Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Inside 'Hotel Sigiriya', Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

'Thalagoya' S, 'Udumbu' T, Pangolin.

'Common Mormon'- Papilio polytes.

The swimming pool.

The hotel logo.

Monday, December 30, 2013

'Hotel Sigiriya' sights, Sigiririya, Sri Lanka.

Chairs for sun-bathing by the swimming pool

A strong vine for the kids to swing on.

Tree-house with the hanging vine.

A model 'wattle-daub' mud hut.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sights from Hotel Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

The 'Lion rock' as seen from the area near the swimming pool in the hotel.

Climbers at the top of the rock - Zoom 400mm on my Nikon D90.

Kids in the swimming pool.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ibbankatuwa ancient burial site, Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

The Kurunegala - Dambulla highway near Ibbankatuwa.

The burial site.

Inside a tomb.

Layout of the tombs.
Ibbankatuwa Burial site
'Ibbankatuwa Burial Site is located near the Dambulla Rock Temple, at the foot of the Talakiriyagama Mountain and it is about three kilometers from Dambulla town. It is the historical cemetery belongs to the Megalithic pre-historic era dated between 750 and 400 BC. The excavations revealed similar features fr'om ten tombs which consist of four stone plates placed in the four sides making a square and a one stone plate to cover it. Personal belongings as “necklaces”, “clay pots” contained human ash, cereal grains, terracotta, carnelian, agate and gilt beads and “gem stones” which are seen in India have been found inside the tombs also. Significant thing of here is that carnelian and agate are not endemic to Sri Lanka but have to import from regions such as the Deccan of South India. Therefore, it implied that about the trade affaires with the India. And the pots which are found from these tombs were used for placing grave goods and indicate post-burial activities such as grave visiting and also the belief in life after death etc. The Ibbankatuwa Burial Site is part of a larger burial complex belonging to the Dambulu Oya region located in the transitional ecological zone and a best travel destination for those who are interest in historical things in Sri Lanka'. (http://www.tour-srilanka.net/mathle-city/ibbankatuwa-burial-site.html)
The road to Ibbankatuwa from Avissawella:-

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sigiriya environs and Kandalama, Sri Lanka.

Bullock cart ('Buckcky karaththey') for hire, Sigiriya.

Kandalama water tank with the distant hills.

Kandalama tank bund.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dambulla cave temple, Sri Lanka.

The entrance to the cave temples at the summit of the rock.

A view of the distant mountains from the top of the rock.
'Dambulla cave temple (Sinhala: දඹුලු ලෙන් විහාරය dam̆būlū len vihāraya, Tamilதம்புள்ளை பொற்கோவில் tampuḷḷai poṟkōvil) also known as theGolden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statuesand paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include two statues of Hindu gods, the god Vishnu and the god Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon.
Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes.'(Wikipedia)
Click on web-link below to see some still photographs taken by me on a trip there in October 2013:-


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We wish you a Merry Christmas 2013.

'Kanthaka Chaithya', Mihinthale, Sri Lanka.

A cave donated by a Naga

The Chaithya.

A 'Vahalkade'

Kantaka Chethiya was renovated in 1930's to the current status. When this stupa was discovered, it has been a just a mound of earth covered by various debris. This has been known as the Kiribadapavu Dagaba, Kiribat Vehera, or Giribhanda during this time. But a stone inscription found close by has identified the original name of this stupa as Kantaka Chethiya. It is unknown who built this stupa but it is said that the King Lanjatissa (119-109 BC) has built a stone mantel built for this stupa. Therefore we can assume that the stupa was built prior to 119 BC. The present stupa is 425 feet in diameter and is about 40 feet high. This stupa is most popular for one of the most well preserved vahalkada which can be seen today. Vahalkada is a special architectural feature which are four projective front pieces on the four sides of the stupa. The southern vahalkada is the best preserved. This gives a excellent example of the design of vahalkada at the very early periods. The band of 'Ghana' figures on top the structure take special place in most buddhist buildings. They are also called 'Vamana' figures or 'Bahirawa' figures. They are sort of mythical dwarfs in various amusing positions. In this structure on has a horse head, another bear head, another monkey head, and some are standing on the head. They also carry various musical instruments in their hands. The most significant Ghana figure here is the one with the elephant head who carry no musical instrument. Historian Professor Paranawithana believes that this is the very first form of the God Ghana, a very popular god in Hinduism. This god is now represented by a elephant head and 4 arms. The paintings on the southern vahalkada also takes a special place in the Sri Lankan History. Except for Sigiriya Frescos, Mihinthale is one of the very few places that frescos belonging to earliest periods can be seen. One such set of paintings was found inside the relic chamber of Giribanda Stupa which is now in the Mihinthale Museum. The other is the paintings on the southern vahalkada. These are painting of lions but most of them has been faded away. Primarily red and yellow colours has been used for these paintings.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sights at Mihinthale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Sights at Mihinthale. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Granite pillars.

