TRAVEL DIARIES . LONG HAUL |
After a very relaxing and peaceful retreat at the Santani, I am now heading to Dambulla and the Cultural Triangle to discover the cultural gem of Sri Lanka.
The Cultural Triangle is made of 4 main sights: Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa but as far as I am concerned, I will only be able to visit 3 of them: Dambulla, Sigiriya and Anuradhapura.
First stop on my way to Dambulla : MATALE
Matale is a busy town that doesn't much attractions of its own apart from a very attractive Hindu temple located on the town's main road
The 108 feet tall temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman and is know to be the highest and most colourful temple on the island
Coconut breaking ritual
The coconut in hinduism represent the ego of a person and the outer part are considered as a person's anger, ego and all negatives thoughts. The inner parts of the coconut are considered as the purity, innocence and positives thoughts, so breaking the coconut represents surrendering the ego and negative thoughts and bring the best innerself out.
The best education you will ever get is travelling. Nothing teaches you more than exploring the world and accumulating experiences
the spice garden
Second stop of the day
The A9 highway between Matale and Dambulla is also famous for its spice gardens, with over 30 one of them along the road.
Around 15km north of Matale, there is the Heritage Spice & Herbs Garden, an attractive little shady garden, with a spice specialist who runs informative tours
I got a free tour of the garden with an English-speaking guide who could explain the merits and health properties of herbs, spices and plants including cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, coffee, nutmeg, pepper, cardamom, aloe vera, iriweriya (tulsi) and the henna plant.
I really enjoyed the visit and found it quite educational, but at some point I was guided towards the gift shop where I was solicited to buy their products. I just couldn't find the strength to resist and accepted to purchase something, thinking that could have been the price of my free tour.
Dambulla and the cave temple
Third and last stop of the day
Elevated above the countryside, the Cave Temples at Dambulla are a series of caves dating back to the 2nd century BC. that serve as refuge for the Buddhist monks.
There are five large caves with 150 Buddha statues, paintings and well-preserved religious works of art. It is place of devotion and as you walk from one cave to the next you participate in some sort of personal pilgrimage.
One of the buddhist monk that was guiding people through the caves tied a little sacred white cotton bracelet around my wrist, called 'sai tin' and while doing so, made some prayers for good luck.
As long as I would be able to wear it 3 days without breaking, this bracelet would bring me protection, good health and good luck.
Some will wonder if it worked and without a doubt I believe it kinda did!
Back home and within a few weeks I managed to find a new job, doubling my income and found myself in a better place.
Who knows... that bracelet might have played some role in all this ;-)
On the outside of the caves you can enjoy captivating views of the landscape and Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the distance, which would be my next experience.
the Golden Temple
The massive golden Buddha sitting above a bright red-lipped, open-mouthed dragon illuminated with neon signs is difficult to miss. It is 30m high!
After such a long day enriched of experiences and culture, I am now back on the road to my hotel...
Jetwing Lake hotel
Getting an early breakfast while enjoying the peaceful and relaxing garden view, a long day of adventure is awaiting....
Sigiriya & safari in Minneriya National Park
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR