9738666377_48a040b98f_oIt is a ten day magnificent pageant dating back to the fourth century AD-the reign of Kirthi Sri Megha Wanna. This colourful eye-catching event is like a theatrical spectacle which consists of Kap Tree Planting Ceremony (initial), Kumbal perahera – Potters’ parade, Randoli Perahera – the spectacular great parade with caparisoned elephants and the Water cutting ceremony. The finely orchestrated procession attracts excellent photogenic targets to thousands of annual cultural extravaganza-lovers overseas and home. This pageant flourishes historic presentation of acrobatics, traditional rhythmic drumming, cracking whips, walking on stilts, carrying banners, fire limbos and swinging fire pots, braziers, astonishing provincial and regional primitive dancing embodied by Veddas-the jungle people of Sri Lanka while the replica (unoriginal) casket is being majestically moved on the back of the chief ceremonial caparisoned temple tusker.

At this period (in month of August) of encomium, accommodation is something to be booked; that should happen in advance because all the planters’ Victorian hotels, villas, guest houses, motels etc. are rightly booked.

DSC_0038Formally known as Gokanna, the legendary landing port of Panduwasdewa – prince Vijaya’s younger brother was the regal port of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa era for trade and commerce with the far east. The ancient port as strategical point of warfare was a cynosure for the colonial Fort Federic which offers a dominant look with a mixed makeup of Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil constructions. In 1623 Portuguese caught it and 1639 it was recaptured by the Dutch. Japanese bombed it on April 9th 1942.

The some of the significance places are Swami Rock – a towering cliff top, Koneshwaram kovil, Lovers leap – where Dutch lady Francina Van Rheed plunged from the cliff into the sea water to drown and die, but however survived, the Trinco legend traces out. Other than the above places The golden sandy beach, Kali and Pillaiyar kovil in inner harbor, Dutch bay, Dyke Street, Koddiyar bay set captivating and contemplative looks even at the busy hours.

In the North of Trinco around Uppuweli lies the Commonwealth War Cemetery comprising 362 war graves of the Second World War that rouses a sombre and bleak memory.

Hot water springs 8 km from Uppuweli refreshes you with a splash of slim bucket of lukewarm water. The both sides of the rocky path are full of local fruits, sweet meats and traditional sundries. While the Welgamwehera a little beyond Trincommalee titillates you with the remnants of stupas, image houses and the standing Buddha.

The tiny pigeon island is an ideal haven for tourists while snorkeling and boat trips can be enjoyed around the coral island by aquamarine lovers.

 

The Ramayan odyssey and battle occurred according to the legend established the Munneshwaram temple embellishing the story of Ramayanaya. Flying in the Dandumonara- the wood peacock chariot- the first flying machine in the world pursuit of art of which the tailpin of Air Lankan aircrafts are depicting the mythical event is still resonant in the heart Hindus.

The three sacred kovils/temples Koneshwaram in Trincomalee Tirukeshwaram in Mannar, and Munneshwaram in Chilaw enshrine the divine creative strength of god Shiva through phallus (lingams). The aura of sacrament and Rama’s incarnation lead you to the dogmatic belief of sanctity and serenity while you are on Ramayan tours.

8005781506_ac967ef887_zCommonly known as the people of the forest or the primitive people trace back to 16,000 BC with special cults of worship, freedom, customs and rituals. You can experience their intricate dances, medicinal practices, hunting modes in their native places such as Dambana, Girandrukotte, Mahiyangana, Rathugala, Nilgala, Maduruoya etc. The specialties in their life style is open bust, curly or braided hair as tousles, barefoot, span cloth or half sarong, chewing betel, poking fish with darts or floral saps or other eccentrics. Normal people believe they practice Mantra with demonic perceptions to bring about evils on enemies. You may enjoy their ancestral settlements and struggle to understand their way of living while touring into Vedda community.

 

The northern peninsula of Sri Lanka was engulfed in a 30 year diabolical civil war, but presently this landmass is rising as a tourist destination for locals and foreigners through domestic flights and super luxury coaches. The Nagadeepa temple with Hindu façade – Gopuram – of Hindu influence, the largest Colonial Dutch Fort in Asia garrisoned with Bastions, Old Dutch Groote kerk- Great church are the tourist destinations. The Jaffna peninsula and its lagoon are research points for human right explorers for it discloses the dismal memories of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam versus National Sri Lankan Army. Point Pedro light house, St. Anthony’s Church, St. Jame’s Church, Urundiport, Perumal Kovil, Nallur kovil, Amman kovil are the other visitors’ choices. When you visit the Delft Island you can see Portuguese wild ponies and Arabian baobab trees of awkward grace together with migratory sea birds.

