.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Seema Malaka Temple, Colombo

01 Seema Malaka Temple, Colombo (4)

One of the most beautiful temples in Colombo — even all of Sri Lanka — is Seema Malaka.  It’s a Buddhist temple situated on calm and peaceful Beira Lake, not far from Gangaramaya Temple Seema Malaka was designed to be a place for meditation and rest, rather than worship.  It’s a quiet spot from which to retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo.  

The temple you see today is a replacement for one constructed in the late 19th century which sank into the lake in the 1970s.  In 1976, famed Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa (the father of “tropical modernism” style), was hired to redesign and construct the temple.  Bawa’s design was said to be influenced …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Gangaramaya Temple: One of Colombo’s top Attractions

temple3

Sri Lanka is a country of many traditions and faiths, but most of its residents are Sinhalese Buddhists.  As such, exploring the Buddhist temples of the country offers a gateway to understanding the culture and traditions of most of its people.  Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo and one of the city’s more interesting sites.

This Buddhist temple is encompassed by several buildings and is situated in the heart of Colombo, not far from Beira Lake.  It includes a Vihara (temple), a Bodhi tree, an Image house, and an assembly hall for monks.  The complex also has an eclectic museum, library, residential hall and an educational hall.  The beautiful Simamalaka Shrine is nearby and a satellite …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Exploring Historic Segesta, Sicily

02 Segesta

When we visited Sicily a few aspects of our time there surprised me.  1)  The food was even more delicious than I expected.  2)  The landscape was far more hilly and mountainous than I thought it would be.  3) The large assortment and general good state of preservation of the country’s archaeologic sites.

Segesta (also known as Egesta) is close to the island’s most populous city, Palermo, and is even closer to its airport.  It is easily accessible by car, the Autostrada only minutes away, so a car rental is the easiest way to get there (bus connections are said to be slow and difficult).  Unlike Agrigento in southern Sicily, there is no modern city nearby — just beautiful hills, farms …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 7) Kandy

Sri Lanka —  7) Kandy

The Sinhalese name for this city is Maha Nuvara (Senkadagalapura), impossible for the British to pronounce so they just called it Kandy.  Located in the forested foothills of the central mountains, about 1500 feet above sea level, Kandy is appealing to Sri Lankans as well as to visitors.  The weather is cooler and less humid than on the coast, especially at night.  Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and the gateway to the Hill Country and Cultural Triangle, so there’s lots to see and do.  It’s easily accessible by road and train from Colombo, offering scenic journeys through coconut and rubber plantations and rice paddies.   I’ve visited Kandy four times and enjoyed each visit.

Like Polonnaruwa …

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