OK, OK… I know this trip to Sri Lanka happened a lifetime ago (Feb this year)…but I have yet to complete blogging about it. I have been a bit lazy of late, just spending more time reading other people’s blogs rather than posting on my own.
However, since I believe in “better late than never”, here are some more updates on Sri Lanka.
After spending the first day chilling out in Colombo, we took a drive up to Kandy. Kandy is a hill station that is approximatey about 6 hours from Colombo. The roads are only so-so, and it took a lot longer than we thought it should.
Just before Kandy, there is an elephant orphanage at Pinewala. Now, I am not very keen on elephants having seen them all my life during various temple festivals, and I was just not that into this scene. Plus, I was pretty tired from the long drive to get there. However, our tour guide took us to a nice restaurant which overlooks the river where the elephants came to take a bath.
So, basically, me and Jahnavi sat comfortably in the restaurant, and Kalyan got an opportunity to go bathe an elephant. All happy :). I love it when things work themselves out so smoothly like that.
Here are a couple of photos of us at the Pinewala elephant orphanage:
Kalyan bathing the elephant
And being chased away by the jealous, possessive baby elephant 😀
A nervous Jahnavi
After the lunch at the Elephant orphanage, we continued on to Kandy. Kandy,the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom prior to British occupation, is one beautiful town. As mentioned, it is in the hill country, and sits at about 1800 feet above sea level, so the constant sweating that had been with us since we landed in Sri Lanka, was tempered a bit from the cooler atmosphere. The town is surrounded by green fields and jungle, and in the center sits Kandy Lake (very beautiful and very clean).
As soon as we entered Kandy, we went to see a local dance show, which was pretty amazing. The male dancers were extremely athlectic and vigorous, however, the female dancers were a bit too anaemic and they brought down the quality of the show. The best part of the dance show was the firewalking (something that I have seen only in movies). I am not posting the pictures, because they all came out too blurry.
After the dance performance, we made our way to the world famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth of Buddha. This temple houses the country’s most important Buddhist relic – the tooth of the Buddha. The story goes that the tooth was taken from the Buddha’s funeral pyre in 543 BC and was smuggled into Sri Lanka hidden in the hair of a princess !
This temple is absolutely fabulous, very neat and clean. And although, it is a world-famous tourist destination, there was very little crowd. We took our own sweet time walking around the temple, looking at the various depictions of Buddha done by sculptors from different countries.
Here are a couple of photos:
A shot of one of the idols of Buddha
An external shot of the temple
After the temple, we checked into our hotel for the night. Whew ! what a tiring day it was.