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!
Monday, February 20, 2006
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.