An early start this morning meant we were up just after sunrise and had the privilege to see more wildlife in the garden surrounding our villa. The monkeys were back as they were yesterday, investigating our beer bottle!! The pair of mongoose also came through on their early morning amble and we identified several more birds including; the Common Tailorbird, Yellow-billed Babbler, Indian Pitta and the Indian Pond Heron.
We set off for Anuradhapura just after 8am and we were lucky to be the only visitors at that time of the day having the place to ourselves for the first hour or so and benefitting from the cooler temperatures. Our guide, Tharvanga, was very helpful in showing us the most important dagobas, pools and ruined palaces in this vast area of the ancient city.
We spent several hours exploring the city ruins and saw some impressive Dagobas and the oldest Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka where we had the privilege of offering fresh flowers to the Buddha and also receiving a blessing.
In addition, we saw the monastery ruins of what was the biggest and most influential monastery at the time and we also saw the Samadhi Buddha statue. By midday the sun was high and it was very warm and time to leave. We found the whole visit very informative and enjoyable and, at the same time profound and enlightening. The Buddhist philosophy is one with which we strongly identify so to be able to see and experience this place provided us with valuable insight into the city and Buddhist history.
After an afternoon nap we spent some time on our balcony and saw yet more wildlife in the form of wild peacocks and an iguana. We also spent time watching the family of monkeys that live in the jungle near the house and who were happily playing in the mango trees and eating the King coconuts!