COMMONWAY INSTITUTE

Sri Lanka Photos

April-June 2000 Visit

The Ancient City of Pollonaruwa:

Because of the change in my schedule, I took a few hours and toured the ancient city sites in Pollonaruwa.  These are a few of the many beautiful images.  (I apologize for the size; it is a trade-off between viewability and loading time.)

These images show the deep roots of the Sinhalese civilization in Sri Lanka.  I am looking forward to making a similar tour of Tamil sites in the future.
 
 

01:  A modern Buddha, at a crossroads in Pollonaruwa's new city.
 

03:  Beautiful rice paddies, surrounding a huge human-made ancient lake.  (Remember: this is called the "Dry Zone"!)
 
 

07:  Royal Palace ruins (3 stories of what was a 7 story structure)

08:  A stairway leading to the Council Chambers, with a moonstone at the base of the stairs.
 

17:  A better view of the moonstone at the base of the steps.  One of the best preserved examples of a moonstone anywhere in Asia... and they still allow people to walk on it!!!

09:  Detail of carving on a pillar...
 
 

14:  An impressive sight: beautiful carving, with guardian stones at base of carved stairway with moonstone.
 
 

16:  The Lotus Pool sanctuary:  the columns are carved like the stems of lotus flowers.  The ceiling was supposed to look like lotus flowers -- seen from the bottom.  The effect was to be looking up from the bottom of a lotus pond.
 
 

19:  Another royal hall of some kind (not many windows in their structures).

20:  The third largest stupa in Sri Lanka.  (In case you are wondering, the two women who appear in these pictures are my local Sarvodaya guide... and her chaperone.)

21:  The following three images of Buddha are in a line.  They are three of the best stone carvings of Buddhas anywhere in the world.  Notice how the grain in the stone carries through each carving.

22:  This standing Buddha is unusual for its hand positions, and for the slight bend in the hips, more common in carvings of females.

23:  The detail on this reclining Buddha is amazing; the pillow where is his resting his head is slightly indented.

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