Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sri Lanka.. Show all posts

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The agony of Queen Kuweni

The story of 'Thonigala' - We went on a trip to this place. A youngish girl of the area took us round. I asked her about the origin of the name 'Thonigala'. She repeated the legends related by the elders of the area. The name 'Thonigala' referred to the 'Lathoni' - 'anguished wail' - of 'Kuweni' the Veddah Queen, at this rock, when King Vijaya threw her out of his residence, to accommodate a Princess from Southern Madura. King Vijaya had brought her to the banks of this lake, drawn a line on the granite rock by the side of the lake and commanded Kuweny not to step beyond that line. The heart rending wail of Kuweny, abandoned with her young son and daughter, gave the name to 'Thonigala'.
Kuweny, who was a queen of the 'Yakkas' had enticed Vijaya and later married him. She had let down her tribe and helped Vijaya to defeat them. When Kuveny after being thrown out of Vijaya's household had tried to go back to her tribe. The Yakkas had stoned her to death. Her son and daughter by Vijaya were rescued by Kuweni's uncle. Legends had it that the son and daughter were the origin of the 'Veddhas' of Ceylon. The young guide corrected this part of the story and claimed that all of us in present Sri Lanka were the descendants of "Yakas'. I was reminded of the epithet 'Yaka' used to refer to any acquaintance in Sinhalese as 'Ey Yaka'. A recently appointed laborer at the Kynsey road Medical Faculty, coming from Bibile, was sent with a letter by a member of the academic staff, to be delivered to the Vice-Chancelor in his office, a short distance away. He came back with the letter undelivered and told the Professor, 'Ey Yaka ehey naa' - that Yaka is not in the office. I think that all of us must accept the fact that we are all descendants of Yakas. Quite a few place names and legends in Sri Lanka are associated withe Yakas eg. 'Yaka bendi Ela' etc. I will leave you to discover them.

 The rock where a line was drawn by King Vijaya

 The earthh bund of one of the tanks

 The longest Brahmi inscription dated to the 1st Century AD at Thonigala

 A second Brahmi inscription.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The 'Robinson Casket', Ivory 15th Century AD, Sri Lanka.

The 'Robinson Casket' is one of a group of at least nine solid ivory caskets made in Kotte, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and sent by the kingdom's rulers to Portugal as diplomatic gifts, in some cases to mark specific historical or religious events. It is believed to have been made about 1557 to commemorate the King of Kotte's conversion to Christianity and the birth of a grandson and heir to the King of Portugal, hence the choice of Christian motifs and symbols of birth and rebirth that are intricately carved throughout the casket. The piece is among the earliest examples of Ceylonese art made for western consumption, and it illustrates beautifully how local craftsmen interpreted European forms and motifs and married them to their own decorative traditions. The casket is named after Sir John Charles Robinson, Superintendent of Art Collections for the South Kensington Museum (renamed the V&A in 1899), who acquired it in Lisbon before 1888.
Please click on web-link below :-…/the-robinson-casket-casket-…/

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Haputhale road, Sri Lanka.


Old Haputhale road and present highway.
Listen to the old song a carter is singing to his bullocks, dragging his loaded cart, up the Haputhale Hill climb.

Bara Bage / C.T. Fernando
Click on the web-link below with your speakers on:-

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Life in the 1950s in Sri Lanka.

Photos taken with a box camera in the 1950s. Village children of Handapangoda, Wellawaya, at a school sports meet in Wellawaya, touring the Island on Vespa scooters and 'Mini skirt' fashion in Puwakpitiya, Sri Lanka.
Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorImage may contain: one or more people, people sitting, motorcycle and outdoor

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Artisans' work at the 'Dalada Maligawa', Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Decorated pillars, Dalada Maligawa, Kandy, Sri Lanka. The work of artisans residing in the Kandyan Kingdom. 1. 'Naari-latha' - A mythological creeper supposed to grow in the Himalayas.The flowers from this creeper depict all the beauty and allure of a damsel. They are supposed to draw away the men who perform 'Tapas' in the Himalayas, by their beauty.
2. 'Et-kanda-lihiniya - A mythological bird said to be capable of carrying off an elephant and eating it.
3. 'Simha' - A lion
4. ? Boar.
5. ? Lotus.
6 & 7 'Inverted Lotus' on the top of pillars

