Hello there, so onto Day 2 of our trip to Anuradhapura, we wanted to get a guide to go round the paid for sites but unfortunately they were all busy that day and we couldn’t get hold of one, we did get a Tuktuk though for Rs2000 (15 US dollars / £10 ish pounds) to drive us round for the day. This was definitely worth is as I really struggled to read the map the day before and some of the roads our car would have struggled with! You can also rent bikes but with me and bikes, I normally end up falling off them….
We went to buy the tickets Rs3250 each and headed to the Moonstone
Moonstones are placed at the entrance of shrines and are there to represent leaving behind the physical delusions and proceeding to nirvana.
I love the carvings on the steps, and these ones are in very good condition.
This cube stone perched on its point reminded me of the wall at the Bo tree, I wonder if there is any significance.
Nature is overgrowing the ruins in a most beautiful way with these steps peeking out from the earth.
Amongst all these pillars I spotted this vine twisting up round and round the tree.
Opposite the moonstone is the guardstone, this is said to be the most artistic in Sri Lanka. Now this is when I was pleased we didn’t have a guide, as a guide would show you one attraction, then the next etc.. Instead we started exploring and walking amongst the ruins and the trees, they were as far as the eye could see..
The swirling smooth grains on the bark.
And this tree which reminded me a little of the opening of the tree in Pan’s Labyrinth
Wandering around with only the sounds of the birds singing amongst these magical ruins was incredibly calming.
Everywhere you looked were trees and ruins.
After a lovely long walk we had worked up an appetite, in-between the Moonstone and Guardstone is a lovely Roti Cafe
The King coconuts on the island are superb, a glorious orange colour and great for quenching your thirst.
Whilst sipping a king coconut the owners prepared our lunch of vegetable roti followed by fruit roti.
The vegetable roti served on a plate lined with newspaper reminded me of bags of chips wrapped up in paper in UK.
The mixed fruit roti of banana, mango and date was absolutely divine, can’t recommend enough.
After having our fill of rotis we made our way to the Samadhi Statue, at the entrance was a beautiful flowering tree.
The offerings of the flowers are such beautiful colours but I must say the monkey rather caught my eye.
I think he liked the flowers too and was eating all the centres of the lotus flowers!
Back in the Tuktuk and off to the Twin Ponds, the water was quite shallow but was full of fish…
I love the way the fish were swirling round and round.
At the end of the second pond was this statue, reminded me of an elephants trunk with snakes heads on top!
Down the side of the pond were some monkeys chilling out in the trees.
Trekking further and ruins everywhere you turn. I love the way the pillars of these ruins look like the trunks of the trees…
I was excited to notice the grounds below near the King’s Bath were covered in Mimosa Pudica I love touching these plants and watching the leaves collapse and ‘hide’
The last visit of the day was to Jethawanaramaya Stupa (Can’t even begin to work out how to say this word!) it is one of the largest brick buildings in the ancient world.
However, I was more drawn towards the tree to the right of the Stupa…
The Banyan tree plait!
I must say, I was taken aback by Anuradhapura ruins, first of all I thought the ruins were going to be amongst the town, a little like the Roman ruins in my home town of Lincoln and I had no idea how vast they were, said to cover 40 square kilometres. It is an awe inspiring and a beautiful peaceful place to be.
I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed spending the weekend with me in Anuradhapura, why don’t you come and say Hello to my Mango man?