Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ramboda falls 2, Sri Lanka.

There are two waterfalls at Ramboda. One is before the new tunnel and the other is after the new tunnel on the road from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. I took this picture on the side closer to Nuwara Eliya. There was plenty of rain that day. You can see the torrent in all its glory in the picture.

Wild buffalos at Uda-Walawe national park, Sri Lanka.

Water buffaloes are notorious for for their strength. They have been domesticated and used in South Asia for millenia. They are also very stubborn, very impulsive and stupid. They stick together as herds. They are dangerous animals to meet when they are together as a herd, in the jungles.
I took this picture at the Uda Walawe National park in Sri Lanka.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wild bread-fruit - 'Kalay del' - Sinhalese, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

Bread fruit forms an important part of the diet, of the villager in Sri Lanka. The bread-fruit could be skinned, sliced and boiled and eaten. It could be sliced into small pieces and deep fried and eaten. A nice snack could be made by dipping the latter in melted sugar. It forms a delicious part of the Sri Lankan cuisine.
There are three varieties of bread fruit. The one with longish fruits is called 'Kalay del'. There is another variety which has spherical fruits but the skin is thorny. This latter is called 'Val del'. The domestic variety has spherical fruits which lack the thorny skin.
The photograph above shows a 'Kalay del' tree with its fruits. You could also see a bird's nest on the tree.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ramboda falls, on the Gampola - Nuwara Eliya road, Sri Lanka.

The Ramboda water falls is situated close to the main Gampola - Nuwara Eliya road. The new tunnel has been opened close to the falls. It is a very scenic country. A bath in the ice cold water and a picnic by the road side is a must for the connosier traveller.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ever-silver vessels at a 'Bodhi pooja', Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

A 'pooja' ceremony to the Bodhi tree- Arasa maram(Tamil)- Ficus religiosa, is a ritual held very commonly, in the Theravada Buddhist tradition of Sri Lanka. The Bo tree is equally venerated by the Hindus from ancient times. In fact the name "Arasa maram' in Tamil means the 'king of trees'. It is supposed to help towards spiritual advancement, if any one meditates under its shade. The photo shows vessels lined up, to be filled with fruit drinks to be srved at pooja time, to the Bo tree of the temple.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bottom of 'Bo-path Ella' waterfall, Kuruwita, Sri Lanka.

Eight miles short of Rathnapura, on the Avissawella-Rathnapura trunk road is the town of Kuruwita. About one and a half Kilometers from Kuruwita lies the 'Bo-path Ella' waterfall. Its shape is like that of the leaf of the sacred Bo tree (Ficus religiosa). Hence the name. Thereare a lot of villas where you could find food and accomodation around this spot. It is a lovely place for bathing. Climbing the slipperry rocks is dangerous. Quite a lot of lives have been lost this way. It is also a notorious place for suicides.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An observation post, Minneriya Nature Reserve, Sri Lanka.

A badly maintained observation post by the side of a stretch of water at the Minneriya Nature reserve. You could see a lot of bird life, elephants, deer, sambhur and leopards if you are lucky.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A tank in the Vanni, Mulangaavil, Mannar, Sri Lanka.

Turning off from the coastal road from Thallady to Poonery, taking the road past Mulangaavil, there was this water reservoir, fed from the Giants tank, watering the paddy fields around Mulangaavil. I took this photo in 2005 during peace time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

'Pillayar' temple, Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka.

The 'Pillayar' temple opposite the Base Hospital, Nawalapitiya had a 'Kumbapishekam' recently. You can see it in its new paint. I took this picture a few days back.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Madhu church, Pandivirichchaan, Mannar, Sri Lanka.

I took this photograph of Madhu Church in Mannar, in 2005, during the time of peace.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Balakotunna falls, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.

On the alternate route from Rathnapura to Balangoda via Malwala, Galaboda, Wewalwaththe, Rasagalla, you will pass the Balakotunna falls, after passing Wewalwaththe.. It is not visible from the main road but you can hear the roar of its waters there. You have to climb a small hillock to see this waterfall. It cascades down from 'Raulagala' rock and is a beautiful sight. I took this picture of it nearly two years ago.

Friday, April 10, 2009

'The umbrella tree', Mannar, Sri Lanka.

The 'umrella tree' is called so because it looks like an umbrella. It flourishes in highly saline soil. I took this picture in Mannar, of this tree growing close to a salt pan.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alupolla waterfall, Rathnapura, Sri Lanka.

The road from Rathnapura to Wewalwaththe takes one to the Alupolla Estate. Just opposite the office of the tea estate you can see a series of three beautiful waterfalls. This is the first one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An egret on a water buffalo, Kuruwita, Sri Lanka.

Domesticated water buffalos are used extensively in agriculture, from time immemorial in Sri Lanka. Egrets live in symbiosis with the water buffalos. The insects stirred up from the soil by the water baffalos, form an ideal source of food for the egrets. The egrets also pick the ticks from the water buffalos, benefitting the water buffalos. I took this picture on the road to Bopath Ella, the beautiful waterfall, from Kuruwita.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Image of a Bodhisattwa, Maligawila, Sri Lanka.

The history of Mahayana Buddhism has been totally put to the back burner in Sri Lanka. It had and still has a profound influence on Sri Lankan culture. The antagonisms started around the 5th century AD when Abheyagiri Vihara in Anuradhapura was burnt to the ground. Several valuable commentaries were burnt. But Mahayana had its profound influence by the statues at Aukana, Buduruwagala, Maligawila to mention just a few. I took this picture of the restored Bodhisattwa image at Maligawila around the late 1990s.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A monkey carrying its young one, Gallella, Sri Lanka.

I saw this monkey with it's young one on the Gallella - Rathnapura road, Sri Lanka. They were begging for food by the roadside. I kept the windows of the car up as they could turn aggressive.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bo-path Ella waterfall, Kuruwita, Sri Lanka.

The Bo-path Ella waterfall is called so because it resembles the leaf of the sacred bo tree (Ficus religiosa). This picture was taken by me on a quiet day when there was a drought.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Selling fruits by the roadside to school children, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

School children like to buy various types of fruits and enjoy them. Here is a picture of a vendor of fruits selling her ware, opposite a school in Avissawella. The fruits for sale are 'gadu-gudha', 'pini jambhu' and 'durian' the latter kept for sale to parents of the children. I hope you recall your school days on seeing this picture.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Squirrel searching for material to build a nest.

It is April now and is the nesting season for squirrels. The males have their testicles coming out of the abdomen into the scrotum. They pair off and search jointly for building material for nests. They strip off the dried fiber of plantain trunks. Here you see one of stripping the fiber from a plantain trunk it in the first picture. The second picture shows a squirrel picking up sticks for the nest. I took this picture in late March 2009.