This all believers’ cynosure of religiosity and sanctity is encompassed by pilgrims throughout the year with great devotion. This convergent place is a pantheon of all deities – the Buddha, the God of Shiva and the God of Ganesh. Specially the God of Katharagama stands charmingly crowned with charismatic arrogance for the believers who practice rasping experience of piercing tongue, cheeks, back skin and calf of the leg with bronze skewers while penitents walk and roll on burning embers for physical mortification to prove that they follow God’s command. The sacred precinct is full of unusual edibles with religious paraphernalia, garlands, fruit flatters etc to be offered to the Gods of diverse faiths. The Kovils dedicated to the God Ganesh, Shiva, Vishnu, Katharagama and many more are the busiest places of vows to bring about new changes to the believers while the bang-bangs of trumpets, drums, and clarionets are accompanied by fast and loud rhythmic beatings.

The unfailing target -The central city of Sri Lanka – Kandy is situated in the heart of the country within a precipitous hilly outlook prompting colonial architecture. The topography of which arrests foreign tourists overwhelmingly every year.

After the collapse of Polonnaruawa kingdom early13th century, Gampola was established as a defensible city. Next led to Senkadagala and then renamed as Kandy. The most formidable king Wimaladharmasooriya ousted European rulers after 1505 plus set the foundation for this unique UNESCO city in which the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is present in its extant majesty. The British civil servant Sir John D’Oyl’s intrigue led to the tumbling over of this last kingdom from Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe 1798-1815 on March 2nd 1815 unopposed.

The remarkable cave temple with innumerable statues and disproportionate paintings of several regal periods and archaic antique markets are tourist attractions around this UNESCO city. The king Walagambahu reigned from 103 BC- 89 &87 BC, lost his crown and hid himself in these caves for 15 years. As a gratitude he developed this temple into Buddha’s cave temple upto the 12th century; they were developed in paintings, murals, engravings and drip ledges.

Dambulla Golden temple lets a 30m seated Buddha stand, but stern look is the visage.

Cave 1 is dedicated to the Lord of gods marking temples’ findings in a Brahmini inscription.

Cave 2 is dedicated to the Great King and displays murals, the defeat of Mara, daughters of Mara and delivering the first Buddhist Oracle at Isipathana. The ceiling of this rock cave marks a slender streamline of water flowing up the rock and is believed to be never running dry from which a pot is filled by drips of water and used for sacramental service.

Cave 3 This New Great Temple marks original Kandyan era murals and paintings which are idealized and picturesque landscapes with square ponds, cobras, trees, elephants etc.

Cave 4 This is the second New Temple. There is a reclining Buddha of 10m in length flanked by the God Katharagama with peacock- the local deity.

Cave 5 This Western Temple personifies identical figures of the Buddha, an ornate Dragon Arch, floral designs and many more traceries. All in all Dambulla cave temple is a place of worship by ardent devotees and a tourist attraction for millions of foreigners. The largest troupes of monkeys freely moving nearby were focused on for the best BBC animal documentary as “Temple Troup”.

 

The eponym- the world heritage city adds excellent antiquarian value trailing city, palace, gardens, monasteries and paintings. Its history extents nearly upto 5000 years back. The king Kashyapa in the fifth century (477AC – 495AC) developed this Rock Citadel into a Cyclopean brick construction with extension drip ledges, unidentifiable yet decipherable mirror wall graffiti, fortified moats with crocodiles. This UNESCO heritage is roughly noticed by the tourist folk as the 8th wonder of the world because of its cyclopean rocky construction flanking Fresco Bono painting of unfading open breast damsels in the recess beneath. On the top of the rock you are caught up by the panoramic view, but yet an unpleasant experience to the vertigo sufferers. This marvellous monad knock was first discovered by the British explorer H.C.P. Bell. The superb architectural windproof three storied mansion on the top of the mountain was an original balcony view in it simulation presented at the Sigiriya museum situated at the left edge of the foot of the ochre colored Pre Cambrian rock.

This great ruined city of Polonnaruwa in the 12th century pumps the pomp of invasive imperial history. The king Parakramabahu 1153 AD – 1186 and Nissankamalla 1187 AD – 1196, the successors of the king Viajayabahu 1055 AD – 1110 transformed this fertile terrain unreclaimed, into the then metropolis with all possible, but with unprecedented amnesties. It’s worth a visit once in one’s lifetime. The limited history delves into the unmatched creations of the Lotus pond, Galvihara, Kirivehera, Rankothvehera, Lankathilaka, Pabaluvehera, Vishnu & Shiva temples, Galpotha, Pothgulvehera, Manikvehera, Watadageya, Atadageya, Hetadageya, Royal baths, Alahana Pirivena, Royal Mausoleums and many more, all of which have deserved as the UNESCO heritage.

The Pollonnaruwa site Museum and the citadel are the living testimonials for the turning points of the Sri Lankans’ glorious history which comprises island gardens, quadrangles, stone sculptures, delicate carvings, council chambers, bronze images, other substantial buildings serving as chapter houses and many more to add to your memory.