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The Dawn Chorus

sunny 31 °C

As the sun rises over the misty jungle we are woken by a heavenly choir unmatched by any sounds created by man. A symphony of sound greets us as the wild creatures herald the start of another sun-filled day. The birds in the canopy are the coloraturas, the altos, sopranos and tenors. These exotic flyers sing point and counterpoint with an agile range of runs, leaps and trills. Lower down the scale, in the branches, the orchestra of sound is provided by chattering chipmunks and howling monkeys, while the elephants on the forest floor pulsate the air with their deep baritone calls.
Here are a few of the many wild animals we have encountered so far...
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Troupes of mischievous monkeys can be seen everywhere here in north central Sri Lanka, but wild elephants are more elusive. This is the first one we spied...
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This fine creature watched us warily from his roadside hiding place while, at the elephant orphanage in Pinnewala, we had a grandstand view of the elephant's bath...
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Sri Lanka has a very long and rich human history beginning some thirty two thousand years ago when nomadic settlers called Veddahs came across a land bridge from India. The bridge eventually disappeared but invasions of other civilizations continued, bringing with them their religions.
Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka from 380BC for nearly a thousand years. Few of the ancient buildings remain apart from the many Buddhist temples with giant stupas known as dagobas. This dagoba was built in the 3rd century AD and is said to contain the collarbone of the Buddha himself...
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While King Dutugemunu had this dagoba built in 150BC in penitence for eating a hot curry without first praying...
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Anuradhapura is the religious centre of Sri Lanka and our visit coincided with an auspicious time in the Buddhist calendar – the February full moon – when thousands of congregants from all over the country bring great rolls of cloth to ceremoniously wrap around the stupas...
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Before visiting the temple the white clad worshippers purify themselves by bathing in the nearby lake...
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The enormous dagobas were badly neglected for centuries during the colonial times that began with the Portugese invasion in 1502, but today they have been restored to their former glory and rise like shining beacons above the surrounding jungle. The historical site at Anuradhapura covers a vast area and ruins of ancient buildings can be seen everywhere. However, perhaps the greatest treasure of the city is the Bodhi tree...
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This carefully guarded tree was brought from India some two thousand years ago and is claimed to be a sapling from the very tree where the great Buddha once sat to meditate. It is the oldest documented tree in the world.

Posted by Hawkson 22:30 Archived in Sri Lanka

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Comments

We could use some of that weather here but we survived. We sure had a lot of snow. Seeing your photos warms us up!!! All is beautiful..love

by Jean McLaren

Such incredibly beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing such richness and diversity with us! What a planet!!!
Back on Gabriola, spring is in the air and we are enjoying the beautiful contrast of melting white snow on green. No more slipping and sliding!
Safe travels!!

by Alison fitzgerald

As G said, the rituals big or small mean so much for all of us no matter where we live. A weight seems to have lifted in Vancouver as we can now see the ground as hopefully the seasons shift. Beautiful photos.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Great shot of the elephant. Good you're not in Africa. I see only two palefaces in all those photos. Has your intrepid tourism paid off again?

by R and B

What an expeessive writer you truly are! Your opening description of the jungle awakening was wonderful. I have witnessed something like that myself and you made me feel I was there again. I love it, well done! Bob D.

by Bob

great pictures and very interesting descriptions. By the way, I only like monkeys at a very big distance.

by Keith

Love the photos of wildlife and the people in white clothes.

by Janet

My name is Danushka. I am the guide and driver for James, Sheila and Christine. Actually we have a nice country. I am really glad show to you such nice place in Sri Lanka. All people are going to temple offer lotus flowers for Buddha full moon day.

by Danushka Fernando

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