Golden Temple, Madhu River [Sri Lanka]

The famous Golden Temple is situated in Dambulla which lies around the central part of Sri Lanka.  The Golden Temple stands on the Colombo-Kandy route.  The entrance to the temple itself is beautiful.  The temple is a 50-feet-high golden structure that resembles a bell.


Golden Temple Sri Lanka

Inside, there is an attractive golden statue of Buddha that stands on top of a 3-storied building and is 10 feet wide and 20 feet tall.  The rooms below the statue contain museum that is based on the life of Buddha.  On the right side of the building, there are more than 100 statues of disciples of Buddha offering flowers in plates held in their hands.  Golden temple is actually a temple complex. 


Golden Temple

There is a flight of more than 100 steps through the left side of the building.  As we climb up these steps, underneath a vast overhanging rock, we can see in 5 caves, around 1157 images of Lord Buddha, disciples of Buddha and other statues of gods.  The 5 caves are extensive and have been carved out of rock.  In front of the first cave, the life of Buddha has been written in Brahmi script.  This cave has a 14-meter statue of Buddha sleeping on his arm, hewn out of rock.


Golden Temple

 The caveis full of images of disciples of Buddha and God Mahavishnu in sitting and standing positions.  The second cave is the largest with a total of 54 statues of Buddha, 14 of them are standing and 40 are seated.  On the ceiling, there is a painting of dragon face.  There are around 50 statues in the third cave.  In the fourth and fifth caves, there are Buddha’s golden statues as well as statues of disciples.


Inside Golden Temple

On the ceilings of every cave, there are magnificent paintings of Lord Buddha and other gods, dragons and flowers.  The silence inside the caves, humidity and the shadows of the statues take us to another world.  The outside view of the cave is commendable.


National Railway Museum Sri Lanka

From the Golden Temple, I straight away went to see Madhu River, which lies on Kandy-Bentota route.  On the way, the sight of May Trees in bloom added immense pleasure to the trip.  On the way, we can see the National Railway Museum of Sri Lanka which is situated on roadside in a place called Kadugannawa.  Here, old engines, railcars and trolleys are displayed.


Madhu River Sri Lanka

Madhu River flows through the region called Balapitiya which is a short distance from Bentota.  Boating at Madhu River is a thrilling experience.  Madhu River has 64 small islands.  The mangroves that surround the place, journey through the tunnel formed by mangroves, the beauty of the river, all these make the trip worthwhile.  In the middle of the river, there are countryside shops which sell coconut water and snacks.


Madhu River fishing

The main occupation of the people here is fishing which is done by standing in neck-deep water.  There is a famous old Buddha Temple in one of the islands.  Another important thing is that cinnamon is cultivated in some of these islands.  The skin is peeled off and dried and then kept for sale here.  Fish therapy is available in another island.  It costs 300 Sri Lankan Rupees.  There is a tank full of fishes.  One should sit with his legs in the tank and the fishes will clean the legs and nails, this is called fish therapy. Boating in Madhu River costs Rs. 1000.  If we want to see more, we need to pay more.  I returned to the hotel room leaving behind the natural beauty of the place.


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Ashok S P Sep-15- 2016 256