Ancient ruins in abundance at Anuradhapura

Trip Start Aug 07, 2013
Trip End Aug 22, 2013

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, August 12, 2013

A visit into the cultural triangle meant that Polonnaruwa or Anuradhapura were on the cards. Polonnaruwa was more condensed, Anuradhapura more significant and less frequented by western tourists. Luckily given our tour logistics, we made it to both stopping first at Anuradhapura.

Again, the entrance fee was significant for foreigners in comparison to local prices. 6500 rupees for 2 foreign adults (32.50) though this included museum fees, contribution towards restoration and entrance to all parts of the ancient ruins of the city.

With our helpful driver, we made it to pagodas, monasteries, ancient pools, temple ruins and saw Sri Lankan wildlife at its best. Monkeys and exotic birds were in abundance, not to mention turtles and lizards. Some of the ruins were barely in tact, others carefully maintained or restored. The pools were the most impressive, deep green lagoons with steps down although pagodas of awesome brickwork containing bright and colourful Buddhas were also impressive.

Skipping the stalls offering carved Buddhas, fishermen and elephants (we had indulged enough), we abandoned the car to wander around the grounds. Monks, tourists and locals all meandered through the leafy paths and stopped to picture what was, many moons ago, an architectural triumph and today an interesting site to explore. Another 1.5 hour drive led us to our guest house for the night, Princes Inn in Sigiriya. No working bathroom light (candles instead), no air con and basic bedding meant half a bottle of Arrack was absolutely essential to any sleep before exploring the Sigiriya rock the next day.
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