06 November 2010


...breathes Life into Rocks.


This post.. is something that ought to have been up right after the Medirigirya post that was posted in September, you see. I wonder if it's cause, time flies a lot faster on this side of the planet. O__o

Coming back to Medirigiriya,
We got there around 3pm but the sun was blazing, blindingly bright. The soft plush sand, the rocky terrain, the smooth stone platform and the rough stone stairway.. all gave us their warmest *= blistering hot* welcome. It was so hot that a mere human couldn't stand still for more than 5 seconds, unless they find an oasis under the shade of a tree.

We were partly skipping, scampering and pausing at the small oases en route to this unique Watadage, that is said to be aesthetically best among its counterparts. But once I climbed up the stairway and got on to the circular stone platform.. I was stunned. It was a truly amazing sight that awaited us.

The soaring stone pillars fortifying the stone parapet gave us wonderfully distinct vistas like a celluloid. Behind the parapet was another circular platform with no railing for safety. Below that was a sheer drop, good enough to give goosebumps to anyone.

Wrapping this massive stone art was a green carpet of tree tops running as far as the eyes can see. And reverberating among them are the extemporized songs, mostly of the chirpy parrots playing hide and seek behind the greens. Farther towards the right were more stone ruins at a lower altitude, somewhat similar to the ones next to me. Above me was the bluest blue sky, blotted with silky white clouds and smudgy gray clouds.. looking nothing terrestrial. I bet twas a massive canvas carefully painted with water color by a giant heavenly being.

Watadage as I said before translates to Circular Relic House. Beaten by the scorching weather, torrential monsoons and a number of ruthless invasions.. today we could only see this ancient wonder in ruins. Slashed by the invaders' merciless swords, some of the stone statues remaining here only had the torso. The pillars behind them rose sky high and they were all crafted beautifully with subtle designs. But the glaring sun didn't allow me to absorb these captivating motifs for more than a few seconds.

As I leisurely wandered round and round the Watadage in a stupefied amazement, I forgot something very, very important. For when I looked around.. our folks had already left the Watadage and had rushed to find an oasis. And then it suddenly hit me, OMG the floor *= stone platform* was still smoldering hot! O__O

Once my lost senses returned from the oblivion, I couldn't stay put for even a few seconds there, so had to hurry down the stairway to join my folks. Under the shade of a grove they were all chatting cheerfully, some standing, some seated on cool stone benches nearby. I too sat on one of them and looked around. I was surprised beyond words, once more. There around us, popping up from the ground, were some of the finest archeological discoveries.. that you already saw in my last post. ^__^

So here we go, finally, to the historical Watadage of Medirigiriya.
* All pics can be expanded with a simple CTRL + Click


This winds up the Medirigiriya topic and finally wraps up the entire Somawathie trip.

On a different note, I took a few IQ tests and realized that my IQ has gone down dramatically. O__O That proves I haven't used my teeny brain for a while.. well.. I wonder even that bit had vanished. -__-

So.. I decided to do a life planner, listing my 3 utmost life goals. Made some mini goals under them. And after contemplating a lot, I found out that I'm better off with my old faithful freelancing career. =D Oh but this time, the type of work I'm hoping to do will be totally different. And if it works out.. it'd help me big time to achieve one of my 3 life goals a bit more earlier than I thought. So.. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. ^__^

27 October 2010

Inspire the world..

.. and the World will Inspire You!


Have you ever read a poem that touched and inspired you so much that you really wanted to share it with the whole wide world? Well.. this is a poem that my good pal Springflower shared with me yesterday. Thank you so much once again sis. ^__^

In a nutshell.. it's a poem that knocks you out of your dreamworld and pushes you down the stairway of humanity until you stumble upon the portal of reality. *um.. did that make sense?*

Anyway.. it's a truly beautiful poem written by a Lankan, who's also a doctor and a big time humanitarian. You'll see links to his blog on the same page.

So take a couple of minutes off your busy schedule and read this wonderful poem that'd take you on a journey of soul-search..  and let you see the world from a slightly different perspective.. than you did.. or ever did.

Turn your Face to the Sun - By Maithri Goonetilleke

14 October 2010

Momentary stills...

