Places of Interest
Gadaladeniya, Embekka, and Lankathilaka Devales are also some attractions which would not be missed by most of the visitors from Sri Lanka itself as well as those who are from foreign countries.
We at Mount View Bungalow are readily available at any time to help you in arranging your destinations in the optimal way.
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Amongst the many ancient places around Kandy, next one is the Hindagala Temple. This temple has been a monastery for the Buddhist clergy for a long time period with a mild environment suited for such a monastery which is situated on the Galaha.This temple has archeological importance as there are caves thus named as “Len Viharaya”.
According to the archeological evidence the temple has been built around 6 century. The paintings appearing in the cave which shows the two traders of the Buddhist era ‘Thapassu and Bhalluka’ who offered alms to the Lord Buddha, and the episode of the Supreme God of the heaven or ‘Shakra Devi’ who is listening to the Dhamma preaching. The Sacred Tooth Relic once has been kept in this Hindagala Temple. Other items to visit are the seated Buddha Statue and a reclining Buddha Statue.
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Dodanwala Devalaya is also a place where most of the visitors prefer to visit.Tempita Viharaya is another name for this temple and there are number of Ironwood trees in the garden of the temple which brings an immense beauty to the temple. This temple has been in 15th century A.D.The temple is an image house that has been built on the stone pillars.
The shrine contains some valuable paintings and statues of the 18th century.The history of this temple run to the time period of the King Rajasinghe who ruled in the Kandy. Along with the natural beauty, historical and cultural significance have brought this temple an important destination of the visitors. With the changes and the impacts happened in the Kandy regime, this temple was also subjected to the Hindu impacts which are seen today even.
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Another attracted place by visitors is the Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Vihara (Degaldoruwa temple) in Kandy which is situated just 25km away from Gampola. This temple is famous for the notable paintings available in the temple which belong to the Kandyan era. King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe is the then King when these paintings are done and he was sponsoring this temple by providing resources and property to the temple making a ‘Raja Maha Viharaya’. These paintings were done by the traditional painters during that era, Especially these paintings depict the Norms, Traditional customs social aspect that were prevailing during that era. These paintings used the features of the Kandyan art style. They are clearly shown here.
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Another important place you should not miss visiting is the Lankathilaka Viharaya in Kandy. This ancient temple was constructed during the regime of the King Prarakramabahu at 14th AD and later King Vijayabahu IV had done some re-constructions there to renovate the temple.
The temple is a wonderful creation of Sinhalese architectural tradition. It has been built out of clay bricks. It is believed that it had been built in to five storied building and this temple has been beautified with flowers, animals, birds and statues of Gods. There are two mammoth pillars at the entrance of the temple which were believed to have a height more than 100ft.There is an Image House which contains shrine rooms (Devalaya ) for the four guardian gods of the island and the outer artwork of the image house is very attractive as it is decorated with statues of the Elephants which has been able to bring this a proud look.
The entire temple is built on the rock. Inside the temple, at the end of the passage there is a large Buddha Statue but has been now damaged. The holy place where this Buddha Statue is situated has been decorated with various complex floral designs. Walls and the ceiling are filled with the paintings and marvelous and creative wood carvings can also be seen inside the image house. The Pali inscription found on the rock where the temple has been built on is believed as the document of the precious gifts given to the artist who created this artwork, as the returns for the marvelous artwork.
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Getambe Viharaya ( Getambe Buddhist Temple) is situated near to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. The Mahaweli River flows through one boarder and other boarder is made by the Kandy – Colombo main road.Gatambe Temple is a temple that is mostly worshiped around Peradeniya.
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Embekka Devalaya (Temple) is one of the greatest places you could ever have been to. Perhaps, it might be the only place in the world that is having such an amount of amazing wood carvings gathered in one location. The Embekka Devalaya has been built during the Gampola regime around 1370 by the time of great King Vikramabahu.The King has dedicated this devalaya to God Kataragama.
A nice story is involved in the creation of the Embekka Devalaya (Temple).In past there had been a drummer who was having a skin disease with no cure. To get a cure, one day he went to the famous Kataragama Devalaya of God Kataragama in southern area of country and prayed the God. As a result he got the disease cured and promised the God that he would be visiting the Kataragama Devalaya each year to worship the Devalaya . But by his old age he could not go to Kataragama and requested the God and explained. What the God told was he should do rituals in the place where something miracle would be happening. That time the Queen Henakanda Bisobandara had a flower garden and the gardener of the flower garden tried to remove a tree from the garden but was failed as blood was coming out of the tree. This incident was known to the drummer and he started doing rituals there. By time he built a small temple here and it was the Embekka Devalaya . Later the King Vickramabahu made the temple as a three storied building and sponsored the temple with Land, Jewelry and Elephants. From that time, people got used to worship the temple in thousands as in the ancient time; the rituals are done today also.
There are eight buildings belonging to Embekka Devalaya , six buildings for the inner temple and the rest two buildings are for the outside building. The UNESCO has even identified the importance of the wood carvings of the temple. The main hall is filled with several of wood carvings, every part of the main hall – pillars, doors; columns are heavily decorated with wonderful rock carvings. There are a range of wood carvings of the Devalaya thus the wood carvings include nice carvings of flowers, dancers, soldiers and animals from mythical stories.
The roof of the devalaya has been decorated with unbelievable wood carvings. It shows the excellence of the wooden art of the ancestors in Sri Lanka. Something which should be highlighted in this Embekka Devalaya in terms of the wooden art culture in Sri Lanka is the “Madol Kuruppuwa”.Madol Kuruppuwa is a kind of pin made out of 100% wood which holds 26 of rafters together. It is a wonderful creation that is worth of witnessing. As Embekka Devalaya was dedicated to the name of the God Kataragama, there a perahera was used to be held each year from the ancient times. The site has a small building called “Sin asana Mandiraya” where the King used to watch the perahera.
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Ritigala is the uppermost mountain, in the north-central flatly land of Sri Lanka, It is high as much as 2,513 feet above sea level. It is positioned close up to Kekirawa and Maradankadawala on one side and Habarana on the other, and can be seen obviously from the Dambulla-Anuradhapura road. The heap mass is about 3 miles long and about two miles wide at its widest point; it is covered with impenetrable forest settled by wild elephants, leopards and bears. It is the feeding watershed of the Malwatu Oya, which feeds the Nachaduwa Lake, and Kalueba Ela which feeds Huruluwewa. The higher part of the stack is well recognized for its plants, some of which are uncommon; it has also a variety of untamed orchids.
This heap has over 70 known caves that have been used as residence by the early population of the nation and then as monasteries by Buddhist clergy but there are no paintings in them. It has a long times gone by and is referred to as “arittha-pabbata” in the Mahavamsa, the huge past chronicle which minutes that the third king of Sri Lanka King Pandukabhaya, (377-307 BC) lived in the mountain for seven years getting ready for the wars to take the kingdom back. The early people of Ritigala referred to as “Yakkas” united Pandukabhaya’s grounds and helped and fought in his many wars. Ritigala features to have been also used by King Dutugemunu (101-72 BC) and by King Jetthatissa in the 7th century in their wars next to the Indian Invaders. There are rock inscriptions that point to that steadily, Ritigala had turned into a ascetic retreat for recluse (Pamsukulika) monks and a position of religious implication. By the 10th-12th century AD however Ritigala seems to have been vacant by the hermit monks and soon it was covered by forest and gone.
Ritigala is beyond description; You might have no idea to express the thoughts and emotions that approach over you when you even observe the mountain from the street whilst forthcoming it. There are any remains of the very old parts of the constructional bodies.
Gampola is the ideal place on the way to stay and have a rest during the journey towards that destination.
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As Mount View Bungalow is situated in Gampola where you have approximately same distances to some mind striking places most visited by the local and foreign visitors such as Habarana and Ritigala, Mount View Bungalow is your ideal place to stay and plan your leisure time.
Habarana and Ritigala are two important areas which are visited by thousands.Habarana is the center of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. It is located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and it is the center point from which guests possibly will discover the magnificent history and the chronological legends of Sri Lanka. Civilization tourists as well as nature loving enthusiasts are tending to find this place a place of safety to run away to. Habarana is intimately located to the Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks which are the passage points to hundreds of Asian elephants and other creatures during the arid period. The holy metropolis of Anuradhapura, cave in temples in Dambulla and Sigiriya the astound citadel are just few of the sites worthy of the concentration of the past fawn. The other tourists could run away to the silence and stillness.
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Namal Uyana (Iron Wood forest)
Ironwood tree is an endemic tree of Sri Lanka. Trees seen here are said to be re-planted in the 8th AD during the King Devanampiyatissa regime and that of King Dappula IV.In early days this has been used as sanctuary for the Buddhists monks and later as a prison camp with the punishment of planting Ironwood trees.
Some rare medicinal plants are seen under the shades of Na Trees which makes a cool experience to those who visit the forest even though it is situated in dry zone. Another exciting thing is the natural water flows originating from the pink quartz mountain. At the entrance you will see a container overflowing water which is pouring in to it as a small waterfall.
Some highlights that you will be able to witness at ‘Namal Uyana’are as follows: Namal Seya(Stupa), Bodigaraya, Pilimageya(Shrine room), Galpahana(Stone lamp), Galpathraya(Stone bowl) , Sakman maluwa(walking area) etc.
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South Asia’s largest Rose Quartz mountain range is the other mind striking place of visit around Dambulla. This natural invaluable site is situated 7 KM away from the Madatugama junction on the Dambulla – Anuradhapura main road .This site also has been declared a National Heritage site by Department of Wildlife Conservation. There is a row of seven mountains which are approximately over 150 m above sea level.
The archeological findings state that the Pink Quartz’s age dates back to about 550 million years. If you have a look at the mountain range being some far away, it will be making a nice cloudy scene with mixing the white mist in to the pink quartz it makes wonderful scenery also when you got to the top of the mountain, the scene runs miles through the plane lands. Scientific researches show that the Silicon di-oxide is the major ingredient of this pink quartz. According to the ancient stories, the Mogul Emperor Shah Jehan had imported pink quartz for beatifying the ‘Taj Mahal’.
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Another attractive place you can visit in central province is Hanthana Mountain Range which is near to Kandy. The Hanthana Conservation Forest is another name for the mountain range where you can experience the Sri Lanka’s bio diversity very purely. This is governed by Department of Forest Conservation. Under the National Environmental Act, the Hanthana mountain Range was published as an environmental protection area in 2010. There are 7 mountains in the mountain range and the maximum height is 3800 ft. The highest mountain is known as Uura Kanda. The mountain range is very popular among the mountain hikers in Sri Lanka as well as the foreign visitors. Annually a number of visitors are coming to Hanthana mountain range and collecting beautiful memories for their lives. Don’t forget to bring your camera when you are visiting Hanthana since in there also you can see the glory of the Sri Lanka’s nature. Not only the birds and butterflies but also you can see various types of wild flowers, insects, wild trees and many more things.
Hanthana is starting to spread from Kandy and there are many natural streams which begins to flow from there. Visitors can obviously enjoy these natural streams with pure water. There is a well-known stream which is flowing to Udaperadeniya and University of Peradeniya. The Hanthana mountain range is spacing from Galaha to Kandy by creating a glorious natural wonderland. “Katusukonda” mountain is the most dangerous peak to hike and it is the last of the Hanthana mountain range. It’s better to start hiking the mountain range from Nilambe Meditation Center side and you can complete the adventure tour from Kandy area if you are planning to hike whole mountain range. The peak of the mountain range is obviously consisting with very cold weather with winds. When you reached to the peak, you will see a vast area of the central province and you will realize how beautiful this area is. Annually the local university students are visiting here as their first batch trip and collecting memories for their youth spirits.
University of Peradeniya is located adjoining with Hanthana mountain range. This is called the most beautiful university of Sri Lanka as it has the touch of Hanthana Mountains and its attractive environment. This environment creates an ideal place for the students to engage with their activities and they can easily concentrate to their studies. There are faculties such as Medical, Engineering, Bio, Physical, Art, Management and there is an IT faculty too. Annually over 1000 of students are entering to the Peradeniya University. There is a natural theater called Sarathchandra open air theater which was opened in 1957 with a performance of Maname drama By Sarathchandra. Even today the university students are using that theater for their social activities such as drama performing, other entertaining activities, etc.
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Tea Museum situated in Hantana area in Kandy is also a place where visitors are attracted more. This was a Tea Factory and now it has converted to a Museum for Tea industry under the Sri Lanka Tea Board. This museum possesses some memorial items related to the Tea plant and Tea industry from when the English Planter James Taylor introduced the Tea plant to the Sri Lankan soil, such as tea manufacturing machinery etc.
The museum itself has been created using wood entirely. In the library you can get to know details of the historical events and milestones of the tea industry and its founders. Normally this is open from Tuesday to Saturday and closed on Mondays. The Museum is open Sunday for half of the day.
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‘Udawattakele’ Sanctuary is also another important attraction found in Kandy which has a long history associated with it.The name ‘Udawattakele’ means the forest above the garden which spreads over 250 acres of land approximately and this sanctuary was formally declared a sanctuary in 1938 During the colonial period ’UdawattakeleSanctuary’ was called the ‘Royal Forest Park’. This sanctuary has a long history which runs towards around 2nd century AD.A person called Senkada was the pioneer in making this land in to what it has become today. Later during the King Vickramabahu III period this sanctuary made limited only to the Royal family and named it as ‘Udawasalawatta’.Due to the heavy use of firewood from the sanctuary it faced deforestation but later around 1856, the then royal government declared this a reserved forest. ’Udawattakele Sanctuary’ is important in making the Kandy city with an attractive scenery and it also contributes a lot to the environment balance of the Kandy city area.
The sanctuary is rich with valuable trees such as ‘Nuga’ and ‘Mahogany’ trees. Another attraction in this famous ‘Udawattakele Sanctuary’ that there are number of romantic pathways within this sanctuary. Amongst those, Lady Hilton’s Walk is a significant one and it’s an old pathway available here in’ UdawattakeleSanctuary’. Lovers’ Walk is the pathway that has been able to attract the young lovers and this path is around the large pond in the sanctuary. Apart from that, the Giant Puswela is another important attractive place in ‘Udawattakele Sanctuary’ which is old around 200-300 years, it is a marvelous creation of the nature.Deers,Hares,Squirrels and various types of beautiful birds who contribute to the natural beauty and bio-diversity of the site..
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Polonnaruwa is one of the most important and the oldest kingdoms in Sri Lanka; in fact it is the kingdom after the Anuradhapura kingdom. Therefore, things even today remained for witnessing in Polonnaruwa is numerous. Because, there are so many things to witness in Polonnaruwa. It’s the second kingdom of Sri Lanka in the ladder of the regimes of Ceylon. The honor of making the island under one rule is going to the great King Vijayabahu I who firstly chose Polonnaruwa as the capital of the Kingdom in 1070 AD.So much long history s associated with Polonnaruwa.
Eventhogh he is the founder of the Polonnaruwa kingdom, the great king Prarakkramabahu I is the king considered the most important king in the ladder of kings in Ceylon. Its during that period the country became self-sufficient as the King sponsored some huge agricultural projects such as ‘Prarakrama Samudraya ‘which is a one of the most wonderful setting in Sri Lanka.Due to this kind of calm and prosperous time period, there were some great art work emerged from the artists of that era. There was a culture which had been rose on Buddhism so most of the creations were associated with the temple or Buddhism.
