Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Today we visited the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, which are part of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Here are some photos from Polonnaruwa, which we visited around 4 pm when the light was spectacular (and the temps a tiny bit better. It was 38C here today!)

Polonnaruwa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

This is what's left of the Royal Palace...

The Council Chamber, which was also the courthouse...

We drank four large bottles of water today and sweat like pigs. Once again, be glad there isn't smell-o-vision on this blog!

Here's the King's bathing pool!

A 25-ton granite tablet inscribed with the history of the reign of one of the kings of Polonnaruwa.

Satmahal Prasada

Polonnaruwa Watadageya

This used to be a big bell-shaped stupa.

Argh, can't remember what this structure was for. But there is a Buddha in the back that is fairly well preserved.

Polonnaruwa Watadageya

Ancient stone Buddhas.

It's okay to have your photo taken in front of a stupa like this. It is NOT okay to pose like this with any Buddha statue!! Don't turn your back to Buddha and smile for the camrea. We knew this, but some other tourists (who also apparently could not read the many signs saying not to have your photo taken with your back to Buddha!) did not, and were all posing like idiots in front of a Buddha statue. The staff made them cut it out pretty darn quick.

It doesn't take much to learn how to be respectful in a Buddhist temple! It amazes me when people visit a country but don't bother to learn some of the simplest ways to show respect when they are there. Speaking of respect, my legs were borderline today. All my pants were in the laundry this morning, and you should not be showing your knees at a Buddhist temple. I managed to cover my knees, as did Gordon his knees. You can borrow a sarong if you are indecent. Also, you need to remove your hat and shoes when you enter a temple. And don't, for God's sake, point at Buddha, especially not with your feet. Do not grab your boyfriend's butt while at the temple. And here are some more tips!

 Now back to Polonnaruwa...

Huge stupa!

Beautiful Buddhas carved in stone: 

What an amazing place.

And now, some animals!

Two monkeys. The one on the right is preggars.

Temple cat, zonked out in the heat:

And this guy was cuddling a sleepy little squirrel. I asked if I could take a pic. He was amused at my request but obliged!

More soon!


  1. The tips for visiting temples made me think of how many little etiquette rules we follow in a Christian church. I have a new young mother attending and she is constantly asking why we do things a certain way. Sometimes I don't know. It's just what I was taught to do. Other times it is just common sense and courtesy.

    1. They do post signs at the temples here, in many languages, but people still don't always get it!

  2. Wow, this place is stunning. Once again, I'm happy to be in the middle of spring instead of crushing heat. Although the King's bathing pool looks wonderful. It must have been difficult to resist taking a plunge.

    1. I find the heat a little easier to take when I'm on vacation and know I can shower three times a day, ha ha. But it's hotter than it should be here. Even the locals are commenting on it!

      I will be back in the cold soon enough. :)

  3. I'd be so worried about offending someone..anyone!
    Jane x

    1. Me too!! I try to be very careful when I travel to be polite and learn the local etiquette. But I'm sure I still look like a big oaf at times!

  4. Wow , what a stunning place !

    1. I thought it was quite amazing!

  5. Everything is built with stone or rock. It's also very detailed. Whys did they not use the wood they had?

    1. In fact they did! But the wood all either burned or rotted out. Many of the buildings have just stone pillars left, because the wood floors/walls are gone. But they seem to like making the stupas and temples out of brick, which was originally covered in a layer of plaster.

  6. WOW. What a place. And it is to bad to have people who are behaving like idiots. You can see that here in Germany, too. Especially people from the East.

    1. Tourists never cease to amaze me. :)

  7. Yes, WOW!!! Amazing sites and spectacular pictures. What a perfect sky for photos. Thanks for the lessons! I'm always dumb-founded by travelers who make no attempt to understand (and therefore show respect for) the places they visit.

    But, can you grab someone else's boyfriend's butt? (Just hypothetically...)

    1. Hypothetically, I'd say GO FOR IT! :)

  8. Absolutely spectacular. Mike and I are enjoying your trip vicariously. I'm glad you're both having a lovely time.

  9. A clearly disrespectful Temple Cat (as cats should be).

    The cold is going to shock you when you get back to Canada, I expect.

  10. Some lovely pictures, especially of those stone edifice.

  11. The offering at the Buddha reminded me of a book Kelly gave us to read--"Breakfast with Buddha." Great read if you haven't already. Your photos are amazing, XOXO


    Is water baptism an outward sign of an inward grace? Yes, in order to accept God's free gift of salvation men must be immersed in water.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The outward sign is the immersion in water. The inward grace is the forgiveness of sins we receive by following the command of Jesus to be baptized in water. There is no inward grace granted until men are immersed in water baptism. Baptism is not a sign that we have already been saved. Baptism is a sign that believers in Christ are being saved.

    1 Peter 3:20-21 ....safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace is that baptism saves through an appeal to God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If men do not confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, believe that He is the Son of God and believe that God raised Him from the dead, and make the commitment to turn from sin and turn to God, then, of course your baptism will not save you. Baptism is the final step before receiving forgiveness of sins. Water baptism is the point that the blood of Jesus washes away your sins.

    Colossians 2:12-13 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgression and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

    The outward sign is being buried with Jesus in the watery grave of baptism. The inward grace is being made spiritually alive with Christ, having our transgressions forgiven. We are dead in our transgression before we are buried with Christ in water baptism. We are made alive and have our transgressions forgiven after baptism, not before.

    Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace is being clothed with Christ. You are not baptized into Christ because you have already been clothed with Christ. The clothing does not precede, being baptized into Christ.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace of salvation follows believing and being baptized in water.


    1. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    The outward sign is confession. The inward grace is salvation.

    2. WATER IMMERSION: Mark 16:16....has been baptized shall be saved...

    The outward sign is baptism. The inward grace is salvation.


    What must I do to be saved? FAITH John 3:16 REPENTANCE Acts 2:38 CONFESSION Romans 10:9-10 BAPTISM Mark 16:16

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)


  13. Nat - This is so amazing! Thanks for sharing your trip and your pics. And thanks for the information about what not to do! Very interesting! Miss you!!!!!



Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!