Our Visit to Anuradhapura and Our First Elephant Ride at Sigiriya Rock
Now, it’s time to share what happened to us on the twelve-day of our family refreshment vacation last December 2019 in Sri-Lanka. We visited the Anuradhapura first thing in the morning, the ancient capital of Sri-Lanka famous for its protected ruins of an old Sinhala. An over an hour drive from Dambulla to Anuradhapura is required to reach the city.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
The first place we visit in Anuradhapura is the famous, sacred fig tree at Mehamewna Gardens. They said the branch of the tree comes from the south of India. It is the oldest human planted tree and the most sacred Buddhist relics in Sri Lanka and respected by all the Buddhists worldwide.
Not so far from the fig trees is a religious site and one of the ruins of Anuradhapura.
Isurumuni Raja Maha Viharaya Temple
Another Buddhist temple in Anudrahapura Sri-lanka. An entrance fee is required for all the tourists when entering the temple.
There are stairs that we climbed before seeing the temple. During this time, there were a lot of local students climbing on the temple too.
The Royal Park
It is used to be the bathing place of an old king of Sri Lanka during ancient times.
Supplying the water to the bathing place is the lake near it.
Passed many carabaos going to the royal bathing place and even in the bathing place were many carabaos. The dirt or dung of the carabao is also everywhere in the royal area. We wonder why they didn’t protect the place that much. Some carabao chased us when we passed them, and our children were so afraid, so be careful if you visit this place. It became the place to pasture the carabao.
I went to another ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka and the first stupa temple built in Sri Lanka.
After visiting many temples in Sri Lanka, we took our lunch just in front of Sigiriya Rock. We asked the driver to his recommended place with delicious foods, and that is where he dropped us.
We noticed the tour guide highly recommends many American tourists inside the restaurant, which means the restaurant’s food. Staffs were kind and attentive. While eating, we saw a few people riding an elephant passing in front of the restaurant. Right after we eat, we ask our driver to bring us to the elephant to try riding on it.
No chairs or saddle installed on the elephant, so we are directly sitting on the elephant’s back. The elephant was so huge, and the elephant’s hair was so thick and sharp, scrubbing our legs when the elephant walks. It’s slightly painful, especially to the skin of my husband whose just wearing short pants.
A lot of by-passers on the road took a picture of us. They were smiling as they watched the family of four riding the elephant. The caretaker of the elephant walks with us as he tamed the elephant. He is telling the elephant what to do. We needed to walk a little bit far from the platform to complete the tour, but we can’t endure anymore. It’s hard to hold on to the rope when the elephant walks. So we ask the guide to return us urgently to the platform and instead just took us a picture as a remembrance.
Take note that payment is required for you to be able to ride on the elephant.
Dambulla Rock Temple
The Cave temple in Sri Lanka is known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. A world heritage site situated at the center of Sri Lanka. Inside the cave are a lot of paintings and statues which attracts tourist all over the world. It is said that the images and figures are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are burial sites and skeletons found inside the cave as the prehistoric Sri Lankas used to live here.
The cave is situated in the mountain, so climbing stairs is a must when going to the golden temple of Sri Lanka. We started to ascend by 2 PM, and it was raining at that time.
Take note that when you enter the cave or any country’s Buddhist temple, the requirement is to walk barefoot. It was a rainy season during our trip, so inside the cave is so wet too. So imagine while we walk in a cave so slippery with a lot of tourists in it.
Many local people are requesting a photo of our children, especially with our little girl, we used to ignore them as we don’t want our children’s faces to go somewhere else. Still, when a mother of Sri-Lankan with her daughter asked for a photo of our little girl, we humbly agree that maybe it’s okay. They are both cute little girls anyway.
Arrived at the hotel by 6 PM. We tried the tuna sandwich as a snack and requested via room service, but the food wasn’t that delicious.
Overall the experience was awesome, especially the moment when we ride the elephant. I learned so much during this trip, and for sure, our children gathered some information about Sri Lanka. That they will remember every time they see the photos of our family taken in Sri Lanka even when they old and gray.