loved this massive and classically austere stupa!



 Shoes, hats etc are not allowed when visiting these scared places. We all had very tender feet from walking barefoot on these burning hot stones. Sophie was jumping with excitement in the pic below - or agony?
 Every year the stupa has to be freshly painted. These guys are working on this section at the moment - all has to be completed by June. But first you must construct your ladder!

 This stupa below was built in the 2nd century AD. It was one of the tallest structures in the world at that time - and is still the world's largest brick made building. Another beauty!
 Next stop was the Isurumuniya Buddhist temple (and attached pond), built in the 3rd century BC ....
 .. Including the famous carving of the Isurumuni Lovers
 .. and a small stupa ......
 And the Elephant Pond carving .....
 We'd seen such a small area of this huge complex of archeological and spiritual treasures - but we still had over an hour and a half of driving to do, past Dambulla  and into the beautiful world of Heritance Kandalama in Sigiriya, our home for the next three nights.

We arrived just on sunset ........ 
 The views from our balcony ..........



1 comment:

Vp Singh said...

We are loving this!
Keep them coming!!