High forts and hidden temples

Trip Start Aug 16, 2005
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We hired a car and driver to get back to Kandy from Polonaruwa as there are two places on the way to stop, and the transport is a bit of a nightmare, expensive, but as Rudi came along with us it ended up being a reasonable investment.

Sigyria is a huge rock, sticking up out of the plains. An ancient ruler of Sri Lanka decided this was a good place to build a fortress and palace as it would be easily defendable. When the expected attack came, instead of sticking to the original, and it has to be said foolproof, plan, he got a bit cocky and came down from the rock to fight. And lost.

What is left though are the ruins of the 1000 yr old palace on top of the rock, and water gardens at the bottom. The view from the top is speactacular and well worth the 1000 odd steps to get there. The palace was complete with swimming pool, which is still there, it must have been a pretty luxury place to live....the original penthouse apartment! About half way up the rock are a series of wall paintings of semi-naked mystical women, whihc are stunningly well preserved and very beautiful.

The next stop was the Dumballa cave temples, natural caves which have become temples, and have brightly decorated walls and ceilings...nice temples, shame I stepped in monkey poo.

The last stiop of the day was a spice gardern where we got a tour explaining how plants in Sri Lanka are used in Aurvedic Medicine...quite interesting but the hard sell afterwards was a bit irritating.
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