The cultural triangle

Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
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Trip End Feb 28, 2010


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Where I stayed
River View Hotel

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anaradhapura

This city dates back to 5 century. In its heyday there were tens of thousands people living here. To visit the other cities its cheaper to ge a 'Round Ticket'  at a cost of $61 but they thought I was from India and I got the ticket for half price. The site is big and necessary to get a guide to visit the important places. To do the wholde site wold take 2 ful days and too much information to take on board. 

The Sacred Tooth now in Kandy was once kept here. At that time there were 5800 monks living here. In the refrectory was a kind of hugh trough in which they were served rice everyday. Unfortunately my notes of this and the visits to the other temple sites was left in a tuk tuk and I am relying on what I can remember, which is not much.

The most important feature of Anaradhapura is the bodhi tree which is said to be 2500 years of and the oldest of its type in the world. Its a holy place for the Hindus, even the President has been here. Because of its age some of its branhes have to be supported. . One deranged man once managed to cut a branch and there is now an iron railing to stop people getting too close


Dambulla

About 70 kms away is the site of Sigiria which is a bit like Ayres Rock in Australia but only much smaller. At one time there were water gardens here and there are traces of them still to be seen. Granite steps take you up to a metal spiral staircase for the steep climb. At the end of it are some great wall paintings which are so clear considering their age. More stairs go higher and eventually to the flat area at the top. There is a great view of the surrounding forests. Unfortunately I had no guide here and therefore have no information about it.

On the way back to the hotel we passed a river and saw a mahout washing his elephant. There are wild elephants in the surrounding jungle and I was invited to go in a 4wd into the national park that night. It was very unofficial and I declined the offer. Just a money making exercise for the locals. 

Polonarawal

This site was very much like the first. It had some great figures of Buddhas.

At the end of the visits  to the three sites it made one realise of the very advanced civilation that was here in those far off days. I just regret that I lost the information I had about it    
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