Anuradhapura Oldest City Ruins - July 27th 2015

Another delicious Kandyan Dinner last night was cooked by our wonderful host Achala. Featured Dahl, lady fingers, coconut spicy sambal, soy curry, tuna fish curry red rice and green beans. We will never get sick of this wonderful food.

Early start with our new driver to visit Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s oldest city ruins. It was established about 2,300 years ago. It was a most sophisticated city and contained a huge monastery complex with 5,000 monks in residence. There were many Stupas including the largest one in Sri Lanka. These were of staggering size and quite breathtaking to see.

Large stupa

Large stupa

Ancient ruins

Ancient ruins

There were huge numbers of excavated ruins, some of which were being used for seating by a troop of resting Langurs! A huge Refectory ruin had the giant stone food trough that was filled with enough cooked food to feed the 5,000 Monks at one sitting. It had a reticulated water system which was pretty swish for the time.

Huge Refectory

Huge Refectory

Twin Swimming pools

Twin Swimming pools

A feature was the Kuttam Pokuna or Twin Swimming pools built around the 8th Century. Apart from being an engineering master piece and a thing of great beauty they had some amazing features. They were made of granite stone and were fed by 3km of pipes. The incoming water passed through a water filter that contained charcoal. The outgoing water was the channelled away to irrigate crops. It was truly a very advanced society and made us wonder just how far we have come.

Buddha tree

Buddha tree

A very large tree grown from a sapling from the tree where Buddha was enlightened was the focus for the Sri Lankans with large numbers with lotus flower offerings praying. Each Stupa had a modern temple and all were being used.

Stopped at a Spice Garden on the way back to Kandy but it was a very commercial operation aiming to sell you spices and when our guide launched into a sales spiel Erica got very tetchy and it took quite a deal of persuasion on my part to keep her from telling him just what she thought about it all!

One more day in Kandy and we wish we had more time in this wonderful country.