Monday, February 15, 2016

Sri Lanka - Part 12 - Dambulla to Kandy

The drive from Dambulla to Kandy is relatively short, but we had four stops along the way


First stop of the day was at Nalanda. This structure was relocated in the 1970s when a new reservoir was made. This is a Buddhist "image hall" (gedige) with classic south Indian Pallava-style architecture, the only such structure in Sri Lanka. (See my post about Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.)
The Nalanda Gedige
This angle shows the Pallava style, which is very different from any other temple/gedige in Sri Lanka.
When the gedige was relocated, there were a number of pieces that were "left-over". (Oops?!)

Spice Garden

We visited the Ranweli Spice Garden. South Asia is a major source of many important spices.

I loved the way coconut husks were used in the landscaping where most gardens would have rocks.
It's not really a spice, but the garden had some wild pineapples This is a pineapple flower
Turmeric is a root that resembles ginger, but is smaller and has an orange color.
The red outer layer of this plant is mace. The large dark nut inside is nutmeg.
Black pepper is a vine. Black, green, red, and white pepper all come from the same plant, but have different post-harvest treatments.


Aluvihara is a small monastery with a rich history. It is mostly known for its vivid art depicting Buddhist hell and torture -- truly gruesome images. (Sorry, no photography allowed. Google it if you want to see images.)

It is also the location where the Buddhist scriptures were first preserved in written form. The teachings of the Buddha were inscribed on palmyra (talipat) palm leaves ("ola"). The leaves were then bound into books. For a small donation, a visitor to the vihara can have an ola souvenir made.

The words are inscribed with a metal stylus on a prepared and polished leaf.
Next, lampblack is rubbed over the surface.
The excess lampblack is wiped off the leaf.
The final cleaning of the leaf is done with millet powder.
The result.

Sri Murthumariamman Thevasthanam

That mouthful is the name of a Hindu temple in Matale. Today there is a major festival in progress, and foreigners are banned from the temple for the month of February. But just the outside of the temple has lots to look at and admire.

The temple is in classic Dravidian style with large gopurams over the entrances.
In the midst of all the usual gods and goddesses is an image of a very contemporary "security guard".
A peek into the temple.
The temple also has five newly refurbished ceremonial chariots ("rathas").

No comments:

Post a Comment