November 27th, 2016 by admin

Gangarama Temple

Gangarama temple is a center of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture and learning. Located at the center of Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo, it is also popular with youth. Sundays see more visitors but you will get to see a more vibrant atmosphere there. If you would like to see the rituals visit in the morning but visit in the evening as well if you can as the lighting in the evening makes it ecstatic. I suggest you to plan your visit in the late afternoon that you can see Gangarama temple in both daylight and under night sky.

Timings: 5.30 AM to 10 PM
Museum ticket fees: Rs 100

Address: Gangaramaya, 61, Sri Jinarathana Road,Colombo 2, Sri Lanka

Gangarama Temple

We reached there in the morning. After entering the temple premises saw two best of the vintage cars from the brand of Mercedes and Rolls Royce. Then we went to the museum which possesses a treasure trove collection of artifacts, historical timelines, currency collection from various periods, various Buddha idols, postage collection etc. Leaving the museum, we saw a white pagoda where people pray to Lord Buddha. Sri Lankan temples resembles a lot with south Indian temples in architecture and style. They light a lot of clay lamps and incense sticks. It makes for an awesome view. Here you can find Sri Lankan women with their beautiful saree paying homeage. Sri lankan saree wearing style is little different than India’s. The Bodhi tree is a sacred place and people offer their prayer. Ashok chakra which is the national emblem of India can also be seen there. Emperor Ashoka was a great proponent of Buddhism and helped spread it both within and outside India. I found people walking around the Bodhi tree with small pots of water and then emptying them on the feet of Lord Buddha.

Gangarama Temple

Gangarama Temple

There is also an idol of Lord Buddha inside the Beira lake on an artificial elevated platform. A wooden bridge leads to this place and on the way we found a sleeping Buddha. Once inside, we found few small idols of Buddha with a bigger one in the background. Two huge elephant tusks adorn them from both sides. There were few other statues of Buddha on both sides. On three sides of this place, metal statues of Buddha were placed in various ashana positions. One of the room had an inscription – Treasury of Truth but entry to that room was closed. The lake offers boating on swan like boats. There is also a cantilever bridge which allows people to walk from one side of the lake to an island. This section is very popular with youth and can be coined a lover’s spot.

There were some swans, wild ducks who swam and walked freely around the lake. It also has few variety of birds. Since Gangarama temple is located at the heart of the city and close to the central business district, one can see high rise buildings in the background like the Hyatt hotel, world trade center etc. Visit there with time in hand so that you can pray in peace, learn about new culture, enjoy some great views and stroll around in pleasure.

Gangarama Temple

January 5th, 2015 by admin

No doubt, Galle fort is the best place in Galle. But there are other interesting destinations to see as well outside the fort walls. So we kept the second day to explore outside Galle fort. We hired an auto for 2000 Sri Lankan rupees to show us interesting places outside Galle fort. Around 10 am we left for our day trip. Quickly we left Galle town behind and started winding through narrow roads between rice fields and woods. The first stop was a Buddha temple:

Kalutara Buddha Temple

This temple is located on a higher ground. The first thing we saw was a large Buddha statue in standing position with a huge stone in the background. A white color pagoda is side by. The place is wooded and with large stones in a hilly setting creates an intriguing feeling. There are also Buddha statues of other styles but smaller in size. A big banyan tree with a Buddha statue sitting below it reminiscing the nirvana pose of Buddha. Inside one can see Buddha in Chinese avatar, a sleeping Buddha etc. The paintings on the wall are of Chinese or Tibetan in style. We also found a picture of Hindu god Lord Vishnu there. The tuk tuk guy, who also acted like our guide told they also pray devas (Hindu gods). We were told this temple is around 600 years old.

Second stop was Sea Turtle hatchery: It is located at Habaraduwa around 5 km from Galle – Matara road. This non profit organization was started in 1986 to conserve sea turtles. Being here one will come to know some good aspects of sea turtle’s life. It gives that rare opportunity to see a baby turtle as well as a grown up one. We found various kinds of Turtles like Olive Ridly, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Hawks bill and Loggerhead. We also came to know the process of breeding of sea turtles there. Entry to the hatchery will cost Rs 400 Sri Lankan rupees.

Ph: 0094 – 777836115

3rd stop was Ayurveda park. It is is spread over a huge area. Here indigenous Ayurvedic or medicinal plants are grown to produce Ayurvedic medicines and treatments. There is a lake in the estate where one can go for boating for a price. We choose not to do so as it was hot during the afternoon. We went for a nice session of ayurvedic message which cost us around Rs 800 INR.

Our next stop was a tea estate which specially produces white tea. The estate is a green abode and we also got to see an Iguana there. The estate also had sizable rubber plantation. But the highlight of the estate was white tea. The specialty of this tea is that it is made from the most slender tea leaf from a stem. It is said that this leaf is very high in anti oxidant content and has health values. So it costs high as well. Then we went through the tea making process there. The machines used are still the vintage ones from the British era. Finally we came to the tea testing and buying session. Around 30 different types of teas were on display. Tried various teas from wine tea to honey tea. It was an amazing time there. Ended up buying few packets of tea like mint tea which are typically not available here. The estate also provides lodging.

The last stop was Kalutara temple. It is a Buddhist temple situated on top of a hill. The view from here is amazing. One can see the vast shore line of Galle’s beaches. Best way to reach here would be a tuk tuk. The beautiful white peace pagoda is also nicely maintained. It has nicely crafted Buddha statue, elephant heads, trees etc which adds to the beauty. Very nice place to spend time with yourself, nature and beauty. There is also a Hanuman (monkey god) statue on the other side of the pagoda.

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