Temples in Anuradhapura and elephants in Minneriya

Anuradhapura

The temples in Anuradhapura are spread all over a big part of the ancient city. You can rent bikes to make it easier or use tuk tuk to get you around. We had our driver who dropped us at several temples and who droves us past other less known places of interest in Anuradhapura. But if you have some time, I think a bike gives you the most flexibility.

Whatever transport you use in Anuradhapura, you’ll need to buy tickets first at a the ticket counter. I’m not sure where else you can buy the day pass, but we bought it inside the archaeology museum.

Jetavana monastery ruins

Behind the archaeology museum you can find a large area with ruins of the Jetavana monstery. With its most remarquable item the damaged Jethawanaramaya stupa.

 

The Jethawanaramaya or Jetavanaramaya is a stupa within the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the ancient town of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka.
The Jethawanaramaya or Jetavanaramaya is a stupa within the ruins of Jetavana monastery in the ancient town of Anuradhapura.

Ruwanwelisaya stupa

Ruwanwelisaya: the oldest and most voluminous stupa at Anuradhapura, has been fully restored, painted white, and is currently a centre of worship. Orange cloth wrapped around the stupa, Sri Lanka.
Ruwanwelisaya: the oldest and most voluminous stupa at Anuradhapura, has been fully restored, painted white, and is currently a centre of worship.

At most stupas and temples, signs ask you to remove your shoes and hats and be properly dressed. However, what they don’t tell you is the following:

It is also polite to circumambulate to the right; that is, walk to the left around the object so that your right hand, considered to be the clean hand, is constantly facing the object.

Take the above quote in mind when walking around the stupas.

A group of worshippers in front of the Stupa passing a huge continues roll of orange silk to the monks. Sri Lanka.
A group of worshippers in front of the Ruwanwelisaya stupa passing a huge continuous, seemingly without an and, roll of orange silk to the monks.
Monks unravelling the incredibly long roll of orange silk around the dome of the stupa. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
Monks unravelling the incredibly long roll of orange silk around the dome of the stupa.
Ruwanwelisaya stupa seen from the park around it. On top of a stupa is usually a 'Kotha' also called 'silumina' in Sinhala. It's a pinnacle made of metal on top of which is a precious crystal or gemstone. anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Ruwanwelisaya stupa seen from the park around it. On top of a stupa is usually a ‘Kotha’ also called ‘silumina’ in Sinhala. It’s a pinnacle made of metal on top of which is a precious crystal or gemstone.

Bodhi Tree Temple (The Sri Maha Bodhiya)

The Bodhi Tree Temple, is the second most sacred place in Sri Lanka, after the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. This tree is a cutting from the original Bodhi tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment, and has been continuously guarded for over 2000 years, making it the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.

Bodhi Tree Temple (The Sri Maha Bodhiya). The temple complex, with the bodhi tree in the middle, is surrounded by walls, and is quite busy with monks and worshipers. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
Bodhi Tree Temple (The Sri Maha Bodhiya). The temple complex, with the bodhi tree in the middle, is surrounded by walls, and is quite busy with monks and worshipers.

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Abhayagiri Dagoba stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Abhayagiri Dagoba

Samadhi Statue

Samadhi Statue (Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka)
Samadhi Statue

The royal baths: Kuttam Pokuna

Royal bath twin ponds –  Kuttam Pokuna Anuradhapura Sri Lanka
Royal baths twin ponds – Kuttam Pokuna

Elephant safari in Minneriya

Two young elephants and a ‘elephant bird’ in Minneriya with the mountains in the background.
Mother elephants protects her babies against a tourist jeep that got too close to the animals.
Sri Lankan jackal, a subspecies of golden jackal in Minneriya national park Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan jackal, a subspecies of golden jackal
Our jeep tracks across a large green grass field in Minneriya National Park.