Raphael Kessler

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Sri Lanka


I went to Sri Lanka from India, expecting a similar sort of country, it is quite different in character though. It is predominantly Buddhist, being home to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, probably the holiest pilgrimage site in Buddhism. It also has a rich history but it is unfortunate that the civil war that has been going on for the last few years is all that is reported in the media.

When I arrived in Sri Lanka I went straight to Kandy (photo 1), to find it was when the England cricket team was over to play  test series and several thousand fans had followed. This mean that finding accommodation was trickier than it should have been, but within half an hour I had somewhere to stay. I didn't go and see the cricket as I find it an incredibly boring sport as a spectator. What was odd though was when I went to a pub appropriately called 'The Pub' to find it filled with English people watching the cricket on the big screen it almost felt like being home again.

(c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - Kandi crowd
Sigiriya was one of the old capitals and is based around a mountain fortress (photo 1). Much of what was built no longer remains, but there are some impressive murals that have been there for eight hundred years and are essentially a more primitive form of pornography, with voluptuous scantily clad women featured (photo 2).
  • (c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - Sigiriya from afar
  • (c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - 13th century porn

Another old capital is Annuradhapura, which has numerous huge stupas (photo 1) and temples (photo 2) around a large complex.

  • (c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - Annuradhapura stupa
  • (c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - Annuradhapura temple

In Polonarruwa there are some impressive temples, but the most interesting bit for many is the Buddha carved from the rock. The grain in the rock adds texture to the carving that gives it a more lifelike appearance.

(c) Copyright - Raphael Kessler 2011 - Sri Lanka - Polonarruwa reclining Buddha



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