Tags Posts tagged with "Sri Lanka"

Sri Lanka

I was on a holiday in Sri Lanka and could spend sometime capturing beautiful flowers.Once I shared few photos of this same flower.But,still these are beautiful for a hobby photographer like me though I don’t use much of techniques to capture flowers.

Sri-lanka-flowers-2Here is another close capture,but it came out bit blurr….

Sri-lanka-flowers-3

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Kadugannwa-Sri-Lanka

Did you notice that I was missing for few weeks? Even I didn’t update the Tuesday Travel story post for few weeks. I spent a holiday in Sri Lanka and it was a sudden arrangement. So, even I didn’t have much time to arrange few posts.

We visited few places during our stay in Sri Lanka, some visits are to meet friends and relatives’ .Some visits are to the interesting places of Sri Lanka. Our Kandy tour is such a road trip and today I thought of starting my travelogues with highlights and captures of the Kandy road trip photos. Kandy is one of the major cities of Sri Lanka. There are lot of attractions to see in this city which was also the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. The main purpose of this visit is to pay a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic. We also visited some few other places during the same trip.

Our route: Warakapola-Kegalle-Mawanalla-Kadugannawa- Peradeniya-Kandy

We started our road trip to Kandy from Warakapola, which is my husband’s home place. Unfortunately it was heavily raining. But we started our tour because we are with few days and especially I knew that if we didn’t go on that day, we cannot make it.

Mawanella

After a short drive through heavy rain, we stopped for a tea at the Green park Restaurant, Mawanella. This is a usual place to stop whenever we travel to Kandy. We had some Sri Lankan short eats (Breads,buns,etc) with some plain tea (black tea).

Greenpark Rastaurant-Mawanella-Review

Having a plain cup of tea with a spicy short eat is a wonderful experience for me when I am in Sri Lanka. This restaurant is a clean place with wash room facilities. It provides an ideal resting place for anyone who travels along the Colombo Kandy Road.

Greenpark Rastaurant-Mawanella-Review

However, on that day, there were some monkeys trying to get food from the restaurant. Restaurant staff was trying hard to chase them away. Anyway it was nice scenery for my son and he enjoyed looking at monkeys although it is not a good experiance for others. 🙂

After a short break, we started again. It was still raining and we slowly reached Kadugannawa.

Kadugannawa
Kadugannwa Ambalama-Sri Lanka
Kadugannwa Ambalama-Sri Lanka

With hilly mountainous area, we know we are reaching Kadugannawa. This beautiful location and beautiful town welcomed us to the Central Province of Sri Lanka with its picturistic views. The first attraction we find always is ‘Kadugannawa Ambalama’(a historic wayside rest).It was heavily raining, so we didn’t come out from the vehicle. Anyway this historical rest place in Kadugannawa is said to be built during the English colonial time of Ceylon.

Kadugannwa-Sri-Lanka
Stalls, selling boiled corn

In Kadugannawa, you will find small shops which sell fruits and other stuffs for those who travel along the Kandy Road. As usual we saw shops which sell boiled corn. This is one of our favorites in any road trip. Freshly boiled corn are something not to miss whenever travel in Sri Lanka. But this time, we were not so fortunate as it was raining.

Kadugannwa-Sri-Lanka-3
Stalls which sell fruits,sweets and toys

With heavy rain, we couldn’t experience the beauty of Kadugannawa hilly area. But outside was really beautiful with mist around.

Kadugannwa-Sri-Lanka-4

Kadugannawa

Kadugannawa

Rock Piercing or Kadugannawa Tunnel is the next attraction in Kadugannawa along the Kandy Road.With newly constructed road,anyone can avoid this rock tunnel,but I asked my husband to drive through the tunnel.

Kadugannwa-rock-tunnel-Sri-Lanka
Kadugannwa Rock Tunnel-Sri-Lanka

This Kadugannawa rock tunnel is one of the significant landmarks we find along the Colombo – Kandy main road. Constructed by British, it still remains as a historical icon and a landmark making another attraction to Kadugannawa.

After passing the rock tunnel we reached Kadugannawa town.Captain Dawson Tower is one of the major attractions in Kadugannawa town.The Dawson Tower is in memory of Captain Dawson who led the British team of engineers to construct the Colombo Kandy Road.

The next most highlighted place in Kadugannawa is ‘Railway Station’.This time we saw an addition.It is ‘National Railway Museum of Sri Lanka‘.

National-Railway-Museum-Sri-Lanka

We didn’t visit this newly opened railway museum,but we could see some of the train engines and wagons parked outside.I hope we will be able to visit the museum in another Sri Lankan holiday.

Kadugannwa-Railway-Museum
National Railway Museum

We had an exciting day although it was disturbed by the rain.It seems I have to write another post to share moments of Kadugannawa to Kandy road trip.This is not our first trip to Kandy.But still, a road trip to Kandy is more exciting and enjoyable.

I will share the other photos and details of the next stretch of this trip.Till then,I’d love to hear your comments about this trip.Please share your thoughts about Sri Lanka.

(Update: Read the next post about this Kandy Road trip)

 

 

Red Anthuriums

Some time ago I shared few captures of Red Anthurium flowers.But,today I want to share some more captures of this beautiful flower.These are captured from Sri Lanka and these bright red flowers are beauty enough to make the day.

Red Anthuriums from Sri Lanka
Red Anthuriums from Sri Lanka
Red Anthuriums from Sri Lanka
Red Anthurium flowers from Sri Lanka

Red Anthuriums from Sri Lanka

Do you like these beautiful Red Anthurium flowers from Sri Lanka?

 

Flame Violet (Episcia reptans) is commonly found in Sri Lanka and these are plants with beautiful leaves and little cute red flowers. Although these flowers are beautiful, usually in Sri Lanka Flame Violets are grown as ornamental plants. I captured these photos from my home Sri Lanka during a previous holiday. These plants are with brownish leaves; however there are different varieties with different leaves and patterns including green leaves. This houseplant usually grows quickly and it grows as a vine.

Flame Violet Flowers from Sri Lanka
Flame Violet Flowers from Sri Lanka

I captured few photos of this plant including its leaves.With the interest in capturing flowers,I had a great time spending in the garden. Seems I haven’t shared a post with  flowers from Sri Lanka for a long time.therefore thought of featuring these Flame Violets for this week ‘Wordless Wednesday’ or ‘Travel Tuesday’ post.

Flowers-from-Sri-Lanka-Episcia-reptans

Do you have this plant in your country? If so, what varieties do you have?Do you like these Flame Violet Flowers from Sri Lanka?

Hope you had a great week.If you have any photo story this week,please share with us.I’d like to read those.

 

 

 

Situated in Kataragama and attracts lot of devotees and Buddhists each year, Kiri Vehera is one of the most venerated Stupa and a religious place in Sri Lanka. When you visit Kataragama religious complex, first you will find the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya. Kiri Vehera is situated just a little away from the devalaya and we need to walk a bit to reach this stupa.

Kiri-wehera-Kataragama-Sri-Lanka
In our recent holiday in Sri Lanka, we visited Kataragama and after Kataragama Devalaya, next we wanted to visit this Kiri Vehera Stupa. It is believed that this stupa is built on 6th century BC. It is a most valuable place for Buddhists because once Lord Buddha has visited this place. After that this stupa has built and became a religious place for Buddhists.

Kataragama Kiri Vehera Bo Tree
Kataragama Bo Tree

Just after the devalaya, we could see the Bo Tree(Bodhi tree,ficus religiosa). This Bodhi tree also has a valuable story behind it. This Bo Tree is one of the saplings which Sri Maha Bodhi tree yielded. (Ashta Phala Bodhi)

Kataragama Kiri Vehera-Bo-Tree
Kataragama Bodhi Tree

Bit of History:

In Sri Lanka, the veneration of Bodhi tree is a Buddhist ritual. If you visit Anuradhapura, you’ll find Sri Maha Bodhi Tree which is a sapling of the original Bodhi tree which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Since the day Sri Lankans received the Bodhi Tree from India and planted in Anuradhapura, this ritual started and till today when we visit a Buddhist temple, we have several practices of worshiping and offerings for it.
If you visit Sri Lanka,you will see a Bodhi tree in each Buddhist temple.

So,following the same traditions,we spent some time worshiping the Bodhi Tree and started walking towards the Kiri Vehera Stupa.

