One of the most sacred temples in the world

Sri Lanka: a welcome break between long sailing passages

After a week of sailing we arrive in Galle, in the south of Sri Lanka. Already for centuries this port is a popular destination for sailing vessels all over the world; the natural bay is very calm and sheltered.

Sri Lanka

TExT Mallika and ImageS Deep.  Latest update: 19 January 2019.

The first dutch

Nadat de Nederlanders in 1640 de Portugezen van Sri Lanka hebben verjaagd, zijn ze begonnen aan het bouwen van dit stadje en hebben het al bestaande fort flink vergroot en verstevigd.
After chasing the Portuguese away in 1640, the Dutch people started building this town and reinforced the fort immensely, adding a strong city wall.

Obviously we are not the first Dutch people arriving here: the first thing we see while entering the bay is a giant fort and a typically Dutch lighthouse to protect the little, beautiful old town behind it. After chasing the Portuguese away in 1640, the Dutch people started building this town and reinforced the fort immensely, adding a strong city wall.

De eerste Nederlanders zijn we duidelijk niet: VOC sign
We are not the first dutch visiting Galle: old VOC sign in the city wall

Tropical paradise, lovely inhabitants

We wandelen rond in het gezellige oud Nederlandse stadje en gaan drie dagen het land in om meer van Sri Lanka te ontdekken.
We stroll around in the cozy old Dutch town and explore some of Sri Lanka during three days by train.

In the first place we thought to skip Sri Lanka and to go to Cochin in India, because of the high costs for an agent to be able to clear into the country. Besides we heard all kind of stories about loads of serious officials with millions of papers to fill out. And, yes, this is true, although the officals are extremely friendly and helpful. Besides, if you have gone through all the paperwork and free to enter the country, you soon forget all these obligations. The water in the harbour is dirty and the smell of rotting fish can be pretty overwhelming, but as soon as you are out of the harbour it is surprisingly clean. The country is beautiful with loads of tropical vegetation. We are happy to be able to spend two weeks here before we will head further towards Greece! We stroll around in the cozy old Dutch town and explore some of Sri Lanka during three days by train.

Jungle train

Het spoor loopt door de meest mooie plekken van het land. We laten ons dan ook door de trein vervoeren en kijken onze ogen uit.
The railway runs through the most beautiful places of the country. Therefore we choose the train for traveling around.

In 1858 the English started with building the railway on Sri Lanka to connect the capital Colombo with other cities. The railway runs through the most beautiful places of the country. Therefore we choose the train for traveling around. Pretty beaches, little beach houses where the poor people live, dense jungle and deep valleys are passing our eyes. We are on our way to Kandy. Here we walk around the temple of the tooth, where a tooth of Buddha is kept and which should be one of the most sacred places in the world. However, we are more touched by the cave temples of Dambulla, a bit north of Kandy. Here you find giant Buddha’s caved out of rock in spacious caves. The oldest one is built a century before Christ was born. The walls and ceiling are covered with colourful paintings of Buddha. We can strongly feel the devotion and silence in this place. The whole area is protected by high fences to keep the naughty monkeys out of this sacred place.

Buddha's, Bodhi trees

Buddha tempels die gebouwd zijn om Bodhi bomen heen. Buddha zou de staat van verlichting hebben bereikt onder dit type boom.
Everywhere Buddha temples have been built mostly around or close to a Boddhi tree. This is the tree under which Buddha came to enlightenment.

In Sri Lanka 80% of the people are Buddhists. Everywhere Buddha temples have been built mostly around or close to a Boddhi tree. This is the tree under which Buddha came to enlightenment. Most of these temples are busy with praying and meditating devotees. We love to sit in between them to meditate together and to taste the sweet atmosphere of most of these places.

All together we are having a pleasant and relaxing time here on Sri Lanka to prepare ourselves mentally as well as physically for the longest and most exciting sailing trip of our circumnavigation: the crossing from Sri Lanka to Suakin in Sudan which will take us about 4 weeks.

De devotie en stilte zijn hier duidelijk voelbaar.
We can strongly feel the devotion and silence in this place.
Wij zijn onder de indruk van de grotten tempel in Dambulla
We are touched by the cave temples of Dambulla
Enorme Buddha's uitgehouwen in diepe grotten.
The oldest one is built a century before Christ was born. The walls and ceiling are covered with colourful paintings of Buddha.
Samen met onze vriend Arnold in Sri Lanka
Together with our friend Arnold in Sri Lanka
We zijn op weg naar Kandy. Hier bekijken we 'eén van de heiligste tempels ter wereld' waar de tand van Buddha wordt bewaard
We are on our way to Kandy. Here we walk around the temple of the tooth, where a tooth of Buddha is kept and which should be one of the most sacred places in the world.

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