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Sri Lanka

 

Rarely a country can impress the traveler at the first sight. But Sri Lanka's unusual lush vegetation is hinting of a tropical paradise come true. Lanka's legends are intertwined with India's. The island is the abode of Rawana the mythical king-monster of the Ramayana who abducted Sita, Rama's wife and where Hanuman, the monkey Rama devotee and a Shiva avatar came to rescue her.
But for today travelers there are hardly any traces of the poem in Sri Lanka but more about the remarkable history of this island and its magnificent capitals, established according to the legends by outcasts of the Southern courts of Southern India.
The heart of the country preserves this amazing heritage in what is called today the Cultural Triangle, an extended area that comprises the old capitals of Arunadapura, Pollonaruwa, separated in time by more than 1000 years and by Mihintale, the cradle of the Sinhalese Buddhism,  where Mahinda, the son of the great Indian king Ashoka, met the king of Lanka, in 247 BC and passed the Buddhist knowledge converting Lanka to Buddhism. Close by is Aukana with its impressive 35 meter standing Buddha carved in the rock,  Sigiriya, a fortified rock used by kings for defense and/or by monks for tranquil meditation and Dambulla with its impressive painted caves full of Buddha statues.
The country's heritage of Sinhalese Buddhism stems from this area and it represent even today the navel for all countries that respect Theravada Buddhist tradition, all referring to Sri Lanka as their inspiration and cradle.
The Southern point of the Cultural Triangle is in Kandy, long time capital of the country and symbol of its independence. Even if the coast was conquered by various colonial rulers the center of the country could not be conquered and was always ruled from Kandy. Its secret stems according to tradition from the possession of the Buddha's Sacred Tooth that is venerated in the temple that carries its name in Kandy.
South of Kandy start the hills, an area full of hill stations and tea plantations preserving the tradition of the famous Ceylon tea. Here is also the most important place of pilgrimage in the country, Adam's Peak, a 2840 meters mountain climbed every night by pilgrims that is considered the place where Adam stepped first time on Earth after he was banished from Heaven.
The lush vegetation is a perfect place for an abundant fauna and Sri Lanka is full of National Parks. probably the best known and the most diverse is Yala National Park where you can do a one day safari at a fraction of the cost to the ones in Africa.
The South is known for its palm covered beaches bathed by the warm Indian Ocean ridden by fishermen who hang on poles on top of the water. Tangalle, Mirissa, Unawatuna are just several of the famous ones. Also the South is a place of old colonial forts and interesting monasteries around Tangalle and Galle.
But the most attractive aspect of the island are its amazing and cheerful people. They beam smiles at you and their relaxed attitude permeates the spirit of the island. For sure you will get contaminated by it if you have a chance to stay there a little bit longer and for sure you would eliminate the word "stress" from you vocabulary.

 

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Jul 18: Back from a two week shoot in Alaska and another week in Vancouver and Washington State's Cascades Loop and Seattle.

Apr 30: We finally returned from a longer shoot in Utah and California. We went twice and shot extensively in various parts of LA and its surroundings and in most of the Utah canyons.

Jan 23: We finalized a long due project about the Tibet culture and tradition by editing the last two videos of a 9 DVD series, about the pilgrimage around Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and Everest.

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Sri Lanka Stock

8 hours of HD footage and 1300 Hi-Rez images from these locations:

Anuradapura, Mihintale, Aukana, Pollonaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, Dalhousie, Adam's Peak, Ella, Tissa, Yala National Park, Tangalle, Mulkirigala, Wekurukannala Vihara, Ho-o-Maniya Blow Hole, Galle, Mirissa, Unawatuna, Midigama, Ahangama, Colombo, Negombo

Sri Lanka Blog