Behold the beauty of sri lanka

Ancient Cities.......

Anuradhapura,  as long ago the 6th century AD. Begun around 5th cenury BC, Anuradhapura is the oldest city in the Cultural triangle. In its heyday, tens of thousands of people lived in a royal places, monasteries, temples topped by glittering jewels, houses of two or three storys, shops, pleasure gardens,bathing pools and wooded parks....

           Today, the restored remains of ancient Anuradhapura are dotted amidst peaceful parks to the north and west of the modern city. Among the many bell shaped dagobas or temples are Thuparama (which enshrines a relic of Lord Buddha), and Ruwanweli, rebuilt to its original 2nd century BC bubble shape.....

       Other dagobas include the 1st century BC Abhayagiri and 3rd century BC Jetawana, both around 120 metres high and second in height only to Egypt's mightiest Pyramids at Gizeh. Excavation have unearthed Jewellery, sculptures, coins and other rare artefacts including seven Buddhist scriptures etched into sheets of beaten gold.....

Ancient Cities.....

Sigiriya, or lion Rock,rices 200 metres above a forested plain, its flattened summit sloping gently. A series of moats, ramparts and amazingly engineered water gardens spreads our on two sides of the rock, with the remains of a pair of giant stone lion's paws still guarding the staircase leading to the summit,once occupied by a royal palace.....

       Once of the most famous aspects    of Sigiriya are the frescoes painted under a rocky overhang part way up the rock, depicting graceful bare-breasted maidens whose beauty inspired ancient graffiti which can still be seen.......   

Ancient Cities.....

Dambulla, consists of a series of ancient temples begun in the 1st century BC, built under an overhanging rock ledge on top of a hill. Also a World Heritage site, Dambulla can be seen in the distance from Sigiriya....

     This complex of five shrines includes pre-christian rock inscripions, 150 sculptures of Lord Buddha ( including a 15 metre-long reclining Buddha ) and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest antique painted surface in the world....... 

Ancient Cities.....

Polonnaruwa, was established as the capital after Anuradhapura had been invaded in the late 10th century. Under King Parakramabahu, who ruled in the late 11th century, Polonnaruwa became a magnificent walled city. He built the vast resevoir, Parakrama Samudra ( the sea of Parakrama ), which is still in use today, and ordered the construction of monasteries, temples, palaces, bathing pools and Buddhist statues, all set in a forested park surrounded by moats..

    

 One of the most striking of living rock at Gal- Vihara. To one side of this reclining Buddha stands a 7 metre Buddha, in a rare pose with crossed arms. Another smaller statue of Buddha sits in deep meditation, while a fourth is set into a cave cut in the rock wall.....

Ancient Cities.....

Yapahuwa, became the capital of King Bhuvanekabahu in the late 13th centuy. One of the most outstanding features of this citadel, built on a 100 metre rock mound, is the steep Ornamental Stairway, with its magnificent carved figures of musicians, dancers, goddesses and lions. Remains of the palace complex, moats and ponds can be seen, while there is an interesting cave temple with 13th century frescoes and rare wooden Buddha images.....

Ancient Cities.....

 

AUKANA,  According to tradition the magnificent 12m (30ft) standing Aukana Buddha was sculpted during the reign of Dhatusena in the 5th century - though some sources date it to the 12th or 13th century. Aukana means 'sun-eating', and dawn, when the first rays light up the huge statue's finely-carved features, is the best time to see it.There's a local story that the statue is so finely carved that a drop of water would fall from its nose, without any breeze, between the Buddha's feet. The reconstruction of the brick shelter over the statue looks like it was built by rail engineers, and detracts a little from the scene..... 

 

 

Ancient Cities.....

 Kandy, at 500 metres in the Hill Country. Now a bustling city, Kandy still remains a sanctuary for traditional Sinhalese culture, with a number of important heritage sites in and around the city..

            The temple was part of a complex of buildings that included the 16th century King's palace.

             Kandy's pleasant lake in the centre of the old city was created by the last Sinhalese King in 1807....

  ''The Temple of Sacred Tooth enshrines Sri Lanka's most important relic of Lord Buddha. Constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries, this temple is surrounded by a deep moat. Nearby are  impressive shrines or devalas dedicated to guardian deities Natha, Vishnu, Pathini and kataragama shrine, is famed for its wooden columns with exquisitey carved panels....''

Ancient Cities.....

Galle Fort, begun by the portugues and subsequently occupied by the colonial Dutch and British, is now a World Heritage site.

   Set on a peninsula in the south of the island and entirely surrounded by giant ramparts, Galle Fort includes a 17th century fort, bastions, churches, old mosques and houses, offering an atmospheric glimpse of Sri Lanka's more recent past..