... from the Stream of Life.


These are a bunch of stuff that's been idling in my photo collection for a while. They all have something to do with nature - sky, birds, clouds and the radiant light of the sun itself. They are the lil things in life that have the wondrous power to trigger a smile.. that is.. if you'd care to spare a moment to observe them and enjoy.

* As usual the following images can be expanded with a CTRL+ Click

Sky... is the Limit.

Even a heartless concrete pole gleefully bows before the glamorous morning Sun. For it knows without this giant star.. Earth would have been yet another lifeless planet snuggled amidst countless galaxies.. where life visibly not exist.

While his piercing eyes scan the green canopy, her razor sharp beak gently preens its jet black plumage... and thus begin another fine day of the raven couple.. dwelling at the border of the Habarana Jungle.

Every time I stare at this vast blue heavens.. I feel so tiny.. like a nanobot. The world so large, so vast, so boundless.. even one streak of a cloud straddling so high up.. dwarfs these lofty tropical giants on the land.

To rain.. or not to rain.. do not take so long to ponder.. shed your tears and let us quench this lifelong thirst. Oh mighty regents of the heaven, we that dwell in this arid planes are forever at your mercy.

When a scalloped gray cloud wears a golden silhouette.. there's a blazing fireball hiding behind those fluffy tufty clouds. Time to time it'd take a sneak peek at the tiny world beneath, where life revives every morning with the rays of hope.. it beams.

That hazy glow of the horizon is neither a sinister grin of the rumbling Zion nor a blaze exuding from a crevice in Hades. It is only time for the weary sun.. to take a dip in the blue ocean.. far beyond these rolling hills.. and call it a day.


I had lots more to be posted here but I guess this is enough for today. ^__^

09 October 2010

Life.. is an endless stairway...

... full of ups and downs.


Hi everyone! How have you been? I did drop by a few of your blogs and tried catching up with the posts I've missed as much as I could. But the list never ends. =D

Well.. there's some news from my end too.. and I don't know whether to call it good or bad or neutral news.. but whatever it is.. all I know is that after a super busy first week followed by a super sickly second week I'm now getting used to the life back at home, slowly convalescing from all the complications I've accumulated as a souvenir from my first office job after 7yrs! =D

Good times...

Mmm.. I should have taken 2 buses to get to work but I made it a rule that I needed a daily workout so I only took 1 bus, the one to get to Kandy. From there every morning I walked a distance of nearly 3 bus halts to get to my work place. Then after work I'd walk back 2 bus halts to reach my bus.

I had to wake up around 5 am so as to be at the work place by around 8.15am. After work I'd leave office between 6 - 6.10pm and then arrive home past 7pm. For the first few days everything was all so nice. I really enjoyed my morning walks. I really enjoyed the chit chats with my new colleagues. Then my time at the canteen was my most favorite. The view from up there (2nd floor) was splendid and this is where I took breakfast, lunch and evening tea regularly. Though I call it tea I usually had Nescafe here, until I got a warning for drinking too much caffeine from the very person who served me Nescafe. =D

For breakfast they have roti with sizzling hot katta sambol or hoppers and string hoppers with dhal curry, coconut sambol and that green chili sambol. They also had different types of cakes including the coconut cake and rulan(g) cake that I didn't miss out. *and nope by the way I'm not a glutton, I just had a fine appetite* =P

This building has several floors and every time I climbed up or down I'd meet new folks. It was tough remembering their faces let alone their names cause there were like around hundred or so employees serving in dozens of different departments here.

Thanks to my memory I asked the same girl on two different days the same questions, i.e. where she's coming from and which department she's working... until she laughed and told me 'you asked me the same thing just the other day'. lol It's a good thing the folks here are so understanding, but still that was pretty embarrassing for me. -__-

Bad Times...

But I guess.. just as life offers good things it also offers bad things. And this was the policy of the weather gods.. who thought it was high time to commence their 'Operation Inter Monsoon' right at the time I began enjoying my new office life. Dealing with dust and smoke is one thing.. but having to deal with a torrential downpour after dark is another thing. There's the long traffic jams that pop up whenever there's rain too.

And then to add to this nightmare a huge hole, the size of a big bus, was dug suddenly in our route and they began construction works day and night! Since our bus route is a two-lane road getting a traffic jam was natural. But lucky for me the mornings were almost free from jam. But it wasn't the same during evenings.

The time I got home kept getting late more and more, making my parents worry to the max. Dad had to come to the bus halt as it gets pitch black cause of the stormy nights. Mom got irritated and shouted at me, each time I came home late. It was all too natural since she was highly worried about my health. And then it was like a norm for me to come home past 7.30pm caught in the traffic jam (thanks to that giant hole in the middle of the road) and also caught in the rain, drenched from head to toe and painted with a fine muddy batik work all over my dress!

And this kept continuing the rest of the week. The construction work too got dragged on. And because I had to work 6 days a week, it made me feel like there was no end to it.. so the daily traveling became exhausting. By now I already caught a flu and it never got better. I had taken medicine from 2 doctors and another for a tooth issue and finally got fed up with everything.

Dad too came much early to the bus halt to pick me up, thinking he'd miss me and had to wait in the torrential downpour for me. I sometimes had to stand in a sardine packed bus that won't even budge a millimeter for a half an hour, during these traffic jams. And on the final day something even weirder happened, while it was pouring outside the bus, it started raining inside the bus too! O__O And yep, I got wet even before I got off from the bus. -__-

The final doc that I channeled said that I've developed an acute bronchitis.. and that both my lungs were filled with phlegm. So.. I figured.. if I continue to get drenched in the rain like this.. I can look forward to a nice long vacation at the hospital with pneumonia.

Time finally came... time to take a decision. Mom didn't force me this time, so this was solely my own decision. It was tough for me but I knew I had to worry more about my health. And cause of the late times I arrived home, plus my getting sick had all troubled my parents even more than me.. so after considering and weighing all the pros and cons, I gave up the job that I enjoyed doing very much.

Anyway I don't regret what I did. Now I'm only concentrating on getting better from all these complications I've developed. You see.. I even had my old gastric issue worsened due to the strong medicines I kept taking for all this time.

It's actually a good eye opener for me.. instead of accepting everything served on a platter as it is.. I should have changed my working times the moment I felt this was too much. Not that I didn't try, just that I was told it wasn't possible the first time I inquired. So I thought I could keep up, but I couldn't. For me who was too used to working from home with such flexible working hours, I guess this type of working duration and distance was indeed too much.

So now that I know it.. I'll do a thorough planning before I apply for another..but first of all.. I think I should enjoy a nice long break and of course get better! =D

Hope you have a great weekend! ^__^

27 September 2010

Inactive mode On

Hi everyone! How have you been? I was planning to wrap up the Medirigiriya topic but suddenly things took a 180 degree turn and now I hardly seem to have time for anything.

You see.. I've been working as a freelancer from the convenience of my home for a while so 'time' was something I've been taking for granted for all this time. But out of whim I thought of switching my field from writing to something else and was also planning to get back to office work, so I've been trying out a few places, during the last couple of weeks.

And then.. all of a sudden I got a job at a company, around 6-7 km away from home, and so since late last week I've started working at an office, yep after 7 years I'm back to office work! lol So all those wonderful free times I used to enjoy are no more. -__-

I leave home at around 7.30 am and return home past 7pm, exhausted to the max. Well.. if you're using public transport, it's a given. And I'm also working 6 days a week, full time, so I'm free only on Sundays.

Even though this job drains my energy totally, weird enough, I'm highly enjoying my new work! ^__^ The place is rich in diversity and I'm learning new things daily, meeting new people daily, and even my work has a good variety so.. it's like having daily adventures.. the office way. =D

But.. sadly I can't catch up with your blogs like I used to. Though on Sundays I'll try my best to do so. Yesterday (Sunday) was a busy day for me since I had to go for hunting... yep, hunting for office wear = shopping. lol So from next Sunday onwards I'll try my best to catch up with your blogs as much as I can. And thanks for everyone who added links for me. I'll definitely check them up as soon as I get a break.

Do take care everyone! And have a great week ahead! ^__^

20 September 2010

Take a stroll.. amidst Ancient Ruins

Yep, after a lapse of 5 months.. finally.. I'm getting back to the long forgotten topic of Medirigiriya Watadage.

Medirigiriya has one of the finest Watadage in Lanka renowned as an archeological site dating back to 7th century AD which is also rich in artistic value. Watadage or circular relic house is an ancient structure built around a Stupa, topped with a roof.

But there's much more to the place than its archeological essence. These stone ruins are dotted throughout acres of land brimming with greenery. (that article says the place used to own 600 acres, but now it's down to 250 acres) Green trees and grass together with gray rocks and ruins sprawling beneath the mysteriously beautiful blue skies.

Despite being fanned throughout with natural chilly breezes, and constantly calmed by the tranquil scenery, the temperature was terribly scorching! It was like getting slowly boiled inside a giant cauldron. -__- The temp. might have been around 30 - 32C but we felt it like a sizzling 40C cause of humidity levels. But the area's magnificent beauty made us forget this boiling cauldron, at least from time to time.

The first folks to greet us were a whole colony of parrots! They were singing and chattering happily. *noise level = a local fish market in birdie version* Sadly when I caught them on cam, the green of their plumage and the green of the foliage were all the same. *my poor cam couldn't tell them apart!*

As we climbed the stone stairway and walked towards the watadage, we saw lots of lichenized ruins. There was a fine rocky outcrop with a stairway (carved off the rock) leading to ruins of a stupa and beyond that was a lily pad infested pond. In between all these ruins were a sandy area. Be it the sand, or the rocky surface or the neatly flattened stone stairways and terraces.. almost everything was still.. sizzling hot...! But it was worth the effort.. to explore.. such a beautiful spot.. rich in nature.. and rich in ruins.

So today I'll be sharing the captivating scenery around Medirigiriya Watadage... and some of the other ruins that I came across.

*If you'd recall one of my previous posts.. Medirigiriya is the very place where we saw the giant Banyan tree and the mysterious cave where a devotee was meditating, and the secret super slim tunnel with the slipperiest slope was found* 

A stone basin to wash the feet? This was at the foot of the first stone stairway

A green carpet between stone ruins and rocky outcrops

A moonstone.. buried under sand

Stupa in ruins, sitting atop the rocky outcrop

More ruins.. you could also see some statues amidst stone pillars

Irregular brick pattern.. it looks like in the good old days they didn't use the perfectly rectangular bricks

A korawakgala (handrail) made entirely of stone.

Lichenized bricks... the place was infested with lichens.. which means the environmental pollution here is next to nil.

The sky had different types of clouds in every direction, some appeared like they were taken right off a smudged oil painting.

Take a sneak peak at this 1 foot tall anthill.. that I found beneath a stone bench

The Yellow Tree.. I've no idea what this tree is but it sure stood out amidst all the green trees. 

This cactus stood out amidst other ordinary trees... for some odd reason it reminds me of flat faced cloth dolls.. tons of them!

Cactus and the sky

It's a stairway to heaven! This was behind the Yellow Tree. As you can see.. it's carved off the very same rock.. a pretty neat work

Rocky terrain.. met a cute salamander around here, but before I could say hi, it vanished into a plush carpet of fallen leaves. 

Lily filled pond.. this was found at the end of the rocky outcrop

This shady grove.. starts from the watadage and runs straight up to the pond (above).

You see.. I took 5 mts to gather all my courage to climb up a 50+ degree slope (in that rocky terrain) with all my might and then.. another 2 mts to argue *with my mind* if I'm going to risk my life and jump down a 3-4 ft drop *and I did jump* and almost sprained my ankle and trudged the rest of the rock up to that pond.. and then.. my dear lil cousin sis and her mom simply pointed at this path between the shady grove and said.. "why didn't you take that short cut?" -__-

Part of the pond.. I think.. without the lily pads.. and finally..

Medirigiriya Watadage... as seen from a distance


This concludes the sightseeing tour around the Watadage. Next time you'll see the famous Medirigiriya Watadage itself. ^__^

06 September 2010

Kandy Esala Perahera - Part III

Had to edit this 3 times cause of the video clip. Hope it works now.
Finally.. the final episode's here. =D It took me a while since I had to edit and fine tune the video clips (picked a few and merged into one) and I apologize again for its quality.

I'll post the video at the top, so click to play and when it buffers, click to pause. In the mean time read the article and see the pics. Once done scroll back up. The video will be ready to view. ^__^ (if you've got faster connection you can watch it right away too)

Here's the rest of the pics..

10.46pm: Kandyan dancers.

This group performed before 'Diyawadana Nilame', the chief lay custodian of Temple of the Tooth. Clad in a glamorous attire reminiscing the past kings, he parades right after the golden casket bearing sacred relics.

10.47pm: Diyawadana Nilame walking majestically under a 'muthu kudaya' (a big ornate parasol)

10.48pm: Flag bearers (looks more clear ne?)

I'm going to fast forward from now on. (since I've to wrap it up with this post)

10.55pm: The tusker bearing the sacred insignia of Natha Devalaya (shrine dedicated to god Natha) escorted by its counterparts.

It's a common belief among folks here that god Natha is the very Bodhisattva who is next in line to attain Buddhahood as Maithree Buddha.

From the pics below you will notice each devala perahera with its own themed color, like I mentioned before. Natha - yellow, Vishnu - blue, Kataragama - red and Pattini - white.

10.58pm: This blue cart symbolizes the beginning of Vishnu Devala Perahera. (unfortunately I do not know what it's called formally or what it carries inside)

10.59pm: Traditional drummers

11.05pm: The tusker bearing the sacred insignia of Vishnu Devalaya. (that flashy blue looks stunning, right?)

11.15pm: The tusker of Kataragama Devalaya carrying the sacred insignia.

11.21pm: Dancers of 'Kohomba Kale'

These dancers carry 4 - 10ft tall multi-level decorated pots. Not only they bear the pot's weight, they also dance beautifully while balancing such tall structures on top of their heads! As they spin around the long frills on each level bloom like flowers.

11.24pm: Tusker bearing the sacred insignia of Pattini Devala Perahera.

Whether you've watched Esala Perahera on TV or from the premises, you'll notice that the main perahera and the first three Devala perahera don't have a single female performer!

It's an age old tradition for Esala Perahera that females don't take part. But there is an exception. The final Pattini Devala Perahera is full of them! It's cause goddess Pattini is a female herself, so naturally it is the only perahera we get to see female performers. Almost all Kohomba Kale dancers (you saw above) are also females representing Pattini Devala Perahera. *But if I remember right, the Kataragama Devala Perahera too had a few female dancers performing the peacock dance*

As this is the final Devala Perahera, the entire Esala Perahera comes to an end after this. As they have whip crackers to announce the beginning of perahera, there is Randoli (golden palanquins) to denote the ending.

11.24pm: close up of Pattini Devala tuskers

Notice how elaborate the tusker's costume looks?

11.25pm: Randoli of the four Devala

The End.

PS: In case you left the video to load and started reading, now's the time to check it out. ^__^

29 August 2010

Kandy Esala Perahera - Part II

By the way did anyone notice the degree of motion blur varying with each pic? You see.. between me and the street was a parapet wall but (cause I was up on the platform) it only reached up to my knee. To get a better view I had to lean on this low parapet and take pics with a stretched arm holding out the cam. *I'm still not good at one handed snapping* =D

But I think.. my 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' pose did freak out the spectators sitting around me. Cause there was a sheer 12+ ft drop right below me. lol Oh and the weather too was biting cold, so couldn't help the extra motion blur. -__-

Putting that aside.. let's get back to the pageant.

9.50pm: Flag bearers (these were Buddhist Flags)

Different groups carried different types of flags, made of all kinds of materials from cloth to copper/ brass. Apart from Buddhist flags, they carried flags representing provinces and ancient divisions.

9.55pm: Traditional Drummers

This is a handful of our traditional percussion. The short drum at the front is called 'Dawula', and the twin drum at the center and rear is called 'Tammettama'. These two types of drums need sticks to play them. The long drum you saw last time is called 'Geta Beraya'. *hopefully in future I'll try and get some close ups of them*

10.02pm: More dancers

We have 3 main types of traditional dancing called 'Udarata' (up country), 'Pahatarata' (low country) and 'Sabaragamu'. This pageant represents not only the performers of these schools but also other types of dancing influenced mainly by Indian folk dances. Good examples are Kawadi and Wadiga Patuna.. though this time they missed out the latter. (if you want to know more about our traditional dances, click here)

10.05pm: Perahera progressing towards Maligawa (see all the torch bearers on either sides?)

That flame is sizzling hot, and it saved me from freezing into an ice block! *seriously, I'm not kidding* =D

10.13pm: Weaving pole dance (not sure of its actual name)

Here a group of dancers, each holding a thick colored cord, dance around a pole in the middle. Their dancing has to be precise and follow a certain pattern, which in turn weaves a nice colorful design across the pole. One wrong step and it won't come out nice. They undo this design by dancing the other way round.

10.24pm: Cane dance

This was a high speed dance that thrilled the spectators. The one in the middle holds two bundles of canes on each hand, and the other ends of each cane is held by the dancers standing in the circle. When the dance begins, the one in the middle drops himself on the ground and starts spinning (in both directions from time to time) while the ones around starts running at break neck speeds. They form 2 concentric circles, where the outer circle runs anticlockwise and the inner circle runs clockwise! *you'll see their dance in the videos later*

Once the dance ends, another one enters the circle and switch place with the middle performer.. before the next session begins. I think holding huge bundles of canes while they twist and turn at high speeds does take its toll on their palms.

10.25pm: Elephant costume

They said on TV that there are perennial clans involved in designing and making elephant costumes, which is of course no easy task. After centuries of evolving now the costumes have become more sophisticated and flashy, like the ones you see below, adorned with numerous tiny bulbs.

10.33pm: Glamorous pachyderms

10.38pm: Raban Spinners

Here the frisbee shaped small drum called rabana is spun at high speed atop a stick or finger. They also have branched sticks to revolve more than one drum. What's exciting is.. while they spin they also throw these drums high up.. about 15- 20 ft.. and catch them, almost simultaneously!

10.40pm: Two tuskers (doesn't this motion blur looks super cool?) =D

And now we're about to reach the culmination of Dalada Perahera, ie. the main perahera.

10.41pm: The middle tusker bears the sacred relics of Maligawa (see the three tuskers at the distance)

When the sacred tusker 'Nendungamuwe Raja' carrying the 'Ransivi Ge' (the huge golden casket that encases the stupa shaped receptacle with relics) enters our vicinity.. it is a custom to rise up (even if seated on the ground) and stand on our feet. Despite our religion, cast, creed, nationality (including foreigners) or even position (including the kings and nowadays the presidents and all levels of clergy of all religions) have to stand up as a mark of respect!

10.43pm: Kandyan Dancers

Kandyan dancers are the pride of Lankan traditional dances. It is a dance form well known throughout the world and is also one of the most popular dances performed at star class hotels here. The glamor in the costume and the elegance of the dance itself is truly spellbinding.

10.45pm: Nendungamuwe Raja escorted by two other tuskers passing before us. (see the huge golden casket on the tusker's back? within that casket sits the stupa shaped golden receptacle bearing the relics)

It is said that in the olden times the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha was paraded along the streets during the Dalada Perahera but at some point they have stopped this custom and paraded some other relics in place since then. The stupa shaped golden receptacle carried along the perahera is called 'Perahera Karanduwa' and is usually kept right next to the big golden receptacle that encases the Sacred Tooth Relic.

Since then to date the Sacred Tooth Relic is not moved from its (7 caskets) receptacle other than every five years when the sacred relic is exhibited during the 'Dalada Exposition' at Maligawa. (The stupa shaped 7 caskets are placed one within the other, and are made of 7 different materials like gold, silver, bronze and so on with dwindling sizes, while the innermost one is made of crystal)

Now we're almost at the end of Dalada Perahera, but there's 4 more pageants (Devala Perahera) to go. I'll try to wrap it up in the next post if possible, and also include the video clips too. *oops! got to edit them first*


Sorry that this post has gotten so lengthy. *keeping short and sweet is no more the trend, right?* =D
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