The Cultural Triangle – Anuradhapura – Day 2

Posted on May 7, 2014

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Anuradhapura is one of three points of an imaginary triangle that lies in three Sinhalese capitals and where I stayed over night. The other places are Kandy in the south and Polonnaruwa in the east.

The sun broke through the curtains of my room early and I awoke to sit in the garden of my guest house surrounded by the calls of hornbills while drinking coffee and eating fresh mango and sweet fig bananas.

I had intended to hire a bike to cycle around the ancient citadel which is roughly 3km, but due to time and the extremely hot sun, decided that Amitar was probably my best option for this whistle-stop tour of the ruins; temples and monasteries. He is after all being paid by the day.

My first stop brought me across a holy festival attended by hundreds of monks all clad in yellow, orange and maroon robes. A stroke of luck. They walked solemnly in a single line down a wide red ribboned carpet towards the enormous Buddhist temple – Ruvanvalisaya dagoba. Flanked by smartly dressed men donning orange umbrellas to shelter them from the prickly heat. Worshippers – young, old, men and women wore white – head to toe – singing and praying as the monks passed. The white dome of the temple gleamed brightly in the sunlight and the base of it is encircled by a strip of ribbon 300m in length.

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Much of the area is surrounded by beautiful trees and nature has been allowed to flourish. As a result there are an extraordinary number of birds and monkeys in the area. I must have spent five hours visiting all the sites some of which left me in awe and amazed by their archeological brilliance.

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After a full day of sites I hit the road to head to the east coast. Whales firmly in my mind. The heavens opened and 2 hour drive to Trincomalee became that much slower on the wet roads. As I arrived in Uppuveli which lies just 10km north the rain belted down hard.

I’m staying in a beach house for £6 a night with the sound of the crashing sea waves all around me. It is beautiful. I really hope fortune will favour me and bless me with the chance to see these magnificent mammals. If not then a day of snorkelling and local sight-seeing is on the cards before moving on once more.

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Posted in: Asia