At last, I made it to Sri Lanka. The vacation was filling with many places to explore and lot of learning as usual. But what really made this one different was the different kind of experience I got with each activity . The personal touch that came with everything - be it food, places or people.
Apart from covering places I so wanted to explore; I did lot of things off track. Explored Dambulla, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Pollonuruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hikkaduwa, Galle and Colombo :) Thats pretty much whole of Lanka. Didnt go to North or East as I was still not sure if it was safe.
Met few interesting people who shared their stories, watched Kandyan folk dance, visited a Turtle conservation hatchery, got special access to the top of a 18th century Light House at the southern most tip of Lanka. Explored an inaccessible cave on top of a mountain just to follow the tale of Ramayana; met a couple of Indian backpackers, drifted and met them again to have a nice beach party on 31st, searched and found long lost relatives of my husband....A friend introduced us to his friend who was with us throughout the trip; took good care of us and took us to unusual places than we would have gone otherwise. Oh! I learnt some Sinhalese as well :) Managed to click 1600+ snaps; have filtered them to showcase few important ones. T
I was always fascinated by history and culture; I wanted to explore the ancient cities in Sri Lanka - the cultural triangle area of Dambulla-Sigiriya-Anuradhapura-Polonnuruwa. Great stories, fantastic ruins, awesome culture.......magnificent works of art!
I will let the pictures do the talking
Dambulla cave temple also called Golden temple is a World Heritage site. 5 cave temples hang from a rock 150 m high. These caves have statues and paintings related to Lord Buddha and his life. Seen here is the entrance to the temple complex
The cave temples date back to 1st century BC.
There are about 153 Buddha statues in different positions in these caves.
The paintings are detailed and well preserved.
A Buddha in sleeping position. Sleeping position is symbolically represented by toes aligned, stomach full and palm under his head.
Inside one of the cave.
Close up of the paintings on ceiling of one of the caves.
A Dagoba - a stupa which has relics inside it.
A Buddha in Passing state - Nirvana. The toes are not aligned, his right palm beside his head.
Famous Sri Lankan masks sold in a street shop outside the temple.
Buddha statues amongst pink marbles, quartz and other stones.
A shop selling antiques; many of them as old as 300-400 years. I was told that these items were got from villages as they didnt want them anymore. These pieces would be grabbed here in India!
Entrance to the temple.
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress and palace of King Kasyapa. It is surrounded by remains of extensive gardens, reservoirs.
Water gardens - symmetric pools and tanks.
A steep and uphill climb to the summit.
The famous frescos depicting beautiful females; Mangolian, Egyptian...
No one knows the identity of these ladies.
The most famous one!
The Lion gate and final climbing stretch. The body and face of the lion is no more.
The gardens as seen from the summit.
The summit - remains of the Palace.