During the recent Chinese New year holidays we decided to go for a holiday.
2018 sucked , so we decided to rest rather than move around a lot.
Nice lounge at KLIA .
Good food too .
Then fly, check in and zzzzz .
The views the next morning from Negombo in Sri Lanka.
Not too bad :-)
Looking forward to some R&R .
The view from our breakfast lounge .
And balcony .
After a swim in the afternoon what's better than a beer by the beach .
And the sunsets.....
I get bored easily so we threw in some touring .
We will come here later .
Sigiriya or Lion Rock .
First we visit Polonnaruwa .
This is an ancient man made reservoir .
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader
After ruling the country for over 1,400 years, the Kingdom of Anuradhapura fell in 1017 to the Chola King RajaRaja and his son Rajendra, who took King Mahinda V as a captive to India where he died in 1029. The Cholas shifted the capital to Polonnaruwa and ruled Sri Lanka for 53 years.
Surrounding ancient foundations .
The remnants of the Royal Palace .
The place for the King to confer with his advisers .
Richly decorated .
And lions .
Hatadage (Sinhala: හැටදාගේ) is an ancient relic shrine in the city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. It was built by King Nissanka Malla, and had been used to keep the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha
The Polonnaruwa Vatadage is an ancient structure dating back to the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa of Sri Lanka. It is believed to have been built during the reign of Parakramabahu I to hold the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha or during the reign of Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa to hold the alms bowl used by the Buddha
Carved interlocking stones ?? like in Peru .
Nissanka Latha Mandapaya (Sinhala: නිශ්ශංක ලතා මණ්ඩපය) is a unique structure in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. A màndapa is a pillared structure that is open on all sides and protects the persons inside from the sun with a roof.
A nearby stone inscription identifies this as the building used by Nissanka Malla to listen to pirith (chanting of Buddhist scriptures).
Sadly unused now .
Built for the protection of a small stupa, the structure has two stone platforms decorated with elaborate stone carvings. The lower platform is entered through a single entrance facing the north, while the second platform can be accessed through four doorways facing the four cardinal points. The upper platform, surrounded by a brick wall, contains the stupa. Four Buddha statues are seated around it, each facing one of the entrances. Three concentric rows of stone columns had also been positioned here, presumably to support a wooden roof. The entire structure is decorated with stone carvings. Some of the carvings at the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, such as its sandakada pahanas, are considered to be the best examples of such architectural features.
One of the more mysterious historical places of Sri Lanka, the Satmahal Prasada is a seven-storied building in the form of an East Asian pagoda. The structure is attributed to Parakramabahu the Great of Polonnaruwa but beyond that, we have no other details surrounding it. For one, the style does not correspond to any other artistic style in Sri Lanka, with each segment of the Prasada being square in shape. The base has four 32-foot sides and they taper to a point at the seventh floor. The floors do have carvings and statues incised into each of them, and there is only one entrance into the building, in the ground floor.
The rock lying there is huge and fully inscribed with ancient texts .
Rankoth Vehera is a stupa located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The stupa was built by Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa, who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196.
Rankoth Vehera is structure made entirely of brick, and has a base diameter of 550 feet (170 m) and a height of 108 feet (33 m). However, the original shape of the stupa, particularly its upper portion, has been changed during renovation work carried out by later rulers and it is estimated that the original height of Rankoth Vehera may have been almost 200 feet (61 m). Despite this, it remains the largest stupa in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, and the fourth largest stupa in the country .
Nearby we see this .
The Gal Vihara (Sinhalese: ගල් විහාරය), also known as Gal Viharaya and originally as the Uttararama, is a rock temple of the Buddhasituated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was fashioned in the 12th century by Parakramabahu I. The central feature of the temple is four rock relief statues of the Buddha, which have been carved into the face of a large granite rock .
The main feature of Gal Vihara is the four images of the Buddha that have been carved on a single, large granite rock face, considered to be among the best examples of the rock carving and sculpting arts of the ancient Sinhalese .
After that we visited a nearby village for some traditional Sinhalese food .
Not too bad .
After lunch the tour continues .
First we pass the moat .
Looks like Angkor .
We are headed there .
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock Sinhalese: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.
The surrounding city .
Lakes everywhere . All man made .
According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.
Sigiriya consists of an ancient citadel built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of an upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palaces located behind the lavish lower gardens, and moats and ramparts which protected the citadel. The site was both a palace and a fortress. The upper palace on the top of the rock includes cisterns cut into the rock.
1200 steps to the top...joy .
And its all walking .
The views from half way up .
Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, and the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings. On the west side of the rock lies a park for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan; the park contains water-retaining structures, including sophisticated surface/subsurface hydraulic systems, some of which are working today. The south contains a man-made reservoir; these were extensively used from the previous capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Five gates were placed at entrances. The more elaborate western gate is thought to have been reserved for the royals
Originally this wall was so highly polished that the king could see himself whilst he walked alongside it. Made of brick masonry and covered in highly polished white plaster, the wall is now partially covered with verses scribbled by visitors, some of them dating from as early as the 8th century .
The Archaeological Commissioner of Ceylon, Senarath Paranavithana, deciphered 685 verses written in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries CE on the mirror wall.
More views .
See the boulder in the background .
If you knock the rock rods the whole thing comes down . Defensive architecture .
Finally we reach the Lions foot.
Its not too high to the top, but the crowds were crazy .
All those people are standing in line to get to the top, and the line is not even moving.
Also the stairs is for both going up and coming down.
So we decided to stop here .
And those grooves are for meditation .
Some Internet pictures without the crowds .
The lions feet.
The whole vista .
And the ruins and water tanks at the top .
After a long day its back and zzzzz.
The last day of touring .
We went to see the ollies .
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawalavillage, 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world.
Big ones .
This is the classic photo of Pinnawala.
The bring the elephants to the river in groups.
As there are too many of them .
They are enjoying the cool water.
The elephant orphanage is on the other side of the road.
So the whole convoy passes here .
Here they come .
This is just one group .
The ever present wheel barrow ha ha ha
Then the next group comes along .
In the orphanage proper there are more elephants .
Feeding time .
We head back...
And get a fantastic sunset .
What a day .
Day 5,6,7 and 8
We just ate, swam ,slept and relaxed .
A very nice beach .
Steep though .
Looking back at our room .
And the huge sandy flats .
Nice to walk here .
And look at the sunset.
But mostly this :-)
We came here to relax.
And Sri Lanka delivered.