On the third day, we visited Sigiriya, a large rock which was once home to an ancient capital of Sri Lanka but now is a historical archaeological World Heritage site as many of the ancient features have been unearthed and remain visible to this day. This was a great experience as not only did we get to learn all about the history of Sigiriya from the museum at the base of the rock and entrance to the site but we also got to see the breath-taking view from on top of the rock after a long but worthwhile climb.
On our fourth day, we all got to experience true Sri Lankan fashion when we visited a silk shop and batique factory and got dressed in saris. After this we all got to see traditional woodcarving in the afternoon and got to explore the shop of amazing hand carved items.
One of our highlights of the trip was visiting the “Temple of the Tooth” evening ceremony. This is one of Sri Lanka’s sacred cultural sites as the shrine within the temple is said to house the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The whole temple is surrounded by the ‘wave like’ walls as seen in the photograph. This is referred to as the “Cloud Wall” and shows that the temple is above the clouds as a sacred place. During the ceremony, huge amounts of flowers were left as offerings as people came to see the shrine for the brief period that the doors open through to where it is kept. The evening was then followed by the lighting of a candle to symbolise life and a walk back through Kandy to our hotel.
The trip was also full of many other experiences such as the cultural show which featured many traditional dances and drumming performed in the evening. There was a variety of performances symbolising different aspects of life which were finished at the end of the programme by fire eating and walking on a bed of hot charcoals.
We also got to go on an elephant ride and see the process of recycling elephant dung and how it is turned into items such as paper to make notepads from. We also went on a boat trip and visited a morning fish market which provided more depth to all of our experiences and topped the trip off as one we will all never forget. All of our experiences in the day were complimented by the contrasting but stunning locations we stayed at. The accommodation was great from our stay in the Hotel in Kandy to staying at the beach side in Negombo
Mr Heyes, Miss Mumford, our guide Latif and “Walkers tours” provided us all with an amazing trip which showed us the diverse nature of Sri Lanka. Having visited three contrasting locations and participated in superb activities in the day, we have all experienced the vast culture of Sri Lanka, making it a trip that we will all never forget.
By Ben Munro, Year 13