Well, Happy New Year to you all, I have been having a lovely break, I have been catching up with my coursework, I am doing a correspondence course, City & Guilds in Hand Knit Textiles and generally relaxing. Last weekend we went on a road trip to Anuradhapura, the first ancient city of Sri Lanka. The new highway North to the airport has opened so my estimation of a 6 hour trip only took 4 1/2 hours, so most impressed.

We arrived early Saturday morning, freshened up and went exploring…

Isurumuniya-rock-temple We visited Isurumuniya Rock Temple first.

elephant-in-rock

I love the Elephant carved into the side of the rock.. reminds me a little of Dumbo!!

Flowers-in-the-temple

And this lovely orange blossom tree growing.

Stone-carved-stair

Although very worn, the carvings on the stairs were lovely, it looks like a very long tongue coming out of the animal!

Inside the temple, the wall and ceiling paintings were very beautiful.

temple-ceiling-birds

I love how these birds necks are intertwined, a wonderful inspiration for applique.

temple-ceiling-dragons

The dragons chasing each others, with flames licking the tails of the one in front.

temple-ceiling-flower

This lovely pink flower – I think may symbolize a lotus flower….

temple-ceiling-bird-fish

I can’t quite decide what these animals are, maybe fish?

temple-door-carving The carvings on the outer doors are very beautiful, I would have loved to be able to do a rubbing from them, but of course, this would not be appropriate!

temple-door-nob What a wonderful door knob!

Isurumuniya-lovers These are the Isurumuniya Lovers, it is said this is the Kings son who fell in love with a maiden of low caste…

Rock-face-yellow The rocks around the temple have some interesting colours and staining on them.

Rock-face-grey

roof-tile-old The roof tiles have some great patterns in too, I will use these for some texture design work I need to do for my course.

roof-tile-new

 

We then came across the noisy bats who live at Isurumuniya Temple, you’re lucky the smell can’t be shared too!

Navigating round was quite interesting, I’m not sure how we managed to find anywhere, with a bit of luck, we found our way to Ruwanwelisseya Dagoba.

Ruwanwelisseya-dagoba

Surrounded by a wall of elephants.

Ruwanwelisseya-view

The white Stupa looked very serene against the blue sky.

beautiful-bark-with-birds We went for a walk around the Stupa and came across this beautiful bark with two birds perched on top! I love the stark contrast of the black and white bark, I have no idea why it is so black, whether it has been burnt? It looked almost polished.

green-tree

There were quite a few of these trees around where the leaves turned from dark to light as it gets to the end of the branch, I haven’t seen these in Colombo before…

green-leaves-dark-to-light It’s a lovely graduation of green….

monkey-on-perch There were lots of monkeys around, the way there is one sitting on each perch made me smile.

magical-tree The trees in Sri Lanka are most magical, I never get bored of looking at them.

They are the Banyan tree, a Fig tree which grows on other trees, and creates this most Narnia like appearance.

We managed one more place before retiring for the day, The Sacred Bo Tree, the sapling came from the original tree which Buddha was enlightened under.

Buddha-steps

There was carvings on the steps up to the tree, I like how each face is unique.

Sacred-bo-tree-wall

The walls surrounding the Sacred Bo Tree, I wonder why the row in the middle has the stone placed on its point? It does make for a great pattern.

tree-hollow-bark

The final photo for the day, a lovely hollow tree bark, like a backwards 6. It was good to spend one day doing the ‘free’ things, the day after to buy the tourist ticket and have a look round at the other sites.

Worn out (after a very early start) we went back to out hotel – a fantastically cheap place, perfect for backpackers, Charm Inn Tourist Rest great rice & curry for dinner, however I did miss running warm water, cold showers are not for me!

Take care, come and check out Day 2

Rebecca x

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Things to do in Anuradhapura; Day 1

  1. The murals are gorgeous, especially the 4th one down, they remind me a bit of William Morris! You most definitely have an eye for detail!!

  2. Happy 2014 to you both Becky. The pictures are great and those trees are amazing – they look like they have come from an enchanted forest in some fairy tale, perhaps yours?!

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