(53) Arrival in Colombo, a major city in Sri Lanka! Impressed by the beautiful seaside scenery! Introducing its cityscape!

Travels in Sri Lanka, the Holy Land of Buddhism

Travels to Buddhist sites in India and Sri Lanka (53)
Arrived in Colombo, a big city in Sri Lanka! Impressed by the beautiful seaside scenery! Introducing its cityscape!

With a distant view of the port of Hambantota, which had become famous for its China-related topics, I headed for Colombo on my way.

I met him again today as I was running through the beautiful scenery that is typical of Sri Lanka.

It is an elephant. And today it is quite close.

However, I have already met wild elephants many times during my stay in Sri Lanka. I am no longer surprised. Elephants are a common sight in Sri Lanka.

More importantly, I became enamored with the dog I met here.

When I got out of the car to take a picture of the elephant, it came out of nowhere and begged me to pet it. I am very careful about wild dogs in foreign countries, so I was very careful wherever I went, but I couldn't pet this elephant. She was too cute. Well, I guess it would be OK here in Sri Lanka. It is different from India.

Look at this happy face. The elephant is no longer a garnish. I felt happy too.

The beauty of the dammed lakes along the way is also unforgettable.

Sri Lanka is beautiful after all. Tropical sunlight, abundant rainfall, and green trees overflowing with vitality. I am sure this scenery will touch the hearts of Japanese people as well. It was truly a wonderful place.

And just before Colombo, there is Ratunapura, a town famous for gemstone mining. I also had the opportunity to visit the mining site.

Still, I was surprised to see that the work is done almost entirely by hand in such a stall-like place.

Also nearby is a sacred mountain called Mount Sree Parda. Unfortunately, it was raining that day and we could hardly see it, but it appeared for a brief moment. You can see a sharp peak in the middle of this picture. That is Mount Sree Parda.

Three Parda MountainsWikipedia.

This mountain is believed to be sacred by Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. According to Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition, Buddha is said to have left his footprints here, and according to Hinduism, there are footprints of Shiva. Similarly, the footprints of St. Thomas are believed by Christians, and those of Adam, the founder of mankind, are believed by Muslims.

In any case, for the people of Sri Lanka, this is a sacred place that can be called their spiritual home. Fuji for us Japanese. I was very happy to be able to see it, even if only for a short while.

Now, finally, I have come to my final destination, Colombo. It has already been more than two weeks since I arrived in Sri Lanka.

Colombo is the largest city in Sri Lanka, with a combined population and urban area of over 2 million. The city, which is also the center of business in Sri Lanka, is developing remarkably, with high-rise buildings being constructed one after another. I was surprised as soon as I arrived at the city that it is almost as developed and beautiful as a Japanese metropolitan area.

At the same time, this city is a place where many citizens live. While some areas are lined with skyscrapers, others, such as the one in the photo on the right, are home to miscellaneous living spaces. In this compact city, I also saw many different forms of life.

And after all, Colombo is all about the sea.

In particular, the seaside square called Goal Face Green is a great spot for a stroll with its grassy lawn. At dusk, children gather here and the atmosphere becomes very lively. The video below is a video of a walk around the Goal Face Green.

And don't forget.

The sunset in Colombo was also superb. I spent every day of my stay in Colombo gazing at the sunset in a daze. What a luxurious time I had!

The following video was shot by me while riding on the back seat of a moped in Colombo. I am sure you can feel the realism of the scene.

Colombo, located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, was also one of the first areas to be colonized and where Christianity took root.

While previous travelogues have focused on the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils, the religious situation in Sri Lanka is actually more complex. There are many Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims in Sri Lanka.

Islamic Temple of Colombo

Especially here in Colombo, Buddhism is actually overshadowed. The atmosphere is different from that of Kandy.

This is the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in Colombo, Gangamala Temple, which was founded in 1885.

As mentioned earlier, Colombo was an area that had been Christianized by colonization. As a result, Buddhism was in decline and almost extinct.

During that time, Buddhism was preserved in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, including Kandy, but even in Kandy, the Buddhist order was on the verge of extinction in the middle of the 18th century. The Sri Lankan Buddhist sect called the Siamese sect, which still exists today, was established by inviting monks from Thailand and reviving the sect. For more information, please see(32) A Brief History of Sri Lanka's Colonial Period: The Historical Background to the Emergence of the Dharmapala."As we discussed in our article on

Colonel Olcott (left) and Rev. Sumangala (right)Wikipedia.

And what was a surprise was this photo. Guru Sumangala, on the right, is the founder of the Gangarama Temple and is known as a central figure in the Buddhist revival movement in Sri Lanka. Colonel Olcott, next to him, is the founder of the Theosophical Church and is also known as Dharmapala. He is the founder of the Theosophical Church and has a close relationship with the Dharmapala, who has greatly influenced Buddhism in the world.

I realized that this Gangamala temple was also born during the revival period of Sri Lankan Buddhism. I could also somehow feel the background of the birth of Protestant Buddhism in Dharmapala. There are things that are born only in a big city like Colombo. For more information about this, please refer toBuddhism in Sri Lanka.But it was preached as follows.

Colombo is still not a big city compared to other cities in modern Asia. But it is home to the middle and working classes. And they are quite different from the people of traditional rural society (where the Sinhalese have maintained Buddhism for over a thousand years).

Hozokan, Richard Gombrich, Gananath Obeysekara, translated by Shima Iwa, Buddhism in Sri Lanka, p.i-ii

Colombo is different from other cities and villages. This was especially true from the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. It was very interesting to tour the city of Colombo with such history in mind.

I especially felt here in Colombo that the historical background and local characteristics have a huge influence on religion and thought.

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