Sri Lanka

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    • Day 767


      April 9 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

      Wir zogen weiter nach Anuradhapura, die einmal die Hauptstadt des Landes war und als wichtiger buddhistischer Pilgerort gilt. Im Ort gibt es viele Stupas, welche für Einheimische gratis sind, für Ausländer (pro Stupa) 25CHF kosten. Statt barfuss auf den heissen Steinen im Uhrzeigersinn um die Stupas zu hüpfen, haben wir uns entschieden, einen Spaziergang zu unternehmen und uns die Stupas vom Eingang aus anzusehen. 😅
      Am zweiten Tag fuhren wir mit dem Bus zum Mihintale Rock. Nach oben kamen wir über viele Treppen, welche teilweise in dem Fels geschlagen wurden. Oben erwartete uns unter anderem ein Kloster, eine Buddhastatue, eine Stupa und eine tolle Aussicht. Wir genossen den Wind und die Aussicht. Die Affen waren uns auch freundlich gesinnt. 😊
      Zurück vor unserem Homestay, standen wir vor einem verschlossenen Tor - unser Gastgeber hat uns ausgesperrt und war nicht erreichbar. Philipp wollte zuerst über das Tor klettern, doch was sollen bloss die Nachbarn denken? Ausserdem hätte es Chantal nie und nimmer darüber geschafft. 😅 So blieb uns nichts anderes übrig, als einen Milkshake trinken zu gehen. 😉
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    • Day 7


      September 20, 2019 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

      Sacred mountain to Buddhists. This is considered to be where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka. It is said that a disciple from India was meditating in one of the caves when a king came along. He called the disciple down to talk, and the rest is history.
      The pictures are taken from the top, looking at the two lesser peaks with a stupa and a Buddha statue. Then looks at the view
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    • Day 3


      March 28, 2023 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      Mihintale is revered as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as it is here where the monk Mahinda (the son of Asoka) met King Devanampiyatissa in 247 BC and introduced the religion to the country.

      We start at the second flight of steps, where the Dhatu Ghara relic house and the Mihintale Tablets are located; the tablets describe the rules and regulations for life as a monk. We continue up to the Ambasthala Dagoba (Mango Tree Stupa), which was the actual meeting place between them). Then it's up to see the Buddha statue and down again to cross over to ascend the Arahadana Gala, where there are great views of the whole area.

      Down again to then climb the main stupa here , the Mahaseya Dagoba; this houses a single hair relic of the Buddha.

      Another interesting excursion.
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    • Day 10


      December 20, 2021 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      In the late afternoon I convinced Div to go to Mihintale, a holly hill 20 minutes away from Anuradhapura. It was a very peaceful and inspirational visit as the Sun was setting, the views were great and there was a lot of monks and devotees.

      I was very hungry, so after that we went to an early dinner to an Indian restaurant where I learnt about Div's country cuisine. He turned out to be as passionate about food as me. We parted ways, said good bye and I'm now chilling at Andorra's.
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    • Day 11


      October 23, 2019 in Sri Lanka

      Heute machen wir uns auf Richtung Norden nach Anuradhapura. Der Weg ist leider nicht so gut ausgebaut, es geht über teilweise sehr holprige Straßen, was etwas unangenehm wird. Auf dem Weg sehen wir uns noch die Buddha-Statue von Aukana an, die 14 Meter hoch in einen Felsen gemeißelt wurde. Das Wetter ist auch sehr drückend. Bevor wir weiter ins Hotel fahren, erledigen wir auch direkt noch den zweiten Programmpunkt für heute. Die Gruppe besichtigt eine der ältesten Klosteranlagen Sri Lankas: Mihintale. Hier bekehrte der Mönch Mahina König Divanampiya-Tissa zum Buddhismus. Der Ort gilt damit als Geburtsstätte des Buddhismus auf Sri Lanka. Der Aufstieg ist nichts einfach, er führt über 1.800 Treppenstufen, die zum Teil in den Stein gehauen wurden und entsprechend glatt sind. Mir ist nach der Fahrt richtig schlecht, daher lasse ich diesen Punkt mal aus.

      Gegen Nachmittag erreichen wir unsere Unterkunft in Anuradhapura, die Ceylan Lodge. Hier ist auch schon der letzte Abend mit unseren Reiseführern angesagt. Morgen verlässt uns der Reiseleiter, während Busfahrer und Bodyguard die Gruppe am Samstag noch zum Flughafen bringt. Zum Abschied hat uns der Reiseleiter noch Arrack gekauft, einen Palmschnaps - der ist allerdings auch nichts für schwache Nerven.
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    • Day 6


      December 13, 1989 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      Um Wee vun Anuradhapura op Polonnaruwa sinn mer den Klouschter vun Mihintale kucken gaangen. Mer sinn och do wéi iwwerall gefrot ginn "what is your country" an wéi mer engem Singhales "Luxembourg" geäntwert hunn, huet hien "Moien" gesot an mer hunn gestaunt 😳. Hien huet e puer Joer zu Iechternach gelieft. Mihintale ass eent vun den eelsten buddhisteschen Kléischter op Sri Lanka.Read more

    • Day 26

      Nilaveli —> Mihintale

      January 31, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      As it was our last day in Nilaveli we both decided last night that we were going to wake up and see the sunrise over the ocean, as the east coast is perfect for that. We crawled out of our beach cabana at 6:15, still half asleep and there it was...the sun rising, almost creeping over the horizon and lighting up the sky. We watched as it became completely visible and then made our way swiftly back to bed to try and get some more sleep. However, we didn’t get back to sleep...instead we were looking into the Coronovirus: the virus that started in China which has spread globally, killing over 200 people thus far... oh the joys to hear that Sri Lanka and India were two of the countries it had spread to. At around 730 we got up and made our way to have an earlier than normal breakfast...we wanted to beat the Russians who checked in yesterday!

      After breakfast we chilled out on the beds, I finished the book I’d been working on - a crime thriller - after only starting it yesterday. I went to go and pack up our stuff as it was an unusually early check out at this place, 10am. Accommodation was paid up, room was empty, Tuktuk was fully loaded, so we were good to go whenever we wanted. This little place in paradise only cost us 5000 rupees each for 4 nights. Incredible value at just £5.20 a night!! A few more hours had passed and we were still on the resort beach...just because we checked out didn’t mean we were going to leave this place! Nor did it mean we weren’t going to occasionally use our shower either. However, sadly we eventually decided to make a move.

      Tom was driving the whole way to Mihinthale today, we made our way through crazy Trincomalee traffic and found a local place to stop and grab some lunch! After we broke down the language barrier, we think we ordered a large portion of vegetable fried rice for 250 to share...he came over with two plates of fried rice, I guess he just divided the large portion onto two plates? We dug in, and it was very tasty! He approached when we had finished, “Country?” he asked, to which we obviously responded and then the conversation come to an end there. We then asked for a sweet roll and a 5L bottle of water to take away which he got and then asked us for 210 rupees.... that’s just less than 90p, that was by far the cheapest lunch we had so far, but we sped off in our TukTuk before he realised he had maybe made a mistake and not charged us enough, or at least we tried to speed off, the front wheel of the TukTuk was stuck in a hole! Eventually out of the hole, Tom slammed the throttle and off we went!

      50 kilometres had passed, the scenery was gorgeous, we passed rice paddy after rice paddy and lake after lake...but unfortunately it was all very samey and the road was just straight. So it made for a very boring drive in fact. I could see Tom fidgeting and stretching - obviously tired - so I offered tk drive but he refused, instead asking that I blast how the music and we have a good singalong to make the journey go faster.
      Thankfully, Tom didn’t fall asleep in the TukTuk and I got us to the hotel in Mihintale safely! The hotel was called Afenta Hotel, it was only recently opened, still unfinished in parts, but was run by a really nice young guy who kept apologising for his poor English...funny, as his was probably close to the best we’d come across. We checked into to our large double room, with private bathroom, it was very clean and stunk of Dettol...I think my mum would have even been okay staying here!

