Travels with V

Sri Lanka

The thieving monkeys strike

Dambulla

From Sigiriya it’s a short trip to Dambulla, a city with a big Buddhist museum and even a Buddhist radio and TV station. A very holy city, it’s holiness maybe due to the famous cave temples that are built into a rock high above the city streets. These were constructed a hundred years b.c. and consist of more than 80 caves, five temples, several monasteries 157 statues and 153 Buddhas. It’s a world heritage since 1991.

DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLES
NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT A SARI
SLEEPING BUDDHA IN A CAVE

How can you tell a sleeping Buddha from a Buddha in Nirvana? They are both lying side down with a pillow under the head. And eyes closed. But check the toes! A sleeping Buddha has his left foot slightly behind the right foot. So the one above is just sleeping.

A BUDDHA AWAKE IN ANOTHER CAVE

There’s a steady stream of people climbing the many steps up to the temple area. They are being carefully scanned by a band of monkeys that live here. The worshippers carry lotus flowers for offerings on the temple altars, but the monkeys have other plans. They sneak up from behind and snatch the flowers from the worshipper’s hands. While the victims scream, this is what the thieving makaks do:

How fast can a Sri Lankan talk?

It’s easy and cheap to travel around Sri Lanka by bus. And fun, at every stop vendors climb aboard. Here’s one guy that really impressed us with fast talk:

Our next stop is in a City that one was the seat of a cruel king. We get a glimpse of something unbelievably holy and watch dancers walk on fire. 

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