The First Kingdom of Sri Lanka
10.10.2019 - 12.10.2019 31 °C
Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sinhala civilization and is also the first kingdom of Sri Lanka and a world heritage site.
Vessagiri, or Issarasamanarama, is an ancient Buddhist forest monastery that is part of the ruins of Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is located about half a mile south of Isurumuniya, among boulders. Begun in the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (mid-3rd century BC), the site was expanded during the reign of King Kasyapa (473 - 491 AD) to become home to about five hundred monks. The Vessagiri monks lived in rock shelters that were constructed by quarrying from local materials.
After arriving in this place, I had literally stepped out of the tuk tuk and taken about 10 steps when this baby cobra slithered past, saw me and went into attack mode. So I took a few steps back and decided i would take some photos.
In the front of this old city are the ruins of the buildings and the temples, as the modern city has progressed they have build a road straight past the front of this old city, so access is very easy.
As you walk through the front of this place you can access the rear of the property by going through these rocks. Once you get through the rocks it opens to a vast and peaceful reserve with many types of birds.
Once you emerge through the rocks the first thing you will see is an are that the monks used to meditate. This is very cleverly under the overhanging rocks to shelter them from the rain. there is also still writing that has been carved into the rock.
The monks had a very ingenious way of cutting or splitting the rocks to use for construction. They would make holes in the rock where they wanted to split it then make a liquid with the local plant leaves and pour the liquid into the holes. Apparently it acting like an acid and after about 3 months the rock would split.
Here is another very clever use of the rocks by the monks. They have carved depressions in the rock for 4 monks to be able to sleep, this is also under the overhanging rock to protect them from the weather. If you look to the right of the picture you will see they have also carved a channel in the rock, this is to keep any water away from where they are sleeping and directs the water elsewhere.
Sleeping on rocks sounds uncomfortable but I lay down on this and it was not that bad.
The last few photos are just a selection of the same area.
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 site of pilgrimage and has several abandoned structures and religious sites.
To get to the top you need to climb about 1800 steps in 30 degree heat. Once I got there my clothes were so wet, it was like someone sprayed me with a hose.
This is the beginning of the climb, looking up the first of many steps.
Just hanging out with some of the local wildlife on my walk to the top.
Once again there are many old structures left over from monks about 1400 years ago. Here is just a selection.
When you get to the top there is a huge rock that has a walkway to the top where you will get a fantastic view over much of the surrounding area. This is not great if you don`t like heights, hahaha.