      Shortly after arriving we asked the owner for some good food places for dinner, I stood with him and he pinned two on his maps and we made our way to check them out. The first was ‘P&S’, we pulled up looked like a fancy Greggs at the front with a seated area that felt very local with plastic table and chairs and a glass counter top filled with different types of curry. We saw on the menu that potato curry and dhal curry were 70 and 60 rupee, “great” we thought, “today’s dinner is going to be super cheap”! We then asked him how much a plate of rice would cost to eat the curry with, to which he replied after doing some bullshit maths 320 rupees...nearly 5 times as much as the bloody curry!! Obviously he was related to the man in Kandy! Tom gave up at that point, patience for scamming at rock bottom and wanted to leave, whilst I was trying to get through to him that it’s impossible to charge so much for a single plate of plain rice - I was determined to get a sensible answer in the region of 50 rupees for a plate of rice, but it never happened. Eventually I gave up too and we left P&S completely baffled, we went to check out the second place. From the outside it looked like a shell of a building that had been burned down 20 years ago, with some fancy lights around the doors and windows...however, this didn’t put us off as some of the worse looking places we’ve eaten at before have had the best food! We went inside and they had veggie curry and rice for 170, sold! We ate, the food was pretty good...and then came the bill. Our maths calculated 170 x 2 = 340, however in Sri Lanka 170 x 2 = 480. We weren’t having any of this and after some awkward standing around at the till, the guy reluctantly gave us a fresh bill with 340 on it...we gave him a 500 and then waited for our change...which just as reluctantly as the second bill did arrive.

      Feeling pleased at ourselves for paying the right price for dinner, we decided to “splash” and treat ourselves to a nice cold Coca Cola at a grubby little cafe...boy, we know how to treat ourselves! We were approached by various people whilst we were trying to enjoy our drinks, one guy chanting “UK, OKAY” repeatedly, another guy trying to sell us a private tour around Mihinthale ruins and another talking about deer...very random! Tom thought the deer man worked at the cafe and tried to pay him for the cokes, he took the money and very honestly gave us the money back. We paid up and went back to our room where to our complete pleasure we found hidden away in the bottom of my day bag a couple of biscuits that we didn’t eat last night! We inhaled these and then hit they hay!
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    • Day 130


      June 13, 2017 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      Mihintale gilt als Wiege des singhalesischen Buddhismus. Von den meisten Reisenden wird dieser Pilgerort "links liegen" gelassen, aber allein schon für den Ausblick ist Mihintale einen Besuch wert.

    • Day 1


      March 25, 2023 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      **A Nighttime Journey to Mihintale: Where Spirituality Meets Serenity**

      As the day gracefully transitioned into night, we embarked on a journey to Mihintale, a sacred mountain steeped in spiritual significance. The journey under the shimmering night sky added an air of mystique to our adventure.

      Arriving at Mihintale, the tranquil ambiance enveloped us. The silhouettes of ancient stupas and monastic structures stood against the backdrop of the night, their outlines etched in soft moonlight. The sacred stillness of the mountain whispered tales of centuries-old devotion.

      We ascended the stone steps, the cool night air carrying with it a sense of quiet reverence. The surroundings were bathed in a silvery glow, casting a serene aura over the ancient complex. Each step felt like a pilgrimage, a journey of both body and spirit.

      Reaching the summit, we were greeted by the grandeur of Mihintale's Great Stupa. Its presence, illuminated by soft light, exuded a sense of timeless wisdom. The expansive view from the summit offered a panorama of the surrounding landscape, a breathtaking reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

      As we explored the mountain's sacred nooks and crannies, the night seemed to amplify the spiritual energy that permeated Mihintale. The ancient stone inscriptions and meditative spaces held a palpable sense of sanctity, inviting us to pause and reflect.

      With the night deepening, we began our descent, guided by the gentle glow of moonlight and the wisdom of countless pilgrims who had walked these steps before us. The descent was a contemplative journey, a transition from the heights of spiritual reflection to the quietude of the night.

      Approximately at 9 PM, we arrived back at our hotel, carrying with us the profound experiences of the day. The adventures through Anuradhapura and Mihintale had woven a tapestry of history, spirituality, and natural beauty into our hearts. As we settled into our accommodations, we carried with us the echoes of the ancient city and the serene sanctuary of Mihintale, knowing that these experiences would forever shape our memories of this cherished journey together.
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