Monday, February 20, 2006

Here are twenty seven new photos of India and Sri Lanka. If you can't see a photo very well, just position the mouse over it and double click. It will blow up to the size of your computer screen. I've still not gotten through all the photos, but I'm making headway. Enjoy!

A lovely woman in a beautiful silk and gold thread embroidered sari at a temple. India.  Posted by Picasa

On our way south from Chennai to Mahabalipuram we passed areas that the December 2004 Tsunami swept over. the huts on the right are temporary, built after the disaster. The white building stayed intact. The water you see is actually from recent rain. In the distance is the Bay of Bengal. People are suppose to have permanent housing by now but it hasn't happened. 8,000 Indians died in the Tsunami.  Posted by Picasa

I don't think I ever saw a carving of a cat except here at Mahabalipuram. I think I saw less than 5 cats in the entire country! This little guy is below a elephant (note tusks above him) and he is being particularly mischieveous. He is taunting someone or something, but I forget the story.  Posted by Picasa

Mahabalipuram, 60km south of Chennai. These temples and carvings date back to the 7th century. Four of these temples were carved out of a single long granite boulder. A new site was uncovered by the Tsunami of December 2004 as this part of India is along the south east coast.  Posted by Picasa

Wash day.  Posted by Picasa

Hundreds if not thousands of motorcycles parked in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. This was only one direction I was looking. The same number of bikes were all around me.  Posted by Picasa

Boat ride through Muthurajawela Nature Reserve near Colombo, Sri Lanka. Beautiful canals and a wetland thriving with bird life, exotic plants and the odd croc! Posted by Picasa

Big ol' crocodile in a swamp in Sri Lanka. He was huge. Had to be 15 feet long and it looked like he had eaten a cow his middle area was so distended. The guide brought the small boat we were in too close to this guy for my liking. Just after I snapped this photo he flipped into the water and swam under the boat. I was very nervous at that point. One whip of his enormous tail and we all would have been breakfast, lunch and dinner! Posted by Picasa

Elephants in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka. Most elephants here (and there had to be about 200) are young animals that have been found throughout the country, sick and abandoned by their herd. They are brought to Pinnewala. These two young ones are tethered by chains as they are still quite wild. Once they get use to the place they can roam free.  Posted by Picasa

A very big stupa in Sri Lanka. Stupas, which characterise Buddist places of worship, essentially evolved from burial mounds. They were never designed to hold congregations, but were to serve as repositories for relics of the Buddha and later other venerated souls. You cannot go inside them. The faithful walk around them and give offerings in little shrines. Stupas are scattered around India and Sri Lanka.  Posted by Picasa

Buddist monks wrapping up long lengths of colourful cloth at the base of the stupa. I"m not sure why they are doing this, but the bright orange against the white caught my eye.  Posted by Picasa

Elephants are everywhere in Sri Lanka. Here's one getting a bath with his master in a stream beside the road. He's performing a bit for us.  Posted by Picasa

A very pretty Sri Lankan bringing flowers as an offering to a stupa.  Posted by Picasa

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. The complex lies on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370m (1,200 feet) high. This is the earliest surviving royal palace in Sri Lanka. This archaeological site, unparalleled in South Asia, has been declared a World Heritage site - and I'm going to climb it! Posted by Picasa

On the way up there were cave paintings hundreds of years old. Almost an Indonesian style rather than Indian influence. Seems breast implants were popular then, too.  Posted by Picasa

Yours truly at the top of Sirgiriya. Wonderful view of the country side. An easy climb. Good exercise. Sri Lanka is a great country for hiking and being out doors.  Posted by Picasa

A very large Buddha at a very large shrine in Sri Lanka. The country is 80% Buddhist, while India is 80% Hindu. Buddhism started in India as an off shoot of Hinduism.  Posted by Picasa

Firewalker on coals. Kandy, Sri Lanka. I sat really close to these coals even though we were told to move away. It was hot, really hot. I always thought this was a bit hoaky, but these coals were the real thing and this guy walked on them a couple of times and the heat was incredibly intense. He must have been in an altered state.  Posted by Picasa

I learned to really dislike monkeys in India and Sri Lanka. They were a nuisance particularily in Sri Lanka where if you left your room window or doors open they would come in and steal things. This is my room in Kandy, Sri Lanka and my sliding glass doors are closed, and locked! The monkeys are waiting, waiting, waiting. They think I will open the doors and forget they are there. Not a chance. The monkeys are really nasty and one must be very careful around them.  Posted by Picasa

Stunning scenery, interior of Sri Lanka. Rows of low bushes are tea plants. I'm in the mountains with lots of tea plantations around.  Posted by Picasa

Tea plantation, Sri Lanka.  Posted by Picasa

East meets West at the Anjuna Beach flea market. A huge and very famous flea market that happens every Wednesday.  Posted by Picasa

Sunset at Arambol Beach, Goa as taken from one of many beach bars. Great, fresh fish to eat. Very cheap.  Posted by Picasa

Silver trade at Anjuna Beach flea market.  Posted by Picasa

Sitting in a beach bar taking in the scene. Anjuna Beach, Goa. Parasailing, flea market, boats, tourists, locals. It's got it all.  Posted by Picasa