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UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

A pilgrim tour to Anuradhapura is one of the things I do whenever I am in Sri Lanka. Few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura and spent time among Buddhist offerings. Although we came back to Sri Lanka again within few months, with my desire to visit Anuradhapura, I arranged another pilgrimage.

In Anuradhapura sacred city, there are many historical places to visit. As a UNESCO heritage site, this sacred city is a must visit place for anyone who loves historical places. All the main attractions are easily reached by a vehicle. So, previously we always used the vehicle to reach each of the temples and stupas in Anuradhapura. However this time we walked more.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

Walking From Thuparamaya to Ruwanwelisaya

In sacred city of Anuradhapura, all the temples and sacred places are located in walking distances between those. From Thuparamaya, you can easily walk to Ruwanwelisaya and it is around 15 minutes’ walk if you walk leisurely and slowly. The best thing is that this route is with beautiful views and some other ancient ruins.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Ancient ruins in front of Thuparamaya temple complex

In our walk, we had a glance to other historical buildings and ruins around Thuparamaya temple complex. Starting from the ruins of Thuparamaya temple complex, we could see some other ruins along the way to Ruwanwelisaya.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya

On one side, it is a small lake with the views of nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
View of Jethawanaramaya behind the lake.

My son who is still 4 years old could enjoy this nature walk with the views of birds namely kingfisher, oriole and even a vulture. Sounds of peacocks allowed us to connect with nature.

Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
We enjoyed the nature in this morning while walking.
Helpful tips if you plan walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya Stupa
Walking from Thuparamaya to Ruwanwalisaya
Near the Ruwanwalisaya end,you can buy flowers.
  • The distance between these stupas is less than 1 km when you walk.
  • The best time for walking is in the early morning or evening to avoid heat of the sun.
  • There is a foot path which you can easily walk.
  • Near the Ruwanwalisaya end, you can easily buy flowers to offer.
  • There are ancient ruins along the way. You will also watch natural views while walking.

 

Do you like such walking tours among the historical places?

 

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

When we are in Sri Lanka we always love to arrange pilgrimages with family members. As a country with lot of sacred cities, temples and historical sites, Sri Lanka offers many reasons for us to plan pilgrimages each year. It can be a pilgrimage to see temples and ruins of ancient city Polonnaruwa or it can be a pilgrimage to see Anuradhapura attractions, we always find these tours as a way to bond with family members while spending time in religious activities. Our trips to Kandy are also pilgrimages most of the times as temples are the main attractions, not only for visiting but also to spend time with religious and spiritual activities.

So, here is a travelogue of one of our recent pilgrimages to Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

It was last June that we were in another holiday in Sri Lanka. During this period, we spent time to visit Anuradhapura which is one of the sacred cities in Sri Lanka. I’ve visited Anuradhapura Buddhist attractions many time, but I still plan to visit the same places again simply due to the Buddhist beliefs and to spend time in spiritual activities.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Stopping at a fruit stall is a great way to have a break.

As of most pilgrimages, we left our home early in the morning with the hope of reaching Anuradhapura in the noon. On the way to Anuradhapura, we stopped in few places for breakfast and for short breaks. As there are fruit stalls along the road to Anuradhapura, it is always enjoyable to taste different fruits which are also fresh.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Travelling with a kid,we always like to have short breaks during road trips.

Finally, we reached Anuradhapura. After having lunch, our first visit was to the ‘Sri Maha Bodhi Tree’ which is one of the sacred places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Sri Maha Bodhi tree

It is believed that ‘Sri Maha Bodhi tree’ is a sapling of Bodhi tree that Buddha was sitting during his enlightenment.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Offerings at the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

As usual we always like to visit Ruwanwalisaya in the evening to avoid the sun. During the day time, it can be really hot and it is not easy to go around the stupa and do the offerings with proper concentration.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Ruwanwalisaya Stupa

In Thuparamaya, we also could see and  join another Buddhist offering which is called ‘Kap ruk Poojawa’.After visiting both Thuparamaya and Ruwanwelisaya which are must visit attractions in Anuradhapura, we reached our accommodation.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Kap Ruk poojawa at Thuparamaya

It was the day before June Full moon day which is also called ‘Poson Poya’.In Sri Lanka, full moon day is a holiday and it is a day for Buddhist activities. As a Majaor poya day,Pososn Poya is a crowded day for Anuradhapura and temples were full of devotees.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Thuparamaya Stupa after Kap ruk poojawa

We also spent time having meals and drinks from ‘Dan sal’.Dan Sal are the places that people offer food and drinks for anyone without any charge. It is completely free to drink or eat from a ‘Dansala’ and these events are mostly organized during the major full moon days.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Dan Sala (It was a Biscuit Dan sala organized by a major Biscuit brand of Sri Lanka which travellers to Anuradhapura received biscuits free. 🙂

As the city was fully crowded, we also experienced huge traffic jam. However we could visit the major attractions including Abhayagiriya and Jethwanaramaya.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
Mirisawetiya stupa

We had great two days in Anuradhapura spending in spiritual activities. It was a pilgrimage that we like to remind again and again.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka
It is easy to buy flowers and other necessary things for offerings at the entrance of each Buddhist places.
Useful tips for planning a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura

Leave early and reach Anuradhapura early morning to save time. So, you can visit more attractions during the few days of stay.

Follow the rules when you enter into the sacred city and the temples. Check this post on how to behave in a Buddhist temple if you are not sure.

