Stay at Hotel Alakamanda, Anuradhapuram
We woke up early to pack the bags to leave for Anuradhapuram. The tour package included breeakfast which comprised of eggs, sausage, toast, fruits and tea/coffee. There were tons of tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya which were so tasty. Kids enjoyed a nice morning stroll around the resort that was nestled among backwaters and coconut trees. It was such a beautiful and serene place. We left for Anuradhapuram around 08:30 am. We travelled in an AC mini bus that fit our family of 14.
On our way to Anuradhapuram we visited Muneeshwaram temple at Chilaw and also a Murugan temple.
1. At the Murugan temple, we spotted a dancing peacock. Kids were so excited to see it. It did rain after 30 minutes.
2. Muneeshwaram temple has a story. It is believed that after his victorious battle, Lord Rama left Ayodhya in one of Ravana’s vimana. He felt that he was being followed by brahmas this dosham as he had killed Ravana who was a Brahmin. Stories say that when he visited this place at Chilaw, Rama felt that brahmahaasthi dosham was not following him so he stopped the vimana and asked Lord Shiva for remedy. Lord Shiva blessed him and asked him to install four long and there and pray to get rid of the dosham. Since then lots of Hindu devotees flock to this temple. We were asked to light lamps as a mark of respect for your ancestors.
3. ANURADHAPURAM CITY TOUR:
We did Anuradhapuram city tour after visiting the temple. Anuradhapuram is the first capital of ancient Sri Lanka. We first went to the It is the home for two world heritage sites. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a Sapling of the tree under which prince Siddhartha attained to enlightenment and it is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. We walked along the entire premise where there was Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns we saw were all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks.
Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the Dagobas. It originally depicted the perfect ‘bubble shape” that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. Samadhi’ Buddha statue (4th century AD) is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of ‘Samadhi’ or deep meditation. Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C) is well known for its rock carvings of ‘The Lovers’. Kuttam Pokuna – twin ponds (6th century AD) was used by the Buddhist monks as a bathing pool. Thuparama Dagoba (3rd century B.C) is the oldest Dagoba in the island, which enshrines the right collarbone of the Buddha.
After that we visited Mihintale. Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures.
Overall it was a busy day we stopped at a local restuarant for lunch. Food was excellent but little expensive. It was close to a wildlife safari. We travelled with 4 kids between the age 2-6 and they were little tired as it involved a lot of walking and climbing the stairs. We finally returned to Hotel Alakamanda at Anuradhapuram.at 07.00 PM. The breakfast and dinner were part of our tour package.