12 March 2013

When Art meets Architecture

Inspiration meets Enchantment.... Knowledge meets Wisdom...
Life meets immortality... Time meets Infinity.


Today I will share a bunch of photos taken in November 2012 at Kelaniya Temple (in Kelaniya - a suburb of Colombo). It's famous as one of the most sacred temples in the island to the Buddhists and is also highly acclaimed for its magnificent arts and architecture. In March 2011 through the post Kelaniya - a fountain of Art I shared few pics captured from my good old mobile cam. So let me share a bit of that magnificence once again, this time captured through my not-so-new digi cam.

[CTRL + Click to expand the photos to their original size]


This ornate pediment-like structure sits at the very top of the big shrine hall of the temple. It features a typical 'Makara Thorana' (dragon pandol) with a relief statue resting in its niche.

The facade of the imposing shrine hall. Every bit of its structure running from the base of the columns up to the frieze and beyond, and everything around are adorned in finest relief motifs and sculptures.

As I stepped in and looked up, a portion of the ceiling caught my eyes. It was nothing short of a world of vivid motifs and carvings unfurling its magic in all directions.


Then there was this tall narrow window, which stood behind me, silently watching the interior walls and ceilings filled to the brim with murals and patterns.

Devotees can enter the big shrine hall from three directions, and when I stood at the direction facing the Stupa, this was what I saw.. the soaring Stupa framed between the shadows of the pillars. Kelaniya Stupa has a unique 'Dhanyakara' shape (a.k.a. paddy heap).

The premises of the temple can be accessed through two entrances, and when we arrived from the rear entrance we encountered this relief carving, snuggled on the shrine hall's weather beaten exterior wall.


Caught this person by chance when I was trying for a perspective shot while standing beneath the shade of the sacred Bo Tree of the temple. The golden railing, brass flags, cloth flags and festoons, and the tawny toned midget-demon army (and the hidden swan brigade) are also captured here, bathed in the sweet scent of the burning incense (bottom right corner). If you're wondering what those ribbon like knots hanging around are, they are strips of cloth tied around coins offered to the Bo Tree, to invoke blessings during the times of trouble and sickness.

While sitting on one of the stairs and enjoying the peaceful serenity, I saw plenty of feathered friends, pigeons and crows, flying all around and perching wherever they pleased. Their favorite spot was this square stone fountain sitting right behind the main entrance. The fountain is surrounded by concentric square stairs spreading in all four directions, making it a captivating architectural piece. The devotees usually come here to wash their hands and feet and spray water to the flowers and fruits before entering the premises. But when there's no one (two legged folks) around, it becomes a wee paradise for the birds. They dip in the square pond to cool off the heat from the scorching tropical sun.


And there was also this couple of pigeons sunbathing after a dip in the fountain. Think they're rock doves. After their baths most of the birds would shake off the remaining water while puffing up their plumage like fluffy porcupines. It was such a wonderful sight.

More pics can be seen here.

PS: Some of these pics didn't come out nicely aligned or framed cause I was in a hurry to shoot them, while avoiding the local devotees as they were bustling about.


  1. And the old meets the modernization.

    1. Indeed, quite true Rain. Thanks. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...