Leaving Sigiriya, we headed towards Anamaduwa for our stay at the eco-friendly Mudhouse. On our journey we stopped off at various cultural places.
First stop was Mihintale, which we are told is the birthplace of Buddhism within Sri Lanka; (the story goes that King Devanampiyatissa was out hunting when he met Mahinda, the son of an Indian emperor, who converted him to Buddhism – for more info, see the Wikipedia page about Mihintale).
We walked around the various ruins, including what is believed to be one of the oldest hospitals in the world; then climbed the steps up to a large stupa (known as the Maha Seya), our poor English feet weren’t used to walking barefoot on the stone steps, but once we got to the top the view was breath-taking!
On the way back down the steps, we saw a lot of monkeys hanging around a natural pool, next thing we saw they were taking turns diving off into the pool.
After Mihintale, our next stop was the Sacred City of Anuradhapura; we saw lots of ancient ruins; the largest stupa (we didn’t walk around it, the kids were already too hot & tired); and the world’s oldest tree (Sri Maha Bodhi).
We stopped off for lunch at a very nice hotel called the Palm Garden Hotel. The pool looked very appealing, I think because of the heat and all the walking. Alas we didn’t have time for a dip in the pool.
Back on the road we on our way to Anamaduwa. Getting close to our next destination, we were off the beaten track; after a few wrong turns and asking the locals for directions, the guide & driver eventually found the elusive Mudhouse.