Kandy [Sri Lanka]

I strolled around Kandy City, a hill station of Sri Lanka; then went to the cultural center near Kandy Lake to watch the traditional art performances.  It starts at 5.00 in the evening and the entrance fee is 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees.  It is a one-and-a-half-hour program.  I took a ticket and went inside.  The program is conducted in a large hall with balcony.


Traditional Art Performance

A program list was distributed before starting the program, which contains the name of the art performance and a small description of it.  The program started at sharp 5.00.  The first program was Pooja Natuma, a dance program holding lamps, a colorful performance with drums and other like instruments.  Other performances included Naga Gurulu, Mayura Natuma, etc.  Mayura Natuma is a performance that has resemblance with the peacock dance in India.  Next is Kulu Natuma, a traditional folk dance.  Gini Sisila or Fire Dance is a specialized form of dance wherein there are 2 dancers along with drummers.


Gini Sisila

Ves Natuma is a predominant Canadian dance form that depicts the forms of worshipping Sun God.  Next is a vadhya dance accompanied by drums depicting a prayer of Lord Buddha.  Then, there were 1 or 2 Sri Lankan village dances.  At the end of the program, there was a performance called Fire Walking wherein hot coals were set below the stage and 2 artists walked through it.  The program concluded with this. The cultural program is actually meant to reveal Sri Lankan culture to the audience in a short time.  From there, I went to see the Temple of Tooth.  While walking through the middle of the extensive ground, I could see the beautiful flat summit of the temple.


Fire Dance

The walls of the temple are white which makes it very attractive.  Even though there are lots of people here, the place is peaceful and silent.  There is a moat around the temple.  I bought a pass and entered the temple.  Inside, I could see moonstone flooring at the entrance to the temple.  Sandakada Pahana, also known as Moon-stone is a unique feature of Sinhalese architecture.  It is an elaborately carved semicircular slab made of a single stone.


Temple of Tooth

There are some rules in Buddha temples, such as that the parts of the body above knees should be covered, wearing sleeveless clothes is not permitted inside the temple, footwear should not be worn, one should not stand with his back facing the statue of Buddha, etc.  I walked towards the place where the tooth of Lord Buddha is kept.  On either side, there are 6 elephant tusks.


Place Where The Tooth Of Lord Buddha Is Kept

The tooth relic is encased in a casket decorated with precious gemstones.  Only when we go near the casket and take a close look can we see the tooth.  After that, I saw a stupa made of gold.  There is a statue of Buddha and elephant tusks on either side. 


Statue Of Buddha

The main thing to see in this room is the ancient palm leaf manuscripts.  There is a big hall in the floor below in the center of which, there is a golden statue of Buddha and the sides full of Buddha statues made of marble.  There are some hanging metal plates on which are inscriptions of birth of Buddha, Bodhi Tree, Buddha in the state of meditative absorption, etc. 


Golden Statue Of Buddha

The Esala Perahera Festival conducted here is the largest festival celebrated in Sri Lanka.  Nearby this stands the Kandy Palace.  Entrance to the palace is not permitted.  Outside the temple, there is a museum.  Raja, the famous elephant of Sri Lanka, has been stuffed and preserved in this museum.  I realized that I was getting late.  So, I bowed before Lord Buddha and went about to see other places in Kandy.


Death Of The Buddha Painting

The biggest botanical garden of Sri Lanka is located in Kandy.  This awe-inspiring garden occupies around 30 acres of land.  I had to get satisfied by seeing the garden from outside as it was getting dark.  Since I had started the tour very early in the morning, I was very tired and as soon as I reached the hotel, I went straightaway to bed.

...

Ashok S P Sep-25- 2016 240