Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lanka

There is so much I wanna say about my Lanka trip that this post won't be enuf. You better call me and ask! Or wait for my next post.

But two things need to be mentioned.

1. Visiting Anuradhapura was one of my dreams. I did it on the last day of the decade, on a auspicious Poya day. And then began the new year in Polonorruva, the new Capital!

2. I resent that men in Kerala, Bengal and now Lanka, get significantly more opportunities to ogle at nature's most beautiful creations :-)

Kandy


Temple of the Tooth Relic. One of Gautama Buddha's tooth is worshiped here.


The Tooth Temple abuts a lake in this cute Hill city.

Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is the ancient capital of Lanka. Its been inhabited probably from about 900 BC. But definitely so from the time of Ashoka.


Ruvanweli Saya, the stupa built by the legendary King Dutugamunu. He was the son of King Devanampiya Tissa who received Arahant Mahinda (son of Ashoka) in Lanka. The above structure is a renovated version from about 100 years ago.


Sanghamitra (Ashoka's daughter) had brought eight branches of 'The Bodhi' tree from Gaya. The Mahabodhi above is one of them. Pilgrims are dressed all white on the occasion of Poya (full moon) day.


One of the monastery ruins on the Western end of the city. Rather vainly known for the urinal built for (senior?) monks, as seen in the foreground.

Polonorruva

Polonorruva was made the new capital by Vijayabahu the First, following the sacking of Anuradhapura by Rajaraja Chola. Rajaraja ofcourse built the Big Temple in Thanjavur, which was completed in 1010 AD and hence celebrates 1000 years now!


3 remaining levels of the 7 storied palace built by Parakrama Bahu. He had succeeded Vijayabahu after about 40 years of chaos.

Vatadage.


Rankot Vehera (Gold pinnacled stupa) at the Alahana Parivena. Parivena roughly means a monastic group. This pic doesn't capture the awe that strikes you while being near this colossal brick structure.



This is Lankatilaka. Look at the height of the Buddha and the canopy built for him!

Galvihara. Wonder who got the brain wave to build this shed. The sculptures were out in the open until recently.

Dambulla


I wasn't planning on visiting Dambulla which has above such paintings in some five caves. These are from about 400 years but I guess the originals are much older. The place is ordinary. I wish I had visited Sigiriya instead.

Knuckles Trek

Trekked up to one of the knuckles, a range north-east of Kandy. About 16 km hike from one side to the other. This is the Deanston side of the range. Ended at Thangpo village having started at a hamlet on the other side of the hill.


Thats me looking down the cliff. To the left is Ravi of srilankatrekking.com.



Galle


The Dutch fort and its famous lighthouse. A cute cricket stadium is coming up right outside the fort.

Unawatuna


Honestly, I don't know whats the fuss about this beach.

3 comments:

sittingnut said...

glad that you enjoyed the trip here.

you seems to have covered a lot in few days.

and yes i could never figure out what was so special about unawatuna. only difference i can see from any other sri lankan beach is that it is so crowded usually.

and i think that shed ( i did not know they have put that up ) over galvihara is atrocious. almost as bad as the nose job to samadi statue in anuradhapura.

altered egos said...

Did you pass through the forests during the trek? They are said to be lovely

Balaji said...

there isn't much of a trail in this hike, so we did go thru forests. it was lush greenery but it wasn't too thick.

and I applied so much dettol and wore socks that I didn't get a single leech bite this time!

we saw leopard footmarks at many places but didn't spot one. the place does have lot of bio diversity though.

there is some insect which tunnels the ground and leaves pipe shaped mud over the surface. i liked it.

we also saw elephants loitering on the highway while going to Polonorruwa! something I didn't get to see even at Nagarhole!