Tuskers at Esala Perahera of Kandy City

Glittering Esala Perahera in Kandy

Glittering Esala Perahera in Kandy

Tuskers at Esala Perahera of Kandy City

Esala Perahera in Kandy or Dalada Perahera is perhaps the world’s oldest religious pageant. It held for the 1790th time this year. It is held in the August to honour the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha which reposes in the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy.

The sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and her husband Prince Dantha from Kalinga State, and handed to then King Kirthi Sri Meghawarna (AD 303 – 331), who reigned in Anuradhapura. The king reverently accepted the precious relic and deposited it in a mansion called the Damma Cakka Geha which was built by the first Buddhist King of Sri Lanka, Devanampiyatissa. Initially it was kept at the Meghagiri monastery, currently called Isurumuniya.

During that time the sacred Tooth Relic was taken to the Abhayagiriya in a procession and it is considered the origin of the Dalada Perahera. According to the Chulavamsa, King Kirthi Sri Meghawarna began the Perahera in the 10th year of his reign and continued till 372 AD.

Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Senkadagala by the King Vimaladharmasuriya (AD 1591 – 1604).

The reign of King Kirthi Sri R​Rajasinghe (AD 1747 – 1810) is considered as the golden era of Buddhism. Even though he belonged to the Indian Nayakkar Dynasty, he did much to the Buddhism. During his time he ordered to held the individual Peraheras of the  Four Devala and the Dalada Maligawa Perahera together as a one perahera, with the advice of the Ven. Sanga Raja, Velivita Sri Saranankara thera.

Sigirya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya rock commonly known by locals as the eighth wonder of the world is an ancient palace and a fortress complex has major archaeological significance. It attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists each year. And possibly one of the most visited tourist destination of the Island.

The rock fortress is located 15 Kms away from Dambulla, one of the cities of cultural triangular of Sri Lanka and is above 370 meters above sea level. It is a massive column rock standing alone nearly 100 meters (330 ft.) high.

It is believed that Sigiriya served as a monastery and according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the Chulvamsa, the rock was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) to build a royal palace. After the death of king it yet again became a Buddhist monastery until 14th century, when it was deserted.

Sigirya Rock Fortress
Sigirya Rock Fortress

UNESCO has listed Sigiriya as a World Heritage site and one of the best examples of ancient urban planning.

Sigiriya gained international recognition due to the engineering capabilities displayed in its construction, the palace layout, frescoes and the mirror wall.

Ancient ruins at top of Sigiriya
Ancient ruins at top of Sigiriya

The fortress complex includes remnants of an ancient palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals and fountains.

The main entrance to the rock is located to the Northern side. It was designed in the form of a huge lion, and its feet can be seen today but unfortunately other parts have been destroyed. The name Sigiriya has originated due to this lion. The term has originated from the Sinhala word, ‘Sihagiri’.

Frescoes

Entire western wall is covered by frescoes, created during the time of King Kasyapa. Eighteen out of them have survived to this day.

They portray nude females and are considered to be either portraits of wives of King Kasyapa or priestess performing religious rituals. Even though the identity is unknown, paintings are unique and celebrating the beauty of females. Frescoes are of incredible historical significance.

Paintings at Sigiriya
Paintings at Sigiriya
Sigiriya Mirror Wall
Sigiriya Mirror Wall

Mirror Wall

Another most remarkable part of Sigiriya is the Mirror wall. It is believed that during king’s reign it was polished comprehensively so that king could witness his reflection. Currently wall is strictly prohibited for public since the wall is painted with inscriptions and poems written by the visitors to Rock Fortress. The writings of the wall are clear evidence that the Sigiriya have been a popular tourist destination more than a thousand years ago.

Sri Lankan Monkey

Monkeys of Sri Lanka

A total number of three (3) species on Monkeys can be found in the Island of Sri Lanka. Tufted gray langur and purple-faced leaf monkey are of Langurs species and Toque macaque is of macaque species.

Udawattakele Sanctuary
Monkeys at Udawattakele Sanctuary

Endemic to Sri Lanka are Purple-faced leaf monkey and Toque macaque,
while gray langur can also be found in India too. In wet zone area jungles
Purple-faced leaf monkey can only be found. And Gray langurs can only be found
in dry zone of the Island. Toque macaque shows island wide distribution.

Purple-faced leaf monkey

Purple-faced langur

Purple-faced leaf monkey is also known as
purple-faced langur, a species of Old World monkey and is endemic to Island
nation of Sri Lanka.It is mostly brown in appearance and dark face and a very
shy in nature. Once a highly widespread species found in many parts like suburban
Colombo and the “wet zone” villages, but rapid urbanization has led to a
considerable decrease of their population.

Monkeys of Sri Lanka can be found of family groups which include six (6) to ten (10) members. A group consist of related mature females, sub-adults, juveniles and infants of both sexes, with dominant unrelated male. The dominant male will lead the group and keep an eye on all activities and movements done by the group members.

Most Islanders consider monkeys as pests since they tend to destroy crops all around the island.

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Degaldoruwa Makara Thorana

Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya

Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Viharaya is located in Amunugama, a village close to the city of Kandy. Famous for the splendid paintings that beautify its walls. these colourful painting examples depicts the ancient Kandyan art. The cave has been hollowed out of a rock which rose to a height of around 40 feet, and shelter the Shrine Room and an entrance area.

Degaldoruwa Makara Thorana
Degaldoruwa Makara Thorana

Anyone who travel from Kandy can reach the Degaldoruwa Viharaya via the road over the Lewella Bridge or by turning off at Nattarampota along the Kundasale Road.

The initial steps for the construction of this Temple were taken by King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 – 1780) who was a great patron of the arts. It has been said that some of the finest Kandyan Temple paintings were done during his reign. However he died before Degaldoruwa was completed and it was left to his younger brother King Rajadhi Rajasinghe to see it through. After completion King Rajadhi Rajasinghe placed the Temple in the custody of a very learned monk, Moratota Dhammarakkita Nayaka Thera, who was also his teacher.

The Degaldoruwa Viharaya paintings are unique due to the fact that the elements – humans, trees and animals are generally of a uniform size. Furthermore, it is only the front view of the human form that is always shown, never the rear. Interestingly the trees are depicted in a stylized form with the leaves and branches spreading out to the sides. One can also identify the streams depicted in the paintings from the fish that are shown swimming in them.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle and currently managed by the Department of National Zoological Gardens Sri Lanka. Presently it is a home for 93 elephants.

Elephant at Pinnawala
Getting ready for their daily bath at "Ma Oya" river

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

The main residential care area is on the east side of Rambukkana Road. It also has some restaurants and refreshment stands, and management buildings including sleeping sheds and veterinary facilities. The elephant bathing and viewing area along the “Ma Oya” River is directly opposite on the west side of the highway.

People who visit the Elephant Orphanage can view the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing in the “Ma Oya” River.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Elephant pack ready for a bathing at the river

Most of the elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are healthy. Once they attained adulthood will be retained within the facility because they have become dependent on food. A few disabled elephants are given residential care.

An Evening View of Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake

The Kandy Lake (Kiri-muhuda)

A beautiful lake can be seen in front of the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is called “Kandy Lake”. It was a stretch of paddy fields called “Tigolwela” in the past. King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe built the lake converting the paddy fields. Since there was a beautiful pond named as “Kiri-muhuda” (a sea of milk) in the middle of the Tigolwela, the lake too had been named as “Kiri-muhuda”.

The extent of the lake is 6544 sq. meters. (70,400 sq. ft.) The circumference is 3.21 km. Highest depth is 18.5 m (60 ft.) The parapet wall, giving the appearance of a cloud, is popularly called “Walakulu Bemma” and measures 633.82 m. It is a beautiful lake which greatly enhances the scenic appeal of the city.

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Kotmale Dam

Kotmale Dam

kotmale dam

The Kotmale dam is one of the five main head-work projects done under the Mahaweli Ganga Scheme. this is the most upstream of all.

Kotmale dam is the first with an upstream concrete membrane. The power station is the first Sri Lankan underground station. The dam was ceremoniously declared open in 1985.

There are three spillways and the type of it is called Radial gated, chute type spillway. Catchment area is 544 sq Km. The type of the dam is known as Rock fill with concrete membrane.

Kotmale Dam
World's highest statue of walking Buddha

Ranawana Temple

Ranawana Temple

Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya

Ranawana temple is located approximately 900 m off Kandy-Colombo (A1) road. You need to turn from Nanuoya near the Highway Museum Complex. The temple is one of the beautiful temples in Sri Lanka and you must not miss a visit when visiting the sacred city of Kandy. It has many life incidents of Lord Buddha and are built using maximum natural resources.

Temple is also known as “Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya”. Entrance of the temple has a model of the north entrance of the “Sanchi Stupa” of India. Spending few hours at this temple will help you to keep out all of your busy life and will help you to make your mind free. Your visit to the temple will be a memorable one and can collect lot of memories.

Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya
Randenigala Dam

Randenigala Dam

The Randenigala Dam is a large hydroelectric embankment dam at Rantembe, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Construction of the dam began in November 1982, and was completed in approximately 4 years. The dam and power station was ceremonially opened by then President J. R. Jayawardene in 1986.

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National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum is the national railway museum of Sri Lanka, located in Kadugannawa. The railway museum is owned by Sri Lanka Railways.

The museum was opened on 27 December 2014 in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of railway service in Sri Lanka. Previously, the museum was located in Colombo.[2] The old museum has been opened in May 2009.

The museum has old engines, locomotives, rail cars, trolleys, carriages, machineries, and equipment’s that used since the beginning of Sri Lanka Railway.

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