Gangaramaya Temple – A Religious Fortalice in a Big City

Situated in the tranquil waters of Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo, minutes away from the frisky buzz of the city Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most remarkable 19th century landmarks in Colombo. Founded by a trader, Don Bastion, it was later transformed into the religious fortress it is today by venerable Mahopadhya Dewundara Sri Jinaratane Thera.

This is religious and artistic sanctuary embellished by the celebrated architecture of Geoffrey Bawa is a hotspot for keen pilgrims and tourists specially for those who are here to savour native culture immersed in urban pleasures while staying at a luxury apartment Colombo has to offer with quick access to all the enticing island charms, such as Capitol TwinPeaks.

The premises constitutes several imposing buildings new and old; a resourceful library, a museum with ancient coins, brass and copper carvings and ola leaf books, a residential hall, a rather sizable Pirivena (a school for monks), a vocational training centre, educational halls and an alms hall apart from the classic features of a traditional Buddhist temple such as; a Pagoda(Chaitya), Bodhi tree (a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi over hundred years old) and an assembly hall for monks (‘seema malaka’).

The ‘Seema malaka’ (an assembly hall for monks), the newest addition to the complex was opened to the public in 1979. It is located in the middle of the Beira lake, accessible via a wooden platform. This sublime structure is house to a replica of Buddha’s footprint sculpted in marble, which was donated to the temple. The either sides of the walls are decorated with an elaborate sculpture depicting various historical events in Buddhism and consequences of good and bad actions of an individual.

The temple shelters six elephants, who are blessed with the honours of performing at the ‘Navum maha Perehara’, held in February every year. This is a breathtaking sight of majestic tuskers carrying sacred relics in an ornamented casket surrounded by honourable monks dressed in yellow robes dispersed amid thousands of people in white, walking in serenity among the joyful hustle of various cultural dancers, fire dancers, drummers and flag bearers exhibiting various traditional dance forms and skills of their respective localities. This is a festival worth catching a glimpse of, as it is an inherent tradition meticulously honoured within the island. While appreciating the spiritual bliss of the temple, do keep in mind that this is a place of worship, so dress appropriately.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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Muthurajawela Wetland in Sri Lanka -The Swamp of Royal Treasure

If you thoroughly plan your trip to Sri Lanka, you will be able to experience its many natural wonders from Yala in the south to the Horton Plains in the central highlands and Wilpattu in the northwest. However, if you’re short on time and cannot venture far from the airport, there’s still a long list for you to explore and the Muthurajawela Wetland tops them all.
Covering a vast area of 1,317 km², Muthurajawela is a wild marshland in the southern region of Sri Lanka that is within 20-30 minutes away from the Bandaranaike International Airport. If you’re looking for accommodation in this area, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions is a renowned Ayurveda hotel in Sri Lanka that is within an easy distance to both the airport and the wetland. The only way of exploring the park is to go on a boat safari which costs Rs. 350 (2.31 USD) for a local and Rs. 1,100 (7.25 USD) for a foreigner. One boat can take up to 6 guests at a time. A boat safari usually lasts for about one and a half to two hours, so make sure to take enough water.

In Sinhalese, Muthurajawela literally translates to the “Swamp of Royal Treasure” and it is aptly named because the wetland is home a rich biodiversity out of which are 192 distinct species of flora and 209 distinct species of fauna. In recognition of this rich bio-diversity, the Sri Lankan Government declared it a wildlife sanctuary in 1996. Due to this, visitors to the site are carefully guided by the staff of the Muthurajawela Marsh Centre, in order to avoid any damage to the marsh ecosystem.

Some of the noteworthy residents of the Muthurajawela Wetland include the extremely rare grey slender loris, the elusive fishing cat, giant water monitors and humungous Eurasian crocodile.

Muthurajawela Wetland in Sri Lanka

Muthurajawela Wetland in Sri Lanka, Img. Src;[Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions]


Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

Top 3 things to do in Kuta, Bali – There’s more to it than just the beaches

Kuta is situated on the southernmost part of Bali, one of the many islands that make up Indonesia and is conveniently close to close to Ngurah Rai Aiport. Bali has long been known as a fabulous beach destination and Kuta is popular as a resort area for tourists. It was once a simple fishing village but is now a major tourist destination in Indonesia and especially in demand when it comes to surfing tourism. Several well-known Australian surfers are known to visit here often. From magnificent beaches and waterparks to traditional theatre houses and Buddhist temples, Kuta has got it all. If you are thinking of heading out on a vacation to Bali, Kuta resort options such as Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali and others are available for you to stay at during your holiday. While many of these resorts provide a comprehensive set of entertainment facilities within their own grounds, do make sure to venture out and sightsee at some of the following destinations. Bali’s got more to offer than its beaches.

Holiday Inn Resort® Baruna Bali Beachfront Family Fun

Photo Source:[Holiday Inn Resort® Baruna Bali Beachfront Family Fun]

Make a splash at the Waterbom Bali, one of Kuta’s water adventure parks. This recreational park features many water slides that are sure to get your heart racing as you cool off from the tropical heat. It also has many eateries should you get peckish or feel thirsty. If you are in the mood for a dose of culture and want to see something exotic, book a seat at Kuta Theater. The shows here are far from boring, and sometimes showcase the talents of fire-wielding magicians who show off their pyrotechnic skills to eager audiences. Leeng Gwan Kuta Temple, also known as the Vihara Dharmayana, is a Chinese Buddhist temple that counts over two hundred years of history. The architectural style and decor take after Eastern sensibilities, and so expect to be greeted with lots colour, especially red. This is in stark contrast to the more monotone, fully white Buddist temples that are iconic of South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka.

 

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+