Kiri-Vehera-Kataragama
Kataragama Kiri Vehera

In Buddhist tradition, we offer flowers, incense sticks and oil lamps to lord Buddha and it is a practice that we bring those things when we visit any temple. Although we can bring these things from home, it is also easier to buy these things from small shops near any temple. It is same in Kataragama too. There are people who sell flowers, incense sticks and other related things to the devotees.

Kiri-Vehera-Kataragama-Sri-Lanka-3

We spent few minutes to buy some flowers and other things from a vendor. I believe it is a good way to help locals when we visit any place. Do you like to buy things from locals or do you like to help locals when you visit any place? 🙂

Kataragama-Kiri-Vehera-Sri-Lanka

Then we reached the stupa and spent some time there worshiping. It was almost noon and a hot sunny day. After spending our time there we returned back.

Kiri-Vehera-Kataragama-Sri-Lanka-4

Kataragama-souvenir-shops-2

Souvenir shops are a common sight in this religious complex, outside the temple. Kataragama is a place in Sri Lanka where people from around the country visit frequently. Therefore most people buy souvenirs from these shops at the end of their trip. We also had a glance before we were returning to Colombo.

Kataragama-souvenir-shops

Sharing with blog link parties listed here

Read all the posts of this road trip in below links,

Road Trip to Kataragama

Tissamaharama Temple

Ruhunu Maha Devalaya-Kataragama

Yodha Wawa-Tissamaharamaya

Kiri Vehera-Kataragama

Sri Lankan Buffet at Kataragama

Hambantota Kalu Dodol

The Eagles Cafe-weerawila-sri-lanka

 

Yoda Wewa -Thissamaharama Sri Lanka
Yoda Wewa -Thissamaharama Sri Lanka

Built by King Mahanaga (as per ancient records) in the late 3rd Century BC and situated in between Thissamaharama to Yala main road, Yoda Wewa is an ancient reservoir of Sri Lanka which still provides water and irrigation needs to the people around. The exact location we see this ancient tank of Sri Lanka is Yodakandiya (A small town in between Thissamaharamaya and Kirinda).

Yoda-Wewa-Thissamaharamaya-Sri-Lanka
Yoda Wewa -Thissamaharama Sri Lanka

In our previous holiday in Sri Lanka, Thissamaharamaya was one of the places we visited and I could capture few photos of this tank.(Yodha Wawa),however these were captured from the running vehicle and not the captures I really wanted. Sometimes time also matters when we travel and on that day our aim was to reach Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Dewalaya. So, I had to happy with these captures. 🙂

Yoda Wewa Bund is about 2400 feet long with the height of 15 feet. The tank carries a capacity of around 31,500 acre feet of water. Therefore it is the main source of irrigation facilities to the paddy fields around the area making Yodhakandiya, Thissamaharamaya areas as agricultural areas which produce a major portion of rice harvest of the country.

Paddy-Fields-Thissamaharamaya-Sri-Lanka
Paddy Fields-Thissamaharamaya

Above is just a capture of a paddy field which I captured in Yodhakandiya.These paddy fields were just opposite the Yodha wewa and thought it is nice to share with this post.

If you visit Sri Lanka and visit the Yala National Park,you will see these landmarks along your route from Thissamaharama to Yala.In our visit,we didnt have much time to stay or relax,however we could visit few temples and ancient places of southern Sri Lanka.Hope to visit these places again and most probably,some nice captures!

Whenever I have some free time,I really enjoy by visiting other travel blogs and weekend linkups are a great source to find some recent travel posts.So,this week I am linking with Weekend Travel Inspiration #wkendtravelinspiration hosted by Albom Adventures and other great travel bloggers.

Read all the posts of this road trip in below links,

Road Trip to Kataragama

Tissamaharama Temple

Ruhunu Maha Devalaya-Kataragama

Yodha Wawa-Tissamaharamaya

Kiri Vehera-Kataragama

Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, there are traditional drums which are mainly used for traditional dancing and other related cultural activities. Davula,Yak Beraya, Udakkiya are some of these traditional drums which are popular among many cultural activities.Not only to entertain people with dance and music, these drums also use for many religious activities.

Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka
Traditional Drums Sri Lanka

In Buddhist culture, there are some activities which Traditional Dancers pay respect to the religion. For example, Dalada Thewawa is a daily Performing in respect to the Sacred Tooth Relic in Dalada Maligawa,Kandy. This is a ritual in many temples and even for most ceremonies; traditional dancers play a major role.

Traditional-Dance-Sri-Lanka
Kandyan Dancing Performance in a Sri Lankan Wedding

Another occasion which these traditional drums play their role is ‘Thovil’.’Thovil’ is a kind of activity which is considered as a ‘way of healing’ or ‘a healing ceremony’ to keep off the evils and their influences. ’Bali’,’ Shanthikarma’ are another traditional ceremonies which are mostly similar to ‘Thovil’.

Traditional-Kandyan-Dancers-Sri-Lanka
Kandyan Dancing and Drumming in Sri Lanka

I captured these traditional drums during our previous visit to Sri Lanka. I was lucky to see this traditional drums display in Sri Lanka Airport and as always I didn’t miss the opportunity.

So, here is my photo story for the week. Do you have any story to share? Please share those below. I’d like to read your posts.

 

Jasmine Flowers (Pichcha Flowers)
Jasmine Flowers (Pichcha Flowers)
Jasmine flowers are another commonly found flower in Sri Lanka.Also called as ‘Gata Pichcha‘ these flowers emit aroma and it is a beautiful scenery to see a bush of these flowers in the morning.

Jasmine Flowers (Pichcha Flowers)
Pichcha Flowers
Half opened bud of Jasmine Flower (Pichcha Flowers)
Jasmine Flowers (Pichcha Flowers)
Jasmine Flowers Buds (Pichcha Flowers)

As I shared in my other blog, In Sri Lanka we celebrate New Year in April. After the traditional things we do at an auspicious time, it is time to celebrate. Among other customs and traditions, we also celebrate the New Year with traditional games. Below are some captures from such a New Year Games Festival I participated in Sri Lanka. It was such a fun experience and basically I had a nice time with our neighbors.
These games are full of fun and simple. During the April and after the New Year (that is after around 13th,14th April) there are lot of such festivals around country.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
April New Year Marathon (Gama haraha diweema)
As for the most of such festivals, this New Year festival also started from the ‘Marathon’. Usually this includes competitors to complete a track which usually covers the residential area where the games festival is organized. At least 2-3 km is included for the runners to complete.

 

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Coconut Scraping Competition
Coconut scraping is another fun event. Usually ladies enjoy this event much as it is one of the things day do at home for cooking.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Kana Mutti (Clay pots are ready for the game)
Kana mutti bindeema is another fun game which is like a must in any New year games festival. Usually
for this game, there are few clay pots which are filled with sand or water and hanged in a row. Among these pots there is one pot which is filled with blue water.
Completion is to hit the clay pot which has blue water. To start the game, the eyes of the competitors are closed using a piece of cloth. They are provided with a bamboo stick to hit the pot.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Kana mutti biindeema

The competitor who hit the pot which contains blue water will win the game. Even if there is a winner or no,
this game is a fun event for all those who participate for the festival.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Pillow Fighting Game (Kotta pora)
Another game is Kotta pora which means pillow fight.It is basically, two competitors fight with a pillow till one person is fallen down. Usually a place is prepared using a pole placed horizontally at about 2 m in height. This can be placed in other vertically placed poles/columns. Then 2 competitors sit on both sides and beat each other using a bag (pillow) full of straw or some light weight things. This will continue until one falls off.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Lissana gaha nageema (The Slippery Pole)

Climbing the slippery pole (Lissana gaha nageema) is another game.For this game, a very long timber pole is fixed into the ground. A flag is placed at the top of the pole.(tree).Then the organizers will apply some slippery thing like grease on this pole. The first person who climbs to the top of this slippery tree and who gets the flag is the winner.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka

However, this game is played as a team. Those who participate for the game will repeat their attempt and
remove the grease on each attempt. Finally one person will be able to get the flag. Usually the price is a good amount of money and the winner will share it among all those who participated in the team.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Watching at the slippery pole (lissana gaha nageema)

 

This is actually not an easy game, it requires lot of energy and also climbing skill. But there are people
who like to participate for this game. Those who watch the game can give some donations (money) for the final prize. Organizers of the festival collect this type of donations and add that to the final prize.

