This place was really amazing.... AND free!
I think for most people this is a day trip from Kandy but we stopped on the way down from a disappointing few days t'up North. It might have been the weather which was atrocious, or the fact that I constantly felt I was being ripped off and seeing nothing much in return.
This was much better, partly at least because the sun came out. It is a steep climb up to the cave. The guidebooks are a bit sniffy about the huge Buddha at the bottom of the hill. It is huge and it does look plastic. However, once you've climbed up its like nothing else I've seen.
The rock towers which houses the caves towers 160 m over and dominates the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area but there are five main caves, which contain 153 Buddha statues and a load of paintings.
The caves’ history as a place of worship is thought to date from around the 1st century BC, when King Valagamba (Vattajamini Ahhaya), driven out of Anuradhapura, took refuge here. When he regained his throne, he had the interior of the caves carved into magnificent rock temples. Further improvements were made by later kings, including King Nissanka Malla, who had the caves’ interiors gilded, earning the place the name Ran Giri (Golden Rock).
The first cave, the Temple of the King of the Gods, has a 15m-long reclining Buddha. Ananda, the Buddha’s loyal disciple, and other seated Buddhas are depicted nearby. An account in the cave records the monastery that is here was founded in a 1st-century Brahmi inscription over the entrance to the first cave.
The second cave, The cave of the Divine Kings is probably the most spectacular of the five and certainly the largest. It contains 15 standing Buddha statues and 40 odd seated ones.
At the bottom of the hill is the new monastery with a huge Buddha statue. This was built in 2000 with Japanese donations. Signs say the Buddha is the largest of its kind but, apparently, its not even the largest in Sri Lanka!
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.