Polonnaruwa lies 216 km northeast of Colombo, 140kms northeast of Kandy and 104kms southeast of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka’s medieval capital (11th – 12th Century AD) is a well-preserved city of ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. The majestic King’s Council Chamber, the Lotus Bath, the Lanka Thilaka Viharaya, the Gal Viharaya (rock temple) and the statue of one of Polonnaruwa’s great kings, Parakramabahu, are a few of this capital’s memorable sights. The Sea of Parakrama – a vast 12th century man-made reservoir dominates the city. Although it is nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura, and in much better repair. Moreover, the monuments here are located in a more compact area, and their development is easier to follow.
To mention the places most visited by visitors or tourists, are
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- Gal Viharaya(Rock Temple)
- Prarakrama Samudraya(Ocean of Prarakrama)
- Statue of the King Prarakrmabahu
- Nissanka Latha Mandapaya(Audience hall of the king Nissanka Malla)
- Palace of king Prarakramabahu
- Polonnaruawa Moonstone
- Lankathilaka Temple
- Thuparama Image House
- Rankoth vehera
- Thiawanka Image House
- Kumara Pokuna (Royal Pond)
The statue of the king Prarakramabahu is another instance of the great creativity of the ancient Sri Lankan and their art knowledge and skills. Even though this statue is renowned as that of the king Prarakramabahu, there is a widely discussed argument that this is of a sage. However, the statue shows a wonderful gesture and it has been finished excellently.
The eyes of the statue are closed half and the statue has a beard & a broad forehead. Apart from the belief that this statue is of the King Prarakramabahu, it is also believed this statue denotes the strength, dignity and majesty.
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Apart from this national heritage Polonnaruwa is a wonderful destination for your nature loving hobbies. There is some national park around here in Polonnaruwa such as Kaudulla National Park. Minneriya National Park, Habarana Forest etc. So while you are on the way to any of these sites the Mount View Bungalow is an ideal stay point for sure. Our crew here will be ready for assisting you in any of your concerns.
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The Palace of the great king Prarakramabahu I is a wonderful creation of the ancient architecture of Ceylon. The Palace is believed to have had seven floors and 1000 rooms. The walls of the Palace are very strong and thick so that they appear even today facing numerous hazards on its way. Large holes appearing in the walls proof that they have had wooden structures that created the floor of the upper levels of the Palace.
Another nice creation which can be found in Polonnaruwa is the Moonstone which sows some changes from the Anuradhapura era. There were some animals in the Moonstone. Specially unlike in Anuradhapura era, Polonnaruwa era Moonstone has not shown the Bull in the Moonstone based on the Hindu impacts. Other animals have been put in to three separate bands individually. The Polonnaruwa Moonstone is seen not only be front of the Temple but also front of the other buildings as well. Polonnaruwa Watadaage has a nicest Moonstone found in Polonnaruwa era.
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Lankathilaka Image house was built by king Prarakkramabahu I .41 feet high The Buddha statue is totally made out of clay bricks and it has been used flat bricks for the statue. There are, at the entrance to the building, two massive pillars made from bricks. According to archives, this structure has had five stories.
This too is a part of the Ãlahana Privena. Inside the stupa house are two exclusively built stairways to the upper floor (see image). The width of a step is only about 4 inches and each is about one feet tall. It is built in a way that, is unfeasible to go up these staircase the usual may we are used to do. The Rankoth Veheara(Golden Pinnacle) is also another wonderful creation which can be seen in Polonnaruwa. This is amongst the largest Stupa in Sri Lanka and it is the fourth largest one.This structure was created by King Nissanka Malla and the largest stupa seen in Polonnaruwa. It seems that the King Nissanka has tried to build a similar stupa to Ruwanweli Stupa in Anuradhapura. The inscription says how the King had been giving advices to carry on the work of the Rankoth Vehera .
The Thuparama Image house has a roof completely made out of bricks, it is a rare creation in the sculpturing of Sri Lankan culture. This has been enough for survival hundreds of years making proofs for the strength of the creations of the ancient society of Sri Lanka. It is believed that this image house has been built by a minister of King Parakramabahu (1153-1186) called Mahinda to accommodate the sacred tooth relic. Also some believes that King Vijayabahu I. This has walls with thickness around 7 feet making the inside of the image house more secure and covered. There is a Buddha Statue in the middle of the image house.It is a seated Buddha statue. It is thought that the eyes of this Buddha statue was fixed with costly pebbles and the windows have been designed in such a manner the sunbeams would reproduce on these stones and glow the image house. Thiwanka Image house also an important architectural creation in Polonnaruwa.The great king Prarakramabahu I built this image house in the complex of Jethawanaraamaya. As the name implies the Statue in the Thiwanka Image house has been bent in 3 places, the artists have carved the statue like that and it’s a excellent creation in Ceylonese sculpturing. The walls and the inner surface has been created very strongly so that it has been surviving throughout the centuries.
There are some significances with this image house as the image house contains valuable paintings of Polonnaruwa era and some creations such as guard stones and the another Ceylonese art work called ‘Korawakgala’.Kumara Pokuna(Royal Pond) is situated close to the royal palace and this was created using stones.Even, there are ruins of the changing rooms making evidence of the cultural and social development which were associated with the Ceylonese society even beyond that much of time. Medirigirya (Vatadaage)Stupa House, Somavathiya Stupa are some important sites around the Polonnarwa area.
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Nissanka Latha Mandapa (Audience hall of the king Nissanka Malla) is believed to be the hall used by the King Nissanka Malla to listen to the Chanting of Pirith(Buddhist Scriptures).This was created by the King Nissanka Malla.
A stone platform has been kept with some height and around the platform there are rock columns which are very unique for its carvings on it.The type of carvings found in this Nissanka Latha Mandapaya, are not found anywhere in the country. The top of the columns are shaped to as a flower head and the lower part of the column is shaped to as a stem of the flower. It is surprising how such carvings have been made so softly out of rock. In the middle of the platform there can be seen a Stupa which has been also created using rock yet the top of the stupa has now been destroyed.
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One of the greatest creations during the Polonnaruwa era is the Prarakrama Samudraya (Ocean of Prarakrama) which is a wonderful creation by the great king Prarakramabahu. This is a huge water body covering acres of land thus making thousands of acres cultivable with the streamed waters throughout the year.
The lake is consisting of five water bodies Eramudu Wewa, Thopa Wewa, Dubutulu Wewa, Bhuu Wewa and Kalahagala Wewa. The view of this huge lake is wonderful when the sun sets, the colors of the nature paint an excellent painting throughout the sky. Birds fly towards their nests over the lake making eye-catching patterns. Trees without leaves which were risen up in the water make scenic views.
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Galviharaya (Rock Temple) is one of the excellent creation which can be seen in Polonnaruwa. The Buddha Statues created in rock are simply amazing. The statues are the main attraction of this place. According to the great chronicles in Sri Lanka such as Chulawamsha, says Galvihara as wonderful archeological setting at Polonnaruwa constructed by King Parakrambahu the extreme king of the Sinhalese Buddhist Nation. Gal Vihara statues are created using best rock material. The 4 important feature of Gal Vihara are images of the Buddha created on a large brickwork rock face thus they are believed to be the ideal examples of the rock carving and sculpting arts of the early Sinhalese. Almost 15 feet (4.6 m) deep cut is there on the rock to create a rock face to hold the images. You will see why this temple is visited by thousands of people throughout the year. Three of the statues are relatively large; the smallest of them is more than 15 feet and the largest is long more than 46 feet. The four statues are as follows
- Seated statue
- Statue in Vidyadara Cave
- Standing statue
- Reclining statute
Seated statue shows the Dhyana Mudra and the seat was fixed in the shape of a lotus flower by carving the rock, its base is also filled with decorated carvings of flowers and lions. The statue sits on a carved throne, Makara images can be seen there as decorations with four small images of the Buddha. This is an unusual characteristic in early Sinhalese sculpture, and is most likely the result of Mahayana impacts.