Avoid bathing in lakes if you don’t know the designated places to have a bath or to enjoy water activities. Always read the sign boards and warnings before you go to the water/lakes.

Hiring a van from a car rental service is always our preferred way to reach Anuradhapura when we plan pilgrimages. This is a stress free way to reach Anuradhapura.

Accommodation in Anuradhapura

Book your accommodation before you reach Anuradhapura. During the crowded days, it is not easy to find proper accommodation.

We booked Creston Park Accomodation through Agoda which is a decent budget hotel that is great for family holidays. The good thing about Creston Park Accomodation is that their food is really delicious. Also staff is friendly.The location is strategic and near to sacred city of Anuradhapura. (Accomodation Near Anuradhapura Pooja Nagaraya)

If you look for booking a complete house for your group, then check AirBnb for such accommodation .Most of the houses offered are affordable in rates. Use this link to book and save up to $50 SGD travel credit.

A Pilgrimage to Anuradhapura- Sri Lanka

Have you been to Anuradhapura? Do you like pilgrimages? If so, do you plan such trips with family members and friends? Please share your thoughts below.

 

Exploring Malacca
Clock Tower and red buildings in Dutch Square

Malacca or Melaka which is a UNESCO heritage site full of attractions was in my destination list for a long time. Rich cultural diversity, proud historical buildings & footprints of colonial influence and of course the delicious food are the reasons to admire this historical state of Malaysia. Still this fascinating city is with colonial structures and remaining British, Dutch and Portuguese influence. If you were given few days to visit Malacca, you will first get lost because there are so many things to see in Malacca and admire. But, if you visit Malacca and to complete your trip in Malacca, you should first visit the UNESCO heritage site and see the attractions.

No, we were not there for 24 hours. Instead we spent 2 nights there and in this post I want to highlight the must see attractions in Malacca to make your holiday memorable even you left with 24 hours.

Exploring Malacca
Christ Church – Melaka

We started our journey from Christ Church Melaka which was built by Dutch. This beautiful red church is one of the landmarks in Malacca which anyone should see.

Exploring Malacca
Water Fountain – Melaka

Our next visit was to the attractions in Dutch Square which is just opposite the Christ Church. There is a beautiful water fountain at the centre of the area and there are beautiful red buildings around the Dutch square. This area is the best place to hire rickshaws which are decorated with colourful flowers.

In our visit to Melaka we saw lot of wedding couples who were taking photos with different poses. Most of them were wearing the traditional sultanate dresses.

Exploring Malacca
A wedding couple

Oliver the Bulldozer is one of the major attractions which were used before the 2nd world war. The buildings and structures are red painted and they showed the proud history of this Malaysia state.

Exploring Malacca
Oliver – The Bulldozer

We didn’t forget to read and learn bit of history on our first day in Malacca.

Exploring Malacca

Things to do in Malacca, Dutch Square   

Here are the main attractions in this small corner of the UNESCO Heritage site.

Including Christ Church Melaka, there are beautiful and historical buildings which you can see and explore in Malacca. A rickshaw tour will make your visit memorable and you can easily hire one parked near the red square .

Exploring Malacca

The bulldozer, clock tower and other buildings are the major attractions. Don’t forget to watch locals and their activities. Different cultural activities will make your visit exciting. We were glad to see wedded couples and their beautiful costumes.

Food in Malacca
Delicious food

Street food is another thing which you must not miss. Be sure to try different food during your stay because Malacca is a popular destination for Nonya food and other delicacies.

Where to stay in Malacca

There are lots of hotels in Malacca. So finding accommodation is not difficult. We stayed at Emperor Hotel ,Malacca ,which is in walking distance to major attractions.

How to reach Malacca from Singapore

If you don’t drive, then it is easy to travel by bus. There are buses which go to Malacca central and other major hotels from Singapore. You can easily book buses online to Malacca and then rest assured. In our trip to Malacca, we booked bus tickets from Busonlineticket and we didn’t face any problem. There are many buses departing from Singapore to Melaka and we booked our bus which is of Delima Express.

We could select our pick up point as we wished and reached there for the scheduled time. From Malacca central, we hired a taxi to the hotel. It was a hassle free tour.

Have you been to Malacca? Please share your experiences.

Till my next post about our Malacca holiday, please share your photo stories.

 

 

Lowamahapaya-Anuradhapura,Sri Lanka
In our 2013 December Sri Lankan holiday, we had a family trip to Anuradhapura. In day 1,we reached to Anuradhapura and on our way to Anuradhapura,we could visit the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy. When we arrive to Anuradhapura it is almost night time, but we could manage to visit Ruwanwalisaya which is one of the main place to visit and worship in Anuradhapura.

Lowamahapaya-Anuradhapura,Sri Lanka
We started the Day 2 early in the morning. It is better to start early, mainly to avoid the heat and also the crowd. Lowamahapaya is situated between Ruwanwalisaya and Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya. It is also called as the Brazen Palace because of the bronze tiles used for its roof. Lohaprasadaya is another name.

Lowamahapaya-Anuradhapura,Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura-Lowamahapaya
On our way to Sri maha Bodhiya, we stopped at Lowamahapaya and had a glance. As per historical records, this massive building was constructed by king Dutugamunu and it had nine storeys, and hundred rooms on each floor. This massive building was entirely covered with plates of copper. However nowadays what we see are the ruins of massive building with lot of stone pillars.
After Lowamahapaya, we visited the sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya.I have some photos and will share those soon.Until then,check some of other posts about Sri Lanka which I have shared before.

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