Most of these festivals end with the competition of selecting ‘New Year Princess and Prince’ (Avurudu kumari/kumara).This competition is organized in national level too where beautiful girls and guys participate.However,in this New Year Festival which was organized by residents  around the area,it was a small competition for girls and boys below certain age limit.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka

Above are our little girls who participated for the competition.All these girls are from our neighbors homes and for me all of them are beautiful and New Year Princesses. 🙂 They are wearing a traditional Sri Lankan dress,specially for girls.

These are few of the traditional games.But there are lot more fun games which all can participate during the festival.Do you have such traditional events?Do you have any photo story for this week?Please share those.

Sri Lanka, the tiny teardrop island in the Indian Ocean is full of attractions to visit, be it a historical attraction or a place with natural beauty or even a place for shopaholic; you’ll find a place to visit. During our Sri Lanka holidays, we usually visit few interesting places and here is another place we visited recently.

On our way to Kataragama

 

Kataragama is a place where you’ll find Buddhist attractions and also places which are favourited by Hindu people in Sri Lanka. Kataragama Devalaya is such a place where both Buddhists and Hindus visit, worship and expect blessings of God Kataragama.
Paddy fields around

 

Today I am sharing some of the pictures from ‘Kataragama Devalaya’, however this place is more popular as a Buddhist pilgrimage site as it is one of the 16 places visited by Lord Buddha in past. I will share about the main Buddhist attraction in Kataragama, which is ‘kiri wehera’ in a future post and this is about the devalaya which we see at the entrance before entering to the kiri vehera area.
Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya-Sri Lanka
Buildings around Kataragama devalaya

 

As stated earlier in this post; Kataragama is popular among all religions in Sri Lanka including Buddhists, Hindus and Veddas(indigenous people of Sri Lanka). It is believed that God Kataragama lived in the jungles near the Menik Ganga.(River of gems).Usually devotees have a bath from this river (Manik Ganga) before they enter into the pilgrimage site. However during the season we visited, I noticed the river looks so muddy, but still some people were using water for washing and bathing.
Manik Ganga (The river of gems-Kataragama)

 

As a tradition, people offer fruits to the Kataragama God or it is same for any other God they believe. Although anyone can bring fruits from other places, usually people buy fruits and offerings from the nearby stalls. Even in Kataragama, you’ll find lot of such stalls to buy a prepared plate of offerings (‘pooja watti’ )
Stalls selling Pooja Watti-Kataragama

 

These Pooja watti include few fruits such as banana, watermelon ,pineapple and some sweets, a beetle leaf and few joss sticks(incense) .
Pooja Watti display-Kataragama

 

People keep some money as a donation for the devalaya (shrine) on top of this fruit tray and offer to the god.A colourful garland is a special offer to the god.You’ll find a garland on top of the pooja watti.

Colourful Garlands-Kataragama

The people who run these stalls near the shrine are experts on preparing these plates and thus,usualy devotees buy a pooja watti(a plate with all offerings) before they visit the devalaya.

 

Basically Kataragama Devalaya is a shrine with hindu traditions where you’ll see lot of statues of god Kataragama. I wanted to participate for the ‘pooja’ (worshiping ceremony) just to see how it is going. Inside was completely crowded and jam packed, although I was in front with my little son, after few minutes I decided to leave as it was sweating and I was scared if my son started crying it is a big disturbance for the other people.
Below is a photo of Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya-Sri Lanka.
Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya-Sri Lanka
Kataragama Devalaya

 

People believe that God Kataragama is a powerful god which he can help people to get rid of their problems. So, for most of the people in Sri Lanka, it is a tradition to visit Kataragama devalaya to get blessings in their tough times or even if they start a new business or buy a new vehicle etc. Most people have the habit of visiting this place each year.
Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya-Sri Lanka
Kataragama Devalaya

 

We had a good time there, worshiped and offered a Pooja watti to the God Kataragama. It was almost noon and was very sunny and hot.After spending few hours there,we proceeded to the temple, Kiri Vehera.
Entrance-Kataragama Devalaya

 

Wait for my next post. I’ll share some interesting information and some of my captures of kiri vehera in my next post.

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