Statue in Vidyadara Cave is the other statue which is in Gal Viharaya. Statue is rather small statue with only 4 feet 7 inches in height, but alike in look to its bigger fellow statue. This is located inside the mock Cave named the Vijjadhara Guha. This cave has been created by cutting 4.5 feet into the rock; there are four square shafted stone columns at the sides of the statue. The support of the lotus shaped seat of the Buddha image here is also decorated with designs of lions. Archologist H. C. P. Bell stresses that God Brahma is on the right side and the God Vishnu is on the left side of the statue. The walls of the cave remain the evidence of decorating frescoes.
Standing statue is somewhat controversial creation as there are few arguments that it is not a Buddha statue, since the statue is having a sad appearance and also the reclining Buddha Statue is next to it, it is argued that this statue is of Ananda Thero weeping over the death of the great Lord Buddha. But, some believes that this is a Buddha Statue with a rare mudra which is not commonly used in the Ceylonese art.Some believes this is a Buddha Statue and denoting Great Lord Buddha is spending the second week after the Enlightenment paying gratitude by looking at the Bodhi tree for providing the roof during the effort of getting in to Enlightenment.
Reclining Statue is the largest statue of the Gal Vihara. This statue is one of the greatest art work not only in Sri Lanka but also in whole South Asia. The statue symbolizes the Parinirwana of the Great Lord Buddha. There is no any decoration or artwork in the base of the Statue. The statues in the Gal Vihara are not something to be missed by anyone who visits Polonnaruwa. You will be surprised witnessing them about the art and the Buddhist culture prevailed during Sinhala royal periods. The maturity, decency, technology and creativity Sri Lankan were having those days can be understood by you well.
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Dambulla is a fast developing town situated in an important center of the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.It is situated 148 KM away from Colombo and 76 KM away from Gampola.
The inhabitance of the Dambulla dates back to between 7th and 3rd century BC. You see the statues and the paintings in the cave temple which date back to the 1st century BC. The ancient story about the building of the marvelous rock temple says that the King Valagamba alias Vattagamini Abhaya had been given protection by the Monks meditating in these caves in Dambulla while he was hiding from the then rulers of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. After the King Valagamba crowned as the King of Ceylon in 1st BC, he has built this wonderful rock temple as a gratitude to the help given by the meditating monks of Dambulla. This is also called as the Golden Temple of Dambulla thus has been declared a World Heritage Site in 1991 You will see some wonderful best-preserved cave temples that Sri Lanka possesses. The rock alone runs some 160m over the plain areas around the temple making a panoramic view for someone who gets on to it.The documents proof on some 80 caves used for mediation by monks earlier days.
The following are the major attractions associated with Dambulla.
1. Dambulla Cave Temple
2. South Asia’s largest Rose Quartz mountain range
3. Iron Wood forest (NamalUyana)
4. Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site
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Dambulla Cave Temple 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. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of srilankan kings and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, Vishnu and Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 m². Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha’s temptation by demon Mara and Buddha’s first sermon.
By today there are about five caves where there are Buddha statues and paintings which are related to the great Lord Buddha and his life. You will see number of Buddha statues there- numerically 153 Buddha Statues, 3 statues of former Kings of Ceylon and 4 statues of Gods &Goddesses. Among the amazing paintings, you will witness “Temptation by the Demon – Mara” and the Great Lord Buddha’s first sermon – “DhammachakkakpawattanaSutta”. The most attractive part of the Dambulla Cave Temple is the set of Rock Caves which now has been converted to Shrine Rooms. These shrines make excellent experience of the visitors one that will stay in the mind forever. These caves belong to the Anuradhapura era (1st Century BC – 993 AD) and Polonnaruwa era(1073 – 1250 AD).It is much worth to state something about the view it makes while you ascend to the top of the rock you will be having a panoramic view of the plain land around including the rock fortress Sigiriya. In this cave temple there exists some major caves such as
- Cave of the Divine King (Devaraja Lena)
- Cave of the Great King(Maharaaja Lena)
- Great New Monastery(MahaAluthVihara)
- Another two caves
Cave of the Divine King (Devaraja Lena)
This Cave consists of a Buddha Statue of 14m and a Brahmi inscription of 1st century BC.
Cave of the Great King (Maharaaja Lena)
This is the largest cave in the Dambulla Cave Temple. In this cave, there are 16 standing Buddha statues and 40 seated statues. Inaddition to those, there are statues of the most worshipped Gods among the Buddhist community-God Saman and Vishnu. Also statues of two great Kings who had rendered a yeomen service for the cave temple, are present in this large cave. Another very attractive item present in this cave is the Buddha statue with the wooden statues of the two Bodhisattvas – Maithreya&Avalokiteshvara. There is a Dagoba inside this cave also. Other thing you should not miss is the spring which is dripping its water through a crack in the ceiling. It is widely believed that this water is having the power of healing. Other than that, this cave is rich of paintings which illustrate the various events of the Great Lord Buddha starting from the dream seen by the queen Mahamaya- mother of Siddhartha who enlightened to be the Lord Buddha. The important events of Ceylon are illustrated in the rest of the paintings. These kinds of creations are something you should not miss in your visit and you should make sure that you have covered all these places so that you will be having many things even after you go home to recall.
Great New Monastery
This is different from other caves as this features paintings of the Kandy style which were put on the ceilings during the period of the famous king Keerthi Sri Rajasingha. This cave has 50 Buddha Statues and a Statue of the King.
Fourth and Fifth Caves
These two caves are small in size and not that much ancient and in quality. There is a Shrine room for God Vishnu between the two caves
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Ibbankatuwa is also somewhere you will find it interesting to during your visit to Dambulla. This site is situated close to the Dambulla town on Dambulla – Kurunegala main road.
Archaeologically the ground date back to around 750 BC to 400 BC.Here,several tombs can be seen covered with stone slabs and another interesting fact is those tombs had contained personal items such as clay pots, necklaces etc. Some items had contained Gem Stones which are seen in India giving some hints about the links with the India. Archeologists present several arguments on this site as the people lived in this area has had trade with a foreign country as beads, glass and terra-cotta were discovered.
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Can you imagine a luxurious castle which builds on the top of a large stone? There is one such magnificent creation in the Sri Lankan history. Sigiriya is one of the magnificent creation of the Sri Lankan history which is given a fully expression about the Sri Lankan creativity and the pride of the unique nation. These eight letters “S I G I R I Y A” already became the 8th Wonder of the World which was named by UNESCO.
Sigiriya (Lion’s rock) is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings, which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. The Sigiriya was built during the reign of King Kassapa I (AD 477 – 495), and it is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
There is a large stone. There is an ancient rock fortress. There is a palace. There are beautiful gardens. There are ancient paintings. If somebody wants to see these things together he or she must visit the Sigiriya which is situated in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya became as the world famous tourist destination because of the beauty and the proudness of the still rock. It is silent but it means the thousands of secretes in the science and technology which are still unsolved.
This rock is a toughened molten rock block, which was generated by long-eroded volcano. This rock citadel rises tall and it is noticeable for quite a few miles in all instructions. The rock rises around 370 m above sea level and Sigiriya has a level top exterior that slopes steadily along the extended axis of the ellipse.
The subsequent are the main attractions associated with Sigiriya which has been able to make the Sigiriya distinct among the art work of the ancient Ceylon. The following are the proud proofs about the great civilization Ceylon was having in the earlier days. By witnessing them, you will be realizing how these things have done by the
- Site plan and top of the rock
- The mirror wall
- The gardens
i.) The water gardens
ii.) The boulder gardens
iii.) The terraced gardens
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- Lions’s mouth and lion gate
- Mirror wall
Appreciating the creativity of the Sigiriya is not enough. It is considered as one of the most important elaborate and imaginative urban sites of the first millennium. In the site there is a royal park in the west side of the rock for the king queen and other royal crew.
