Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa

IMG_7495

Ayubowan = hello or goodbye. When people say ayubowan, they put their hands together and bow. What a nice way to greet someone!

 

IMG_7444

Ayubowan from Sigiriya, Today we climbed this huge rock. It was amazing. Sigiriya is a very attractive place to visit that is why crowds of people come here everyday.

In AD 477, having seized the throne for himself by orchestrating the assassination of his own father, Prince Kassapa needed a safe place to defend himself from his brother. The Sigiriya rock was a natural fortress. Kassapa decided to carve it into the shape of a lion and build a palace on top of it.

IMG_7458

Sigiriya was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. On top  of this 200 m high rock sits the ancient palace-fortress built by king Kassapa between AD 477 and 485.

IMG_7466

Sigiriya is also famous for its ancient frescoes. It is a sequence of frescoes popularly known as Sigiriya Damsels. In the past it was a huge mural painted on the rock showing five hundred young women who used to be Kassapa’s concubines. Today, only 21 portraits can be seen. They are now one of the most iconic images on the island. You can find them in many souvenir stores. We are not allowed to take pictures of the original paintings, so I decided to add a picture of a reproduction:

IMG_7659

IMG_7437

IMG_7478

Here we are on the Lion Platform. Two huge lion paws flank the entrance to the final staircase. The paws are all that remains from the statue of a gigantic lion. We remember that lion is a symbol of Sinhalese people, especially Sinhalese royalty.

IMG_7471

IMG_7490

Ania, one of our group members, is a very brave and adventurous young woman.

And now a short tour of Polonnaruwa, the second capital of Sri Lanka. At the heart of the ancient city lies the Royal Palace complex:

IMG_7682

Polonnaruwa was a capital city of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th century.

We are now on the Quadrangle, the religious heart of the ancient city. Our first group picture!

IMG_7699

The Vatadage (circular relic house) is one of the most photographed ancient buildings in Sri Lanka.

IMG_7707

IMG_7734

There is a moonstone at the bottom of each entrance. Everybody who wants to enter the shrine has to leave his/her shoes beside the moonstone, the symbol of our spiritual purification.

IMG_7692

This massive reclining Buddha is 14 m long. Altogether, there are four statues of the Buddha carved in the same granite rock.

IMG_7754

This ancient temple that was used as a Hindu temple outside….

IMG_7764

and a Buddhist temple inside:

IMG_7766

IMG_7616

I am ending this post with two pictures showing children coming back from school. All children in Sri Lanka wear school uniforms, most of them are plain white.

IMG_7618

Previous post

Sri Lanka: Mihintale and Anuradhapura

Next post

Sri Lankan traditional village

9 Comments

  1. Basia
    July 14, 2017 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    So many interesting things!

  2. Wendy Caruso
    July 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm — Reply

    Wow! Thank you for sharing!

    • July 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm — Reply

      You are welcome Wendy, more to come.

  3. Pamela Roth
    July 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    Another wonderful vicarious adventure! Thank you Joanna.
    Pam

  4. July 16, 2017 at 9:10 am — Reply

    Thanks, Joanna, for all the beautiful insights into another amazing part of our world!

    • July 17, 2017 at 9:53 am — Reply

      Thank you Shelley, I am very glad you are following the blog. The world is truly amazing!

  5. Christina
    July 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm — Reply

    Incredible Joanna! I didn’t realize your group was so big. That’s great!
    All of your photos are so extraordinary!

    Can’t wait to see you when you get back,
    Christina

  6. Bozena Stoch
    July 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm — Reply

    Przepiekne ruiny swiatyni. WOW

  7. Pulcheria
    August 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    Fascinating! Really enjoying seeing Sri Lanka up close and personal. Thanks.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *