dennis s. hurddennis s. hurd

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Pilikuttuwa Rajamaha Viharaya

Day 32 - Today is a poya day.  The day of the full moon is always a holiday in Sri Lanka.   Sri Lanka has a lot of days off as the island celebrates some Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu, and Christian holidays.  In fact, I think there are around 26 official, government holidays ending with Christmas in December.

Little Trip on Poya Day

Little Trip on Poya Day

Much earlier in the month, we noticed from Dubai that December's full moon would be today.  So, yesterday we arranged for a driver to come and pick us up.  Often people go on a pilgrimage to visit a temple.  I wanted to go back to one that is only around 20 km from the house.  Our driver arrived at about 10:15.  Getting to this ancient temple area took only around 45 minutes.

Most religious sites are in locations with special geographic features.  Unlike many where you have to climb to the top of a hill, today's was near the bottom.  Jay and his sisters gave offerings of flowers and brought coconut oil and wicks for some clay lamps.

Temple on Poya Dat

However, we wanted to take the very small hike up the hill behind the rock cave temple.  

Little Trip on Poya Day

Little Trip on Poya Day

The distance was probably less than a one-kilometer but the first part of the hike was really steep up over rocks and borders.  Fat people were sweating, myself included.

On a clearer day, it would be easy to see the huge highrises and towers of modern Colombo.  We overheard people pointing out the area where they lived.  Many said that they often visit far away temples but neglect going to ones close to home such as this.  That's not unlike us. 

Little Trip on Poya Day 
Little Trip on Poya Day 
  Little Trip on Poya Day

When coming down the trail, Jay remarked on the absence of monkeys.  However, as we were getting to the bottom, a whole troop of macaques arrived.  There are several different types of primates here, but these are the most mischievous and troublesome, but clever.  If you've never seen the DisneyNature film called 'Monkey Kingdom', take a look.  It's filmed at an ancient capital, and now a religious and archaeological site, in Sri Lanka.

We stopped for lunch after leaving this site.  We ate from a huge, vegetarian buffet for less that $US 2 each.  Our final, very close, temple was unexpectedly closed.   So we were back home by mid-afternoon.


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