Sri Lanka is a country combining ancestral temples, nature, wildlife, fauna and exotic beaches of fine sand, coconut trees and crystal clear waters.
Country with the largest herd of elephants in captivity in the world. The monuments of POLONNARUWA, a well-preserved medieval town with 4 large Buddha images. The caves of Dambulla, stone structures, recognized by Unesco as a world heritage site. Tea plantations, a reserve of animals with waterfalls, a fortress from 18TH century built by the Portuguese, all of that and much more with Virat Tours.
The mosque Jami-Ul-Alfar, with its red and white horizontal stripes outside, is a psychedelic gem very easily identifiable blocks away. We were to appreciate the place for a while, and thinking how hard that would be to find Wally if hide here.
There are several Hindu temples in the area, with your tickets well laden with deities as it is typical in the South of India; the most famous is Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, which also we found it by chance close to the Fort and it turned out to be the oldest in Colombo and one of the largest. Wonderful on the outside, but nothing special inside. The temple is also quite famous for the insistent that some "guidelines", who come to talk to you becoming the sympathetic, then ask for donations.
In the ancient city of Anuradhapura are the remains of the oldest city in Sri Lanka, capital of the country for more than a thousand years. Not is a complex archaeological closed, but living people; There are business, mail, hospital, school and to salon of beauty. Most of the ruins are very deteriorated.
Them ruins more outstanding are the Dagoba Jetavanaramaya, a huge construction of bricks that in his time was the second more high of the world, after the pyramids of Egypt; and the Dagoba Ruwanwelisaya, the more large and ancient of Anuradhapura, although the painting white hide their years.
Within the complex there is also the Sri Maha Bodi, tree sacred to Buddhism, since under one of this species Buddha reached enlightenment, and second most revered place in the country after the Temple of the tooth in Kandy.
All bodysuits are revered by Buddhists, but this one has special importance because, they say, was born of a bulb of footballer original tree brought from India for more than two thousand years. It is true of the bulb or not, you'll see a lot of people praying and leaving offerings. We find ourselves with a lady in total trance revoleando head in circles for several minutes while screaming his prayers.
The famous Lion Rock of Sigiriya is the most recognizable attraction in Sri Lanka; a huge structure that was formed with an ancient volcano magma and was carved with form of lion in s. V, to represent the words of Buddha are as powerful as the roar of this animal.
To get to the top must climb 1200 steps (or so they say, because we do not have them), but halfway there is a blow of motivation, when it appears that for us is the star of Sigiriya; some wonderful frescoes painted on the walls of a cave, representing celestial nymphs.
Through these frescoes is the Mirror Wall, a wall where they say that the King could see of the polished that it was. The years went by, and from the s. I SAW that they are doing graffiti to the poor wall which is a marionette. Now is protected, so now nobody more can make your collaboration to the history of Sri Lanka.
But "Rock of the lion" could not be called to a place that only has some frescoes of women breasts and an old scratched wall; already almost at the top, reach a terrace where they are the only identifiable remains of the old Lion: their large claws. We pass through these to continue to rise to the top, where cartels are the remains of the Palace of King Kassapa, although other versions say there was never a palace but it was was a Buddhist temple for meditation. If here there was a Palace, a temple or a store, we do not know, but what if check is that the views from the top are amazing. Lush green vegetation covers the entire landscape.
Polonnaruwa was the capital of Sri Lanka after the fall of Anuradhapura. The archaeological complex is enough smaller than this one, which makes it easier to navigate, as well as be better preserved. Of the three places in the "Golden Triangle", was the more justified the entry, which does not remove that equally have gone completely in theme with the price.
What stands out most is the Vatadage, a structure that looks like a Buddhist mini-coliseo and had the function of protecting a small stupa inside, and the Gal Vihara, which is a set of four statues of Buddha carved in stone that are in perfect condition.
Departing from the main complex, continue along the waterfront to see sunset, fishermen and many people bathing, reaching Potgul Vihara, ruins that are more to the South, where nearby we find the mysterious statue of Parakramabahu I, a King with something in his hands. Nobody knows if the King is actually that pose, and less about what's holding. Some say that it is one book, others that it is a portion of papaya, and for us clearly is a strip of roast.
Kandy is the second city of the country's largest and most famous for the Temple of the tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa), that says to stay one of the most important relics to the Buddhist world: a tooth of Buddha, reason pilgrimage to the local faithful, trying to visit the temple at least once in their lifetime. It seems they left you a hair or tooth to Siddartha Gautama, because we were already in various places that keep these memories.
