Buddhist Places and Elephant Safaris

Trip Start Dec 23, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Acme Hotel

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, February 5, 2010

Leaving Anuradhapura, we cruised to Mihintale, a hilltop sacred area known as the Cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.  After 1,840 steps to the top you are surrounded by shrines, altars,
dagabas, ponds, caves, stupas, statues, and a view from 3000 BC!  Not much else to say really, just one of those places you have to experience for yourself!

After descending the 1000 feet of Buddhist hillside, we continued on toward Habarana.  Here is a place famous for having many wild elephants, most notably they roam Kaudulla and Mineriya national parks, but as these two parks were flooded the elephants had made their way to Eco Park.  Mahinda and I hopped in a jeep and were off on safari!  The park is a natural habitat having not only elephants, but many bird species, water buffalo, cows, etc.  As the day passed and we wound our way through the reserve we came across three different herds of wild eles. One herd was rather large, with at least 12 elephants making there way through the habitat.  After having seen elephants chained up, made to perform, and controlled by spikes (US, Thailand, India), it was quite nice to witness them strolling freely in search of mass quantities of food!
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