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. ^__^
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