Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sri Lanka - 3- Anuradhapuram

Unlike the rainy night before, the day wassunny and cloud free. The weather also wasn't too cold.

Anuradhapura sits top on the cultural triangle that people call it, Polonuwara and Dambula are the two other cities which complete this triangle. The city is like an average smallAsian city but once you enter the historical cities everything around you changes. Before leaving the Mahanela Guesthouse we wrote down all the places we should be visiting and wrote the names on the map. For the first time here, N tasted an Omlette. After a leisurely breakfast we randomly walked up to the road and negotiated with a few tuk tuk guys and settled on the final price, and the places to be visited.

There are huge domes in Anuradhapura, about three which have been restituted and a couple in a decrepit state. Nothing prepares you for the size of the Stupas till you see them. We started with a temple and then walked up a Stupa, it as painted in white and merged with the background quite easily. We came back to visit this stupa at night, and it was beautiful.

The tuk tuk driver took us around all the beautiful sites and dropped us somewhere near the railway station. Anuradhapura railway station is a blast from the British past. The display was completely manual and the time of arrival of the next three trains actually had a physical clock watch against the train name, while the time of arrival was actually shown in the clock watch.

We came back to out guesthouse for dinner and met an European middle aged couple and their adopted daughter. The next day we had to travel to Mihintale and then onwards to Sigiriya.

Day 4:Mihintale

We left the guesthouse after breakfast and took a bus towards Mihintale. Mihintale is about 17 KM frfrom Anuradhapura and by now we were well comfortable with the local transport. I don't remember now, but I guess we should have gone to the main bus stand at Anuradhapura and taken a bus for Mihintale.

Mihintale is a long climb. First the steps, then more steps and finally a lot more steps. In between we saw a few historical monuments like the King's sabha, a place for monk worshippers and a school kind of set up. Towarrds the top there are two more hillocks.On one end a huge Buddha statue while on the other, there's another big stupa. I enjoyed the stupa more. You could sit around it with your legs dangling down and enjoy the view up-to as far as you could see.

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