There are five gates at the entrance and among them more elaborate western gate have been reserved for the entrance of the royals which were used by the royals. This park contains several water retaining structures and it is including sophisticated surface systems as well as subsurface hydraulic systems. Even today some of the systems are working properly with making question “how it can possible?” There is a reservoir in the south which was made by the man.
On the top of the rock can see the upper palace. Upper palace which includes cisterns cut into the rock. Those cisterns can still retain water. The palace and fortress are known as lovely places which were built in the heaven. It is giving full description about ingenuity and creativity of the builders and architectures and the power of the knowledge and the practically usage of the theories in science. The moats and walls that surround the lower palace are still exquisitely beautiful and marvelous.
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One of the most imperative aspects of the Sigiriya site is the private grounds. It is known as the oldest landscaped private grounds in the world. The gardens, which can be found in the Sigiriya, can be separated into three different but connected forms: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.
The water gardens
Middle section of the western zone can be seen the water gardens and three major gardens are established here.
The first garden is consisting of a plot bounded by water. It is linked to the main area. Four causeways are used for the association. It includes gateways placed at the cranium of each walkway. Char bhag is an antique garden form which is one of the oldest current models in the world. Sigiriya garden is also built according to that backyard shape.
Each side of the pathway the second contains two long, deep pools. There are two superficial, winding streams guide to these pools. Spherical limestone plates are placed for made fountains. Water supply to these fountains by subversive water conduits, which are still practical, in particular those are working during the drizzly season. Either side of the second water garden two large islands are to be found on. On the flattened surfaces of these islands summer palaces are built by the king. There are two more islands are located in the north and the south. These islands are built in alike to the island in the first water garden.
The third garden is situated much more in a different way. It is on a higher level than the other two. This garden mostly contains a large, octagonal pool with a raised podium on its northeast corner. On the eastern edge of this garden there is a large brick and mineral partition.
The water gardens are built on an east-west alliance. They are already related with the outer moat on the west and the large synthetic lake to the south of the Sigiriya astound. All the pools are again interlinked by using an subversive conduit system. It is fed by the lake, and it is connected to the moats. A miniature water garden is located to the west of the first water garden. It is consisting of several small pools and watercourses.
The cave and boulder gardens
The boulder gardens are consisting of several large boulders. And those are linked by winding pathways. Upon of these boulders, most of them had a structure or pavilion. There are some cuttings that were used as footings for brick walls and beams. The grounds extend from the northern slopes to the southern slopes of the hills at the foot of Sigiriya rock.
King’s audience hall already situated in the boulder garden and the remains are seen on the compressed and polished summit of a large boulder. There are several distinguished features in this boulder garden. There is a five-meter-long stonework throne in this hall and it is carved from the boulder itself. It is not alienated from it. Another attribute in the boulder garden is the Cistern rock. A huge arcade, created by two boulders and it provides entrée to the terraced gardens.
The terraced gardens
At the pedestal of the Sigiriya rock the terraced gardens are formed from the ordinary hill. From the pathways of the boulder garden to the staircases on the rock a series of terraces rises. These have been created by the construction of brick walls. They are located in a roughly concentric plan around the rock. Sandstone staircase formed the path to the terraced garden. There is a covered path on the side of the rock from this staircase. It is leading to the uppermost terrace where the lion stairs is situated.
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When we see a lion’s photograph it is saying the pride and fearlessness. The entrance to the tip of the palace was built in the shape of a lion’s mouth. The most significant and remarkable feature of the rock would have been the Lion staircase leading to the palace garden on the summit. This lion staircase could be visualized as a gigantic figure.
Through the open of the mouth of the lion had led the covered staircase. It was built by bricks and timber and tiled roof. All that remains now are the two colossal paws. And a mass of brick masonry surround the ancient limestone steps and the cuts and groves on the rock face. It is giving an idea of the size and shape of the lion figure.
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Rock turns to a mirror which can use to see the face. Mirror wall is another miracle in the Sigiriya. This wall was so well polished. Because the king could see himself while he walked alongside it. This is made of a kind of porcelain. This contains many verses dating from the 8th century. People of all types wrote on the wall, on varying subjects such as love, irony, and experiences etc. Further writing on the mirror wall has now been banned for the protection. The wall is now partially covered.
Exceedingly lengthy time ago Sigiriya was visited by people since of its loveliness, royal exterior made peoples mind in awe of the knowledge and skills necessary to put up such a place. It gives the back-up for the people to think by independently deep.
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Normally pictures are drawing on the canvas. Beyond that the paintings in the Sigiriya were drawn on the rock which the rough rock converted to the smooth delicate soft canvas by the painter. This rock can be indicating as the picture gallery. Because the largest picture in the world perhaps can find in there. The paintings of the Sigiriya would have covered most of the western face of the rock. It is covering an area 140 meters long and 40 meters high. There are 500 ladies in these paintings which are similar to the ladies of the Ajanta Caves of India. However, many more are lost forever and having been wiped out because of the several reasons. One thing was the palace once more became a monastery. And those paintings were disturbing for the meditation of the monks. Some more frescoes can be seen elsewhere on the rock surface. Those are different from the popular collection. On the surface of the location called the “Cobra Hood Cave”.
The picture style in the Sigiriya is measured as exclusive. Even though the lineup and manner of appliance of the painting reverse from paintings in Anuradhapura and other era. The appearances are painted in way which enhances the sense of volume of the figures. The paint has been applied in a form of extensive strokes. It is using more force on one side and by that it gives the effect of a deeper color towards the edge. Anuradhapura period paintings also contain similar approaches. But they do not have the unclear lines like in Sigiriya style. Ladies in the pictures are recognized as the daughters of king Kashyapa. They have been painted in gold and black since to make them more brilliant and beautiful. It is said that the King was very loving of his daughters. That is why he painted their portraits on the Sigiriya cavern ramparts.
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History of the Sigiriya runs to the King Kashyapa’s reign. Archives such as Mahavamsa say the whole complex was built by King Kashyapa during AD 477 – 495. He is the originator of this composite city and citadel. He is one of highly praised person on the earth who turned a massive rock in to a striking citadel, which remains up to today. On the peak of the rock most of the detailed constructions located as well as roughly the rock which includes palaces, gardens and self-protective structures. After the king Kashyapa’s death, Sigiriya was then turned back into a Buddhist monastery. This monastery lasted until the thirteenth or fourteenth century. No records and proof are found on Sigiriya after this era, until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when it was used as an settlement of the Kingdom of Kandy. When the empire was ended again, Sigiriya was discarded and became unaccompanied, but never changed.
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Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy, which is the last kingdom of Sri Lanka and it is the capital of central province. And also Peradeniya botanical garden is near to Mahaweli River which is the longest river in Sri Lanka. The location and the environment of the garden are matching to spend a leisure time and it is a fantastic place to attract the tourists. Peradeniya garden is 110km from Colombo and nearly 6km from Kandy. Also the garden is located by Kandy – Colombo main road which is known as A1.
It is renowned for the collection the variety of Orchids,and has more than 300 varieties of Orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palms trees attach it is the National Herbarium. Total land mass of the botanical garden is 147 acres, 460 Meters above sea level with a 200 day annual rain fall.
Peradeniya Botanical is open daily from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm and the tickets are issued until 5.00 pm. There are two types of admission fee ranges for the visitors and the tickets are valid for the purchasing date only.
1. Local visitors – Adult: Subsidized price
Local visitors – Children: Subsidized price
2. Tourists – Adult: Rs.600.00
Tourists – Children (between 5-12 years): Rs.300.00
Tourists – Students: Rs.300.00
The derivation of Peradeniya botanical garden runs as far as the kingdom of King Vickramabahu 111. And the court was built in Peradeniya near the Mahaweli River. The same location was followed by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1780) who made a Royal Garden here and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe (1780-1798) dwelled here who came to power after the King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe. The temple which was built by King Wimala Dharma had been destroyed by British when they were taken the control of Kingdom of Kandy. After the famous battle of Gannoruwa, a monk abided in the garden until the botanical garden was formed by Mr. Alexander Moon in 1821.
Alexander Moon used this garden for the plantation of cinnamon and coffee. And today it is a fantastic place to enjoy a large variety of various species of trees and insects. The visitors can experience more than 4000 of species from all corners of the world. The garden is well maintained from the past and even today the garden is maintained under the authorized department and the people. Initially the plants were brought from Colombo, Slave Island, Kew garden, Kalutara garden in Kalutara and some places in Sri Lanka. In 1924 Alexander Moon brought out “Catalog of Ceylon Plants” which has around 1127 botanical and native names native to island of Sri Lanka.
In 1844 George Gardner became the superintendent of the Peradeniya botanical garden and under his control the garden became a well maintained expanded garden. From 147 acres of land only 40 acres were used for the cultivation of jack, coconut, vegetables and some spices and those were sold by the government agent in Kandy. Many important improvements were introduced to the garden and also many more new plants were introduced to the garden in his period. Bamboo which was brought from Burma was planted in the garden in his time and he is the first professional gardener nominated for the Peradeniya botanical garden. Garden expanded over 60 acres in this time period.
After George Gardner’s death George Henry Kendrick Thuwaites became the superintendent in 1849. Mr. Thuwaites had maintained the garden over 30 years in a very good quality and high status. Peradeniya botanical garden became very famous in all over the world and its reputation was expanded everywhere.
The Peradeniya botanical garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka which is in a cool climate of Kandy where 500 meters above sea level. The garden has a collection of Orchids, species, medicinal plants, palm trees, and many more. The total area given to botanical garden is 147 acres with around 200 days annual rainfall. Currently the garden is maintained by the division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.
Today the botanic garden does the floriculture conservation, butterfly conservation, birdlife conservation, insect conservation, biodiversity of Sri Lanka. Annually over one million of natural lovers including many small children are coming to the garden and they are seeing the glory of the Royal Botanical garden with many pleasures. In addition to that over 5% many people are visiting the garden to take photos of this marvelous natural environment and they are experiencing the bio diversity of Peradeniya botanical garden. And also they love hiking watching birds, butterflies, colorful flowers and feel the comfort of the cool environment. As the garden has an amazing collection of medicinal plants, many students and the visitors who are interesting in Ayurveda practices are visiting here and getting the knowledge of those valuable plants. The visitors are given the facility to take booklets, verbal notes from the garden office.
When you are entering to the garden you will see the main entrance of the garden is opening to the river drive which has a suspension bridge over the Mahaweli River. There are number of avenues in the river drive such as Double coconut Avenue, Cook’s Pine Avenue, Cabbage Avenue, Palmyra Palm Avenue and Royal Palm Avenue. The spice garden is located at the right side of the main entrance and it has a large variety of spices. There are many valuable spices which you should see and experience as a visitor like Vanilla, Pepper, Coves, etc. At the right path of the spice garden you will find the Orchid House which is one of the most attractive places in the Peradeniya botanical garden. It was introduced to the garden in 1950’s which is maintaining a large variety of orchid collection and producing neo hybrids. The orchid house has around 300 of species. The new Orchid showroom was formed in 1970’s and the production of Orchid hybrids and plants are daily increasing with spread out of sales. The Orchid house itself has an amazing collection of orchids as mentioned above since it is producing neo hybrids and you will obviously enjoy and collect a memorable experience from that. The Great Circle is another place in the garden which is full of memories of the visitors of Peradeniya. This is an area which has nearly 4 acres and there are trees planted in the circle.
Princess Henry of Prussia had visited in 1899 and she had planted a “Flamboyante” of Madagascar, King Edward VII visited the garden in 1875 and planted a “Bo” (Peepal) tree, Czar of Russia visited in 1891 and planted a “Na” tree, The King of Greece visited in 1891 and planted a Brownea grandiceps tree, in 1898 Prince Henry of Prussia had visited the garden and planted an Amherstia nobilis, in 1893 “Asoka” tree had been planted by Emperor of Austria, and the Prince of Wales planted a “Cannonball” tree in 1901 in his visit to Peradeniya. Also there are some trees planted by the famous politicians in the world, great scientists, and many famous people in the world such as Indira Gandhi who was a prime minister of India, the great scientist Yuri Gagarin who was firstly orbit the earth, Marsha Tito the person who had rebuilt Yugoslavia in the Second World War, U Thant, etc.
In the garden you will find a natural pavilion grown from an East Indies sapling which is covering 1600 sq. meters and the sprawling roots and branches are creating a fantastic and an attractive natural pavilion for the visitors. The small children can really enjoy here with the cool weather environment. Children can play and enjoy the nature here.
There is a Cabbage Palm avenue in the garden which was planted in 1905 from South Africa. And you will find a large colony of fruit bats who are hanging in the trees with their unique style of upside down. The environment here is really natural and you can see the Mahaweli River on the other hand of the road which is running along in this bats colony. The sound and the scenery created by thousands of bats will give you a memorable experience for your life. When you are going along this road you will find the natural roof which is built by branches of the trees which are providing a cool environment and be care full when you see the sky since there are bats hanging in every branch. Cannonball Avenue is one of the most attractive avenues in the garden which is lined with well grown cannonball trees with the creepers which are enfolded with large fruits. Usually the Sinhala people love Sal trees since the flowers have a unique shape and a smell. Also it has a bud which is similar to a tiny stupa and this tiny stupa is sheltered by a hood which is looking like a cobra and this small setup is surrounded by set of small fluorites.
Among all the artistic and natural trees there is one more which giant leaves and it is very easy to recognize a Talipot Palms. The Talipot Palms are one of the famous trees in Sri Lanka’s botanical gardens. The flowers are blooming once in the life time. Talipot Palm trees are producing the largest bunch of flowers in the world after around 40 years. The flower bloomed Talipot tree is something very fantastic and amazing to see. The leaves of Talipot Palm trees are used by people for many different things in there day to day life. Since it is very large people can use them to make shelter and one leaf can cover around 20 heads. People are using two leaves together and by sewing them, they can make tents. Most of the gypsies are using these kinds of shelters and farmers can use these leaves for many purposes.
In the past, there were no any papers to write and even those days the people used Talipot leaves as papers. First, the well-grown Talipot leaves were picked and boiled. After boiling the large leaves, they should be dried in the sunshine to become smooth and stretched. After going through some hard steps in the cycle of making Talipots the final output is coming as Talipots palm-leaf parchments which are used to write the Mahawansa and all the other ancient books. When you reach to the center of the garden you will find an artificial lake which takes the shape of island of Sri Lanka with a large variety of water plants. Most of the visitors love to see the giant water lilies and papyrus reeds. Small children will obviously enjoy in this place since it seems to be very attractive. Another most attractive thing in the garden is the amazing and great collection of species of Butterflies. Small kids will love to experience these lovely sceneries of butterflies as the butterflies are kind of an insect which they love a lot. Since the botanical garden is full of bloomed colorful flowers; this is a marvelous location for butterflies to live in peace. Crimson Rose, Common Mormon and the Blue Mormon are the most common butterfly species which can be seen in the garden. You can see more than 10000 trees in the garden and most of them have been planted before many years and still spreading their species all over the island. The visitors love to experience the new air and they can fill their lungs with this fresh air which gives the feeling of the Sri Lanka’s amazing natural environment. This cool natural environment has the ability to attract visitors and give them a new enjoyable mind. Even now the garden has the view of the Royalty which was in 14th century. In the British ruling time Peradeniya botanical garden had become one of the famous botanical gardens in Asia.
