Monday, October 31, 2011

Dambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka 11 September 2011

Dried chilli and orange hung under van parked in front of a temple.

Dambulla cave, a world heritage site in Sri Lanka's  view from the bottom of the hill.

You can either climb up using a pathway with steps or

this. We hike down using the alternative route.

We didn't hire a guide.

Must remove shoes before entering and yes, must pay the caretaker.

Entrance to the cave.

The cave is located on the right hand side.

One of the 5 shrines room in the cave.



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Hui observed a Sri Lankan family praying.

The offering at the end of the Buddha's leg.

Access to the shrines were along the slope of Dambulla cave.

Hui entering another shrine.

The shrine room was very dim and filled wit Buddhas statues.



EnHui offered some flowers which was given by a devotee.

Dad received some blessing and got a string tied on his wrist.

Both running along the slope of the cave.

Hilly view from Dambulla Cave.

Spotted the second salamander during our stay in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya Lion Rock, Sri Lanka 10 September 2011

The majestic Sirigiya Lion Rock.

The lovely pathway leading to the entrance of Lion Rock.

Opening hour.

The moat that surrounded Lion Rock.

Our guide. We love him to bits. He is very patient with children and informative.

As I came unprepared and unplanned, the guide came as a blissful blessing.

Miniature water garden is an elaborate network of water channels. It laid at the foot hill of the Lion's Rock where the palace was situated. Water would have been channelled from the Rock and the pond nearby to this area to become water garden. Is amazing that this water garden was being maintained by an intricate network of water irrigation and pressure system that produced even water fountains.

Learning on how the water system works.

Looking and imagining how water would have flowed.

The water flowing system is of great admiration.

The school visit.

Salamander.

Unesco World Heritage's print on the bricks.

Secret box is the name.
"If you are able to open it, you will get it free" said the sales person. 
Don't pay anything more than Rps1200 for it.

Deraniyagala cave.
Faint traces of several female drawings could be seen here.

After the boulders, it's the beginning of the hike up to Sigiriya Lion Rock.

The stairs' steps were made with Quartz slabs. In ancient times, this would provide much needed "glow" when climbing the stairs at night.

In total, there are 1302 steps to the top of the rock, where the king's palace is.

The view from halfway up.

The hike was alongside the rock wall and I was shaken going up.

En was more daring by tenfold.

Photo snapped from midway up the spiral staircase.
We hiked up a spiral staircase, heading up to the cave paintings.

Painting of the concubines.

The wall is filled with painting and no flash photography is allowed.
Afterwhich, we climbed down the same spiral staircase and moved along the cave.

Mirror Wall.
Its surface has been highly polished like a mirror.

Hooks left by the group of people who build the staircase. Before that, they have to climb up with ropes.

Bookstall at the entrance of the Lion staircase.

Do not purchase any books at the bottom of the rock. Buy them at this bookstall.
Lion staircase.

A postcard picture of the lion head impression.

At the peak.
En sat on the palace.

It was simply stunning being at 1214ft above the sea level.

The king's swimming pool.

Stepping down from the palace.

I wish I have a sharper camera, DSLR or something.

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The wind was so strong at the peak.

The King's throne next to the pool.

 The throne has a cooling system. The throne was carved into a solid rock and along the sides of the throne, one will see mini-channels were carved out. And according to the guide, during a hot day, water would be diverted to the throne and it could flow along the channel to cool the throne.