Cultural Triangle Revisited


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Toka retki kulttuurikolmion alueelle onnistui paremmin. Tällä kertaa säät suosivat ja päästiin kiertämään Anuradhapuran ja Polonnaruwan nähtävyyksiä hellesäässä. Pari pitkää päivää riitti pikakierrokseen, paljon enemmänkin olisi saanut aikaa kulumaan.

Our second attempt was more successful than the first and we were able to visit the main sights of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in two long but rewarding days.

Avukanassa käytiin katsomassa 400-luvulta peräisin olevaa, 12-metristä Buddha-patsasta. Sille ollaan parhaillaan rakentamassa katosta, mikä vähän tärveli paikan muutoin rauhaisaa tunnelmaa.

The 12-meter tall Avukana Buddha statue originates from the 5th century. The tranquility of the place was somewhat lessened by the ongoing construction of a roof for the statue.

Aukana Buddha statue

Avukana Buddha statue

Ajanlaskun alun aikainen pääkaupunki Anuradhapura on kuuluisa yli 2000 vuotta vanhasta boddhi-puusta. Sen kerrotaan kasvaneen sen puun pistokkaista jonka alla Buddha saavutti valaistumisen. Lisäksi siellä on suuria stupia, jotka on restauroitu raunioista vanhaan loistoonsa. Tulvien jäljiltä paikalla oli melko vähän turisteja. Tunnelma oli seesteinen ja harras.

The ancient capital Anuradhapura is known for the more than 2000 years old Bodhi tree. It has supposedly grown out of a sapling from the original tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. There are also huge stupas,  or dagobas, carefully restored to their former glory. The atmosphere in Anuradhapura was serene and devout.

 Jetavanarama Dagoba (or Stupa) from the 3rd century, when it was the third tallest building in the world after two Egyptian pyramids

Jetavanarama Dagoba (or Stupa) from the 3rd century, when it was the third tallest building in the world after two Egyptian pyramids

Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba

Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba

Prayer at Ruvanvelisaya

Prayer at Ruvanvelisaya

THE Boddhi Tree. Oldest surviving sapling of the original one.

THE Boddhi Tree. Oldest surviving sapling of the original one.

Sunset at Abhayagiri Dagoba. It was one of the few sunsets we saw during the latter part of the trip. We missed most sunsets because it was either raining or we were walking or driving home from somewhere.

Sunset at Abhayagiri Dagoba. It was one of the few sunsets we saw during the latter part of the trip. We missed most sunsets because it was either raining or we were walking or driving home from somewhere.

After a long, hot day of travelling and sight-seeing, we splurged and took a room in the upscale Avasta resort, which had a refreshing pool

After a long, hot day of travelling and sight-seeing, we splurged and took a room in the upscale Avasta resort, which had a refreshing pool

Mihintalea pidetään Sri Lankan buddhalaisuuden syntysijana. Korkean mäen rinteillä on ikivanhan luostarikompleksin rauniot ja huipulta komeat näkymät.

Mihintale is considered to be the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Nowadays, there is the ruins of an ancient monastery complex and great views from the top of a hill.

1840 steps to Mihintale rock temple

1840 steps to Mihintale rock temple

Rules and regulations for the monks, inscribed originally on stone slabs more than 1000 years ago

Rules and regulations for the monks, inscribed originally on stone slabs more than 1000 years ago

Ambastala Dagoba in the front with Maha Stupa in the background

Ambastala Dagoba in the front with Maha Stupa in the background

Meditation rock on the way to the top of the hill. It looks a scarier than it really was :)

Meditation rock on the way to the top of the hill. It looks a scarier than it really was :)

From the Maha Stupa, you could see the big stupas of Anuradhapura in the distance

From the Maha Stupa, you could see the big stupas of Anuradhapura in the distance

Polonnaruwassa on valtavan keskiaikaisen pääkaupungin rauniot. 1000 vuotta sitten Polonnaruwa oli silloisen kaupunkisuunnittelun taidonnäyte.

Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Back in the day, a thousand years ago, the city was a masterpiece of urban planning.

Lion throne and the council chamber of King Nissankamalla, 12th century

Lion throne and the council chamber of King Nissankamalla, 12th century

Roar

Roar

Another council chamber

Another council chamber

Royal bathing pond

Royal bathing pond

Royal palace, which is said to have been seven storeys high

Royal palace, which is said to have been seven storeys high

Atadage, temple of tooth. Here they kept the tooth relic of Buddha.

Atadage, temple of tooth. Here they kept the tooth relic of Buddha.

Hatadage, where the tooth relic was later moved

Hatadage, where the tooth relic was later moved

Vatadage, an impressive-looking circular structure housing four Buddha images

Vatadage, an impressive-looking circular structure housing four Buddha images

Four separate entrances lead to the four Buddhas

Four separate entrances lead to the four Buddhas

Shiva Devale stands out from the other buildings and shows Indian influences

Shiva Devale stands out from the other buildings and shows Indian influences

Stone book. Paper seems to be a more user-friendly material for books.

Stone book. Paper seems to be a more user-friendly material for books.

Gal Vihara consists of four images of Buddha, all cut from a single slab of granite

Gal Vihara consists of four images of Buddha, all cut from a single slab of granite

Head of the 14-meter long reclining Buddha

Head of the 14-meter long reclining Buddha

Lotus pond

Lotus pond

Statue of a king or sage

Statue of a king or sage

We didn't have time to visit Minneriya National Park to see some elephants. Luckily, we were able to see some next to the road!

We didn’t have time to visit Minneriya National Park to see some elephants. Luckily, we were able to see some next to the Polonnaruwa-Habarana road!

Toot toot

Toot toot