Eventually the British despoiled the ruling power of the kingdom of Kandy in year 1815, still the Royal botanical garden was being maintained as the Royal Pleasure garden and the last queen also had enjoyed in this garden. The Peradeniya botanical garden is kind of a wonderland since where ever you walk in the garden you will realize a new nature event. The great vegetation of the garden will obviously surprise the visitors. After the month of March the new flowers are beginning to bloom and the trees are beginning to bear fruits. In this period of time new birds, butterflies and insects are attracted to the garden which creates a fantastic collection of sceneries for the visitors.
The visitors are lucky to watch nearly 80 species of birds in Peradeniya garden itself. You will see 10 endemic species of birds there and not only the endemic species but also the migrant birds which we can see very rarely. Yellow Fronted Barbet, Layards Parakeet, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, Brown Capped Babbler are some of the endemic birds which the visitors are love to see most of the times. There are reptiles as well in the garden. You can experience with 20 species of reptiles there and most of them are endemic. Peradeniya garden is an ideal place for the amphibians and there are more than 15 species recognized in the garden currently. If you are lucky you will see the Ceylon Caecilian which is known as a living fossil in the garden. Scientifically it is known as Icthyopis glutinous. There are about 18 species of mammals in the garden and that also gives a worth for the bio diversity of the garden. In the garden you will find capacious well maintained lawns, an Octagon Conservatory which is very famous among the visitors, a collection of beautiful ferns, crotons, collections of cannas and hibiscus, chrysanthemums, a fantastic river bank with huge bamboo trees which are very famous among all the visitors, colorful bougainvillea. Also you can enjoy the exotic species collections of palms, Ficus elastica and many more.
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Beautiful entrance, twin ponds, water parks and stone parks are unique features of the Ambuluwawa summit. Herb gardens and nature bring immense relaxation both to mind and body.
An image house of the latest style is being constructed to place the Buddha statue made of stone. The observation room on the top of the mountain provides facilities to admire the superb panorama.
Ambuluwawa, located at an height of 3567 feet, on the top of peak that rises just four kilometers as of Gampola, There is a sampling of the revered Bo Tree of Anuradhapura and it is watchfully, devotedly grown.
A appropriate place certainly, veterans notify the Art and Architecture of the Gampola Period (1341-1415 AD ).At the foot of this mountain holds the ruins of the Malati-mala-sailors, the residence place of Dharmakirtti Thero. Only the stage of this ancient construction now remains in the clinch of an orchard of araliya. It was here that Dharmakirthi Thero poised the Pali verse. He was not a usual priest .He was the thera Silavamsa. He also composed the Patami-Maha-Sataka and Bhuvanakabahu IV built for him this Gampola residence. According to the historical facts, he was the brother of King Parakrama Bahu.
People turning out of Gampola town observe the vast mountain. They see something that is unbelievable. Behind the vertical features is a wrap of red-brown and pale gray. They observe the buildings approximately clawed into place on the growing edge of another World’s End and are quick to indict.
Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Complex
This was declared a bio-diversity complex in 1997. The whole area surrounded by small villages is 920 acres – and the composite is all of 311 acres a vast throttlehold of afforest and stony land, of gently sloping shoulders of patana and columns of pine.
Quite a lot of millions of years back Sri Lanka was a fraction of the Indian neckline of terrain and was connected to Gondwanaland. Subsequently it was pressed away towards north as a land mass. According to the Rama-Ravana legend Talaimannar passage is the place where Hanuman built his overpass to join Sri Lanka with South India. This was the position, which linked Sri Lanka with India as of time to time. Sri Lanka had gone astray this environmental relation several thousands of years before but it has resulted in creating a wealthy biodiversity at this point with huge inhabitants of fauna and flora.
Quite a lot of millions of years back Sri Lanka was a fraction of the Indian neckline of terrain and was connected to Gondwanaland. Subsequently it was pressed away towards north as a land mass. According to the Rama-Ravana legend Talaimannar passage is the place where Hanuman built his overpass to join Sri Lanka with South India . This was the position, which linked Sri Lanka with India as of time to time. Sri Lanka had gone astray this environmental relation several thousands of years before but it has resulted in creating a wealthy biodiversity at this point with huge inhabitants of fauna and flora.
Sri Lanka is well thought-out the country in Asia which has the richest biodiversity in a sole area. Biodiversity in this country spreads all the way through a wider variety of area as an effect of it is inter association with Indian neck of land. Importance of livelihood, diversity of forests and the natural novelty of the soil have created the bio land surroundings inherited to Sri Lanka and the mid country hills reside in a noteworthy set in the foundation of biodiversity. The area is heavily vegetated too. Bulky streams and roughly all the major rivers start from average mount nation, can be seen in the South Western side of the hill country. Wet basis as well as the productive top soil, comfortable plants that blows through the warm rays of the sun – all these are the results of the biodiversity in the mid country.
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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Witness baby jumbos rushing here and there
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a center for conservation & Breeding of Asian Elephants is situated 45.2 KM away from Gampola in a 45 minutes journey. You need travel first towards the Kadugannawa through the Kadugnnawa- Gampola road from there take a left turn and go alone the Kandy-Colombo towards Kegalle and take a right turn on to the Karandupona – Rambukkana road, and the Elephant Orphanage will be on your right side of the road.
This is a place every one that pays a visit, would go again. Because, the little jumbos will give the visitors a long lasting experience in mind. You will be witnessing baby jumbos rushing here and there in their home with the freedom they have got. They make wonderful scenery to those who have come to visit the orphanage in hundreds. A baby jumbo being bottle fed by the care takers or bathed is something that would strike the mind of any person. This has become the home for more than 60 elephant babies which had been kept alone or trapped in some kind.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 in Rambukkana near Maha Oya, with the view to making a home for the baby elephant that are found in jungle alone as orphans. They are adopted here in Pinnawala and fed. Initially only five baby elephants were there and by 1978 there were 12 elephants and including 5 baby elephants, in 1997 number of elephants was 56,1998 it was 63 in 2000 there were 70 elephants and by 2003 there was 65 elephants and currently there are 72 elephants in the orphanage. Elephant Transit Home releases the elephants to wild once they reach a certain age after caring, but Elephant Orphanage takes care of the elephants. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is significant as there are only few facilities of that kind in the world. Amongst them, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has become one of the largest orphanages in the world thus has been popular amongst the tourists all over the world to become a desired destination of thousands of tourists visiting Sri Lanka. There are some 24 acres of land which is belonged to the Elephant Orphanage. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an elephant breeding center also
In the Orphanage, you will clearly see that elephants are allowed to roam here and there making the environment almost similar to what they would get in the forest. There are some attractive activities daily happening in the Orphanage which have been able to attract not only the foreign visitors but also the Sri Lankan visitors coming here every day in hundreds.
- Milk feeding of the small elephant babies around 8.00 am each day
- Taking the elephants for 2 hour bath at the Maha Oya river located some 400m away on around 10.00 am and 2.00 pm each day
- Picketing the elephants to their stalls on around 4.00 – 5.00 pm each day.
- Again Milk is given for Baby elephants and leaves for the elder ones as their evening food
Milk feeding has been able to steal the minds of anyone coming to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It is picturesque scenery. Baby jumbos being fed, are something very nice to look at and the mischievous behavior of those baby elephants, is the most sensitive item in the orphanage. Everyone coming to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage makes sure they have managed to visit this awesome activity anyhow as this is something full of affection and sensitivity. There are some amazing moments for an elephant lover to mark in his/her lense.Next amazing item happening each day is elephants’ marching to their bath to the Maha Oya river located 400m away. This is happening each day between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm.Watching their marching towards the river is amazing, at times it is hard to believe how these jumbos march in a line to the river from the orphanage. They have practiced such a control of themselves, which is such wonderful to be looking at. You can be involved in feeding baby jumbos and have a nice experience, you can even touch them. We would bet that even you were not used to be interested in elephant, you will become an Elephant Admirer right after you visit this place and you will become a fan of elephants and their life style. Even, you will find tears soaking your eyes without even without the knowledge of you due to the funny, loving activities of jumbos especially of those orphan jumbos who are perhaps deprived of the mother’s affection, left alone in very small age or tortured by human etc. You will sure realize the cruelty rose over them while you are enjoying the playful actions of especially those of baby elephants with much joy. The however give you the maximum joy. You will free your mind by looking at the playful elephant babies.
