Sri Lanka: the Teardrop of India
Hello my dear friends and readers!!! I would like to invite you to travel with me to another fascinating part of the world. It is time to visit Asia. My choice for this year is Sri Lanka. I will be travelling with a Polish group this time. From Warsaw to Colombo with Rainbow Tours. Please join me and follow this blog. Two weeks of admiring Sri Lankan people, culture and natural beauty.
Known as Ceylon until 1972, Sri Lanka is an island republic surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is rich with beaches and has a tropical climate. Because of its location between the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the country has attracted traders, conquerors, and colonizers from all over the world. In spite of these international influences, a strong local culture has thrived, absorbing cultural elements from the Arabs, the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British who came to the island.
The design of the Sri Lankan flag became official in 1978, after the country changed its name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. The flag features two panels outlined in yellow, one with green and orange vertical bands and the other with a sword-carrying lion. The green and orange bands represent the island’s Muslim and Hindu minorities, respectively. The lion carrying a sword is an ancient Kandyan image. The four leaves symbolize the sacred bo tree, under which the Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment. (Source: Sri Lanka in Pictures by Sara E. Hoffmann, Twenty-First Century Books)
Today, we had a chance to visit the biggest and most important city in Sri Lanka – Colombo. It is not the most beautiful city in the world but it is worth a short visit.
One of its most important sites I saw today with my group of Polish travelers is the Independence Square and its monuments.
Notice all the lions around the building. The name of the Sinhalese people comes from the word sinha, which means lion.
The most scenic site however is the Buddhist temple, called Seema Malaka, situated on Beira Lake. it was designed by Sri Lanka’s most famous 20th century architect Geoffrey Bawa.
The shrine has several elements of a typical Buddhist temple.
-a moonstone, at its entrance, symbolises the path toward spiritual purification of those who enter the temple:
-Bodhi tree, Ficus Religiosa, symbolising the moment in which the Buddha attained enlightenment:
– stupa has two important meanings: it represents the body of the Buddha and the path to Enlightenment:
One more remarkable thing in this place: a copy of the Buddha’s footprint, the one that can be found on top of Adam’s peak:
I truly enjoyed these beautiful views of the city, the combination of its religious and modern architecture:
Finally, Galle Road along the Indian Ocean: