|Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, Anuradhapura|
We spent our first sunset in Sri Lanka visiting the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura, the first capital in Sri Lanka dating from the 4th century B.C. The two most important sites are Ruwanwelisaya Stupa and the Sri Maha Bodhi tree.
The Sri Maha Bodhi tree was grown from a branch of the original tree that the Buddha sat beneath in Northern India. The cutting was brought to Sri Lanka about 2,300 years ago; it is the oldest documented tree in the world. There is constant supervision of the tree by local monks.
This is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Sri Lankan Buddhists, so we were some of the only non Sri Lankans to be visiting the site. We realized that many locals were taking pictures of us at both sites. David assured me that this is just because they see few Westerners. While I think this is partly true, when I was returning the sarong that I had rented (because my bag didn't make it to Sri Lanka on our flight) I was told that it was a men's sarong. I think that might have explained some of the snickering, too!
|Posing with some school girls at Ruwanwelisaya Stupa|