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The 'Dalada Maligawa', Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The Temple of Tooth at kandy is the final location of the sacred tooth of the lord Buddha which was brought to srilanka during the reign of king “keerthi sri Megawarna” by prince “Dantha” and Princess “Hemamala” from the kindom of kalingu India. It became the palladium of srilankan kings and was preciously guarded in a special shrine built within precincts of royal palace where the capital was located.
The Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, sri dalada Maligawa is in the centre of the city, the highest venerated religious place with steeped in cultural heritage attracting the highest respect of the Buddhists as well as the other religions all over the world. The beautiful magnificent temple was built by late king Vimaladharmasooriya 1st in 1592 AD.
The Relic Shrine is approached by a large draw-bridge over the moat and through a beautifully decorated frontispiece. A tunnel” ambarawa”, leads to the main shrine complex, having a central courtyard surrounded by storied structures.
The two-storied open pillared hall in front constitutes the area where visitors and devotees gather. The lower hall has its central part set apart for the beating of drums and other forms of traditional music performed during ritual service hours. On either side are the Pallemale Vihara constructed by king Kirti Sri Rajasimha and the Octagon (Pattirippuva) built by the last king, Sri Vikrama Rajasimha on one side and the small “stupa” supposed to contain the Bowl Relic of the Buddha on the other. The storied structures to the right and left of the shrine, constitute the residence quarters of the monks engaged during daily service (Tevava), the conference hall, the Library and the Office of the Diyawadana Nilame.The recognition of the sacred temple it has been declared kandy as a world heritage city by UNESCO. Ven.Monks of the two chapters of Malwattu and Asgiriya conduct daily worships in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performing 3 times daily at dawn, at noon and in the evening. On Wednesdays, there is a symbolic bathing of the sacred relic with an herbal preparation from scented water and fragrant flowers called “Nanumura Mangalya”.
This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and it is distributed among those present.
I took these photos of the varied facets of this temple complex.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sigiriya, water garden, Versailles water garden, Hamlet, Shakespeare, Sri Lanka.

This photo was taken by me using a small Nikon Coolpix film camera a few years back. The photo was taken from the 'mirror wall' parapet. Two claims are made for Sigiriya.
1.That it inspired the architect of the French Versailles water  garden, who may have visited this site.
2.That the inspiration for the scene in Hamlet by Shakespeare, where the wood invaded the fortress, had its origin in the story of the defeat of King Kashyappa. It is claimed that Robert Knox carried the story to England.
A good account of the water garden at Sigiriya is given in the web-link below :-…/sigiriya-gardens-ponds-palaces.html

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Statue of Lord Buddha, Yudhaganaawa, off Buththala, Sri Lanka.

Yudaganawa town is in the Buttala Divisional Secretariat Division of the Moneragala District. The Dagoba could be reached by traversing 1½ km along the left turnoff at the Yudaganawa Junction 16km from Wellawaya on the Wellawaya - Moneragala road.
Yudaganawa derived its name fron the two words Yuda meaning war and Anganaya meaning arena being the place where the armies of prince Dutugemunu and prince Saddhatissa fought each other in 2nd c B.C. Another school of thought has it to be the spot where Prarakramabhahu the Great built a dagoba enshrining the ashes of his mother, Queen Ratnavali.
This Dagoba is by far the biggest ancient monument found in the Uva Province. Although the period to which the architecture of the Dagoba belonged is not clearly disernible, an image house of the Kandyan era is found near the Dagoba. However the Sutighara Dagoba of Dedigama, Demalamahaseya of Polonnaruwa and the Yudaganawa Dagoba had been built in the same design of Kotavehera type. As all these dagobas had been built up to half their height in brick it could be surmised that all three dagobas belong to the same era.…
I took a picture of a Buddha statue in the 'image house' mentioned above.
The youngster showing us the image said that the features of Lord Buddha in the image house shows a lack of serenity found in other images of Lord Buddha in the Island.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Buduuruwagala, Wellawaya, Sri Lanka.

Buduruwagala is located about 5 km from the Wellawaya on the Thanamalwila road. The name Buduruwagala means “the rock with the statue of Buddha” And this is exactly what it is. Seven figured are carved in this rock with a massive 51 foot Buddha statue in the Abhaya Mudra gesture at the centre. The rock it self has shape of a kneeling elephant with its head own. Although there is no documented information about this site in the ancient scriptures, Different historians have dated these statues from the 6th centuary to late Anuradhapura period. (between 8 – 10 Century). These carvings are of the Mahayana Buddhist style and belongs to the Pallawa- Sri Lankan art tradition and similar to the statues at Dova Temple.-

Sunday, September 10, 2017

'Ran masu uyana' - Golden fish (? coin) gardens, Anuuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

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Two baths one for male, one for females built out of granite stones. Decorative elephant motifs in the bath, water from the reservoir close by and a large 40 acre garden - this was the life of a King 2000 years ago in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.