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Without a doubt, the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada) of the Buddha is the most venerated object of worship for Buddhists.
Its present house, the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world.
The original temple which was built by King Wimaladharmasooriya the 2nd in 1687 AD was destroyed by the Portuguese. Throughout a century many kings were restored the temple but it was more significant during the time of the King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1797-1815).One of the relic of the tooth of the Lord Buddha is housed by Sri Dalada Maligawa. The Tooth Relic has played a major role in local politics as well as peoples’ lives. Ancient people believed that the governance of the country only can be hold by the person who holds the tooth relic. People also believe that the Tooth Relic protects the country against drought. The sacred tooth relic was smuggled to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamali and Prince Dantha from India during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna (301-328). Since then all the kings that ruled the country protect the Tooth Relic till the present day temple which was built by King Vira Narendra Singhe is housing it. Later the king Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe added the octagon or the “Patthirippuwa” which was first used by the king to address the people.
You enter the temple through the main entrance gate which is called “Mahawahalkada”. There is a “Sandakada Pahana”, stone carving which shows the Kandyan architectural style at the foot of the steps of the main entrance. As you enter to the temple you can see two walls. The inner wall is called “Diyareli Bamma” or the wall of water ripples where the outer wall is called “Walakulu Bamma” or the wall of clouds. Then you come to the “Makara Thorana” and starting from that is a tunnel called “Ambarawa”. Tunnel leads to the main shrine complex which is a two storied building. The lower chamber is called “Pallemaluwa”. The place where the beating of drums and other traditional music performed during ritual service hours is called the Drummers courtyard or the “Hevisi Mandapaya”. The Tooth Relic casket is placed in the upper chamber which is called “Uda Male or Vadahitina Maligawa”. There is a shrine room called ” Aramudal-ge” to the right side of the octagon. There is a precious crystal Buddha image in this room. The staircases at the each end of the Drummers courtyard lead to the Recitation Hall. There are three rooms in the upper chamber. The first and second rooms are called Sandalwood Shed. The third room is where the Tooth Relic resides. The exposition of the Tooth Relic is taken place in the first room.
The Tooth Relic is enclosed with seven golden caskets. The outer most caskets are covered with jewelry offered to the relic. There is another casket which is taken in the Perahera. The monks of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Maha Viharas perform daily rituals according to their turn each year. The beat of drums from the drummers’ courtyard below marks the daily services.
Daily rituals or Tevava conducted daily at regular times of the day in the morning, noon and evening. Morning rituals are started at 0530hrs then at 0930hrs and the evening rituals are started at 1830hrs. The shrine room is opened every day at these times for rituals. Few of the public also can participate in this event. Only Sri Lankans and special permitted tourists from Japan and Thailand are allowed to view the Tooth Relic and participate in this event.
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Kandy Esala perahera season 2012 will be held between 23rd of July to 02nd August 2012 .
This is the Officially announced schedule of the Kandy Esala Perahera 2012
19th July 2012 Planting of Kapa
19th - 22nd July 2012 Internal Perahera of Four Devales
23rd July 2012 First Kubal Perahera
24th July 2012 Second Kubal Perahera
25th July 2012 Third Kubal Perahera
26th July 2012 Fourth Kubal Perahera
27th July 2012 Fifth Kubal Perahera
28th July 2012 First Randoli Perahera
29th July 2012 Second Randoli Perahera
30th July 2012 Third Randoli Perahera
31th July 2012 Fourth Randoli Perahera
01st August 2012 Fifth Randoli Perahera
02nd August 2012 Day Perahera
Join with us to see this magnificent event. Reserve your rooms early in Mount View bungalow.
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Four Devalaya in the city have a long association with the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Natha Devalaya which is directly faces the Temple of the Tooth Relic is the oldest of these. It has being identified as the oldest building in Kandy which is dates back to the 14th century. This was built by the King Vickramabahu III according to the Sinhala architecture style called “gedige”. Natha Devalaya shrines the Mahayana Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Two stupas are there in the Devalaya premises.
Vishnu Devalaya which is also known as the Maha Devalaya is situated in front of the main gate of the Natha Devalaya across the road.
In the Hindu Triad, the shrine of the Kataragama or Skanda is the son of god Siva. This is situated in the Kotugodelle Vidiya which dates back to the 16th century.
The Paththini Devalaya which is at least four centuries old is situated to the west of the Natha Devalaya . This is well known for curing infectious diseases.
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The Kandy Lake, which is the heart of Kandy, adds a unique beauty to the city. This was built in 1807 by the last Sinhalese king of Sri Lanka; Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. This was called “Kiri Muhuda” or the Milky Ocean. Perimeter of the tank is 2.1 miles where the maximum depth is 60 feet.
The lake is surrounded by a wall called “Walakulu Bamma” or the cloud wall which is 2060 feet in length. This wall contains triangular holes which has been used to light oil lamps in the night. One side of the lake it is the temple of Tooth Relic whereas in the other side it is the Malwatte Temple. On the Dalada Maligawa side there is a building which is partially in the lake which was used by queens to bath which is Queens Bathing House. There is a striking little land mass in the middle of the lake. As the history says the king built a dam from the temple of the Tooth Relic to the Malwatte Temple through this island but later he has removed it leaving this island behind.
Swimming is not allowed in the lake. But you can have a boat ride in the lake or you can enjoy a walk around the lake. There are a big variety of trees around the lake. Some of these trees are about 75 years old. On one side of the lake, there is a place that you can hire boats.
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Kandy Esala Perahera is the grandest and colorful religious event in Sri Lanka. It is also one of the greatest events in Asia. The perahera is 235 years aged which dates back to the reign of the king Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1780). This is held annually in late July and early August. Days are fixed by the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth Relic. First there was only one perahera from the Temple of the Tooth relic which was later merged with four perahera from four Devales.
Perahera begins with the ceremony of “kap situweema” where cuttings from an esala tree are planted in four Devales. “Kumbal Perahera” starts on the 6th day from kap planting. Throughout the night the perahera goes through the streets of Kandy. The Maligawa perahera and other four Devalaya perahera always have the same order. The tusker of the Maligawa with the casket of the Tooth Relic on its back heads the perahera followed by the Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and Paththini Devales. The number of elephants is increased in each night making the perahera grander. After five nights from Kumbal perahera it starts Randoli Perahera which goes for another five nights. The fifth night is the grander day of the Perahera. On that night perahera goes through Dalada Veediya (Ward Street) and Trincomalee Street to the “Adhanamaluwa Viharas”.
The water cutting ceremony that symbolizes the end of the festival is held before the dawn of the next day following the last perahera. This is held in Mahaweli River near Gatambe by cutting the water with a sword. Then the final perahera parade through the street for the last time of the year. The Perahera contains with lot of cultural items and also with beautifully dressed elephants. This is a great opportunity for you to see all most all the cultural dances in Sri Lanka in one place. You can watch this great pageant from anywhere along the route.
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The ground floor of the three storied building or the “Aluth Maligawa” at the back of the courtyard consists of the new shrine room where The Sri Dalada Museum is situated in the two upper stories. In this museum you can see some valuable donations made to the Tooth Relic, classical Buddhist paintings on the incidents related to the sacred Tooth Relic since the final extinction of Buddha in 543 BC.
Near the temple of the Tooth relic there is Raja tusker Museum where the memories of the tusker Raja is kept. Raja is the one of the adored elephant that had the honor of carrying the sacred Tooth Relic casket in the Kandy Esala Perahera for a half a century. Being in to these places you can, for sure, improve your experience in such area.
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