Sri Lanka: Dambulla
Hello my dear blog readers. Today I would like to invite you to see Dambulla. But first. let’s visit one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist attractions: the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. Set up in 1975, the orphanage looks after babies or injured elephants. There is about 60 of them. They want to reduce the number of elephants if possible because of the cost. Apparently, it costs $2000 a day per elephant to provide them with food, water and care. One way to raise funds is to invite tourists. The price of the entrance ticket is 20 dollars for foreign visitors, much less for local people. Here are the elephants enjoying their bath in the river:
Before we left Pinnewala, I had to taste the coconut juice. First I took a picture of this gentlemen handing it to me. He looks a little bit annoyed with me:
On our way to Dambulla, we had a chance to see rice fields:
and many small towns:
It did not rain too much. We didn’t even have to use our umbrellas.
And now, my favourite place: Dambulla and its religious complex:
Everything in Dambulla is impressive. First, the Golden Temple. According to our guide, it was built about five years ago.
Then the statue of the Buddha. It is huge!!!! It is a 30 m tall seated golden Buddha. WOW!
And finally……… monkeys. There is lots of them here.
Simone, this must remind you of Gibraltar!!!! It was an awesome trip.
I had a little adventure with one of them. Before I entered this religious complex, I had bought a lotus flower from this gentlemen:
I was very proud to have a real lotus flower until….. a monkey tried to take it away from me. I got scared when the monkey jumped at my hand so I threw the flower at the aggressor. And here is the little creature eating my precious lotus flower:
It was after this little adventure that our guide told us to be careful because these monkeys love eating lotus flowers. Too late!
The Golden Temple and Buddha are located at the bottom of the stairs that lead to what Dambulla is really famous for – its remarkable cave temples.
The beautifully painted cave temples of Dambulla were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. There are five caves, some of them date back to the first century. I am surprised we were allowed to take pictures, even with flash. Many wall paintings are ancient and unique. Let’s see Cave 1, the oldest and smallest.
Two more pictures from other temple caves:
Tomorrow, more about Buddhism in Sri Lanka.