Taking the temple, we do not find him too much charm to the city. To the be surrounded by nature and to a height of 500 mts, the climate is much more tolerable that in the area of the coast, and the Lake artificial makes that at least have a place where relax you in the half of the city. But the heaviest urban condiments are also; traffic anarchic, honking incessant, waste and air stale from smog.
-By the same National Museum Street, climbing a small hill, it is Kandy Garrison Cemetery, a small cemetery in the colonial era, where most of the remains are of British youth. Do not wait to meet with Pierre Lachaise (nor with the Recoleta cemetery), but it is a very simple and quiet place where you can relax a little from the chaos that is the city.
Dalhousie (Adam's Peak)
Dalhousie is the village at the base of Adam completo Peak, the most revered mountain of country, status, sacred to Buddhism, Christianity, islam and Hinduism. The pilgrimage season is from December to may, but the days of full moon (Poya Day) are thousands believers who make the walk, since it is particularly auspicious. Outside these months the road is not lit, so it is necessary to bring a good flashlight.
In total are 2243 meters, or more than 5000 steps up to the top, where a small temple expected. But the important thing here is not the temple itself, but the spiritual value of the
Less chaotic than other cities, Nuwara Eliya seems to be the most pleasant city to live in all that they met in Sri Lanka. Let's say that this not a candidate makes it to move someday, but at least give credit for being a little more clean and tidy Colombo, Kandy or Negombo, and by its beautiful landscape of hills and tea just to move away a bit of the city. The British seem to also agreed with us, and made it their refuge to escape the terrible heat when they planted a flag on the island. There are still some colonial buildings such as the Post Office, the Hill Club, National Bank and the only racetrack in the country.
If there is anything that characterizes to Sri Lanka in the world is their famous tea, which occurs mainly in the region known as Hill Country, which is the upper area located in the center of the country.
A small village between mountains and tea plantations, it is not a place where you come to find great emotions, but to relax and explore the surrounding area. As Sigiriya, the distribution is of a single Street with businesses of the two sides, most of them aimed at tourists and charging higher prices than in other places where we were.
Dowa Temple, which is 6 kilometers from it. What called the attention of this historic Temple is the image of Buddha of 4 meters of high that is carved in a rock of the surroundings.
Costa Sur (Mirissa, Galle and more)
Tea plantations and beaches of golden sand are the great tourist magnet of Sri Lanka. After crossing the mountains of the center of the island, we go to the South, in search of sea, one of the best preserved Dutch colonial villages of all Asia, a temple that takes you through the halls of hell and fishers with a technique that is as unique as eccentric.
Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa are the tourist beaches of the South coast, so we prefer to stay in Mirissa, a more quiet place, with a postcard Beach and where we can find cheap accommodation. From here, did base for visiting other places along the coast.
Something that called much the attention in this area are those called stilt fishermen, that is a form traditional of fishing only of Sri Lanka. The fishermen spend hours swinging on a pole with a crossbar that use as a seat. Post (petta), nail it in corals from the shore, two meters high and with a plastic bag tied to this collection, a technique that does not seem it will last for a long time more.
Galle is the largest city in the South coast and is totally different from anywhere else in the country. The first impression is that of the typical Sri Lankan city; chaotic and with a transit uncontrolled, but all changes when spent them walls of the strong and we enter in it part old, a wonderful portion of history brilliantly preserved.
Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1558, but the Dutch gave the distinctive features that make it so photogenic. Within the area walled there are temples, mosques, churches, several offices governmental, hotels boutique and business; all with the same style architectural. One-third of the properties within the strong belong to foreigners: artists, photographers, writers, and designers. You can walk through the walls of the Fort are intact, or visit the Dutch Reformed Church, where the caregiver receives you with his Holy Word: "Take photos, sign the guest book and leave your donation".
All any time we asked what there after the death… this temple us shows his particular version. It is a bizarre mixture of Buddhist temple with House of terror, where we can see closely the Satanic side of what awaits us all sinners.
It has a first room with several Buddhist sculptures, and another depicting hell, well explicit, with demons cut a person in half with a saw, others being cooked in a pan, etc; all full-size to be more graphics. In this room there is a long corridor that we find our sin and see the atrocity that is up (in our case can expect us terrible things by eating meat). In this Hall there are no sculptures but drawings, some good and others where it shows the change of artist and they seem to be made by kids in an elementary school. The light is made out of hell: a huge figure of Buddha waiting for us to give us the peace that we needed.
The temple is in Dickwella, 30 kilometers from Mirissa. First we take a collective to Matara, and from here another Tangalle via Beliatta. Once the bus arrives to Dickwella, is diverted for in and since there are less than 2 km. It is best to tell the boletero or another passenger to indicate you where to get off.