Sri Lanka Part III : Kataragama and Bandarawela
Posted February 14, 2013on:
From Yala to Bandarawella takes several hours journey. Some of the group members wanted to visit a famous temple at Kataragama. We didn’t realize the temple complex is so large! We first greeted by a group of school girls, singing and dabbling their feet in the river of the temple complex.
Oops! What happened to the elephant?
Ahh…the three elephants were having their bath in the river. People used coconut skin scrubbing the elephant skin, it seemed like a long, tedious, tiring cleaning process which took more than hour.
Along the river, people washing clothes, bathing themselves, playing in water, changing clothes, picnic… and… elephants pee and poo in the river too! I had a culture shock though I knew a little from TV program before.
Finally, the elephants had done their cleaning. A guy told me this elephant is eldest among the three, he invited me to touch the elephant but I refused politely after seeing what happened in the river. (I was only light-skin Asian in the temple, hence quite high-profile there)
Most Sri Lankan is Buddhist. This very large Kataragama temple has few temples resided. I didn’t join my friends to have a visit inside those temples because I was watching the elephant cleaning but my friends (one group visited the Buddhist temple, another visited Muslim temple) told me the temples were so large, around 1km walking distance inside.
Monkeys in the Kataragama temple complex.
Selling stuff in the Kataragama temple complex
Colourful fruit stalls on the street outside the Kataragama temple complex.
Finally we reached Kirchhayn Bungalow. By the time we reached the bungalow at Bandarawela was already night, as we spent few hours in Kataragama. We truly trusted our driver’s driving skill, the narrow winding hill road had no road light! We did spend some hard time to find the Bungalow! There are five guest rooms in the bungalow, two for family, three for couple. We wanted to book the entire bungalow for private time, however another guest had booked a guest room much earlier than we did, so I forced to stay at a guest room at the back yard, since I was only single in the group. Only if I have an option, I would like to stay at Bustock room as shown in above picture. (“ v)
The chef only started cooking dinner after we reached. We had hot and fresh Sri Lanka dishes.
My bed, the only room without name. I guess this was a nanny room in the old times? Because it was at the back yard, the room was very cold and I couldn’t request a hair dryer after shower since they locked the back yard door at night… no phone & wifi in room, but I didn’t try hard enough to knock the door of servant room (next to back yard) for help either.