Stone inscriptions.

Sights at Mihinthale.

A water cistern made of stone.

A wall of baked bricks.

A wall of granite.

Granite pillars.

Mihinthale sights, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The floor of the 'Alms-hall'.

A brick lined passage-way.

A stone-cistern to contain water into which flowing water was conducted by granite pipes.

The lush greenery around.
The archaeological finds at this site of more than 2300 years of habitation is astounding. Almost all the structures remaining at present were made from granite or baked bricks. It was a stone-cutter who reigned supreme here. The vision of the builder was amazing.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mihinthale sights, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

This is a new driveway, by-passing the famous stairway taking one to the caves and stairway leading to the 'Ambasthala Chaithya'


it’s  about  16  k.m out of anuradapura  lies  mihintale  remembered  in national   consciousness  as the cradle  of the  sinhala  buddhist  civilisation, it  is here  that  thera  mahinda  , son of  the mauryan   emperor  asoka,  met king  tissa  in the  third  century  BC,  as a  result  of  which  the king  embraced  buddhism…, in  fact the name  mihintale, which  mean’s  the  ” plateau  of mahinda”   is  derived  from  thera’s   name..the  mountain  was also  known as  chetiya   pabbata( the mountain  of stupas).
on the  western  slope  of the mountain  is the main flight of steps  that would  take you  to ambastala  plain  , it is a  wide flight  of  steps.. perhaps the  widest  in sri lanka, and is concidered  symbolic  of the  spiritual ascent  of  man. it has  1840  stone  steps arranged  in three flights, shaded  by temple  trees on either side…..
all so, there are some  of the  important  monuments…..

kantaka  chetiya /  ambastala  stupa / maha thupa / mahinda seya / mihindu guha / aradana gala…………http://tour-lanka.com/blog/?p=50

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stone carvings and the 'Kuttam pokuna' - Twin ponds, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Stone carvings made locally for sale near the 'Samaadhi' statue.

'Kuttam pokuna' - The twin pond.

Watch the water flowing into the pond further away and subsequently into the pond nearer to the camera.

Kuttam Pokuna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One of the best specimen of bathing tanks or pools in ancient Sri Lanka is the pair of pools known as Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds/Pools). The said pair of pools were built by the Sinhalese in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura. These are considered one of the significant achievements in the field of hydrological engineering and outstanding architectural and artistic creations of the ancient Sinhalese.

A garden was landscaped which separates the two ponds which long is 18½ ft. The larger pool of the two is 132 ft by 51 ft, while the smaller pool is 91 ft by 51 ft. The depths of the two pools is 14 ft and 18 ft for the smaller pool and the larger pool respectively.The faces of the pools were cut granite slabs which includes the bottom and the sides of the pool. A wall was also built around the pool which encloses the compound. Flights of steps are seen on both ends of the pool decorated with punkalas, or pots of abundance and scroll design. Embankments were constructed to enable monks to bathe using pots or other utensils. Water to the pools were transferred through underground ducts and filtered before flowing to the pool and in a similar fashion the water was emptied. Dr. Senerath Paranavithana was actively involved in the restoration of the ponds, in which small figures of fish, a conch, a crab and a dancing woman were found in the bottom.